By Khulekani Dumisa
Hyundai will be breathing a sigh of relief at the timing of the new Hyundai Tucson as it coincides with the global recall of the outgoing Tucson where at least 180,000 units are said to be affected. Our local Hyundai is yet to respond to our enquiries about whether the recall affects local units. Nothing is immediately visible on their website about this matter either.
The new Hyundai Tucson
Now in its fourth generation and having already sold 7 million units globally, the latest look of the Tucson is the boldest by far. The vehicle also comes in short and long wheelbase form. The long-wheelbase variant (mm) has the following dimensions: overall length (4,630), width (1,865), height (1,665) and wheelbase (2,755), whereas the short-wheelbase variant (mm) measures as follows: overall length (4,500), width (1,865), height (1,650) and wheelbase (2,680).
Hyundai says the latest look represents the brand’s evolving Sensuous Sportiness design identity. Upfront the vehicle spots a completely new look. The parametric grille with a shiny effect and bumpers that integrates headlamps dominate the new front appearance. The half-mirror type daytime running lamps (DRLs) which are assimilated seamlessly within the grille and only revealed when illuminated, complete the front look.
At the back, the Hyundai logo has moved up and is integrated into the glass while the wiper also moves up and hides under the rear spoiler. The full-width tail lamp incorporates half-hidden triangular shapes that are only visible when lit, echoing the DRL design in the front of the vehicle.
The side profile also embraces the “kinetic” design seen at the back and front. The bold design is in our view the most polarising here as it makes the vehicle appear too busy. It may potentially alienate the slightly more mature local following which may prefer a more restrained look.
Tucson petrol models offer the following seven exterior colours: White Cream, Phantom Black, Shimmering Silver, Nocturne Grey, Amazon Grey, Flame Red, and Intense Blue, six of which are new for Tucson. Hybrid and plug-in hybrid models offer the following four colours: White Cream, Phantom Black, Shimmering Silver, and Intense Blue, three of which are new for Tucson.
Like the exterior, the interior has been completely redesigned. Standing out is the new vertical centre facia that houses the 10.25 inch full-touch infotainment screen offered on high models. Losing many buttons, its design creates a flowing effect into the centre console and looks great with its silver accents. Lower models will get an 8-inch colour touchscreen coupled with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Customers can connect two phones simultaneously. A BOSE Premium audio system will also be on offer.
The SUV’s interior comes in black or grey tones in either cloth or leather material. Complementing this is the ambient mood lighting which is adjustable to 64 colours in 10 levels of brightness.
In terms of practicality, luggage space can be expanded by up to 1,096 litres when the rear seats are folded down.
The new 2021 Hyundai comes with a number of (optional) active and passive safety systems. The Hyundai SmartSense safety feature suite includes: Highway Driving Assist, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with pedestrian detection, Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Following Assist, Blind-Spot View Monitor, Blind-Spot Collision Warning, Surround View Monitor, Reverse Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist, Remote Smart Parking Assist, High Beam Assist, and Driver Attention Warning. The all-new Tucson is available with advanced technology features including Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist with Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist, Advanced Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go and Safe Exit Warning.
Engines and improved drive
Buyers have a choice of two petrol engines in the new Hyundai Tucson. These are naturally aspirated 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine and a turbo-charged 1.6-litre hybrid or plug-in hybrid engine.
The 2.5-litre engine makes 140 kW of power and is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The 1.6-litre engine is good for 132 kW of power, with a combined powertrain output of 169 kW. This new powertrain is said to use Continuously Variable Valve Duration (CVVD) technology that manages valve opening duration for optimal power, efficiency and emissions with minimised compromise.
Other than the new powertrain, Hyundai says, it applied its first-in-class E-Handling technology for HEV and PHEV models to help improve steering response and directional stability when cornering or in adverse driving conditions. Tucson drivers also get further assistance from Hyundai’s HTRAC all-wheel-drive system that provides assistance on various road surfaces and conditions. New driving modes, Mud, Sand and Snow, are added to some markets.
Local availability dates are yet to be announced.
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