What is it?
What’s in a name? For the Tucson a lot, because the decision to ditch ix35 and revert to this moniker was taken to signify that this all-new car represents another leap forward for the brand. Better, they figured, to start afresh than associate with an outgoing car known for being ruggedly decent, but never troubling the class best.
There’s an awful lot riding on its success, too. A rival to the Nissan Qashqai, the Tucson has been crafted to further accelerate Hyundai’s growth by appealing to a new breed of customer, one more influenced by subjective factors such as style and perceived quality than just price and kit lists. Inevitably, those aspirations come at a cost, with prices starting at £18,695 (up from £17,000 now, although that’s not a like-for-like hike) and running up to £32,345.
This is a second phase prototype, described by its makers as 80-90% representative of how the final car will look and feel when it is launched next month. The exterior won’t change, but improvements to the fit, finish and materials of the interior are promised - an impressive claim given the quality evident on our high-spec car.