Established over two decades ago, Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) is currently the second most popular carmaker in the country. The South Korean carmaker commenced its Indian innings with the Santro and the Accent, both of which met with resounding success.
While these led the way for bigger hits like the 'i' series, Creta and the 2nd generation Verna, not all Hyundai models were the darling of buyers in the Indian car market. Here are 10 Hyundai cars that are best forgotten -
Hyundai cars that are best forgotten
Hyundai Sonata Gold (fourth-generation)
The Hyundai Sonata Gold was launched in India in 2001. It was the flagship model in the carmaker's lineup during its initial years. The Sonata had a Jaguar S-type-inspired design, which made it look quite elegant. However, the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry ran rings around it as they had a better brand and residual value. Finally, it was taken off the shelves in 2005.
Hyundai Accent Viva
The Hyundai Accent Viva was launched in 2002. Basically a notchback version of the Accent C1-segment sedan that was marketed as a performance vehicle, the Viva came with the much-publicized 1.5-litre CRDI engine that produced 82 PS and 187 Nm. It was taken off the shelves in just two years owing to a really low demand.
The Terracan was the first premium SUV from HMIL. Launched in 2003, it was quite ahead of its time. The Terracan was powered by a 2.9-litre turbocharged diesel engine that produced 148 bhp and 343 Nm.
Hyundai Elantra (fourth-gen)
The fourth-generation Hyundai Elantra was launched in India in 2004. The D1-segment sedan became a direct rival to the Toyota Corolla, Skoda Octavia and the Honda Civic from 2006. While it was a well-rounded product, it couldn't outsell the Japanese vehicles. Finally, it was discontinued from the market in 2010.
First launched in India in 2004, the Getz hatchback went on sale in the B1-segment of the Indian car market. It was a pretty well-rounded car with a spacious interior and a comfortable cabin. However, it failed to find many buyers as the premium hatch segment was still nascent. Hyundai tried again launching a refreshed version in 2007, which got a power 1.5-litre diesel engine from the Hyundai Verna. But most of the limelight in this segment was hogged by the Maruti Swift, which is yet to ceed its position to Hyundai.
Hyundai Tucson (first-gen)
Not many of you would remember the earlier Tucson. The first generation of this crossover was launched in India in 2005. Back then, it was one of the first premium ‘soft-roaders’ in the market. However the SUV market wasn’t ready for such cars and the old Tucson didn’t find many buyers. The second-generation of this crossover never made it to India owing to the lack of market. Finally, the third-generation Tucson made it to our shores in 2016.
Hyundai Sonata Embera (fifth-generation)
The Hyundai Sonata Embera replaced the Sonata Gold in 2005 to become the most expensive sedan in HMIL's stable. The Embera couldn't ever sell as much as the Honda Accord or the Toyota Camry. While it was in showrooms for four years, not many remember this car owing to the low numbers it was sold in.
Hyundai Santa Fe (second-gen)
The second generation Santa Fe was launched in India in 2010. The premium SUV was launched here with a pretty hefty price tag, which was mostly due to the high CBU duties. Not surprisingly, the buyers weren't keen on spending on a product that came from the makers of the Santro small car. Furthermore, the Toyota Fortuner made life really tough for the Santa Fe. It was discontinued in 2013.
Hyundai Santa Fe (third-gen)
The third-generation Santa Fe was launched in 2013 and remained on sale until last year. It looked quite striking, which was due to the bold Fluidic design language. The third-gen Santa Fe was able to find some buyers but it could never come close to the all-conquering Toyota Fortuner on the sales charts. The car was a CBU and its exhorbitant price was the main detterent to sales.
Hyundai Sonata Fluidic
The sixth generation Hyundai Sonata was launched here with the 'Fluidic' branding in 2012. The car looked quite modern and had a comfortable cabin. It even offered a pretty long list of features. The Sonata Fluidic didn't sell much owing to the low fuel efficiency of its petrol engine.