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HYUNDAI TUCSON AWD N LINE

In line with tradition, Hyundai unveiled a locally developed range-topping new derivative of the Tucson with a sportier attitude and distinctive N Line exterior and interior details last month.

Although not spared stock shortage issues due to global supply chain problems when the new Tucson was launched in 2022, Hyundai South Africa is forging ahead with its product strategy for the popular family SUV with the introduction of a sharpened look and feel at the top end of the Tucson range.

Inspired by the carmaker’s sporty ‘N’ cars, the new Tucson N Line adds styling appeal and dynamic improvements to an already competitive package.

DESIGN DIFFERENCES

Similar to the standard Tucson, the N Line stands out for its progressive design based on the brand’s ‘Sensuous Sportiness’ identity, but adds enhanced ‘parametric jewel’ patterns to the car’s already angular design. These are most prominent at the front, where the parametric jewel patterns on the grille pieces have been elaborated with edges that reflect even more light. The grille also appears wider than other Tucson models and houses the ‘N’ badge.

A revised bumper design at both ends (incorporating bright silver skid plates) further sets the Tucson apart from the rest of the line-up. Down the flanks, side mouldings in body colour and ‘Phantom Black’ side mirrors hint at the car’s now sportier intentions.

At the rear, a longer aerodynamic spoiler, red reflector band, and aggressive-looking twin exhaust tips further distinguish the N Line from its siblings, as does the availability of four N Line-only body colours: Crimson Red; Phantom Black, Titan Gray, and White Cream.

CHASING WATERFALLS

According to Hyundai, the Tucson’s interior design is inspired by cascading waterfalls. For the N Line, the flowing theme is enriched with sporty accents and an exclusive colour pack. 

There are N-branded sport seats, finished in black suede and leather, and adorned with red stitching that’s carried through to the door trim and armrest.

The steering wheel is also N-specific (complete with an ‘N’ badge), while further unique elements appear on the gear shifter, and a black headlining and metal pedals and doorsills complete the interior enhancements.

Compared to its distant cousin and segment rival, the Kia Sportage, Tucson’s digital screen elements have lagged somewhat from a design point of view. We’re glad to see a new 10.25” digital instrument cluster on the N Line, which raises the premium feel in the cabin. The 8’ infotainment touchscreen remains the same as in the rest of the range, although Apple CarPlay and Android Auto mirroring has been simplified for the N Line. 

A push-button start system, automatic climate control, a high-definition rear-view monitor, and an electric power tailgate opener rounds off the luxury and convenience features.

On the safety front, Hyundai’s Smart Sense safety and driver assistance systems include adaptive cruise control, blind-spot collision avoidance, lane departure warning and lane-keep assistance, fatigue detection and attention warning, forward collision avoidance, and cross-traffic alert at the rear.

ADDED ALL-WHEEL-DRIVE

In keeping with other N Line derivatives, the Tucson N Line retains the line-up’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel mill and eight-speed automatic, but benefits from the addition of the HTRAC all-wheel-drive system.

The AWD transmission is a multi-mode system that provides an electronic, variable torque-split clutch with active torque control between the front and rear axles. By tracking vehicle speed and road conditions, the system can optimally apportion torque between the front and rear axles as well as control braking between the left and right wheels.

All-new Tucson’s driver-selectable Normal, Eco, Sport and Smart drive modes apply specific HTRAC torque distribution settings to provide confident control in all conditions.

Despite the added weight of the AWD system, the Tucson N Line manages the same fuel consumption and top speed figures of other models, but loses 0.2 seconds of zero to 100 km/h acceleration time, completing the run in a claimed 9.4 seconds.

LAST WORD

With sporty products such as the i20 N and Kona N, Hyundai continues to show its increasing advancements in performance technology, gleaned from its participation in the World Rally Championships. The Tucson N Line, while not a sportier performer than its range relations, elevates the SUV experience significantly, and should demand loads of attention from buyers in this category.

ENGINEPOWER 
(kW @ r/min)
TORQUE 
(Nm @ r/min)
TOP SPEED
(km/h)
0-100 KM/H
(seconds)
FUEL 
(l/100 km)
PRICE
In-line 4-cyl; 1,998 cc turbodiesel137 @ 4,000416 @ 2,000-2,7502019.47.4R799,900

Report by BERNIE HELLBERG JR | Images © HYUNDAI SOUTH AFRICA

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