Update: ‘Interior’ and ‘Release date’ sections updated.
Introduced in September 2020, the fourth-gen Hyundai Tucson went on sale in the U.S. as a 2022 model. Hyundai is currently working on a facelift for the compact SUV, and the updated version is expected to be released in the United States as a 2025 model. Here’s what you need to know about the new Hyundai Tucson that recently entered the global testing phase.
At most OEM design studios, a facelift typically entails subtle changes to the body, but Hyundai isn’t one of them. The South Korean automaker invests significantly into midlife updates. However, spy pictures suggest that may not entirely be the case with the new Hyundai Tucson. That or Hyundai’s prototype team at the factory managed to conceal significant visual changes quite well! In spite of the fact that it is no longer new, the existing design is holding its appeal and should last for quite some time.
The facelifted Hyundai Tucson has a new radiator grille featuring horizontal bars in a criss-cross pattern, which makes it reminiscent of the Hyundai Santa Cruz. Before this sighting, reports said, based on spy pictures of what was actually the China-only Hyundai Mufasa, that it could take on the design of the Palisade. More recent pictures strongly suggest that the new Tucson will chart its own course on the styling front, uninfluenced by regional Hyundai SUVs.
In addition to a revised grille, we expect the restyled Hyundai Tucson to have tweaked front and rear lights, fresh bumpers, and new 19-inch wheel designs. In general, these changes should lend the S.Korean SUV a more robust and chunky look, ensuring its continued appeal until the launch of the next-generation Tucson, expected sometime in 2026.
Moving to the interior, Hyundai will make changes to address common feedback from customers. Recent spy pictures from South Korea have indicated that the facelifted Tucson will have a redesigned dashboard, and we expect it to look more conventional.
We’ve seen a test prototype featuring a dual display setup for the instrument cluster and infotainment system, a format observed in recent Hyundai launches like the second-gen Kona and the fifth-gen Santa Fe. The wide, seamless look of the panel incorporating the displays should provide occupants with a sense of being inside a high-tech vehicle.
The steering is also new, borrowed from the new Kona, and we expect the center console and ambient lighting system to also carry changes. Additionally, designers may switch to physical controls in the center stack, replacing some of the capacitive buttons for the infotainment and climate control systems. This move would improve usability and practicality for Tucson drivers. Finally, some buyers have voiced their desire for better quality materials, especially in the high-end Limited variant, which could see an improvement.
There’s no word on the new Hyundai Tucson’s specifications, but rest assured, hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants will be part of the future powertrain mix in the U.S. Both electrified variants may use the familiar combination of a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine and an electric motor on the front axle, with a 6-speed automatic transmission and the HTRAC all-wheel drive system similarly being on duty, sending drive to the wheels.
The Tucson Hybrid and Tucson Plug-in Hybrid offer great performance, though the latter, when pushed, isn’t all that well-behaved around the corners because of the heavy batteries. They offer a good ride quality on most road conditions, except for big speed bumps. Lastly, Hyundai engineers should have heard from many customers regarding the SUV’s light steering, and they should aim to up the liveliness in the update.
When it comes to the planning updates for the Tucson, the key area that needs improvement is fuel economy. The current variants fall short in comparison to Toyota’s RAV4 Hybrid and RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid. Specifically, the plug-in hybrid version could benefit from a larger battery. We don’t have an official word on what Hyundai has planned for the future, but we believe that increasing the efficiency of these powertrains and EV mode range should be a top priority for the company.
|Parameter||Hyundai Tucson Hybrid Specification||Hyundai Tucson PHEV Specification|
|Drivetrain Layout||AWD (with HTRAC)||AWD (with HTRAC)|
|Engine||1.6L T-GDi||1.6L T-GDi|
|Engine Max. Power||180 hp at 5,500 rpm||180 hp at 5,500 rpm|
|Engine Max. Torque||195 lb.-ft. at 1,500-4,500 rpm||195 lb.-ft. at 1,500-4,500 rpm|
|Transmission||6-speed automatic||6-speed automatic|
|Electric Motor Power||59 hp at 1,600-2,000 rpm||90 hp at 2,100-3,300 rpm|
|Electric Motor Torque||195 lb.-ft. at 0-1,600 rpm||224 lb.-ft. at 2,100 rpm|
|Combined Power||226 hp||261 hp|
|Combined Torque||258 lb.-ft.||258 lb.-ft.|
|Battery Voltage||270 V||360 V|
|Battery Energy Storage Capacity||1.49 kWh||13.8 kWh|
|On-board Charger Peak Power||–||7.2 kW at 240 V|
|100% Charging Time||–||~2 hours|
|EPA-est. Electric Range||–||33 miles|
|EPA-est. Total Range||Up to 521 miles||420 miles|
|EPA-est. Fuel efficiency||Up to 38 MPG (combined)||80 MPGe (combined, elec + gas)/35 MPG (combined, gas)|
According to a report KED Global published on July 26, 2023, the facelifted Hyundai Tucson will debut in S.Korea between September and December 2023. The report was based on Hyundai’s Q2 2023 guidance, which indicates that this could be an official timeline. We expect the revised Tucson to be announced for the U.S. in Q2 2024 (April – June 2024), as part of the MY2025 family.
Like in South Korea, the Tucson refresh is undergoing extensive road testing in Europe, where Hyundai has a strategic R&D center in Rüsselsheim (Germany), just half an hour’s drive from Frankfurt. The new model may undergo some similar evaluation in the U.S. prior to launch, so Americans can watch out for camouflaged Tucson test prototypes in the coming months!
Buyers in the U.S. are happy with the current Tucson. Between January and August 2023, Hyundai sold 134,367 units of the compact SUV in the United States. Compared to the same period in 2022 (January-August 2022: 112,654 units), that marks a 19% growth in sales.
MY2024 Tucson announced in the U.S.
In early July, Hyundai Motor America announced minor updates for the MY2024 Tucson, entailing no design changes. The company will offer the Tucson Hybrid variant in the sporty N Line trim for the new model year. Moreover, it has made the 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system a standard feature in both Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid variants. It has stopped offering the gas variant in Amazon Gray color, making that paint exclusive to these electrified variants.
The 2024 Tucson and its electrified variants offer enhanced safety, thanks to the inclusion of a seatbelt reminder for all the passengers, rear side airbags, and rear outboard seatbelt pretensions and load limiters. The new safety features are standard across the range, and these updates are expected to continue in the 2025MY (facelift).
The Tucson offers superb performance and plenty of space, but it has room for improvement in efficiency, interior quality, and convenience. The touch-operated buttons on the dashboard especially need to be given a second thought. If Hyundai wants to remain competitive in the segment, they will need to do more than just update the design of their future models. Thus, in addition to sprucing up the grille and lights, improvements in convenience and fuel economy are required to keep pace with the segment leaders.
New Hyundai Tucson (2024 launch) FAQs
What is the Hyundai Tucson facelift release date?
The new Tucson should be revealed in late 2023 and be launched in the U.S. in Q2 2024.
What will be the new Hyundai Tucson price?
The new Tucson will likely be priced from around USD 28k, with the Hybrid expected to begin from around USD 33k.
Featured Image Source: Naver/soonjung8116