Hyundai Tucson debuts with striking styling inside and out

Marco Green
September 15, 2020

While Hyundai hasn't yet unpacked the numbers for things like fuel economy, electric range, or battery size, the addition of those models includes a much more expressive new design and some standout new tech features should add a lot of appeal to the lineup.

Based on the markets, the 2021 Hyundai Tucson will be retailed in long wheelbase and short wheelbase versions. It should also result in a 2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid that's very competitive versus the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, Honda CR-V Hybrid, and Ford Escape Hybrid, and a 2022 Tucson plug-in hybrid that's a challenger to the Toyota RAV4 Prime and Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid. It's expected to hit USA dealers in the first half of 2021 as a 2022 model.

First up, there's the conventional naturally-aspirated 2.5-litre Smartstream, its four direct-injected cylinders pumping out 190 horsepower and 182 foot-pounds of torque. The diesel variant has an 8-speed automotive transmission and 40.8 kgm torque. The Tucson N Line, on the other hand, will feature a hybridised version of the 1.6-litre four-pot engine with 230 horsepower and 350 Nm of torque. The engine in both hybrids features a new continuously variable valve technology that varies how long the valves are open to improve power, efficiency, and emissions, according to Hyundai.

Hyundai said it will offer an N-Line model at a later date, possibly with a more-powerful gasoline engine.

The familiar arrangement of front- and all-wheel-drive looks set to carry over as well, sticking with their respective powerplants. Drivers will be able to choose from Eco, Comfort, Smart, and Sport driving modes, plus new Mud, Sand, and Snow modes when they choose all-wheel drive.

The Tucson hybrids get a system Hyundai said improves directional stability and steering response in corners and on slippery roads.

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.

Described by HMC as the latest evolution of its "Sensuous Sportiness design identity", the new Tucson bares nearly no resemblance to the model it will supersede next year with no two panels being the same.

This edgy design continues down the sides of the SUV where there are sharp, chiseled surfaces and angular wheel arches.

This cladding can be traced around the body, with the flanks of the auto 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 vehicle to serve as the main feature line of the tailgate.

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. A full-width taillight echoes the front end design.

For as wild as the look is outside, it's more traditional and upscale inside. On top-flight trim levels, a Bose Premium audio system provides high-quality sound.

A new car-to-home feature lets owners control smart appliances from the auto, pre-cooling or pre-warming the vehicle (including the seats and steering wheel-with just a simple voice command).

Some of the technology features that show up in the Tucson seem uncannily appropriate as we write this from forest-fire-choked air quality-such as the climate control's ability to monitor air quality and purify the air to suit. The system will also reduce moisture from the evaporator and clean the air-conditioning system to keep it odor-free.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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