The idea of Hyundai marketing a luxury automobile might have seemed ridiculous a decade ago, but that was before the Genesis sedan, Genesis coupe and Equus came along. Now that buyers seem more accustomed to the notion of an upscale Hyundai, the Korean automaker is said to be considering launching a luxury crossover to take on the likes of the Lexus RX and Cadillac SRX.

The report comes from our compatriots at Edmunds, who spoke to Dave Zuchowski, head of Hyundai's North American unit, who said that the project is not yet part of the company's plan, but that "it is something under consideration."

The last time Hyundai entered that territory was with the Veracruz (pictured above), a model that was sometimes compared to but ultimately failed to compete with the Lexus RX when it was sold between 2006 and 2011. The Veracruz was effectively replaced by the seven-passenger Santa Fe with which it shared its underpinnings. This new project being considered would similarly be based on the latest Santa Fe, and the challenge Hyundai is facing once again would be to position it as a sufficiently upscale product to warrant a premium sticker price.

As Zuchowski pointed out, the RX shares much with the Toyota Highlander, but Lexus has no trouble charging a premium for the RX – indeed, it's its most popular model – since they don't sit beside each other in the same dealerships. Since Hyundai has chosen against spinning off a separate luxury brand, it would have to create enough distance between the two to justify the luxury model's existence and asking price. To get there, it may have to at least spin off a more upscale sub-brand and showroom space to include the Genesis, Equus and new Veracruz - whatever name it ultimately carries.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 25 Comments
      Bruce Lee
      • 5 Months Ago

      I think they're going to seriously need to work on improving refinement if they want to go after this category.  The Santa Fe is mostly meant to be a big and affordable vehicle and it's going to need a LOT of work to go after RX customers.   The Veracruz failed pretty miserably because it just wasn't up to par.  The Santa Fe can get away with lacking refinement because it's not a luxury product but something like an RX can't.  

        Dump
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Bruce Lee

        The Santa Fe Sport 2.0T is pretty descent & is more the size of the RX. They can increase the interior content & use a lot of the same materials used in the Equus to up the lux factor.

        I'd rather Hyundai re-tool & redesign the old Borrogo if they want a better full-size, near-lux SUV. They have descent V6/V8 options from the Genesis & Equus as well.

        preventer333
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Bruce Lee

        Well... from what I've read and remember, Veracruz actually came pretty close against beating RX... only problem of that SUV was that it was ugly and just simply badly designed as a first gen Tribeca or even worse... Aztec. Only if Veracruz had decent designs as Hyundai/Kia do these days... it actually may had some solid chance

      Adam Cordova
      • 5 Months Ago

      Call it an RXS haha

      Master Austin
      • 5 Months Ago

      Wish they would focus on improving reliability, than undertaking going upwards.

      blasds78
      • 5 Months Ago

      They really need to consider a separate brand if they want to move upscale. 

      Adam B.
      • 5 Months Ago

      The Veracruz was a good attempt, of course at the time only having the Azera as premium car didn't do it any good, however now with the Genesis and Equus Hyundai has some credibility in the premium side... it is crazy enough to work of course if they start at base of right below the 40k mark.

      Until the give us Genesis luxury brand, and please name the cars.. no letters, had enough of it.


      beanrew
      • 5 Months Ago

      They should call their luxury brand Liexys.

      Jonathan
      • 5 Months Ago

      Whatever. Go for it. Nothing matters anymore. BMW keeps making "GT" models, Mercedes-Benz is trying to make a model appeal to every single possible model, Nissan made that suv convertible thing, so go for it. Who even cares anymore. Make a Rolls Royce competetior while you're at it. Put a V12 in a phucking Accent. Why not?

      dfkd
      • 5 Months Ago

      They should be focusing on the micro-CUV category. That seems to be the building fad for the next 10 years.

      CUVs like the Lexus RX were the last 10 years.

      And don't forget the turbo. Cause TURBO!

      (I hate marketing so much)

      Bentot
      • 5 Months Ago

      Becoming a luxury marque s not an overnight achievement and prestige. It takes many years, even several decades to earn that honor...heritage and engineering prowess, among others. Hyundai would have to EARN that first. Keep trying, Hyundai.

      Matrix
      • 5 Months Ago
      lexus would not want their LS sedan getting serviced next to a toyota yaris, thats why they created the lexus brand for luxury car buyers, so why would hyundai have their equus and genesis sedan getting serviced next to a hyundai accent? If they want to create more luxury cars im all for it but please do it under a luxury Line.
      DB
      • 5 Months Ago

      They should base it on the Genesis's platform and offer those engines. That would make it substantially more upscale than the Santa Fe. 5 seats, higher grade materials, and more dramatic styling. It will never happen, but that's the way they should go about it if they are serious.

        milton_perriwinkle
        • 5 Months Ago
        @DB

        Kia did (or tried to do) exactly that: The Kia Borrego was available with the 4.6L V-8 from the Genesis. Maybe it was too soon for the brand however.

      taeles
      • 5 Months Ago

      Didn't they just discontinue the Veracruz?

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