Hyundai Australia has had a boom 2014 in terms of sales, a year in which it has taken carryover full-importer champion Mazda down to the wire.
The Korean company has a pretty sizeable sequence of new and upgraded models arriving in 2015 that it no doubt hopes will maintain the momentum.
Hyundai Sonata – February
February will see the return of the Sonata to Australia’s shrinking medium-car market. The new sedan will join the i40 sedan/wagon (which unlike the Sonata comes with a diesel option), giving Hyundai a two-pronged attack again after it dumped the previous i45 (called Sonata overseas) in early 2013.
Expect both the 2.0-litre direct-injection turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 183kW and 352Nm, and a 2.4-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder version with 142kW/247Nm). We probably won’t get the petrol-electric hybrid, however.
Hyundai i30 update – March
In the first quarter of the year, an upgraded i30 range will launch, featuring revised frontal styling among the changes. As Hyundai’s biggest seller, any activity on this car is vital to the brand’s fortunes.
But while European versions will get a new dual-clutch transmission option and some new turbo engines, including a new i30 Turbo flagship with 137kW/265Nm, Australia is expected to maintain the existing range of powertrains so as not to cannibalise the Veloster SR.
A revised version of the Australian-market SR, with its 129kW/209Nm engine, will be created however, likely featuring some new cosmetic tweaks such as different alloy wheels.
Hyundai Veloster update – Q2
Arriving in the first half of the year is an updated version of the Veloster, which will get some styling tweaks inside and out and some new colour options.
Despite being axed in the UK recently, the Veloster and Veloster SR Turbo remain popular sellers here, and regularly battle the Toyota 86 for top spot on the segment sales charts.
Hyundai i40 – Q2
Due in the second quarter is an upgraded version of the i40 sedan and i40 Tourer wagon, with a revised grille, new LED DRLs, new head and tail-lights and some minor cabin tweaks including, in European models at least, updated infotainment.
The 1.7-litre turbo-diesel engine option now gets 104kW of power and 340Nm of torque — up 4kW and 20Nm on the current car — while a 2.0-litre direct-injected petrol engine will also continue here. Euro versions also get a new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, though whether we’ll get it here remains to be seen. We will bring you an update when we know more.
Hyundai ix35 – Q3
In the third quarter of the year expect to see a brand new ix35. Given the current version is Australia’s top-selling small SUV, this new model is another vital cog in the Hyundai machine.
This model will use a new platform and get a new design. Expect it to look like a shrunken version of the handsome Santa Fe. Like all new Hyundais, the ix35 will come with Australian-developed suspension. You might also see a 1.6 turbo engine and a dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Hyundai iLoad and iMax update – Q4
Rounding out the year will be an update to the iMax people-mover and iLoad van twins, though details on this are a little murky. You won’t see a right-hand-drive version of the larger H350 until 2016 at the earliest.