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New Hyundai Baby Crossover Will Slot Below The Kona

Crossover / 3 Comments

The new model will reportedly debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show in April.

It's a busy time for the Hyundai Motor Group right now, as the Korean automaker is planning to launch no less than 13 new or facelifted models this year including the all-new Sonata, which is expected to debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show in April with a striking new design.

At the same show, Hyundai is also reportedly planning to present a brand new compact crossover that slots below the Kona. According to MotorTrend, the Korean automaker's new baby crossover will go on sale in the US later this year and have a more traditional body style than the quirky Kona.

"It's smaller and it's distinctively different than Kona," SangYup Lee, head of the Hyundai Global Design Center in Namyang, Korea, told the publication. "So imagine Kona as a really fast profile, distinctive, iconic character to it, but this one is almost very boxy, bold, bull-doggy character."

Compared to the Kona, Hyundai's new crossover will be more entry-level and aimed at even younger buyers. That should also make it more affordable than the Kona, which starts at just $19,500. It won't be based on the same platform as the Kona, however.

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While small city cars such as the Fiat 500 don't tend to sell well in North America, Hyundai believes there is a demand for the segment and sees a gap in the market. "We see it as a niche market," Lee said, adding that Hyundai wants to be ambitious and create its own niche market.

Hyundai's US and China sales have suffered in recent years due to the lack of SUVs in its line-up, but the Korean automaker is slowly catching up with the competition. This summer, Hyundai's three-row Palisade SUV will go on sale, and the company's luxury division Genesis is also expected to introduce its first luxury SUV, the GV80, this year.