HYUNDAI’S answer to the Honda HR-V, Holden Trax and Mazda CX-3 is still years away from launching in Australia, as its only global compact SUV – the recently revealed ix25 – lacks essential safety gear for our market.
Hyundai Australia may instead hold out for another vehicle that is currently under development for the European market, but may not get here until 2018.
Whether it is based on the chassis of the China/India-focused ix25 is unknown, but the Euro-centric crossover is thought to have been previewed at the 2014 Geneva motor show as the Hyundai Intrado concept (below).
“We’d love a small SUV, but we don’t have one,” Hyundai chief operating officer John Elsworth said.
“Originally the ix25 was launched in China as left-hand drive only. It is also built in India in right-hand drive, but it does not meet our local baseline safety requirements.”
Despite growing significantly in size and technology, the all-new Hyundai Tucson (above) due in August is expected to at least partially step in as a replacement for the high-selling ix35, even though the ix35 is officially ranked in the compact-SUV class below, while the larger Tucson is to take on the likes of the Mazda CX-5 and Nissan X-Trail.
Hyundai is nervous about this because the ix35 sold nearly 18,000 units in Australia last year to dominate its segment. The next most popular model was the Mitsubishi ASX at 10,404 sales.
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