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Hyundai drops i40 mid-size car from local line-up

i40 mid-size sedan and wagon range dropped by Hyundai, Sonata to fly flag for brand

2 May 2019

HYUNDAI Motor Company Australia (HMCA) has dropped the i40 mid-size sedan and wagon from its local line-up after fielding two models in the diminishing segment in recent years, with the Sonata sedan to act as the brand’s sole contender in the mid-size segment.


The i40 first arrived in Australia in October 2011, designed and engineered in Germany to take on the likes of the Ford Mondeo and Peugeot 508 that also offered polished sedan/wagon options in the mid-size segment.


It was brought to market as a more upmarket offering compared to its cheaper and slightly larger i45 sibling, which was eventually renamed Sonata.


However, with the mid-size-car segment shrinking in recent years, the prospect of offering two models has become increasingly difficult for HMCA.


Overall sales in the mid-size-car segment have steadily declined from 87,674 units in 2012 to 74,573 in 2016 and 46,231 last year as consumers increasingly gravitate towards SUVs.


Through the first quarter of 2019, mid-size-car sales are down a further 11.2 per cent, from 12,100 sales in 2018 to 10,744 this year.


The writing has been on the wall for the i40, with the 2392 sales in 2012 shrinking to 1743 units in 2015, 978 in 2016 and just 633 last year.


It would appear that imports of the i40 stopped last year, as only five examples have left showrooms in the first three months of 2019.


Before being discontinued, the i40 was offered in both petrol and diesel guise, the former being a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated unit producing 121kW at 6200rpm and 203Nm at 4700rpm, driving the front wheels via a six-speed automatic.


The other option was a 1.7-litre turbo-diesel unit pushing out 104kW at 4000rpm and 340Nm from 1750-2500rpm, teamed to a seven-speed auto.


As for the Sonata, its future is safe with HMCA officials previously telling GoAuto it is committed to selling mid-size cars in Australia, and the new-generation version revealed in March set to arrive in the second half of the year.


The eighth-gen Sonata brings a new design language to the sedan and some major changes under the skin, including being the first model to sit on Hyundai’s new modular architecture platform.


Powertrain details for the new Sonata are as yet unknown but will be revealed closer to the model’s arrival in Australia around the third quarter of this year.

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