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Explained: What Do the Names of the Hyundai Models Mean?

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Hyundai Veloster name badge rear hatch bumper

As one of the automakers which hasn’t yet resorted to coded number-letter combinations for its model names, Hyundai Motors’ lineup is filled with unique vehicle titles. If you’ve ever wondered where the names of these Hyundai cars originated and what they mean, we have the answers.

Where Did Hyundai Models Get Their Names?

2015 Hyundai Elantra Updates  Elantra  Comes from the word “elation;” reflects the vehicle’s ability to lift one’s spirits when driven. Originally known as the Lantra overseas.
The 2016 Hyundai Sontata Hybrid features chrome exterior door handles with welcome light  Sonata  From the Latin “sonare” (sound), named after a type of musical composition involving varying sections. The name shows how beauty can be found in contrasting elements.
Hyundai Genesis ANCAP Highest Safety Score Ever grey exterior 2015  Genesis  Greek for “beginning,” the name was given for being the brand’s first foray into the luxury market.
2016 Hyundai Tucson Overview  Tucson  Directly named after the city in Arizona, it stirs up images of the wilderness (desert and mountains) to reflect the vehicle’s outdoorsy appeal.
The 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is a popular crossover SUV that comes with a 10-year/100,000 mile limited powertrain warranty  Santa Fe  Also taken from an American city’s name, the New Mexican namesake also lends to a sense of outdoor adventure.
 Veloster  A combination of “velocity” and “roadster.” Despite not technically being a roadster (open-top two-seater), its name invokes swift, speedy motion.
2014 Azera black exterior  Azera  The most mysterious of Hyundai’s names, the term “azera” is an Italian word for an Azerbaijani woman, and it’s a feminine name of Pakistani/Arabic descent.
Semi-Autonomous self-driving Hyundai Equus release 2015  Equus  Latin for “horse” or “steed,” to indicate the athletic, natural performance of the vehicle.
The 2016 Hyundai Accent is good for 31 mpg combined  Accent  A linguistic symbol used to denote sharpened or heightened pitch; the term reflects the sharp, heightened design and movement of the car.
Hyundai Ioniq hybrid model preview picture front  IONIQ  As an electric vehicle, it’s a combination of the term “ion” (an electrically-charged atom) and “unique.”