These are the first official pictures of the new Hyundai Tucson that arrives in Australia in the second half of 2015. A rival to the Mazda CX-5 and Toyota RAV4 SUVs, the Tucson replaces the ever-green iX35 as Hyundai uses names instead of numbers for its global products. It also brings a new driveline, more space as it steps up a segment, and is rumoured to offer both Apple and Android connectivity.
The muscular design of the Tucson is headed by a three-bar chrome grille and elongated headlamps as a clear marker that it’s a member of the Hyundai stable, and uses some of the design cues shown on the new Hyundai Sonata which uses the same platform. They include the pinched waistline that sits above the doorhandles, where previously it intersected them, while there’s a swoopier roofline than the iX35’s which reminds us of the recently launched, much smaller Honda HR-V. Saying that, the Tucson is step up from the ix35 in terms of size, according to Hyundai.
The interior design doesn’t exactly break new ground, merely following on from Hyundai models with a simple layout and basic features, such as the plain white-on-black instruments. That said, fit and finish should be solid. The biggest news inside is that the Tucson will offer both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, according to a Hyundai insider. This means that every model will be sat-nav capable via an app, and use either Google Voice or Apple’s Siri for text messaging and voice activated functions.
The Australian Tucson line-up will be offered here with carryover versions of the 2.0-litre entry level petrol engine in front-wheel drive models, as well as the 2.0-litre diesel all-wheel drive version. Replacing the iX35’s 2.4-litre petrol engine will be the 1.6-litre inline four-cylinder used in the Hyundai Veloster and Kia Proceed GT sports models. It will be mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and all-wheel drive.
Sadly, despite sharing the same platform, Hyundai Australia has ruled out the dual-clutch transmission for the Australian market Sonata, even if such versions are offered in left-hand drive markets.
The ix35 was the best-selling Hyundai after the i30 hatch range in 2014, and was the third most popular SUV behind the Mazda CX-5 and the Toyota RAV4. Helping it achieve this was sourcing models from factories in Korea and the Czech Republic, and that’s set to continue with the new Tucson.
Also following Hyundai tradition will be a unique suspension tune for Australia’s rough roads. Testing will commence next week on a spring and damper set-up to ensure that Aussies fall in love with the new Hyundai. Further specification is yet to be confirmed, but a rear-view camera will be standard on all Tucsons sold in Oz.
The 2015 Hyundai Tucson will be unveiled at the 2015 Geneva motor show and is expected to start at $28,000 when it arrives in Australia late this year.
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