By on August 27, 2019

2019 Hyundai Tucson front

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:

2019 Hyundai Tucson profile

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.

2019 Hyundai Tucson rear quarter

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]

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12 Comments on “Get Yer Freak On: Next-gen Hyundai Tucson Appears in Camo Dress, but Can It Match the Hype?...”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The spy pictures at Motor Authority look like an evolution of today’s Tucson. That’s probably a good thing.

    I would like to see Hyundai/Kia get rid of the 2.4 engine. It’s not economical in city driving, a bit weak at the high end, and the DI version has a rough idle. Not to mention the stigma of the ‘chips might be in your crankshaft’ recall.

    • 0 avatar

      It only looks like an evolution because of the padded covering. Those bulges, hidden padding and fake rear side window glass are are hiding the next generation of… a Pontiac Aztek!

    • 0 avatar
      CKNSLS Sierra SLT

      SCE to AUX

      The “metal chips issue” has longed since been taken care of. As a matter of fact-kudos to Hyundai the way they handled my son’s metal shavings case with his Sonata-the car was not under warranty for this recall anymore/either because of time and/or millage requirements (or both), I can’t remember which. He’s driving along and all of the sudden the motor self destructs. Because he took his car in months earlier when he heard about the recall campaign-and the dealer said his car was “OK”-this was used as a precedent for Hyundai to replace the motor even tho it technically didn’t qualify for the above related reasons.

      There are at least two manufacturers I have personally dealt with that have told me to pound sand for much lesser concerns-under warranty.

      No charge and they put him in a rental Malibu for two weeks while the motor was ordered and the repair performed.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Yes, I am quite familiar with it. I know 3 people whose engines were replaced (two 2.4s, one 2.0T), and my son’s Sonata was checked. But he feels like he’s driving a time bomb, particularly since his 11 Sonata has had around 16 recalls.

        I remain a H/K fan (3 of them in my driveway now), but the 2.4 debacle covers over a million vehicles and will continue to cast a shadow for many years. Kudos to your son’s dealer for fixing his car. That’s how you keep a customer.

    • 0 avatar

      Kia puts the 2.0 turbo in the top-line Sportage, which transforms it. I’ve never understood why Hyundai didn’t do the same with the Tucson.

      • 0 avatar

        Eh. I own a Sorento and I ran from that 2.0L turbo after driving it. Did not feel much quicker, really.

        H/K do a lot of things well, but that turbo ain’t one of them.

    • 0 avatar

      The front fascia picks up more cues from the Nexo than say, the Santa Fe, and can’t say that particularly care for it (really dislike the “organic” grille treatment and too many lines going in different directions).

      The 2.4L will get replaced by the new 2.5L which will be more powerful, yet more efficient.

      The 2.0T is really long in the tooth, but does a better job (different tuning) in something like the Sportage (or Veloster-N) than the Sorento.

      The next gen Tucson looks to have grown a bit (which it needed to do, since it was on the small end for the segment) and should have a more premium interior – but a bit overwrought at the front.

  • avatar

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

  • avatar

    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.

    • 0 avatar

      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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