Indian Autos Blog reader Navras Jameel posted these images of a peculiar Hyundai SUV stuck in Kolkata traffic on Indian Autos Blog's Facebook page. No, this isn't the all-new Hyundai Santa Fe (that has to come to India in the next two years), its the new ix35 (or Tucson) that may never come to India.
The Hyundai ix35 is not a mini SUV and neither does it have seating for seven. This puts Hyundai in a bit of a tizzy, as an SUV in India has to satisfy one of these two criteria, unless you are selling a BMW, Mercedes or Audi.
The emergence of the Mahindra XUV500 has changed the definition of a SUV in the sub-20 lakh rupee segment and therefore it is unrealistic to expect Hyundai to launch the ix35 or price it under 10 lakhs.
Hyundai would rather wait for the headquarters to ready a proper crossover on the i20 platform (the ix20 positioned as a crossover in the same segment is a rebadged Kia Venga, so that doesn't qualify as a global car) that can allow them to launch an assault on the gamut of compact crossovers from European, Japanese and American brands destined to land in the coming years. We have discussed some of them here.
Hyundai sold the first generation Tucson in India without much success. The second generation model seen here was penned by ex-BMW designer Thomas Buerkle. It is sold globally with engines ranging from a 1.6L GDI petrol to a 2.0L diesel. The second generation model has been a real game changer for Hyundai in the crossover segment.
So what is the Hyundai ix35 doing in Kolkata?
At times, cars land in Kolkata and are driven across the border to countries such as Bhutan. We believe this is car imported by a private buyer in one of the neighboring countries. We have seen the latest generation Mitsubishi Lancer and Toyota Hilux pickup during transit in a similar condition.