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Another new small SUV? Why the bigger new 2023 Hyundai Kona gives the brand a chance to take on the Toyota C-HR, Mazda CX-3 and more with another small SUV

The new Hyundai Kona is larger and creates space for a new SUV in the brand's range.

Hyundai has created both a problem and an opportunity for itself.

The new-generation Kona will arrive in Australian showrooms by the middle of the year, and when it does, this new, larger model will create a gap in the brand’s SUV range. That’s because the second-generation Kona is significantly bigger than the model it replaces, growing 185mm in length, 20mm in width and 30mm in height.

This puts it on par with the likes of the Toyota Corolla Cross, Kia Seltos and MG ZS in terms of size. What it also means, is the new Kona is closer in size to the Tucson than it is to the Venue, which creates a gap in Hyundai’s line-up that could be filled with a new SUV offering.

Speaking at the global media briefing on the new Kona in Berlin, Germany recently, Simon Park, Head of Hyundai's EV Strategy, admitted that adding another SUV to its global portfolio to slot between the Venue and Kona is a possibility.

“There is an option that we can create some different SUVs in each segment,” Park said. “As you mentioned, the size of the Kona has grown, so I think the all-new Kona has become somewhere between B- and C-segment.”

It’s not far-fetched to imagine Hyundai expanding its SUV range. In Europe Hyundai offers the Bayon, a Turkish-built small SUV based on the same underpinnings as the i20 hatchback, which slots between the Kona and Venue in terms of size.

However, it’s a European-focused model (where the Venue isn’t sold) so is unlikely to be available to Hyundai Australia customers. Instead, Hyundai could follow the lead of its stablemate, Kia, which offers a wide range of SUVs that includes the Stonic, Niro and Seltos as well as the larger Sportage and Sorento. Both the Niro and Seltos fall within the ‘small SUV’ classification in Australia, although the latter is noticeably larger.

Toyota also offers a pair of small SUVs with the C-HR and newer Corolla Cross giving the brand a broader range of offerings to customers.

Stephen Ottley
Contributing Journalist
Steve has been obsessed with all things automotive for as long as he can remember. Literally, his earliest memory is of a car. Having amassed an enviable Hot Wheels and...
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