By on October 13, 2010

Possibly having caught word of the fact that Americans are all-too willing to spend up to $500 extra for hatchbacks, Hyundai-Kia are aiming a load of trunkless wonders at our shores. First up should be Kia’s Forte Five-Door (above), which will probably hit dealers next year, alongside a new six-speed automatic transmission and optional navigation. These new options and the Forte5’s subtly slick looks should help the nameplate keep up its sales momentum. Sometime after the Forte5 (actual name may vary) drops, Hyundai’s new Accent should be joined by a five-door version as well. It’s not yet 100% clear if that model is headed stateside, but at this point, we’d be surprised if it didn’t join America’s burgeoning hatchback party. And finally, Hyundai should bring out one of the strangest little hatches in the business when its “Veloster” (again, actual name may vary) hits the market, likely in the next year as well. Recently-captured photos of its weird glass access-door-cum-hatchback are almost as intriguing as its claimed target of 40 MPG highway, possibly out of a turbocharged version of Hyundai’s direct-injection 1.6 liter engine. In any case, if Ford is to be believed and hatchbacks are back, Hyundai-Kia will (once again) be poised to make hay on the trend. And as far as we’re concerned, it’s all good news: the hatchback has been wandering the desert for too long.

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22 Comments on “Hyundai-Kia Hatching A US Invasion?...”

  • avatar

    This would be awesome!

    Wow…really? When did the US become a hotbed for hatches!?
    The Fiesta is really just beginning.
    The Focus hatch is nearly here.
    Even the Cruze has one if they think it’s worth the effort.
    VW and Mazda may have started something, or at least made it cool again.

    This would be wonderful. Next to a minivan, my favorite body style is the hatch.

  • avatar

    I’m trying to get to my review of the Kia Forte SX sedan. Very happy to see more 4-door hatches on the way.

  • avatar

    I still miss the styling and utility of my 85 LeBaron GTS hatchback, but the current crop of possibilities is nice.

    But hey, aren’t minivans really just 4-door hatchbacks?  They’ve been in style for a long time.  And there have been a few other 4-door hatchback/wagon cars out there already:

  • avatar

    This is as exciting as hearing about Mazda’s plan to bring their diesels for the 3 and 6 next year!!!!
    Maybe the 6 hatch will come back?

  • avatar

    I knew if I lived long enough, hatches would come back.  Whoo!  I’m never owning a sedan again, the trunk is just too limiting.

  • avatar

    It’s a small sportage.

  • avatar

    I don’t care for the looks of the Hyundai, but the Kia is pretty nice. Would love to see it come to the U.S.

  • avatar

    Ever try to stand under a sedan’s trunk lid while you load groceries in the pouring rain?
    I rest my case.

  • avatar

    I knew this would happen here in the US and was only a matter of time. The GTI was holding down the fort for years, and the MINI seconded the notion that hatches could be cool if done right. Next came the mass-market success of the Mazda3 and the bold design of the Magnum (props for an American company introducing a wagon).
    But the big snowball started to roll as a consequence of the gas spike of 2008. It was multiplied by the housing/credit crises, as people who over-extended themselves in order to buy wagons-on-stilts SUVs came to the realization that they bit off more than they can chew, what with housing and gas prices they could ill afford as they lost their jobs/took pay cuts.
    These people only ever wanted the utility of wagons (for the big SUVs) and hatchbacks (for the cute-utes) but wanted the ego-trip that came with the high seating position as well as its perceived safety, not to mention avoiding the undeserved stigma that came with wagons/hatches. But now, they realize they need to pare it back to what is necessary – that is, wagons and hatches with the utility AND the fuel economy they need.
    This trend will only grow as gas prices continue to rise and fuel economy regs get stricter. We are entering an age of frugality and it will be displayed perhaps most publicly in what we drive.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    It is kind of funny that so many people still believe ‘mericans don’t buy hatchbacks. But wait, every Prius and every Cute-Ute (CRV, etc) is in fact a hatchback!

  • avatar

    It’s about time hatches made a comeback. Honda jumped the shark when they canned the Civic hatch.

  • avatar

    It’s a Kia Cee’d but with infinitely better both front and rear styling than what we get in Europe. With it’s hyundai i30 cousin it is the cheapest compact over here.

  • avatar

    That Veloster hatch remind me the spirit of the previous gen Citröen C4 3dr.

  • avatar

    And finally, Hyundai should bring out one of the strangest little hatches in the business when its “Veloster” (again, actual name may vary) hits the market, likely in the next year as well. Recently-captured photos of its weird glass access-door-cum-hatchback
    I’m struggling to understand what different about this hatch? Is it like the Pug 107 / Citroen C1 / Toyota Ago? or more like the previous generation (never looked at the new) 3 series wagon where the glass could be opened independently of the main hatch?

  • avatar

    Hatchbacks are nice, but I’d really prefer the return of small station wagons, like the Focus.

  • avatar

    Now when do the 2 door hatchbacks return? And who is going to be the first to offer AWD + turbo + 6 sp combo?

  • avatar
    Amendment X

    Hyundai and Kia are the only car companies with the balls to do this (even though it really shouldn’t take balls to do it because hatchbacks are extremely practical and good cars). Kudos to them.

  • avatar

    I currently own a 2004 Mazda6 5 door.  Great little hatch that actually looks very close to the sedan model.  I really like the easy access it provides to the trunk.  I wish GM would offer the Regal here like this.
    But, the 5 door didn’t really sell well on the Mazda6.  It seems that the 5 door hatch market is definitely for the compact and smaller cars, at least in the US.

  • avatar

    Looks good!  Far more attractive than any current economy car in North America.

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