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Hyundai to debut new compact wagon in Geneva

Could new i30 Wagon signal return of Elantra Touring to North America?

Published: February 17, 2017, 9:30 PM
Updated: February 21, 2017, 4:02 PM

Hyundai i30 Wagon

With plans to introduce a wagon version of its i30 compact to Europe, it could signal that Hyundai may be preparing another Elantra variant to bring to North America.

The i30 right now is a 1-model line-up — a 4-door hatchback — which is sold in North America as the Elantra GT, since Elantra and i30 are related, although not identical.

As it became more of a competitor for the Honda Civic, the previous generation Elantra (2010-15) was also offered in sedan and hatchback bodystyles (the latter again a rebadged i30) but was also offered as a coupe, with the intent being to offer similar choices to those of the Civic. Elantra has offered wagons and larger hatchbacks in past generations.

The current generation Elantra is now only offered in sedan bodystyle and will soon be joined by the GT hatchback (introduced to North American last week at the Chicago Auto Show). Civic is currently offered in sedan, coupe and hatchback, which makes us wonder if Hyundai might not consider reaching a different compact car demographic and offer a new Elantra wagon.

And with the Volkswagen Golf being the only car in that class to offer a traditional 2-box wagon bodystyle, Elantra might have a leg up in terms of affordability.

It’s far too early to tell, with the i30 Wagon debut slated for the Geneva International Motor Show in just over two weeks, and then if Hyundai doesn’t think the 5-door is “wagon” enough for North American tastes, there might be some market study to gauge North American buyer acceptance to that type of car. But the i30 wagon isn’t due until the end of the year as a 2018, anyway, so might we then also see an Elantra Touring?

All of this is purely speculation at this point, as the only things we know about the car is that it has a longer, flatter roof, a more upright rear window, and more cargo room behind the seats, as evidenced by the profile teaser image showing a larger rear quarter window behind the door.

“The New Generation i30 Wagon speaks the language of the i30 family in terms of design, and it carries the new Hyundai family identity - the Cascading Grille,” explains Thomas Bürkle, Chief Designer at Hyundai Design Centre Europe. “The tapering roofline and the dynamic proportions give the Wagon an almost coupe-like silhouette. The sleek and dynamic profile is further emphasised by a rich chrome frame surrounding the side windows.”

Stay tuned for more info, as we’re sure speculation is going to ramp up following the announcement, and especially if Hyundai announces a surprise world debut for the New York International Auto Show a month after Geneva.