Hyundai Australia has confirmed that it will not sell the new-generation i10 or the new-generation i20 in this market.
Hyundai claims it had been working towards offering those cars in Australia, but both the smaller i10 and larger i20 couldn't be sourced at a reasonable price to suit the market locally. Both new-generation models are built in Turkey, with exchange rates and logistics costs said to be the culprits for making it impossible for those models to make it to market.
With production of the current i20 winding up in India imminently (the final shipment of those cars will arrive in August), the question of what will replace that car needs to be answered - having a suitable entry-level model in a brand's range is an important stepping stone.
CarAdvice has learned that the brand will reposition the Accent model to become the entry-point to the Hyundai range which has sat between the current i20 and the larger i30 in terms of pricing and size.
To explain: the i20 currently has list pricing starting at $15,590 plus on-road costs for the 1.4-litre three-door Active model, while the Accent kicks off from $16,990 plus costs for the 1.6-litre five-door hatch, and the i30 starts from $20,990 plus costs.
Things have been a bit cramped, then, but the new Accent entry-level model, which is likely to be known (again) as the Active, will start from just $14,990 plus on-road costs. Indeed, Hyundai is running a driveaway campaign on the current Active at $14,990.
Crucially, that model will be offered with a new drivetrain. Instead of the current 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine, a 1.4-litre is set to be fitted with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) automatic gearbox as standard.
According to overseas specifications, the 1.4-litre engine produces 75kW of power and 133Nm of torque, which is 15kW and 23Nm less than the 1.6-litre in the current Active model.
Speaking of that 1.6-litre Active model, it will be dropped as part of the range reshuffle, as will the mid-spec Elite hatch. The strategy for the sedan line remains unknown.
The only other Accent model that will be sold more powerful SR (pictured above), which will see its price lopped by $2000 to $16,990 plus on-road costs. That version gets a more powerful 1.6-litre direct injection engine with 103kW/167Nm, and can be had with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox.
The base model Accent will be well equipped for the cash, too, with Hyundai confirming the new model will come with six airbags and electronic stability control, electric windows, a touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, USB and auxiliary inputs and the brand's competitive five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty.