This, believe it or not, is the new Hyundai Tucson. Yep, Hyundai’s family SUV is this rakish now, with the company claiming it a “design revolution” for its most popular model worldwide – seven million sold globally, 1.4m of those in Europe.
Hyundai makes all sort of bold claims for the Tucson, calling it a “smart tech hero” as well as “advanced and experimental,” and while it’s not quite the pioneering futuristic giant that the new Mercedes S-Class is, it does feature some intriguing stuff.
Starting with the grille, it’s made up of 3D effect ‘parametric’ shapes that are mimicked by the LED daytime running lights and the headlights themselves, the effect being that when the lights are switched off it just looks like one bejewelled panel. Those shapes also form a motif that you’ll find dotted around both the interior and exterior of the car. The taillights, for example.
Longer and wider than the outgoing model, this Tucson (the third, if you’re counting) is naturally more spacious, but appears compact thanks to a smart, rakish design – albeit one guided by a cringeworthy principle called..get this…”Sensuous Sportiness”. Sick. Still, it’s hidden the car’s bulk well.
The cabin is a lot more minimalist than the exterior, with Hyundai developing a ventilation system with both ‘direct’ and ‘indirect’ vents to reduce the number of, erm, holes on the dashboard itself while not compromising air quality. The instrument panel is digital as standard and neatly integrates into the semi-circular flow of the dash itself, while the widescreen infotainment display incorporates Hyundai’s latest Bluelink setup.
The navigation has a clever feature called Last Mile which enables a smartphone user to switch the guidance to their phone after parking, to assist them in getting to their ultimate destination.
Of course, Hyundai is claiming improvements for both ride and handling, but particularly the former, which the company says it has achieved by offering adaptive damping – the first time Hyundai has offered that in a non-N car. N being Hyundai’s high-performance brand. The Tucson, as before, will be available with front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive.
Engines, then. You’re looking at 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol and diesel engines. Nothing too exciting, but the latest Tucson will incorporate mild hybrid technology to improve fuel consumption. Power will range from 134bhp for a base manual diesel, to 178bhp for a mild-hybrid turbo petrol. There’ll be a proper plug-in hybrid at some stage too, probably by the start of 2022, with a good 230bhp and an electric only range exceeding 30 miles.
No word on prices yet, but as today’s car kicks off at just under £22,000 you can figure on about £25,000 onwards for this one.