By on February 18, 2014

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The growing small crossover segment, featuring the likes of the Nissan Juke, Buick Encore, Honda Vezel and Kia Soul, may soon find two new players in the game as both Hyundai and Mazda have their eyes on the prize.

Automotive News Europe and Automotive News report the two automakers are planning to release subcompact CUVs of their own down the road, with Mazda tying theirs to the newly redesigned Mazda2 due out later this year. The crossover would slot underneath the current CX-5 in Mazda’s home market, and would be priced between 1.5 million and 2 million yen ($15,000 – $20,000 USD).

Mazda also aims to bring the mid-size CX-9 to Japan as soon as 2015 following its next redesign; both new models would expand the automaker’s crossover lineup to three vehicles in their home market.

Meanwhile, Hyundai’s subcompact crossover is in the study phase according to Hyundai Motor America CEO Dave Zuchowski:

We’re always looking at segments that we’re not in right now that maybe we should be based on where the market’s going. We’re very intrigued by this B-segment CUV.

Zuchowski also announced that his employer may also bring a smaller luxury sports sedan within a couple of years, which would form a trinity with the Equus and Genesis sedans.

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43 Comments on “Hyundai, Mazda Eyeing Small Crossover Market...”


  • avatar
    Dragophire

    If Mazda is thinking of bringing the CX9 to Japan does that mean it is going to shrink during the redo…I hope not.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      How exactly did you conclude this, from this article?

      • 0 avatar
        Dragophire

        Historically when a Japanese Manufacturer decides to sell their products on their home turf, if its not a lux car they change it to fit two markets. That is how I came to that conclusion.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          I’m curious about the CX-9. It was developed with Ford based on the Edge. Now that they’re separate entities will the new CX-9 be a totally different car then the new Edge. Strange that the CX-9 and the Edge will both be redesigned at the same time

          • 0 avatar
            TTACFanatic

            The Edge/CX-9 were derived from the Mazda 6 platform. I suspect the new CX-9 will be some variant of the Skyactiv platform and the Edge will be based off the Mondeo/Fusion.

            It really won’t matter much.

            I would expect engine downsizing on both of models though. Mazda doesn’t have access to Ford IP anymore, so their variant of the 3.7 V6 will be gone. And Ford could go all turbo 4 for the Edge so that there will be some breathing room for the inevitable Explorer redesign (which will no doubt be based on the Fusion too).

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Thanks, that’s really a good answer

    • 0 avatar
      A strolling player

      I doubt it. The CX-9 seems to have sold rather well here—based on my perception, not based on any numbers, mind. Success in the 7-pass crossover market sort of requires at least a halfway-usable 3rd row, which the CX-9 currently has. The Highlander got longer, too, and the Pathfinder is big, so if they want to compete they may even expand a bit too.

  • avatar
    mjz

    A Mazda CX-3 would be great. Wish Ford would sell the EcoSport here as well.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “We’re always looking at segments that we’re not in right now that maybe we should be based on where the market’s going.”

    What a great sentence from Mister Important Carman CEO.

    All entries into this segment which are not called Buick and not able to be Trifecta Tuned as game-changers are irrelevant.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I hope they bring some over. And they give the US a turbo diesel or hybrid option. I’m really surprised by the lack of hybrid SUVs.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Ford stopped making the Escape Hybrid because of the C-Max, and because the 1.6T got better EPA MPG ratings than the last Escape Hybird.

      The only mass market hybrids tend to be midsized sedans and Prius/C-Max utilty wagony creatures.

      • 0 avatar
        Atum

        To go with the large Northern markets, making these hybrids AWD would have a lot of sales. Just saying.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        I think the Escape grew a bit in size, but I doubt a C-Max sized hybrid SUV would get significantly worse fuel economy with the same powertrain. I think there is a large cross section of folks who want the fuel economy of a hybrid with the high seating position and general look of a CUV

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I don’t disagree, but if compact CUV hybrids were going to sell really well, wouldn’t Toyota, Honda or Ford be selling them?

          It seems like it would be a good idea. Maybe the MPG inprovement isn’t great enough or interior packaging would be an issue with the batteries.

          • 0 avatar
            Varezhka

            I’m sure it’s just a matter of time.

            Honda’s new Vezel Hybrid seems to be selling pretty well so far back home, so it shouldn’t be too long before Toyota comes out with a Yaris based mini-SUV with a Prius C drivetrain.

            If they do release both a hybrid and a non-hybrid version of the same car, the price difference may become a factor though in US (the delta between the standard Vezel and the Vezel Hybrid is about 3000 USD in Japan).

    • 0 avatar
      A strolling player

      You can get an RX hybrid, Highlander Hybrid, Pathfinder Hybrid, Touareg Hybrid, QX60 Hybrid, Cayenne S Hybrid…

      Toyota is invested in the hybrid, Nissan is competing with Toyota, and the rest? It’s a lot easier to offset sticker shock when the base price is already $45k+.

  • avatar

    The JEEP CHEROKEE is a prime example: whoever builds an inexpensive AWD or 4×4 vehicle will be the winner.

    NYC has had several snowstorms in the past month and parts of the south that have never seen snow before are starting to get it (apparently THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW has merit).

