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2022 was a good year for Hyundai. Despite the overall downturn in car sales in the United States, the automaker saw its best fourth quarter ever and a 2% increase in retail sales over 2021. Hyundai outperformed the industry forecast of an 8.4% drop in U.S. car sales, posting just a 2% decrease from 2021. Then, in early July, climbing second-quarter sales figures for 2023 revealed three Hyundai models poised to smash their 2022 totals.

According to Forbes, forecasters predicted strong second-quarter figures for this year due to increased inventory and “pent-up” customer demand. However, affordability is said to be the primary problem the industry faces. Fortunately for Hyundai, making affordable vehicles is what it does best.

The Tucson is the best-selling Hyundai model

With stellar safety ratings from the IIHS, the compact 2023 Hyundai Tucson is a solid pick for the budget-minded family on the go. Comfortable and roomy, the gas-powered Tucson is available in five trim levels with a starting MSRP of $26,900, as seen on HyundaiUSA. There are two electric options as well. The Hybrid offers three trim levels starting at $31,350. The Plug-in Hybrid offers two starting at $35,400.

In January of 2023, the Hyundai Media Center reported total 2022 sales of the Tucson at 175,307 units, a 16% increase over 2021. As of July 2023, the Tucson is still the best-selling model. The Hyundai Media Center recently reported that year to date, 100,591 Tucsons have been sold, a 20% increase over the same period in 2022.

With two quarters left to report this year, it’s safe to say that this year’s sales will easily surpass last year’s.

The Kona, a sub-compact Hyundai model, is gaining popularity

This sporty little sub-compact is a great value for the price but resembles a crossover more than a true SUV. The rear seating is tight, and the cargo area is small, though, like the Tucson, the Kona’s rear seats will fold down, changing the cargo capacity from just 19.2 cu-ft to 45.8.

The gas-powered models have four trim levels to choose from starting at $22,140. The high-performance N model starts at $34,950 and the electric version comes in three trims starting at $33,500. 

Year to date, Hyundai has sold 37,925 Konas, a 16% increase over the same period in 2022. Total sales for 2022 came in at 63,994 units. It’s looking entirely possible for the Hyundai Kona to beat that figure at the end of this year. 

The Elantra is the second-best-selling Hyundai model

If you’d rather slide into a comfortable sedan, the Elantra is a practical yet attractive choice. Sharing the distinctive Z-cut side body styling of the Tucson, the Elantra has a sports car look and performs much like its competitors in the compact sedan segment.

Legroom in the back is adequate and the 60/40 split rear seats fold down for added cargo space. There are seven available trim levels starting at $20,950, including two hybrid trims and the high-performance N, which start at $24,550 and $32,900 respectively.  All trims come standard with automatic headlights and automatic high beams too.

In year-to-date sales per model for 2023, the Elantra placed second behind the Tucson at 74,738 units. In 2022, total sales of this popular sedan peaked at 117,177 units. At the current rate, its 2023 year-end figures are sure to blow right by last year’s.

Well-known for being affordable, Hyundai attributes its success to high customer demand. Long-running warranties, five-year roadside assistance, and 36,000-mile free scheduled maintenance on new vehicles have likely contributed to its growing popularity. Look for the updated 2024 models later this year.


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