Hyundai maintains it can barely build enough of its core models to satisfy North American consumers, but that doesn't mean it isn't keen to expand its offerings to capture developing segments of the market. According to Edmunds, one of those expanding niches could be the burgeoning subcompact crossover segment. The website quotes Hyundai North America president and CEO John Krafcik as acknowledging his company is "very under-represented" in crossovers, the market's hottest vehicle type.

With the discontinuation of the Veracruz, Hyundai is down to two CUV nameplates, Tucson (pictured) and Santa Fe, the latter of which covers two segments with a two-row Sport and long-wheelbase three-row model. And while Hyundai commands seven percent of the US sedan market, the company estimates it only has two percent of the truck segment.

And while Krafcik stops short of confirming a new model, he acknowledges "a new segment is emerging" underneath the Tucson and says, "I think it's something to look at." At the moment, the subcompact softroader segment remains small and somewhat amorphous, with tiny CUV offerings like the Buick Encore, Nissan Juke, and now-discontinued Suzuki SX4 illustrating that there are a lot of different ways to package and market such a vehicle.

Edmunds expects a new Tucson sometime around 2015, so with Krafcik admitting that the company has no firm plans but is starting to look into the matter, it's likely that we won't see a smaller CUV from Hyundai until sometime after that.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      I will admit that this is a little bit on the rant side but I feel this is the best place to put it. I was looking at both Hyundai and Kia small SUV's and while both start out with decent low-end models, the amount of options I have to add just to get a friggin' roof rack is ridiculous. I just priced out the Sportage LX with auto trans and AWD and it comes out at 22,500 or something like that, which is great. But when I went to add the $200 cross bar option, it forced me to add another $1800 for a convenience pack as the only way to get a roof rack. Seriously? The whole reason I was even looking at a small SUV was because I thought SUV's came with roof racks! I was just tired of using a 3rd party manufacturers roof rack (Thule) on my car. OK Rant over. Thanks!
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think their time and energy might be better spent making the Tucson more compettive and sell in higher volumes. It is one of their weakest products (saleswise) at the moment. Same for Kia and the Sportage.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Surprised they feel they are underrepresented. They have all 3 main CUV categories covered - 7 passenger, 5 passenger, and compact. The issue, I believe, is that the Tuscon sells in very low numbers. It is very much on the small side of the compact class. With that said I am not sure why. I recently went for a test ride in one and was pleasantly surprised. I don't see it marketed in any way. A sub-compact is definitely the next class to build and market, but I think they should try to push the Tuscon a bit more.
      • 1 Year Ago
      If you make an SUV too small you lose the utility. Some compact cars have more cargo room than some of the small CUV's that are on the market now.
        • 1 Year Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      Tuscon is compact already. It is due for an overhaul so if they can trim a bit of weight and use a more efficient engine like a. 1.6 turbo that would be a more realistic choice.
      • 1 Year Ago
      It would be neat if Hyundai keeps going with the naming convention they've been using for their SUVs (cities in the American west and Mexico), which is way cooler than the combinations of letters/numbers like CX5, CR-V, MDX, RAV4, or QX56 that everyone else seems to be going to. Hyundai Reno, Monterey, El Paso or Flagstaff might have a good ring to it.
        • 1 Year Ago
        Hyundai Mesa. Patent pending. *points at everyone*
        • 1 Year Ago
        That naming convention exists for North America. Elsewhere, Hyundai adopts alphanumeric model designations.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hyundai Soul is coming...
        • 1 Year Ago
        I agree. A Soul-based 4x4 could be possible, considering that the Soul is rumored to be going in that direction in a couple of years.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Encore! Encore! Encore!
        • 1 Year Ago
        What is it with you and the Encore? Weirdest fetish ever.
      Gordon Chen
      • 1 Year Ago
      I am excited. I personally feel the small CUV (juke, encore) is the most interesting class of cars
      • 1 Year Ago
      If its under a Tucson it will be crushed to pieces!
      Cédrik Favre
      • 1 Year Ago
      A Veloster Turbo-based CUV could be interesting..
      • 1 Year Ago
      problem with the sub-compact CUV segment is that the price is a barrier they cost difference between the sub compact and the compact is way closer than the difference between the compact and the next largest tier. Nissan circumvented this by launching it as a a quircky car to sell to cool people who think they are cool in their cool new car who would not be caught dead in a nissan rouge or a nissan sentra and otherwise would not even be looking at a Nissan. Buick i think is just trying to lower it's CAFE and atract first time buick buyers and hope to keep them as legacy buyers. (plus buick doesent even have a compact suv to compare to!) the SX4 crossover was a brilliant hatchback that was a subcompact for people who value bad weather driving and durability. i hope another car comes to replace the sx4 (maybe the one honda is building from the next gen fit platform) but until then its just for the "cant afford a traverse, won't be caught dead in a sonic or a civic type picky buyers . Personally i think the tuscon is a great vehicle i have no idea why somone would want to buy a compact CUV over a hatchback but the one i drove was really comfortable and drove very well. .
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