Hyundai shows off its new Tucson with looks, smarts and technology beyond anything we’ve seen from the Korean car maker, and it’s arriving here next year.

Hyundai’s SUV transformation continues, with the Korean car maker revealing its new fourth-generation Tucson, the brand’s most popular SUV and now it’s the most cutting-edge model.

Officially revealed in Korea to the world via an online presentation, the new Tucson goes on sale in its home market this month and will be launched in Australia in the first half of 2021.

This is obviously no longer a whitegoods SUV, with revolutionary new styling for Hyundai’s SUV completely changing its look and feel.

Outside, the styling is underpinned by the brand’s Sensuous Sportiness design identity, that Hyundai says makes the Tucson stand apart from any other contender in the segment due to its ‘parametric dynamics’ style with ‘kinetic jewel surface details’. The front grille is one of the most striking elements, filled with LED lights which only reveal themselves when illuminated.

There is a multitude of angles and creases along the bodywork which help to create the sportier design. Such details are not easy to perfect in large scale production so it is a credit to Hyundai if it succeeds in delivering such design with the quality we’ve already come to expect.

At the rear the design is no less ambitious, with a connected LED light bar sitting across the beltline and joining two clawed LED taillights. The appearance of the tailgate, topped by a spoiler, also looks slightly raked from the trick of silver and black elements.

Moving the game away from current expectations, we see other foundational changes such as the badge sitting on the rear glass, rather than on the bodywork. The rear wiper also hides underneath the spoiler so it is out of sight.

Moving inside, we see a mix of grey and black trims in either fabric or leather upholstery. Central to the theme of the cabin is openness, which is led by the centre console stack flowing as one continuous design piece with flush buttons and a wide 10.25-inch digital touch display screen. It has wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and optional Bose sound system. The cabin ambience is set with a 64-colour mood lighting system with 10 levels of brightness.

Behind the steering wheel, we see another 10.25-inch display screen, this time sitting tablet-style as a replacement for the usual cowled cluster space. It’s much neater. The steering wheel is redesigned, and it has buttons for the safety technology systems like adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist (full list below).

Digital technology includes a digital key that uses a smartphone app to operate commands such as locking and unlocking the car, using Near Field Communication (NFC) to detect authorised users so they can operate their vehicle without a physical key present, and starting the engine and its climate control system from up to 27 metres away.

Adding to that is even the ability (in some markets) for users to control smart appliances at home. This might include turning on the air conditioner before arriving home and can work the opposite way with voice recognition for users to warm up the car’s heaters (including seat and steering wheel) before hopping in.

In the rear, we can see dual ventilation controls with digital climate control. While there are not many other details yet, Hyundai says it has a new fold-and-dive functionality on the seat which helps open the back up to a large 1095-litres of cargo space.

The model is offered in both short and long-wheelbase for a variety of markets; Australia will offer the long-wheelbase version only. The longer version measures 4630mm in length, 1865mm in width and 1665mm in height, riding on a 2755mm wheelbase.

Underneath the bonnet, the new Tucson will offer a variety of engines too, from petrol and diesel conventional combustion cycle motors to hybrid and plug-in hybrid.

Australia will not offer the hybrid and plug-in hybrid at launch though the electrified engines are under consideration.

Instead, we’ll first see new generation versions of the 1.6-litre turbo petrol, 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated petrol and 2.0-litre diesel turbo in mainstream Tucson models. Specifications for these engines have not yet been confirmed.

Hyundai Australia has also confirmed that the new Tucson N-Line will be available, with details to come.

Available in both front and all-wheel drive, the Tucson uses HTRAC all-wheel-drive, this time adding mud, sand and snow modes to the comfort, sport and eco-driving modes. Local ride and handling tuning will take place prior to the new Tucson hitting showrooms, meaning it will be tuned by Hyundai Australia’s expert engineering team to ensure it rides and handling well on local roads.

On the safety front, a comprehensive suite of aids available include: Highway Driving Assist (HDA), Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) with pedestrian detection, Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Lane Following Assist (LFA), Blind-Spot View Monitor, Blind-Spot Collision Warning (BCW), Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA) with Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA), Advanced Smart Cruise Control (SCC) with Stop and Go, Safe Exit Warning (SEW), Surround View Monitor, Reverse Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist (RPCA), Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA), High Beam Assist (HBA) and Driver Attention Warning (DAW).

Full pricing and specifications for the local lineup will be announced at a later date.

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Alex Rae

Alex Rae brings almost two decades’ experience, previously working at publications including Wheels, WhichCar, Drive/Fairfax,, AMC, Just Cars, and more.

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