Revealed: new edgy Hyundai Tucson N-Line is an SUV in activewear
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As we've repeated here several times this year, 'performance' SUVs with all the looks and not a huge amount of the athleticism under the skin have been all the rage lately. And it's Hyundai who are the next to unveil their entrant to the growing sub-class with the new Tucson N-Line.
The compact SUV sports visual cues derived from the heroic i30 N hot hatch that launched last year.
Up-swept shrouds for the day-time running lights sit on the flanks of the front bumper, 19-inch wheels sit proudly on each corner, and everything — from the primary cascading grill, to the window surrounds, to the headlight bezels, the aforementioned wheels, roof, rear spoiler, and wing mirrors — is dipped in black paint.
The changes inside are arguably more meaningful. Driver and front-seat passenger get N-Line bucket seats of leather and Alcantara, there's red contrast stitching and piping everywhere, and it gets a unique gear lever that looks straight out of a fighter jet (from the '80s).
All together, it's a handsome looking package. But obviously, those craving a bit more power and guts are going to be disappointed, as the N Line's global engine range isn't any different from the rest of the Tucson line-up.
There are some performance alterations, mind you. Hyundai's N Division boffins have given the Tucson N-Line a stiffer suspension set-up and revised the steering calibration to improve the SUV's responsiveness in the corners.
There are three engine options set to be offered in different markets, although it's unclear what might appear in a place like New Zealand.
There's a 2.0-litre mild hybrid version that makes 136kW of power, which is joined by a turbocharged 1.6-litre and a 1.6-litre diesel with a 48V mild hybrid system — the pair developing 130kW and 100kW of power respectively. Most of these will be paired with an automatic, however a six-speed manual is also on the cards.
The Tucson is one of Hyundai's great all-rounders, and undoubtedly (depending on pricing) the sporty N-Line will be a solid seller at worst. But, for those wanting a bit more, I wouldn't give up just yet.
As reported earlier this year at Driven, a proper Tucson N model (none of this 'dash, line' malarkey), might be in the pipeline. While Hyundai are yet to confirm anything, the British press have reported that it will come with around 250kW and a 0–100km/h time of under six seconds.
Fastest school run in history? It could be on the cards.