New Hyundai Tucson

Eat Sleep Drive Repeat

16 September 2020

It's a brave new face for Hyundai's popular SUV

This is not a concept car. It’s the real, soon-to-be-released new Hyundai Tucson, which the company quite correctly calls “a design revolution”.

Manufacturers are usually risk-averse when it comes to messing with the recipe of their best sellers, but Hyundai has set fire to that rule book - the styling for the latest generation of their top selling model is bordering on the unbelievable. There is a lot of jargon in the Tucson press release about “geometric algorithms” and “parametric dynamics”, but basically, it boils down to the car being designed by algorithms, rather than the regular pen and paper (or tablet and stylus) method. The result - and the fact that Hyundai went ahead with the production of such a departure from the previous generation - is incredibly interesting.

The most obvious feature is the Parametric Hidden Lights: the grille has a dark chrome finish, and with the daytime running lights off, looks entirely made up of those geometric shapes, with no distinction between grille and lighting - until the car is switched on. The design idea of “parametric jewels” continues through the rest of the design, with chiselled surfaces and angular wheel arches. A 3D effect bumper and more hidden light treatment are highlights at the rear of the car. Further touches include a hidden rear windscreen wiper and flush-mounted glass Hyundai logo.

The interior features what Hyundai says is “segment-leading technology”, integrated into an uncluttered space, finished in premium materials. The new Tucson has deleted all dashboard-mounted buttons, meaning everything from infotainment to climate control is managed via the 10,25-inch touchscreen on the centre stack. There’s also no traditional housing for the instrumentation - instead, the digital gauges are fitted into a single-height dashboard the wraps around the front passengers. Configurable mood lighting, smartphone mirroring, front & rear USB ports and wireless charging are also part of the package.

Interior space has been increased, too - the new Tucson is longer and wider than the outgoing model, and has a longer wheelbase for added passenger comfort.

Safety systems include forward collision avoidance with automatic braking, which also has the ability to warn the driver of oncoming traffic at junctions. The blind spot monitoring system has evolved to include a video feed in the instrument cluster, activated when the driver indicates. Lane keeping assist and adaptive cruise control are included, as are seven airbags. A new centre front airbag prevents front passengers from coming into contact with each other in a severe collision - something that Mercedes-Benz has also just unveiled as part of its new S Class.

Powering the new Tucson will be a range of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and 48-volt mild hybrid options. The hybrid combines a 1.6 turbo petrol with a 44.2 kW electric motor, powered by a 1.49 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery. Total output is 169kW.
A 1.6 turbo petrol will be on offer with either 110kW or 132kW, while the 1.6 turbo diesel will put out 100kW. The Tucson will be offered with two- or all-wheel drive and a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual clutch gearbox, as well as adaptive suspension, depending on model.

No word yet on pricing and availability for the new Hyundai Tucson in South Africa.