Here's the Hyundai Tucson N Line Americans Probably Won't Get

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

This is certainly *not* the theoretical hot crossover we referred to in today’s QOTD. It’s not hot; rather, it’s merely ever so mildly warmer, in a sense, than a stock Tucson.

While Hyundai’s Tucson N Line is a vehicle currently targeted at European buyers, it’s possible the automaker could bring it to America in the near future, bolstering the fledgling N Line lineup (which currently consists of only the Elantra GT). The legitimately hotter N sub-brand also consists of a single vehicle: the revamped-for-2019 Veloster.

So, what does the Tucson N Line bring to the table?

Badging, for one. Lots of it, inside and out, with accent stitching that won’t help the vehicle move off the line with any additional vigor. Nor will the redesigned front fascia, rejigged front lighting, or blacked-out spoiler, mirror housings, and grille mesh. Alloy sport pedals might afford a slippery boot greater purchase when mashing the accelerator.

Feeling underwhelmed yet? Hyundai at least moved the vehicle beyond “appearance package” status by donning 19-inch wheels, swapping in stiffer spring (8 percent stiffer in front, 5 percent in the rear), and tuning the power steering for a more “direct, linear feel at the wheel.”

As this is a European model, the powerplants aren’t a mirror image of those offered in the United States. Buyers on the continent see a 2.0-liter turbodiesel mated to a 48-volt mild hybrid system, good for 182 horsepower. There’s also a turbocharged 1.6-liter gasoline four-cylinder offering slightly less swiftness, and a 1.6-liter diesel unit rounding out the bottom of the performance scale.

On these shores, the hottest Tucson available is, well, any Tucson that isn’t the base SE or uplevel Value model. SEL, Sport, Limited, and Ultimate models all make use of a 2.4-liter four-cylinder (181 hp, 175 lb-ft) and six-speed automatic. Until very recently, buyers could select a turbocharged 1.6-liter with 175 hp and 195 lb-ft that put its power down through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

After dropping a torquier motor and sportier tranny from the model line, it would be weird to see an N Line version appear here with the same 2.4/6A powertrain offered in top-spec Tucsons. But perhaps Hyundai has a different plan in mind.

Maybe the solution is “N.”

[Images: Hyundai]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • ShoogyBee ShoogyBee on Mar 21, 2019

    Hyundai USA dealers just started to receive the 2019 Tucson Night on their lots, which looks pretty similar (but not identical) to this N-Line variant. Blacked out 19" BBS wheels, etc. and it comes with the 2.4L motor. No idea if the suspension tuning changes made it to the US model though.

  • MKizzy MKizzy on Mar 21, 2019

    If the N-Line Tuscon is eventually offered in the U.S., I hope Hyundai at least gifts it with the powertrain from the Elantra Sport. 201hp should be enough to give it noticeably more oomph versus the other trim levels.

  • YellowDuck Really surprised it's only 1/3. Lack of Android Auto would be a dealbreaker for me. At this point I might even say it needs to be wireless. I can't believe any manufacturer would still be trying to sell built in nav as like a $1500 option. Must sell it to people with flip phones.
  • Mike Beranek Great subject for a multi-part piece. There's a lovely DTS for sale near my work... does anyone have a year that the Northstar becomes buyable? I've heard both 2005 and 2007.
  • Parkave231 Looking forward to this deep dive, Corey. My '02 Deville was right on the cusp of when they "fixed" the head bolt issues, but I really don't know if mine was one of the improved ones. Still, it never gave me problems during ownership, aside from the stupid intake plenum duct issue, which was the one time I'll admit I bit off a little more than I could chew.Smooth engine, decent low-end torque for an OHC engine, and whisper quiet. I got great gas mileage out of it too. But how could GM ever screw up head issues on two V8s in a row?
  • Mike Beranek I wouldn't want to own this car. But I sure would love to borrow it.
  • CFS I can’t believe these comments aren’t 100% in favor of CarPlay/Android Auto. They don’t add much for music and other audio that you don’t get with just a Bluetooth connection, but they make navigation so so much better. Why is it better? Because inputting the destination address is so much easier. And I don’t need to think about updating my car’s maps. Plus, I can switch between Google Maps, Waze, Apple Maps, or whatever else seems best suited for my trip. Hands-free calling features are OK, but not such a big deal for me.