The Hyundai Creta is a Crossover We Don’t Get, Oddly

I kind of figured that by now every single automaker would sell every single crossover in the United States. I say this because the United States car market has proven that it wants crossovers, that it devours crossovers, that it will only ever buy crossovers, and so it seems totally reasonable that if you’re running a car company, you’ll want to sell as many crossovers as you can here.

I especially assumed this was true of Hyundai, which is currently selling four different crossovers here: The old Santa Fe, the new Santa Fe (these are, oddly, different vehicles that occupy different market segments), the Tucson and the Kona. This is a good range, though not as wide as Toyota’s massive range, but still I figured Hyundai had maxed out their crossover potential and maybe they were developing more.

Not so. As it turns out, Hyundai sells a different crossover in foreign markets called the Creta. I saw it the other day here in San Diego wearing Mexican license plates because Hyundai sells it in Mexico. Hyundai also sells it in China and many other markets, where its often badged as the ix25, and in the Dominican Republic, where it is inexplicably badged as the Cantus.

Interestingly, the Creta is a subcompact crossover, meaning it would compete with the Mazda CX-3 and Ford Ecosport, among others. In the U.S., Hyundai already has a car in that segment — the Kona — so perhaps Hyundai didn’t want the two to compete. It wouldn’t be the first time a U.S. model was different from a foreign version; the North American Honda Odyssey and Accord, for instance, have been different from their global counterparts for years.

Still, I found it odd to discover a modern crossover that isn’t sold in the crossover-thirsty U.S. — especially considering it’s offered south of the border.

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