Dead: Hyundai Accent and Hybrid Ioniq

The auto industry's move away from small, cheap transportation continues.

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2022 Hyundai Accent
2022 Hyundai Accent
Image: Hyundai

Earlier Thursday, Hyundai confirmed to me that the Accent has been axed from its U.S. lineup in favor of a crossover. And that’s not at all, with the company also killing the PHEV and HEV Ioniqs, according to Automotive News. The Veloster N is dead too, but we already knew that. So much for all that.

Seemingly no one in the U.S. wants to sell small cheap cars that are actually affordable anymore. Sure there are “small” crossovers and vehicles like the Ford Maverick, but those aren’t cars. Not everyone wants a crossover or is driven enough by price to buy a midsize pickup just because it’s cheap. A lot of people still want small compact hatches and sedans, though apparently not enough.

Hyundai is the latest automaker to get rid of its cheap subcompact. In a release that confirmed it (it also confirmed the death of the Veloster N), the brand gave the reasoning for the discontinuation: “Discontinued due to an expanded SUV lineup that includes Venue. The Venue now serves as the entry-level model for the Hyundai brand. Sedans remain an important part of the lineup and Hyundai continues to offer Elantra and Sonata.”

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2022 Hyundai Venue
2022 Hyundai Venue
Image: Hyundai

You read that right. Hyundai is saying the smallest and cheapest car they offer now is an awkward-looking crossover and if you want your sedan fix they still have Elantra and Sonata. And while the Sonata isn’t a compact or subcompact, it’s not long for this world either.

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Per Automotive News, the hybrid Ioniqs are out too, but that makes a bit more sense given that Hyundai is making Ioniq its EV brand.

Hyundai is also ditching its Ioniq hybrid and plug-in hybrid as it unfolds the new Ionic badge. The original Ioniq EV was discontinued for the 2021 model year. Moving forward, Ioniq EVs will be built on Hyundai’s Electric Global Modular Platform, known as E-GMP, which will enable fast charging capability and ample driving range.

Hyundai Motor Group, which includes Hyundai, Genesis and Kia, has said it wants to hit sales of 3 million EVs globally by 2030. That includes 11 battery-electric models for the Hyundai brand.

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Soon, there might not be too many places, outside of the used market, to get a small car. Chevy? Sonic died in 2020 and the Spark is set to drive off into the sunset this summer. Fiat? Killed the 500 in late 2019 and now only offers the 500x, a thing no one wants. Ford? Said screw it and told customers, “You can have any car you want, as long as it’s a Mustang.” One of the smallest vehicles you can buy from them now is a pickup, which speaks volumes. Honda? Wants people in the HR-V and killed the Fit in 2020. There’s but a handful of small cheap cars left. Kia still has the Rio, but with the death of the Accent, I wouldn’t expect it to be around much longer. Nissan still has the Versa, but it’s grown-up and isn’t quite as small as it used to be. That also leaves the (underrated!) Mitsubishi Mirage.

Maybe the Mirage will be all we have in the segment before long, because I’m not sure Mitsubishi realizes that it still sells it. That’s for the best.