The already distinctive exterior design of the fourth-generation Hyundai Tucson is enhanced if you opt for the N Line Pack, which is available on all three grades in the Tucson model line-up. This adds exterior elements including as 19-inch N Line alloy wheels, N Line exterior body kit, LED headlights and taillights (if not already available on donor variant), Gloss Black grille with hidden daytime running lights and Silver-painted N Line skid plates.
I think you would agree that this N Line Tucson Highlander in Titan Gray paint really shines and not just because of those cool running lights. Step into the cabin and the N Line features continue to enhance the already attractive Tucson interior. The leather and suede upholstery, N Line steering wheel and 10.25-inch LCD instrument cluster display (if not already available on donor variant) all making the Tucson feel extra special over the base model Tucson I previously drove.
I really like the wraparound interior design with the continuous lines that run from the dash and centre console across the doors and even to the rear doors. It feels like the driver and passenger are cocooned in the cabin. The leather and suede front seats are comfortable with multiple power adjustment settings for recline, forward/back, seat cushion height front and rear, and are both heated and ventilated. The driver gets additional 2-way lumbar adjustment and two memory positions to save your preferred driving position.
The sporty looking steering is heated for added luxury in winter and there are simple to understand steering wheel mounted controls for audio and telephone functions. Like all Hyundai models the voice control is designated by a masculine looking silhouette and only operates when Apple CarPlay/Android Auto is connected.
The futuristic looking 10.25-inch LCD digital instrument cluster can be configured depending on the drive mode selected or you can opt for the very cool looking cubes, that rotate when your speed increases by 10km/h. This is paired with a vertically stacked 10.25-inch full-touch multimedia display with BOSE Premium Audio that can connect wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There is wireless charging for compatible devices in the large storage cubby at the front of the centre console plus two USB ports and one 12V outlet.
The cabin feature that I was less impressed by were the gloss black surrounds on the centre console and arm rests, these gather dust and finger marks badly. Also, I noted that the climate control in the Tucson struggled to cool the cabin adequately on a hot day.
The rear seats have ample head and leg room for two adults to comfortably sit back there and the outer seats are heated as well. For younger passengers there are two ISOFIX/three rear tether child seat restraint points, but only enough room to fit to car seats in. This means the centre seat can be folded down as an arm rest with two rigid cup holders in the front of it. There is also drink bottle storage in the door cubbies suitable for mid-sized drink bottles.
Rear passengers get two central air vents with manual direction and open/close controls and under these there are two USB ports. There is no mat over the transmission tunnel, so the carpet here may wear over time from children scrambling over it.
The boot is power operated and does have a smart power tailgate, but I couldn’t work out how to use this. You can also open/close the boot from the button under the boot lid, on the key fob or in the front of the cabin. The boot is a good size for the weekly shop or would fit a pram and a small shop and if you need extra space the 60:40 split folding rear seats can be lowered using the manual release in the boot. There are four plastic tie down points, two hooks, a light and a 12V outlet in the boot and under the boot floor you will find a full-size spare tyre, something of a rarity in this style of SUV.
Every 2022 Tucson features an advanced Hyundai SmartSense suite of active driving aids including Blind-Spot Collision Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA – car/pedestrian/cyclist) with Junction Turning function and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist. Overall performance of the autonomous emergency braking (Car-to-Car) system was rated as ADEQUATE by ANCAP. ANCAP tests of lane support system functionality showed GOOD performance in lane keep assist scenarios, and ADEQUATE performance in the more critical emergency lane keeping scenarios. Overall performance in this area was classified as GOOD by ANCAP with a Safety Assist score of 70%.
The Tucson Highlander also gets Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist, 360-degree Surround View Monitor with front and rear sensors and a Blind-Spot View Monitor that projects a video image on the driver’s dash when you indicate left or right. The other handy features include auto lights and auto wipers with a display on the dash when you change the selection so you know what mode you are in.
Passive safety includes a seven-airbag system with front airbags for driver and front passenger, side (thorax) airbags for driver and front passenger, side curtain airbags for first and second rows and a centre airbag. All models in the current Tucson range have a 5-star ANCAP (2021) safety rating with an Adult Occupant Protection score of 33.05 out of 38 (86%) and a Child Occupant Protection score of 42.63 out of 49 (87%).
This Highlander is powered by a 2.0 turbo-diesel engine with 137 kW of power and 416 Nm of torque, there was no hiding the diesel engine noise and this could be heard in the cabin as well. This is paired with Active on-demand 4WD and a sluggish 8-speed automatic transmission with shift-by-wire pushbutton gear selection and wheel-mounted shift paddles. There are four drive modes available, Eco, Normal, Sports, and Smart and diesel variants also get Multi terrain mode with three settings, Snow, Mud, and Sand. The official combined fuel consumption 6.3L/100km and for my week I used the same amount.
All new Tucson models come with Hyundai iCare, with owner benefits including a five year unlimited km warranty, Complimentary Roadside Assist for 12 months on new vehicles, 1,500km complimentary first service, a dedicated Customer Care centre and myHyundai – an exclusive owner website. The service interval for diesel-powered Tucson models is one year or 15,000km and owners can purchase the first five services up front for $1,875. When servicing with Hyundai, customers will also receive a Sat Nav Update Plan and a Roadside Support Plan for up to 10 years.
The N Line pack is an additional $1,000 on top of the standard Hyundai Tucson Highlander price, so the 2.0 CRDi AWD Tucson N Line is $53,000 excluding dealer delivery and on-road costs. As tested with Premium Paint ($595) this Tucson Highlander was $53,595 excluding dealer delivery and on-road costs. Visit your preferred Hyundai dealer for more information about the impressive Tucson range.
|It’s a great looking SUV||Climate control struggled on hot days|
|My fuel use matched official figures||Gloss black surrounds|
|Full size spare tyre||Noisy diesel engine|
Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.