Korean carmaker Hyundai is considering introducing a station wagon version of its very successful i30 small car into the Australian market in the near future.
Caradvice has had a look at two pre-production models of the wagon, called a Cross Wagon by Hyundai and badged as the i30CW, and we would think there is a definite market for the vehicle in Australia.
Hyundai product planning manager Ben Hershman, said the company was looking at just what spec and trim levels it would bring the i30CW in and indicated that the two we looked at, a cloth trim base model and a luxury trim leather model were both likely to be selected.
He said the company was still deciding if it would bring both petrol and diesel engines in in the i30CW but indicated at was almost certain that the diesel engine would be selected.
He said test use of the vehicles had shown they were ideal for young families and said the rear cargo space was large enough to accommodate a stroller, an major criteria for the young families who will buy this sort of vehicle.
Mr Hershman also indicated that he believed there was a growing move towards station wagon type vehicles as many people looked at their options and potentially moved away from the compact SUV vehicles which have been very popular with this market in recent years.
He acknowledged that with the i30 already constrained by supply there may be little point adding another model immediately.
However, Hyundai will soon have a plant in the Czech Republic to build i30s for the European market and this will free up production from Korea to service the Australian market.
The CW has a slightly lengthened wheelbase over the i30 hatchback now on sale in Australia and a slightly longer overhang , which together provide it with a reasonable load carrying space behind the rear seats, which feature a 60/40 split.
The vehicles we looked at both had alloy wheels , the lower spec running on 16-inch, and the up-spec vehicle on 17-inch.
The interiors were very similar to the current hatchbacks although the cloth trimmed wagon’s brown trim seemed unlikely to find favour in Australia. However, the black leather trim had a very high quality, luxury look and feel to it.
If the i30CW is given the go ahead Caradvice expects we will see it on the market early in 2009.
– David Twomey