Hyundai and Kia are currently the second and third largest carmakers in the country respectively, and we would love to see the Korean carmakers bring their international offerings to India
Hyundai Motor Group is not only the largest car manufacturer in South Korea, but it is also one of the biggest carmakers in the entire world. The group was officially formed when Hyundai purchased 51% of Kia Motors, the second largest automobile manufacturer in South Korea, back in 1998.
While Hyundai launched its first product (Santro) in the Indian market in 1998, its subsidiary Kia Motors’ first offering, the Seltos SUV made its debut in the country late last year. All the products that the two brands currently have in their Indian line-ups are performing well in their respective spaces, and with a combined market share of about 22%, we feel that Hyundai and Kia should expand their presence across more segments in the country.
Here is a list of 5 cars that Kia and Hyundai offer in other foreign markets, and we wish were brought to the Indian market asap –
1. Kia Telluride
The Telluride is Kia’s flagship SUV offering, and is an exclusive product for the US market. The car can be had with either a 7-seat or an 8-seat layout, with captain seats available in the second row of the former. Under the hood, the Telluride draws power from a naturally aspirated 3.8-litre V6 petrol engine that puts out 291 hp power and 355 Nm torque.
The said motor comes paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission that sends power to the front wheels as standard, while an all-wheel drive system is also optional. At a base price of USD 31,890, the Telluride is truly a bargain, and could serve as a premium alternative to the Ford Endeavour and the Toyota Fortuner if brought to the Indian market.
2. Kia Sorento
Kia recently revealed the next-gen version of the Sorento SUV, which carries a lot of design cues from its bigger sibling, the Telluride. It sports the tiger nose grille up front, flanked by LED headlamps. At the rear, the tail lights draw inspiration from the Telluride, while the new bumper houses twin faux exhausts.
The Sorento will be powered by a 2.2-litre diesel motor producing 199 hp, along with a 1.6-litre petrol engine with hybrid powertrain with a combined power output of 227 hp/350 Nm. The diesel engine comes paired to an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, while the petrol hybrid sends power to the wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox. If brought to India, the Kia Sorento would be priced around Rs 25 – 30 lakh, and would put up against the Volkswagen Tiguan AllSpace, as well as the Skoda Kodiaq in India.
3. 2020 Hyundai Elantra
While Hyundai launched a mid-life facelifted version of the Elantra in the country last year, the Korean carmaker has globally revealed the next-gen version of the sedan. In terms of design, it is heavily inspired by Hyundai’s Le Fil Rouge concept, and features a large cascading grille up front flanked by aggressive LED headlamps. At the rear, the car features T-shaped LED tail lamps, which are connected with a LED strip running across the boot lid.
Hyundai is offering the 2021 Elantra with a 2.0-litre petrol engine that comes mated to a CVT, and produces 147 hp power and 179 Nm torque. It also gets a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, which is coupled with a 32 kW motor, and has a combined power output of 130 hp, and a peak torque rating of 264 Nm.
Since the Elantra facelift was launched in the country in October last year, we do not expect the next-gen model to be launched anytime before 2021. When it does arrive here, it will retain its rivalry with the Honda Civic and the Skoda Octavia.
4. 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe
The Santa Fe was discontinued from the Indian market back in 2017 due to poor sales. Internationally, the SUV has received a new-gen model, which drops its classy appeal for a more quirky and sportier look. It gets a 2.4-litre NA petrol engine that makes 185 hp, along with a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol unit that puts out 235 hp power. 8-speed automatic transmission and a front-wheel-drive setup is standard, while an all-wheel-drive configuration is also offered as an option.
The car comes with features like a 12-speaker Infinity audio system, a panoramic sunroof, all LED lights, 8-way power-adjustable front seats with Integrated Memory System for driver’s seat, an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone connectivity, surround-view monitor, a heads-up display, a 7-inch TFT LCD multi-info display, BlueLink connected car tech, and much more.
5. Hyundai Palisade
The Hyundai Palisade shares its underpinnings with the Kia Telluride, however, it features Hyundai’s Sensuous Sportiness styling theme. The interiors are unique to the Hyundai SUV as well, and seem slightly more premium than the Telluride. Under the hood, the Palisade uses the same 3.8-litre V6 engine as the Telluride. However, the Palisade comes with an all-wheel-drive configuration as standard across the range.
The Palisade has been priced from $31,550 onward in the USA, which is on par with its cousin, the Kia Telluride. Sadly, there is no confirmation from Hyundai about an Indian launch of the Palisade, since the carmaker is currently focusing on mass-market offerings.
As of now, Hyundai Motor India Ltd retails products in the range of Rs 4.57 lakh (entry-level Santro) to Rs 26.97 lakh (top-end Tucson), while Kia Motors India offers only two products, the mid-size SUV Seltos, and the Carnival MPV, which are priced between Rs 9.89 – 17.34 lakh and Rs 24.95 – 33.95 lakh (all prices, ex-showroom) respectively. The aforementioned cars could help the Korean manufacturers to widen their respective line-ups in the country.