Hyundai has taken the wraps off its all-new Tucson. Not only is it arguably the most eye-catching model in the family-car segment – the newcomer's cabin design is smart and fashion-forward. It will be produced in short- and long-wheelbase guises and, suffice to say, it will arrive in South Africa in 2021, possibly during the 1st half of the year.
We had a good idea of what the production version would look like following the release of teaser images earlier this month, but now that the newcomer’s been fully revealed, we can bring you more details of the eagerly awaited new Tucson. Thomas Schemera, executive vice-president and head of product at the Hyundai Motor Group, says the new model “sets a new benchmark for innovation in its segment, delivering an impressive blend of design, technology, packaging and performance.”
The new Tucson is easily the most progressively-styled family car that Hyundai has ever produced; it's sharply detailed.
The Tucson’s dramatic exterior styling expresses Hyundai’s evolving Sensuous Sportiness design identity. The new SUV embodies what Hyundai designers call ‘parametric dynamics’ with kinetic jewel surface details that emphasises Tucson’s distinctly different identity in a crowded segment.
As is the case with virtually all the Korean brand’s latest models, the Tucson sports an expansive, cascading grille with a distinctive pattern, with narrow headlamp clusters and indicator elements that merge into a single design element. Hyundai’s new family car is no exception – its LED daytime running lights are cleverly integrated into the jewel-like grille, and only revealed when activated.
We expected elements of "parametric dynamics" in the new model's sheetmetal; but these radiating lines are very pronounced!
The newcomer is notably wider than its predecessor and based on a stretched wheelbase; the extra length, combined with the longer bonnet and short overhangs contribute to a coupé-like profile. From the side, angular body panels feature “Parametric Dynamics” (such as swage lines that run at different angles but “meet at one point”), the wheel arches are squared off and the C-pillars feature metallic-look accents that blend with the window trims. It's certainly a design that emphasises athleticism, so we can imagine the upcoming N-Line derivatives will look really purposeful!
The Tucson’s rear-end, meanwhile, incorporates a strike plate-adorned bumper, triangular LED tail-light clusters, a light bar that spans the width of the tailgate and a subtle roof spoiler. The Hyundai logo is integrated into the glass, while the wiper also moves up and hides under the rear spoiler.
The Tucson is longer that its predecessor, which flatters its expressive styling... and benefits occupant comfort/load capacity.
Hyundai will produce the Tucson in 2 configurations: a short-wheelbase (with an overall length of 4 500 mm) and a long-wheelbase, which is 4 630 mm long, 1 865 mm wide, stands 1 665 mm tall and has a 2 755-mm wheelbase. It’s too early to confirm which version will be offered in Mzansi, but it stands to reason that, in a market where the Santa Fe is the only larger model in Hyundai’s line-up (and the 7-seater is not a prolific seller anyway), the local importer of the Korean brand's products may prefer the longer version of the Tucson for its competitive edge in practicality compared with other family-car offerings. The Euro-spec SWB variant has a claimed luggage capacity of 620 litres with 1 799 litres of utility space.
Meanwhile, the new Tucson’s smartly-finished dual-cockpit layout is characterised by a pronounced dashboard ridge that features a pair of metallic trim lines that extend through the upper door trims (so creating a wraparound effect for each of the front occupants – they also house the hidden side ventilation outlets), while the “floating” fascia, which sprouts from the elevated centre console and merges with the slim central vents, is dominated by a large, tablet-like touchscreen. What’s more, Hyundai has not just replaced an analogue instrument cluster with a digital one – it’s discarded the binnacle entirely and replaced it with a rectangular display panel that's embedded in the dashboard.
The dual-cockpit effect is created by the metallic trim strips that flow from the fascia, across the dashboard and into the door trims.
Other details worth noting are: selector buttons for Park, Reverse, Neutral and Drive have replaced the traditional transmission lever on the centre console, cushioned materials have been applied on high-touch areas, the ambient mood lighting is adjustable to 64 colours in 10 levels of brightness, the standard 8-inch colour touchscreen offers wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity and can be paired with 2 smartphones simultaneously (in other words, a driver and passenger can alternate between their playlists without disconnecting/reconnecting).
Top-of-the-range versions will come equipped with a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with integral navigation and split-screen functionality, as well as enhanced voice recognition software, in conjunction with a Bose premium audio setup. The ventilation system, meanwhile, monitors/purifies the cabin’s air quality; it indicates air-pollution levels in real time (via a fine-dust detection sensor) and reduces moisture from the evaporator to keeps the aircon system clean and odour-free, Hyundai claims.
With the high-mounted light bar on the Tucson's tailgate, the company's logo has been moved higher, into the rear screen.
Overseas, the new range will include derivatives powered by a 2.5-litre 4-cylinder petrol motor with 141 kW/246 Nm (mated with an 8-speed automatic transmission) and a 1.6-litre turbopetrol engine – the latter also in conjunction with hybrid or plug-in hybrid configurations. As for the SA market, the 2021 line-up should again include 2.0-litre non-turbo petrol and 2.0-litre turbodiesel motors and the 1.6-litre turbopetrol in conjunction with a dual-clutch auto transmission. Seeing as Hyundai SA phased out AWD derivatives in the current range, the new model should be FWD only.
Available safety features include: Highway Driving Assist (HDA), Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) with pedestrian detection, Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Lane Following Assist (LFA), Blind-Spot View Monitor, Blind-Spot Collision Warning (BCW), Surround View Monitor, Reverse Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist (RPCA), Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA), High Beam Assist (HBA), and Driver Attention Warning (DAW). Advanced technology features, including Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA) with Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA), Advanced Smart Cruise Control (SCC) with Stop and Go, as well as Safe Exit Warning (SEW) will be optionally available.
Again, the safety equipment for the local market will be finalised closer to the new model’s launch. We’ll bring you more info about the new Tucon's South African introduction date and the range's line-up and specification as soon as more (official) info becomes available.