With fuel prices remaining high, a car like the Hyundai HB20 subcompact looks quite attractive. However, cars like the HB20 weren’t popular here, so automakers stopped selling them in the US. Models like the Ford Fiesta, Toyota Yaris, and Honda Fit are on sale elsewhere now. Brazilian customers have options like the HB20, which will soon receive the mid-cycle update that the new spy shot from cold weather testing takes.
The Hyundai completely covers the small hatch. Black cladding hides most of the vehicle, with camouflage wrap hiding the exposed exterior. The cover makes it hard to notice a styling change, but Hyundai is likely to give it a revised front and rear fascia, a wider grille, and new headlights. The car seems to take design influences from the Hyundai i20. The rear will receive revised LED taillights.
Hyundai already offers the HB20 at a good kit rate, so the interior won’t change too much. However, one thing that the car can accept is the new digital instrument cluster which will be available on the high-end trims. It’s already equipped with an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment display featuring Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, Bluetooth audio streaming, and more. Safety technologies include automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection and lane warning.
One thing that will likely not change is the model’s powertrain. It offers a 1.0-liter three-cylinder with and without a turbocharger, producing either 80 or 120 horsepower (59-89 kilowatts). No fancy hybrid technology here, but Hyundai does offer models with a five-speed manual, six-speed manual, or six-speed automatic transmission. A six-wheel manual with a turbocharged engine sounds like a nice pairing.
The current generation Hyundai HB20 was launched in 2019, so expect a facelifted model to debut later this year. Subcompacts have no chance of making their way to the US, but small cars remain popular in many markets because of their low prices. Even with gas prices high, it’s unlikely that automakers will be in a hurry to revive the small models here, so we’ll just have to appreciate them from afar until gas prices come back down.