COMPETITION in the mid-sized SUV segment is about to become even fiercer with Hyundai Motor Company having just revealed its all-new Tucson, an SUV set to be offered globally in two different wheelbases.
Due here exclusively in long-wheelbase guise, the new Tucson is slated to touch down in the first half of 2021 brandishing a radical new look, revised powertrains, more tech and an abundance of safety gear.
Measuring in at 4630mm long, 1865mm wide and 1665mm tall in long-wheelbase guise, the new Tucson is longer (+150mm), wider (+15mm) and taller (+10mm) than the current model and sits on an 85mm-longer wheelbase (now 2755mm).
For comparison’s sake, the short-wheelbase shares the long-wheelbase’s height and width measurements but comes in just 20mm longer than the current model, 10mm of which can be found in the wheelbase.
Described by HMC as the latest evolution of its ‘Sensuous Sportiness design identity’, the new Tucson bares almost no resemblance to the model it will supersede next year with no two panels being the same.
At the front, the look is dominated by angles and contour lines with the star attraction being the new daytime running lights, integrated seamlessly into the new ‘parametric’ grille.
According to designers, the new model has been “designed to appeal to those who embrace the integration of technologies with their lifestyle” while carving out the Tucson’s “distinctly different identity in a crowded segment”.
Flanking the lower parts of the grille is a deep-set headlight arrangement similar to the one found on the Kona, engulfed in prominent cheekbones forming the start of the front wheelarches.
A thin trapezoid lower intake completes the look, underlined by skid-plate imitating cladding.
This cladding can be traced around the body, with the flanks of the car being awash with sharp contour and character lines, including one which starts from the front door and runs all the way around the rear of the car to serve as the main feature line of the tailgate.
At the rear we find an integrated roof-spoiler and a full width brake strip from which stems an angled quad tail-light arrangement, complementing the inset nature of the numberplate mount.
A two-tone bumper matching that of the front meanwhile adds a sense of ruggedness.
It is a similar story inside the cabin with integration being key factor in the interior’s layout, a point hammered home by the new vertically-stacked dual 10.25-inch touchscreens on the dashboard, devoid of any buttons whatsoever.
The same goes for the all-digital, “hoodless” instrument cluster which now sits flush in the dashboard, resulting in symmetrical lines stemming either side of the centre fascia.
While the new exterior and interior designs are without doubt key talking points, the Tucson has not forgotten its SUV roots and as such, will feature fold-and-dive rear seats, resulting in 1095 litres of cargo space in long-wheelbase form – 383L less than the current generation.
According to HMC global product management boss Lorenz Glaab, the reduced cargo space was the result of finding the perfect balance of overall interior space rather than sheer cargo volume.
In overseas models, the new model will be powered by a new range of engines including a new entry-level 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol unit developing around 141kW of power and 246Nm of torque.
A turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder will continue to be offered however it will be exclusively paired to a new pair of hybrid systems – one self-charging (HEV) and a plug-in (PHEV) – with the HEV developing a combined 171kW/348Nm.
No details on the PHEV have been released yet although we expect it to be the same system recently confirmed for the new Kia Sorento, albeit dialled back a little from the combined 198kW/350Nm quoted for the Kia.
As for Australia, local specifications are yet to be revealed, however it is looking more than likely that the Australia-bound Tucsons will be powered by the familiar line-up of engines, those being a 122kW/205Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol, 130kW/265Nm 1.6 turbo and a 140kW/400Nm 2.0-litre turbo-diesel.
The familiar arrangement of front- and all-wheel-drive looks set to carry over as well, sticking with their respective powerplants.
According to Hyundai Motor Company Australia (HMCA), both the HEV and PHEV powertrains are currently under consideration for a local introduction.
Something that has been confirmed however is a local launch of the long-rumoured Tucson N-Line which will sit atop HMCA’s mid-sized tree in respect to power, styling, dynamics and standard equipment.
If long-standing industry rumours ring true, the N-Line will be powered by a turbocharged version of the new 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine – the same mill slated for the upcoming Sonata N-Line – and develop around 213kW/422Nm, jettisoning it straight to the top of the local leaderboard for mid-sized SUVs.
As usual for the Hyundai Motor Group, all Australia-bound Tucsons will ride on a bespoke suspension tune exclusively tailored to our roads while the N-Line will follow previous nameplate form and feature a more sports-oriented set-up.
In terms of standard equipment, HMC is claiming the new Tucson to offer “best-in-class digital experiences” thanks to features like Digital Key, previously mentioned full-touch controls (including climate control), voice command, split-screen infotainment system, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, Bose premium sound system, car-to-home functionality, multi-command system, odourless air-conditioning and Blue Link in selected markets.
Befitting of a new model, HMC has also upped its safety game with the new Tucson scoring highway driving assist, forward collision-avoidance assist with pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, lane following assist, blind-spot monitor, blind-spot collision warning, surround-view monitor, reverse parking collision-avoidance assist, remote smart parking assist, high beam assist, driver attention warning, blind-spot collision-avoidance assist with rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist, advanced smart cruise control with stop and go as well as safe exit warning.
Hyundai Motor Group head of product division Thomas Schemera said the new Tucson was the latest model in the Hyundai brand’s SUV transformation.
“This exciting vehicle sets a new benchmark for innovation in its segment, delivering an impressive blend of design, technology, packaging and performance,” he said.
As for the current model, HMCA has sold 9335 Tucsons so far this year ending August, accounting for a healthy 9.6 per cent share of one of the most crowded new car segments, making it the third most popular model behind the Toyota RAV4 (25.4%) and Mazda CX-5 (14.2%).