Kia Rio might be dead, but Hyundai i20 will be renewed, alongside i10 and i30

Published Mar 7, 2023


Seoul - Hatchbacks, once highly sought after in many corners of the globe including South Africa, seem to be dying a slow death as buyers swarm to SUVs and crossovers.

This year alone, the world has had to say goodbye to the Ford Fiesta, while the Kia Rio is also set to be axed in most markets including South Africa.

It’s also rumoured that the Volkswagen Polo is set to be culled in Europe, although the current model is at least poised to remain with us beyond 2025, probably as a Vivo.

However, the Hyundai brand has no plans to give up on the hatchback market, as revealed in a recent interview with Autocar.

Michael Cole, who heads up Hyundai Europe, told the British publication that the company was strategising about what comes beneath the new Hyundai Kona.

“We're strategising now about what comes beneath Kona long-term,” Cole told Autocar. “For now, (the) i10, i20, i30 are all still in our plan, even for the next generation.”

However, the models are set to be electrified in one way or another: “We don’t want to lose any customers, I don’t want to walk away from any customer group,” Cole added.

“So we have to think about those i10, i20, i30 customers. What could the future with electrification look like for them? It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be Hyundai Kona or Hyundai Ioniq 5. We have to think about what could come sub-Kona.”

It had been rumoured that the i30 hatchback was set to be culled at the end of the current generation.

But while Hyundai’s compact hatchback trio is set to survive, the performance models appear to be in the emergency room.

Late last year, Drive reported that Hyundai’s N division was struggling to get the green light for a new-generation i20 N performance hatchback amid the ever-stricter European emissions laws. Of course, it’s possible that they could face similar battles getting a new i30 N approved.

Will the performance division jump on the hybrid bandwagon to achieve the perfect balance between performance and economy, albeit while potentially losing some of the perfect handling balance they’re renowned for?

That is far from confirmed, but given the aforementioned plans to electrify the hatchback range, new performance hybrid models are certainly within the realm of possibility.

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