Hyundai i30 hatch could be removed, no new models planned – report

An unsubstantiated overseas report suggests Australia’s second best-selling small car may not be replaced, once the current generation leaves showrooms in the coming years – its successor being a small SUV.

Above: Australian market Hyundai i30 N Line.

Hyundai may be preparing to pull the plug on its most popular Australian model, the Hyundai i30 hatchback — and fill its space in the lineup with a new generation of the Kona small SUV, according to a new foreign report.

Website The Korean Car Blog cited “[a] Rumored” that the European market i30 range – including sedan, station wagon and Fastback, as the Australian i30 sedan is not sold in Europe – will be “killed off” and replaced by a larger next-generation Kona small SUV which would be “take the place of the i30″.

Slow sales in Europe compared to similarly sized SUVs are cited for Hyundai’s decision; the publication states that despite offering a choice of three body styles, the entire European i30 range has been overtaken (for an indefinite period) by sister brand Kia XCeed, a small SUV derived from the Ceed sedan sold in Europe .

Independent figures claim Hyundai is on track to report 50,000 i30s sold in Europe in 2021 – matching 2020 results, but down from 75,000 sold in 2019 and nearly 90,000 sold in 2015. As By comparison, more than 100,000 Kona small SUVs were sold in 2021 (according to CarSalesBase).

Above: Hyundai i30 Fastback N.

As sales slow in Europe, the current generation i30 has been pulled from sale in a number of markets around the world. The sedan was pulled from showrooms in South Korea in mid-2020 – where the car is built for Australia – followed by the United States and Canada later in 2020.

Sales remain strong in Australia, however, with the i30 overtaking the Kona by a factor of two to one locally in 2021 (25,575 from 12,748), following the addition of the i30 Sedan at the end of 2020 – and remaining the automaker’s best ever – sales model.

It’s worth noting that while the i30 may be discontinued in Europe (where it’s built for that region), the standard and N Line versions of the i30 hatch for Australia are built at a different factory in South Korea – leaving the door open for South Korean production to continue, if sales in Europe cease.

The new report from The Korean Car Blog contradicts comments in 2019 by former Hyundai N performance division boss Albert Biermann, who told Australian media there would be another generation of the Hyundai i30 for Europe – to allow for a hot hatch second generation i30 N.

Above: 2023 Hyundai Kona spy photos, via The Korean Car Blog.

“Of course there will be a next [generation] i30 N,” Biermann said. “I can’t tell you when and what it will be, but of course we’re working on it [and] on concepts already.”

It has been suggested that the new i30 N could use hybrid or plug-in hybrid power, in line with Hyundai’s push towards electrification, with all-wheel drive not being ruled out.

The Korean Car Blog claims that the i30’s place in the lineup would be replaced by “a the next-generation Kona crossover that will be bigger” – although it’s unclear how much bigger the new model will be than the car it replaces, which is 4205mm long and 1800mm wide.

Hyundai now offers the Bayon city SUV in Europe – based on the i20 city car – which is 4180mm long and 1775mm wide. Meanwhile, the European-market Tucson is 4500mm long and 1865mm wide – so the new Kona would likely fall between the two.

Codenamed SX2, the new Kona would retain the current car’s option of a sporty N Line variant (according to leaked documents, see gallery above), as well as an all-electric (EV) model – the latter being set to share its running gear with the new Kia Niro EV, due in Australia later in 2022.

While the new Kona has now been spy tested (pictured above), a next-gen i30 prototype hasn’t been seen in testing – a clue that lends weight to rumors of its demise.

Production of the next-generation Hyundai Kona is expected to begin in mid-2023 – the same year the last copies of the current Hyundai i30 sedan are expected to roll off the production line.

If no next-generation model is planned – and the current i30 is profitable for the automaker – it is possible that sales of the current i30 could continue beyond the launch of the new Kona, in order to meet to any remaining claim – taking into account the vehicle development costs have already been reimbursed.

It’s also worth noting that the Australian i30 and i30 N Line models are built in Ulsan, South Korea, while the i30 N hot hatch comes from the Czech Republic, where the entire range is built for European markets. This opens the door for continued South Korean production after European sales end.

While the i30 nameplate could disappear from European showrooms in 2023 with the claimed removal of the hatch, wagon and Fastback, it is certain to live on in Australia along with the i30 Sedan – formerly known as the ‘Elantra, a badge it keeps overseas – which is expected to be on sale until 2026 or 2027.

It remains to be confirmed whether the Elantra/i30 sedan will be renewed for another generation, closer to the end of the decade.

A spokesperson for Hyundai Australia could not confirm or comment on the rumours, when contacted by To drive.

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Alex Misoyannis

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he launched his own website, Redline. He contributed to Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist on the press team in 2020. Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, whether it’s about flipping through car magazines at a young age or growing up around performance. vehicles in a car-loving family.

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