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Besides economy and performance, there also is the prestige factor. Bragging rights are a strong feature of Korean culture and the domestic diesels approach the status of the coveted German imports that mostly are diesel-powered.
New Grandeur shares 2.2L all-aluminum diesel engine with Santa Fe CUV.
The biggest Korean automaker with more than 40% of the domestic market sold 85,152 diesel cars and SUVs in first-quarter 2014, up 13% from year-ago, accounting for roughly 49% of its sales in the country. Total deliveries in Korea rose just 4.3% to 160,769 units.
is showcasing its new Grandeur Diesel (Azera in U.S. and Europe) at the Busan auto show that runs through May 8. The new entry is equipped with the same all-aluminum CRDi 2.2L mill used in the Santa Fe CUV.
is taking preorders for the diesel Grandeur, which already comes in gasoline and hybrid versions. The automaker claims this is the first diesel-powered Grandeur, but diesel-equipped Grandeurs were offered in Korea in 2007 and were sold in Spain as well. A spokesman tells WardsAuto there are no current plans to bring it to the U.S. or Europe.
Insiders say Hyundai also has a diesel mill ready for the recently released new Sonata midsize sedan, which meets Euro 6 standards. They say the diesel Sonata will be ready to launch sometime next year.
Hyundai currently offers diesel versions of the Accent, Elantra, i30 and i40 cars and on the Tucson, Santa Fe, Maxcruz (long-wheelbase Santa Fe) and Veracruz SUVs.
Both the new i30 and i40 wagon, released in Korea last year, exemplify the market thirst for diesel-equipped cars. Of the units sold in 2013 the i30 and i40’s take rates were 55% and 75%, respectively.