LOS ANGELES -- In a nod to the impending arrival of the new Kona crossover, Hyundai's fifth-generation Accent will drop its hatchback version when it goes on sale in the U.S. this fall, but that won’t be the case in Canada.
The automaker is committed to offering Canadians a hatchback version of the vehicle. But it will be a while before it arrives in showrooms.
“That particular model and body style will be unique to Canada,” Hyundai Canada spokesman Chad Heard told Automotive News Canada. “While we’ll launch the Accent in November or December of this year with the sedan, the five-door will be released in the first half of 2018 as it takes a little longer to develop a unique vehicle for one country.”
The Accent is Hyundai's subcompact, entry-level car, though it's technically classified as a compact car based on its interior space. The redesigned 2018 model was unveiled Thursday at the Orange County Auto Show in Southern California.
Previous versions of the Accent came in sedan and hatchback body styles. While Hyundai will continue to offer the hatchback in other markets, including Canada, the brand axed it in the United States because of low demand at the retail level, a company spokesman told Automotive News.
With U.S. consumers increasingly flocking to crossovers, Hyundai is hoping to steer them to the Kona, a subcompact crossover due in early 2018. Insulating it from intra-brand competition from an Accent hatch will likely boost higher-margin Kona sales.
But that’s not the game plan in Canada, where both the Accent hatchback and Kona will be available.
Heard said the Kona will arrive in the first half 2018, “likely in the late winter or early spring.”