It’s becoming harder to remember the time when Hyundai‘s products were a bit ropey. When the South Korean manufacturer’s cars were cheap but had little else going for them. These days, though, the company is very different. Of course, there’s the shockingly good i30 N hatchback, but the normal stuff deserves plenty of praise too. Just look at this: the all-new Tuscon.
Granted, it’s not the sort of car we’d normally pay a great deal of attention to, but it’s rather visually arresting from the front, don’t you think? It makes a lot of similar-sized crossovers from more premium brands look downright dull.
That’s largely thanks to the huge front grille, which the headlights and daytime running lights (DRLs) seamlessly flow into. The DRL portion of the grille is lit with hidden elements using “state-of-the-art half-mirror lighting technology,” so when switched off, they just look like normal bits of the grille.
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The Tucson is also far from bland from the rear-quarter, with a big light bar stretching across the boot sprouting teeth-like light clusters, and sharp lines aplenty. We’re not overly sold on those creases in the doors, though - it’s like the crossover is doing a less than successful imitation of the Lamborghini Urus.
The range kicks off with a 148bhp 1.6-litre derivative using a manual gearbox, available in either front or all-wheel drive. You can pair either that engine, a 178bhp version of the 1.6 or a 134bhp diesel with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system if you wish. Doing so then opens up the option of a clutch pedal-less ‘Intelligent Manual Transmission’, or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.
Finally, there’s a hybrid, which sees that 1.6 backed up by an electric motor and a 1.49kWh battery pack. The powertrain uses a six-speed automatic gearbox and is good for 227bhp and 258lb ft of torque.
The inside is as fancy as the outside, with a 10.25-inch infotainment screen sitting on a ‘floating’ element protruding from the upper part of the dashboard, which gives a wraparound effect for the occupants. There’s an unusual-shaped steering wheel, behind which is a cowl-less digital instrument cluster.
The infotainment setup includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, along with the ability to pick from 64 different colours and 10 levels of brightness for the ambient lighting system.
The fourth-generation Tucson will go on sale in 2021, and although we don’t know how much it costs yet, it’s safe to expect an increase over the outgoing version’s £23,150 starting price.