When Hyundai debuted the fourth-generation Tucson, it created quite a buzz. We can't deny the following that the Tucson has in the Philippines, given the sheer number of models plying our roads since it was first offered in the country. Since Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI) confirmed that the all-new Tucson will indeed make its way here, we can't help but wonder how the reception to the new model will be.
Ahead of its actual PH landing, Hyundai decided to outfit the Tucson with the N-Line treatment, equating to a new variant. N-Line is synonymous with specific design cues and performance-enhancing elements. As we said, the incoming Tucson is already a looker, but the N-Line has a lot more going than good looks. We’ll get to that later, though.
On the outside, the all-new Tucson N-Line stands out for its progressive design, integrating sharp lines, angles, and shapes, as well as the Tucson’s new signature cues. Hyundai’s “sensuous sportiness” is highlighted by the crossover’s overall silhouette while at the same time offering refined performance-oriented design prompts.
The front grill is made up of Hyundai’s parametric jewel design, which is now wider and taller than the standard Tucson. Under the grill are an angular bumper and wider air intakes that are likewise bigger and taller, helping give the N-Line a much sportier look. The rear bumper is replicated from the front, and has a bright silver skid plate, adding a touch of class to its otherwise brutish bulk.
Body-colored moldings, gloss black accents, a spoiler, twin-tip mufflers, and 19-inch alloy wheels round up the sporty looks of the Tucson N-Line’s exterior.
Looking inside the cabin, you’ll see the Tucson’s already-expected spacious interior, but this time clad in black suede, leather, and red contrast stitching. The red lines add yet more of the sporty vibe as they are abundantly sewn into the door trim and armrest, semi-bucket seats, and even the steering wheel.
The steering wheel being mentioned, the N badge takes center stage, while additional sporty bits such as a leather shifter knob, a black headliner, and metal sports pedals and doorsteps bring the interior’s aggressive feel together.
But now, on to the engine choices. In the Philippines, the Tucson always came in either gas or diesel-fed engines. But with the advent of electrification, the N-Line is being fitted with those, plus three new engine choices. While all are based on the same four-cylinder, 1.6-liter T-GDI, or 2.0-liter CRDi engines, the N-Line also has a plug-in hybrid, mild hybrid, and hybrid engine options. The electrified power plants are rated at 265HP, 150-180HP, and 230HP, respectively.
Along with these engine choices, the Tucson N-Line’s performance can further be complemented with Hyundai’s optional Electronically Controlled Suspension (ECS) that offers additional flexibility on the road through adaptive damping technology. With ECS, Hyundai’s engineers have achieved a very versatile driving behavior, depending on the situation and driver preference. By controlling the damping force on each wheel, ECS reduces roll, pitch, and vertical motion to enhance ride and handling. Hyundai engineers created separate optimized ECS parameter settings with specific tuning for versions of the all-new Tucson N-Line that are equipped with 48-volt powertrains.
So where are we going with all of this? As we said, the Tucson has garnered a pretty wide following in the country, and that’s with its most basic and standard offerings of expected features and engines. Many manufacturers have embraced an electrified future, and some in the PH have started bringing them in already.
Hyundai, for all its time in the country, has the Ioniq. But the uptrend of crossover sales across all brands means that it’s a flourishing market. With gas and even diesel prices on the rise, then having the option to get a hybrid in any form may very well boost the Tucson’s sales further. Whether that can be proved remains to be seen, at least until such time Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. consider bringing something like the Tucson N-Line here.