If Hyundai offers this with a manual transmission in the US our tune might change.
It may seem hard to believe but Hyundai only sells two SUVs: the Santa Fe and Tucson. Both are available in different versions but at the end of the day it's still just the two of them in a lineup filled with small cars and sedans. In today's market that's not good. As such it's no surprise that our spy photographers caught a new Hyundai crossover out testing. This camouflaged car will go up against the Nissan Juke, among others, in the ultra-popular small crossover segment.
The new crossover will be based on the i20, a hatchback even smaller than the Elantra GT (known as the i30 elsewhere). Our spies say the new crossover, while riding on the i20's platform, will raid the parts bin of the i30. In the US the Elantra GT is available with only a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine making 173 horsepower. There are two transmission options on offer: a six-speed manual or a six-speed auto with manual mode. We'd like to see both transmission available on this new CUV, especially the manual. That would give it an edge over the Toyota C-HR, which is only offered with a CVT in the US even though Europeans can have it with a six-speed manual transmission complete with rev matching.
Hyundai's new small crossover may have a better engine-transmission combo than the C-HR but where it looks like it may stumble is in the looks department. True, there's a ton of camo here but this thing just looks bland and boring. It's almost as if Hyundai's objective was to design a more boring looking version of the Honda HR-V. That being said those slim headlights do look super sexy. The lone shot of the interior is promising as well. That raised infotainment screen and digital gauge cluster look great, as does that stick! No word on when this car will debut and what its availability will be like. We expect it to come stateside and our best guess on its arrival date is sooner than later.