Now we're seeing some of the same trends starting to extend to compact sedans, and analysts are anticipating that it could be the next big area of growth in the U.S. vehicle market. And as Hyundai Motor America CEO Dave Zuchowski suggested to us this past week, the brand is considering adding an affordable subcompact, B-segment crossover for its U.S.-market lineup.
With a B-segment crossover, Hyundai one of the first brands with a mainstream contender this size.
So far, this segment of the market includes mostly niche models, like the Fiat 500L, MINI Countryman, Nissan Juke, Nissan Cube, and the upcoming Jeep Renegade—as well as the Kia Soul, which has crossed over from being a niche model to one with broad-scale appeal. Somewhat upmarket, there's also the Buick Encore.
Honda Urban SUV Concept revealed at 2013 Detroit Auto Show
Hyundai plans to show the next-generation ix25—potentially the fundamentals of that future vehicle—at this month's Beijing Auto Show. Meanwhile, Kia internationally sells the Carens, a model that shares its underpinnings with the current international-market ix25, so it's unclear whether Kia's version would also be brought up to U.S. safety and occupant standards.
Zuchowski also confirmed that there's no minivan in the brand's product plans—no new Entourage to parallel the Kia Sedona replacement to be shown at this month's New York Auto Show—and we won't see any vehicle larger than the three-row Hyundai Santa Fe.
The launch of the crossover is one of four major launches that the brand has for the next year. After the 2015 Hyundai Genesis, which reaches dealerships late this month, there's the facelifted 2015 Hyundai Sonata (to get its auto-show debut at New York); then an all-new Tucson, as well as a completely new Elantra due to go on sale next year.