New Hyundai Tucson debuts with glowing face and loads of tech
The Tucson is Hyundai's global bestseller, and the Korean automaker seems quite determined to keep it that way. The new fourth-generation crossover is sure to turn some heads and attract new interest with its flashy looks. It'll hold that interest with a full slate of powertrain options including a plug-in, two wheelbase variants, and an interior loaded with tech. Plus, just look at those eyes.
With the new Tucson, Hyundai pushes aside the basic styling of the outgoing Tucson in favor of an identity it calls "Sensuous Sportiness." Sure, that sounds like the kind of marketing drivel every automaker uses for every new vehicle debut, but Hyundai actually gives this particular buzz phrase meaning, re-sculpting the Tucson into a little all-wheeler that will absolutely stand out in the crowded crossover market.
The changes start up front, where Hyundai blows up the conventional hex grille of the outgoing model in favor of a radical new unified grille/headlamp design. The stacked daytime running lamps (DRLs) and headlights appear like illuminated extensions of the "parametric grille." These DRLs are only visible when turned on, disappearing inconspicuously into the grille design when switched off. The result looks rather futuristic, more like a concept car than a production small SUV.
The distinctive styling continues rearward, the flanks defined by sharp creases and slashes meant to mimic the cuts and facets of jewels. The rear-end design follows the front in capping the full-width taillight strip with sharp left and right right blades dropping down for a more dramatic appearance. A faceted bumper design ties in with the look of the flanks, while the Hyundai logo leaps upward onto a rear windshield unmarred by a wiper, which is hidden away below the roof spoiler.
The powertrain lineup includes a 187-hp Smartstream 2.5-liter direct-injected four-cylinder gas engine, 1.6-liter direct-injected turbo, hybrid and plug-in hybrid options. The two hybrid models come equipped with Hyundai's E-Handling system that leverages the dual-output powertrain in improving steering response and cornering stability. The Tucson also offers traction-enhancing HTRAC all-wheel drive with eco, comfort, smart and sport modes now joined by sand, mud and snow (in select markets).
Hyundai aspires to make the Tucson interior an "Interspace," in which surfaces and equipment flow naturally together into a spacious, cohesive space. The edge of the dashboard sweeps around the corners, blending seamlessly into the door panels after providing a thin upper bezel for the otherwise rimless digital instrument panel along the way. The available 10.3-in touchscreen infotainment display sits flush within the angled center console, offering multitasking via split-screen mode as well as enhanced voice control support.
Other handy available technologies include Near Field Communication (NFC) smartphone digital key recognition, Bose audio, Apple Carplay and Android Auto, dual-device connection via Bluetooth, car-to-home smart home integration, and cabin air purification. The selection of available driver-assistance features offers highway driving assist, advanced smart cruise control, forward collision avoidance assist with pedestrian detection, and remote smart parking assist.
The Tucson will launch this month in South Korea as a 2021 model ahead of a US and global launch as an MY2022 in the first half of 2021. The new generation will see the sporty N Line trim, launched last year as a European model, made available across the globe. Look for Hyundai to announce market-specific specs and pricing details to those respective launches.