    I keep hearing the same thing from people in public and online:

    “I’ve got to get an AWD.”

    I wish Chrysler would bring back the Pacifica using the LX AWD platform and the Pentastar V6. These people are sitting out there waiting to give you their money. Are you gonna take it? Are you man enough to take it?

    Hyundai is wasting their efforts building upmarket cars that RICH PEOPLE DO NOT WANT when they could be improving their smaller cars into segment killers.

    Sonata AWD and Optima AWD.
    AZERA AWD.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      “I wish Chrysler would bring back the Pacifica using the LX AWD platform and the Pentastar V6.”

      Crysler stores have the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango, and eventually an AWD Minivan. The Pacifica isn’t a pressing concern.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Nobody wanted the Pacifica when it was around. It’s too much like some bloated PT Cruiser. Rides too low to be any good off road, and has the space of a hatch, with the driving dynamics of a minivan.

        It wasn’t a good product. They haven’t held up either, the ones I see are in terrible shape, driven by Galant-type customers.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Oh, and TTAC website ads reminded me that Dodge still sells the Journey.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I didn’t want to mention that one, as it’s a joke.

          • 0 avatar
            YellowDuck

            Go look at a 2014 and see if you still feel that way. I hated the original ones, but then drove a new Fiat Freemont in Italy, came home and bought a Journey. It is a sweet car if you need something between a 5-passenger CUV and a full sized SUV. They sell quite a few of them up here in Canuckistan, and we love ours. Similar niche as the Pathfinder but without the CVT.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            From what I’ve been reading the Journey might actually be worth a revisit

          • 0 avatar
            Atum

            I went to Dodge’s website and I built a Journey SXT Plus. The only costly options I added were the Sun Sound group and the V6. MSRP only 24 something. Good job Dodge.

          • 0 avatar
            whynot

            The Journey fits the phrase “jack of all trades, master of none” perfectly. It is by no means a terrible car (especially after they fixed the interior), but nothing about it really makes it stand out above everything else in its segment (styling, innovation, etc.).

            It doesn’t help that it was released right as Chrysler was running out of money, so it never got a big marketing push. A lot of people don’t realize that the Journey even exists.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          The Journey pretty much *is* the continuation of the Pacifica, and Chrysler Group said as much when they released it. It’s a very decent vehicle, but it’s definitely downmarket compared to other 3-row CUVs. The only other 3-row CUV that is lower on the rung is Mitsubishi’s new Outlander…which should technically not have a third row at all…

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      I’ve had plenty of FWD cars in NYC. FWD + decent tires is more than enough, and the gas mileage penalty wouldn’t be worth it. People barely buy Azeras as is; nobody wants an AWD Azera.

      • 0 avatar

        One of my close friends asked me to go with her to shop for a Toyota Avalon. I felt it was such a chitty car that I took her over to Hyundai and got an Azera fully loaded on 3 year lease for $420 a month. The Azera is a better option for people in cold climates than the RWD-only Genesis and in the brighter interior colors, it’s a damn nice car that upstages the cheaper Mercedes and BMW’s on the market.

        People buying Hyundai are mostly buying the low end: Accent, Sonata and Elantra which is why I feel Hyundai needs to focus on those cars. The Azera is a better car than the Genesis for a better price. a $2000 AWD add on would make it a segment killer. It’s already better than the Taurus.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          $420 a month for an Azera lease? What crazy world do we live in?

        • 0 avatar
          Atum

          If you think the Avalon is boring, you’ll like the XSP. I found one for sale with a lot of pictures.

          http://www.cars.com/go/search/detail.jsp?tracktype=newcc&csDlId=&csDgId=&listingId=133390425&listingRecNum=22&criteria=feedSegId%3D28705%26rpp%3D50%26isDealerGrouping%3Dfalse%26sf2Nm%3Dlocation%26requestorTrackingInfo%3DRTB_SEARCH%26sf1Nm%3Dprice%26sf2Dir%3DASC%26stkTypId%3D28880%26PMmt%3D1-1-0%26rn%3D0%26zc%3D30127%26rd%3D30%26crSrtFlds%3DstkTypId-feedSegId-mkId-mdId%26mdId%3D20658%26stkTyp%3DN%26mkId%3D20088%26sf1Dir%3DDESC&aff=national&listType=1

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          I agree with you. I feel like, as great as Hyundai/Kia has become, the brand really starts to misunderstand the prospective segment as the car becomes larger. The Azera and Cadenza are nice, but they aren’t quite budget luxury cars. The new Genesis still doesn’t seem to have shaken the “knockoff-luxury” design, even though the materials are lovely. And the Equus isn’t fooling anyone (although the upcoming K9/K900 might be).

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      AWD isn’t absolutely necessary for FWD-based vehicles for the snow belt unlike RWD-based vehicles.

      And Hyundai is doing quite fine with the Genesis sedan – will do around 30k a year with the new model.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    Back in olden times, first year models were boxy. They saved the swoop for later refreshes. If Mazda and Hyundai want to dip into the sub compact crossover market, they should be looking at building something like a slightly smaller AWD 1990 Escort wagon. At least it’ll stick out from the crowd. They can always reduce usable space and driver visibility later.


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