Hyundai's shift to an expanding crossover lineup continues next year with the reveal of a midsize battery-electric vehicle under the newly created Ioniq brand. The Ioniq 5 crossover will be based on the retro 45 EV concept from the 2019 Frankfurt auto show.
Also in 2021, a new utility vehicle will mark the Korean brand's entrance into the "lifestyle pickup" market. The Santa Cruz, soon to be presented in production trim, will go on sale in the second half of next year as a 2022 model. The four-door pickup is based on the next generation of the compact Tucson crossover, which also will go on sale as a 2022 model.
Hyundai also has some intriguing new and redesigned sedans to show off, starting with the next-generation 2021 Elantra on sale in the fall. That will be followed in 2022 by the new Ioniq 6 EV sedan based on the Prophecy concept from this year.
For existing models, Hyundai is adding new powertrain options. There will be new hybrid models for greater efficiency and N Line trims focused on power and performance. Hyundai also has promised a crossover with the track-ready N package of upgraded mechanicals.
Accent: Hyundai's economy sedan soldiers on for the 2021 model year unchanged. The automaker has said it will continue to sell the Accent as long as there is demand, but the subcompact Venue crossover — new for the 2020 model year — eventually will take over. The entry- level vehicles are running neck-and-neck in sales through July, with the Accent at 9,832 and the Venue at 8,791. If the Accent stays around for 2022, a freshen is possible.
Veloster: The small sporty hatchback — with two doors on the passenger side and one door on the driver's side — is mostly unchanged on lower trims. But the track-ready N version has an optional automatic dual-clutch transmission and new sport seats. Previously, the Veloster N was offered only with a manual gearbox. A freshen should come next year for the 2022 model. Hyundai has said it may produce a midengine sports car as an outgrowth of its prototype RM19 concept, which is a modified Veloster with the engine moved to the rear, among other radical modifications.
Elantra: A new generation debuts in the fall with sharper angles and upscale features, including optional side-by-side instrument and infotainment screens under a single piece of glass. A new hybrid version will be on sale next year, and the sedan gets the N Line trim for the first time. The hatchback Elantra GT is discontinued after the 2020 model year. Hyundai says hatchback buyers are moving to small crossovers. An Elantra sedan freshen should come in 2023.
Ioniq hatchback: The compact eco-friendly hatch carries over in its hybrid, plug-in hybrid and EV versions for 2021. It was freshened last year with minor interior and exterior design updates, and the EV got a bigger battery. Hyundai will use the Ioniq name for an EV-only brand starting with the Ioniq 5 crossover next year.
Ioniq EV brand: Hyundai said this month that the Ioniq name will be used for a global EV brand with three new battery-electric models. The Ioniq 5 midsize crossover will launch globally next year but not arrive in the U.S. until the fall. It will be followed by an Ioniq 6 sedan in 2022 and an Ioniq 7 large SUV in 2024.
Sonata: A new generation arrived for the 2020 model year, so the midsize sedan and its hybrid variant are mostly unchanged in 2021. A new N Line sport model will arrive in the fourth quarter with a more powerful turbocharged engine and a new dual-clutch transmission built for high-output engines. The Sonata should get a freshen in 2022, followed by a redesign in 2024.
Venue: The smallest of Hyundai's crossovers was new last year and is considered an eventual replacement for the Accent sedan. For the 2021 model year, the manual transmission option will be discontinued, as will the base steel wheels. That is likely to increase the base price. A freshen should come in 2022.
Kona: The subcompact carries over for 2021 in gasoline and EV versions. The gasoline Kona gets a Night edition with blackout treatment inside and out, arriving in September. Next year, Hyundai should pull the wraps off an N edition. The track-ready Kona N will join the Veloster N as the second model from the high-performance N division. The Kona N likely will be all-wheel drive, unlike the front-drive Veloster. Hyundai hasn't offered details. A Kona freshen will come next year.
Tucson: The compact crossover carries over for 2021, but a new generation is likely for the 2022 model year, going on sale in the second quarter of 2021. The redesign, expected to break cover in a virtual event in the coming weeks, will resemble the sharply creased Vision T concept shown at the Los Angeles auto show last year. Next year, a 2022 hybrid version will be available to take on the growing number of compact crossovers with the alternative powertrain. A freshen should come in 2024.
Nexo: The low-volume fuel cell electric crossover carries over until 2021, when a freshen is expected.
Santa Fe: The midsize crossover gets a surprise freshen for 2021, just two years after its last redesign. It has a new front fascia, new taillights and a redesigned interior with a 10.25-inch infotainment display, along with the addition of soft-touch materials inside. The Santa Fe also sits on a new platform to accommodate a hybrid model. A plug-in hybrid is planned for the Korean market and possibly the U.S. A redesign is expected in 2023.
Palisade: The large crossover, a major hit since it was released as a new model last year, mostly carries over for 2021. A new Calligraphy trim takes the feature-rich crossover further into premium territory. It starts with the features of the Limited trim and adds exclusive 20-inch wheels, unique exterior trim and quilted leather door panels inside. A freshen should come in 2022, followed by a redesign in 2025.
Santa Cruz: The new lifestyle pickup should be revealed this year and go on sale in the third quarter of next year as a 2022 model. The four-door compact truck is based on the new generation of the Tucson crossover. A freshen is expected in 2024.