Mark 2022 as a watershed year for the Hyundai brand. But not necessarily for reasons you may think.
Indeed, it was not the introduction of the full-electric Ioniq 5 that topped the news, although this model certainly portends what is coming. Namely, a fleet of full-electric vehicles. Instead, what we are seeing is the end-of-the-road for five Hyundai models as this Korean automaker realigns its U.S. product line for the years ahead.
Hyundai Cuts Five Models
We already knew about one model that was not coming back, the Sonata sedan. But four others will also disappear after the 2022 model year. Read on for the “former five” Hyundai models getting the ax and the reasons why they will no longer appear in U.S. showrooms.
Sonata Midsize Sedan
Can you believe the Hyundai Sonata is on the chopping block? This once-popular sedan rolled out in 1985, although it took another three years for it to arrive in North America. Since then, the Sonata has aided Hyundai in its quest for respectability. Notably, the 2011 model raised the bar for the Sonata line as this automaker brought a revolutionary design to the marketplace. Alas, the Sonata like so many car models has seen sales decline steadily in recent years as crossovers such as the Hyundai Tucson take hold. Wait another year and the Ioniq 6 all-electric sedan bows. That said, most future models will be utility vehicles.
Accent Subcompact Sedan
Finding an affordable car these days is a challenge. With a starting price of $16,645 (plus destination), the 2022 Hyundai Accent is downright reasonable. But it is also going away as Hyundai scales back its car line. In fact, with only the Elantra spared so far, the only fully gas-powered model left is the compact Elantra. You will pay about $4,000 more to acquire an Elantra, a roomy compact with seating for five. There is a hybrid model too; we will see how long Hyundai plans on offering it.
Veloster N Performance Model
The quirky Hyundai Veloster was always a slow seller. Still, it gave shoppers something interesting to consider at a budget price. For 2022, Hyundai scrapped all versions of this model except for the Veloster N with its 275 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque and a 6-speed short-throw manual transmission. The company decided to limit the vehicle to the one model performance enthusiasts craved, but now it will go away. There are not many pocket rockets left in the market, although the Volkswagen Golf R qualifies.
HEV stands for hybrid electric vehicle and that is exactly the type of powertrain that Hyundai is no longer interested in supporting. Instead, the company will go fully electric, rendering this first Ioniq meaningless. It is too bad, but the Ioniq Hybrid never approached the Toyota Prius in sales volume.
Everything we mentioned about the Ioniq HEV applies to the PHEV, except that this model is the plug-in version of the HEV. Unlike the Toyota Prius Prime, the Ioniq PHEV never achieved a strong following. However, based on the early success and interest of the Ioniq 5, we believe the Ioniq name will live on as a fully electric sub-brand.
Bye, Bye Sedans!
You only need to head back to 2015 to find numerous car models under the Hyundai nameplate. At that time, the luxury Equus and Genesis sedans were still in the Hyundai fold. The Azera was the largest mainstream model, barely larger than the Sonata. The Genesis coupe, Veloster hatchback, Elantra, and the Accent rounded out the car lineup. As for the Ioniq, it appeared several years later.
See Also — All About the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
Photos courtesy of Hyundai Motors USA.