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Bold new Hyundai Tucson will arrive in 2021

A significant change in styling and upmarket appointments is expected to bolster sales of the next-gen Hyundai Tucson.

Hyundai is preparing to add more style and sophistication to its vital next-generation Tucson mid-size SUV.

Speaking to Practical Motoring at the launch of the new Veloster this week, Hyundai Australia product planning chief Andrew Tuitahi revealed the all-new model is “less than two years away” from hitting local showrooms and promised it will make a splash.

Having already seen the final design of the next-gen Toyota RAV4 and Mazda CX-5 rival, Tuitahi said the new SUV will be a big step forward thanks to a more premium presentation and finish.

“I’m so excited about that car,” Tuitahi said. “It can’t come soon enough. It’s very interesting visually, it’s going to appeal to a very broad audience.”

While he wouldn’t speak about any technical details, when pushed further on what we can expect he explained that the designers have taken the Tucson closer to its bigger brother, the Santa Fe with a bold new look both inside and out.

“Probably the biggest shift for the car is going to style and design,” he said. “Especially interiors, expect to see materials more in line with Santa Fe, across the range. We’ll introduce some new elements to our interior design in terms of layout and configuration, things like infotainment and clusters will be very different.”

Given the arrival of the new RAV4, Mazda CX-5, Subaru Forester and Honda CR-V since the current Tucson first arrived, the updated model will be vital for the brand’s sales hopes in the booming segment.

Tuitahi also revealed that the new model will make a big step forward in terms of safety where he believes customer demands have changed in recent years. That means the new Tucson may be one of Hyundai’s first models fitted with its recently revealed new centre curtain airbags, designed to stop head clashes between front seat occupants. 

“So much has happened since we launched that car,” he said. “It feels like it’s the oldest car in the segment but it’s only three and a half years old. There’s been some shift in terms of expectations [from customers]. Some of the biggest changes around buyer behaviour is around safety.”

While he would not reveal detailed timing, it’s believed the new model will be unveiled globally in 2020 before making its way to Australia sometime in 2021.

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Stephen Ottley

Stephen Ottley