Hyundai showrooms soon will be overflowing with crossovers: the company has just announced it wants to introduce eight all-new or updated utility vehicles by 2020. Among those crossovers will be a diesel—a surprising move given that technology’s recent negative press—plus a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle, a full electric, an eight-passenger crossover, and a tiny A-segment SUV.
We already knew about one of the planned SUVs, the subcompact Kona (pictured at top), which was introduced in Europe earlier this year and is expected to appear in the United States for the 2019 model year. There also are two mystery crossovers that Hyundai isn’t talking about right now, but hints could be revealed as early as the 2018 Chicago auto show in February or the 2018 New York auto show in April. Before anyone gets too excited, no, Hyundai isn’t counting the Santa Cruz compact pickup truck as one of these eight CUVs. That model is still on track to go into production at some point, but Hyundai has no further details on its progress right now.
Admittedly, the fuel-cell crossover is a bit of a nothingburger. Such a vehicle would only be sold in Southern California, which has the only useful hydrogen fueling infrastructure in the nation. The A-segment SUV, on the other hand, is interesting, not least because it could be pushing into uncharted size territory in America. Here, the B segment is the smallest SUV type, populated by Honda’s HR-V, Mazda’s CX-3, and Nissan’s Rogue Sport, among others.
Either way, Hyundai is starting to cover some of the bases it has left open to competitors for several years. It’s adding the Kona to address its missing B-segment entry and the eight-seater SUV to take on increasingly huge three-row family haulers such as the new Chevrolet Traverse that have eclipsed the footprint of the three-row Santa Fe. Until now, Hyundai has marketed only the Tucson, Santa Fe Sport, and Santa Fe in the United States to cover the compact, mid-size, and three-row mid-size categories. But in this crossover-mad market, three is not enough.
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