Get Yer Freak On: Next-gen Hyundai Tucson Appears in Camo Dress, but Can It Match the Hype?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

You’re probably thinking two things right now. First, what’s up with suggesting an upcoming compact crossover will be anything approaching wild and crazy and, secondly, why no spy shot of a camo-clad Tucson?

Easy answers! We’re promised something nutso from Hyundai. This won’t just be a visually updated compact CUV, Sangyup Lee, veep of design at Hyundai, told Motor Authority back in April. No, no. “The whole world will freak out over (next-generation Tucson),” he said following the release of the 2020 Sonata, suggesting that the controversially radical Sonata might be the tame, demure one in the family.

Freak out. Hyundai Tucson. That’s some promise.

The answer to the second question is that the corporate mothership ain’t likely to spend dough on pics of a vehicle that, while covered in camo, isn’t likely to cause anyone to freak out. Not around here, at least.

You can see spy shots of the 2021 Tucson over at Autoblog. Bring your heart meds. Expect to see the revamped Tucson, Hyundai’s best-selling model, in the flesh come next year. For now, you can contrast those pics with these shots of a 2019 model:

Viewed from the side, there’s nothing about the upcoming Tucson that puts viewers in danger of an aortic explosion. Lee said that upcoming restyles would see models incorporate corporate design cues in a much more subtle manner, with each new vehicle adopting its own style and persona. Fair enough; the Tucson might actually do that. But from what we can see in these pics, the 2021 model’s design is more evolution than revolution. No brick-through-a-plate-glass-window-of-conformity here, though it’s hard to reinvent the wheel. Crossovers must satisfy the basic demands of young-family buyers.

In Hyundai’s defence, the Tucson’s front fascia is a marked departure from what today is a hardly expressive design. Headlamps are slim, tapering into a rakish grille that thankfully avoids the Kona’s over-under look. Gaping side vents hold a lot of glass and might conceal an air curtain inlet. Below, a narrow lower air opening helps give an overall impression of an angry cat. That’s as complimentary as this writer can muster.

Out back, the camo bunches up like an ill-fitting pair of Depends, though it’s clear the Tucson will sport some measure of lip below the rear glass. Taillight design is anyone’s guess, what with those camo cutouts providing only a strictly legal amount of braking light.

It’s true, Hyundai could drop the dress and wow everyone; camo exists for a reason. But at the current time, and especially after hearing Lee’s words, we’re prepared to be underwhelmed.

[Images: © 2019 Chris Tonn/TTAC]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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4 of 12 comments
  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Aug 27, 2019

    Wow! That is drop dead gorgeous! I am salivating all over it! Where I can put deposit?

  • Quaquaqua Quaquaqua on Aug 28, 2019

    I'm still a bit concerned the car will be a little too overstyled. Sure, it has a basic CUV shape, but that rear looks really busy, even camo'd -- and I'm sure that will affect cargo space. But I get it, the current Tucson has merely decent sales numbers, and it's a hot market. They want to go bold. But styling can only do so much. I thought the previous-gen Sportage was an absolute stunner and it never set the world on fire sales-wise.

    • Bd2 Bd2 on Aug 28, 2019

      The Tuscon and Sportage not selling better here has to do largely w/ production capacity (H/K didn't plan for enough and a greater portion of supply was allocated to Europe) and the fact that they had the Santa Fe and Sorento slotting above them (both the Tucson and Sportage are on the smaller side, making them more suitable for the Euro market where the 2 do very well - outselling the RAV4 and CR-V). Anyhow, hope Kia does a better job w/ the redesign for the Sportage than what the next Tucson seems to be heading.

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  • AMcA My theory is that that when the Big 3 gave away the store to the UAW in the last contract, there was a side deal in which the UAW promised to go after the non-organized transplant plants. Even the UAW understands that if the wage differential gets too high it's gonna kill the golden goose.