Currently reading: 2021 Hyundai Tucson unveiled with bold look, new tech
Hyundai SUV also gets a wide range of hybrid and mild hybrid powertrains including a turbocharged PHEV
James Attwood, digital editor
3 mins read
15 September 2020

The new Tucson is claimed to mark a “design revolution” for Hyundai as the brand continues to push upmarket. Revealed in advance of sales starting later this year, the SUV receives a styling makeover and a raft of new technology.

The fourth generation of the South Korean firm’s worldwide best-seller will go on sale with a line-up of 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, most featuring 48V mild-hybrid technology, and a 227bhp 1.6-litre T-GDi hybrid. A turbocharged plug-in hybrid version will follow next year, although Hyundai has yet to give performance details.

The latest Tucson features a bold new front grille with what Hyundai calls ‘Parametric Hidden Lights’ built in. Effectively, the LED headlights and “jewel-like” running lights are integrated into the sides of the grille and can’t be distinguished from it when turned off. The grille features 3D parametric graphics, which are used as highlights elsewhere on the car.

Side on, the angular theme continues, while at the back, the window wiper is hidden in the roof-mounted spoiler – a first for Hyundai – with the brand’s logo set into the bottom of the rear windscreen.

At 4500mm long and 1865mm wide, the Tucson is 20mm longer and 15m wider than before, with the 2680mm wheelbase stretched by 10mm. Although two wheelbase versions will be built, only the shorter variant will come to the UK. Buyers can choose from 17in, 18in and 19in wheels and two-tone colour combinations.

Eduardo Ramirez, Hyundai Europe exterior designer, described the new Tucson’s design as “quite brave”. He added: “We’re experimental, always trying to find a very distinctive character in design. Although that doesn’t mean we’ll apply the same formula to every car.”

Ramirez continued: “It’s always a big challenge to replace a car that’s been so successful. We’re so proud of Tucson, but we didn’t want to fall into the trap of trying to retain what we had achieved and not go further. We felt free to innovate, which is how ideas like the hidden lights came to life.”


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The interior also marks a radical departure from previous Hyundai models, with a minimalist, ‘layered’ design. Hyundai has introduced new ‘Multi-Air Mode Technology’, which combines the direct and indirect air vents to reduce the space they take up and enable a gentler air flow.

The bulk of the physical controls have been removed, with the infotainment and heating controls accessed through a 10.25in vertically mounted touchscreen. There is also a 10.25in digital dashboard, configurable ambient lighting and a wireless smartphone charger.

The infotainment uses the latest version of Hyundai’s Bluelink system, including a range of connected car functions such as Last Mile Navigation, which allows owners to switch route guidance to their smartphone if they park close to their destination.

Hyundai says it has increased rear leg room. All models feature the same interior dimensions, with the batteries in the hybrid variants mounted under the rear seats.

Hyundai has also added a number of new safety and driver assistance features, including a central airbag and remote parking on the hybrid and PHEV models.

Engine-wise, the mild-hybrid petrol is offered with 148bhp and 178bhp, with the diesel producing 134bhp. Petrol units send power through a six-speed manual or seven-speed auto gearbox, with diesels using the auto. A non-electrified 148bhp petrol and 113bhp diesel will be offered, both with a six-speed manual. Four-wheel drive is optional on most powertrains.

Hyundai has also worked to improve the Tucson’s ride and handling. Vehicle dynamics engineer Julio Varela said the focus was on making it “more comfortable and fun to drive”. It is the first Hyundai outside of the N performance range to be offered with the firm’s Electronic Controlled Suspension, which includes Normal, Eco and Sport driving modes. There are three extra off-road-focused modes on four-wheel-drive variants.

European versions of the new Tucson will be built in the Czech Republic. As well as the PHEV model, an N-Line version is due next year. Pricing has yet to be confirmed, but expect a small increase over the outgoing model, which starts at £23,150.


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First drive: 2020 Hyundai i20 MHEV prototype

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15 September 2020

As good as it is inside the outside is a bit hit and miss. Just to many folds, creases and square wheel arches. Still a big jump in the right direction   

15 September 2020

Front and back along with inside is great but the side view  is too fussy with too many conflicting angles and creases 


15 September 2020

I like the overall look, it's good to see the Koreans getting more daring with design.

but the front looks very Mercedes eqc, side shot very Lexus NX, and rear very Mustang Mach E. not that any of those are bad inspiration.

15 September 2020

That's one controvertial looking car. And the interior only gets worse, what's going on with the steering wheel?  These still look drawings to me, I fear the physical car may be even worse.

Test drove and done a deal of the current Tucson for a family member. The interior was a bit too plasticy for my liking, I much preferred the Sportage, but the Tucson had more presence in a 'chunky' sort of way. Conforming to the steryotypical 'Tonka Toy' image, I think that might be one reason why its so popular. 

This reminds me of when Honda went all space age with the once very popular and boring European Civic hatch. A car which was always in the top 10 UK best sellers didn't even make the top 20 after their radical redesign.

15 September 2020
It is a good looking car and certainly not boring on the outside. The interior looks very clean and tidy but compared to the current models interior it is boring.
I cannot wait to see what Kia come up with for the next Sportage. I hope they give it a good look and increase the interior quality in it as the current ones interior quality is a let down compared to the model before it which was very good.

15 September 2020
The price to pay for such a space age design is that they've lost a bit of their brand identifying aesthetics which the current Tucson and the previous gen Santa Fe showcased well. But there's no denying the wow factor especially the front treatment although I would have preferred to see hyundai's hexagonal grille being delineated by the illuminated drls rather than an isoceles trapezoid.

15 September 2020
And the prize for the most hideous grille goes to... Hyundai Tucson!
BMW 4 Series and all Audis... thanks for your participation, better luck next year!

15 September 2020

 Yes, an advance in looks, but, nothing that's not similar to th3 other brands.

15 September 2020
Peter Cavellini wrote:

 Yes, an advance in looks, but, nothing that's not similar to th3 other brands.


15 September 2020

The way the grille & headlights are integrated is simply brilliant and brilliantly simple. It totally eclipses VW's similar idea (as in the Arteon)

The interior is very well done.

Hyundai is putting established brands, especially premium brands, to shame.

This is the kind of direction DS should be taking, instead of doing 'cosmetic jewelly'


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