Hyundai Tucson SUV gets sporty N Line treatment

Hyundai Tucson gets the brands sporty N Line treatment, while a second diesel unit becomes equipped with a 48 volt mild hybrid setup

This is the Hyundai Tucson N Line: the second model in the Korean brand’s range to be offered with a performance-inspired trim level. First seen on the i30, the N Line offers buyers of the Peugeot 3008 rival a sporty look which imitates its hot N lineup but without the outright performance or expense. The launch also coincides with a new addition to the SUV’s engine lineup: a 1.6-litre diesel with mild hybrid technology.

From the outside, the N Line gets a host of sporty styling additions which, according to Hyundai designers, aim to “offer something more special to the people who like Tucson. For those who want something customised.”

Exclusive images preview hot Hyundai Tucson N

At the front, there’s a unique bumper design which gains more aggressive air intakes, boomerang-shaped LED daytime running lights and ‘shark tooth’ elements sticking up at the outer edges and flow into the dark plastic cladding.

Much of the car’s brightwork has also been removed: the front grille (whose mesh design matches the i30 N Line and three small indentations along its lower edge mimic the hottest i30 N) is finished in dark chrome, and the headlights feature black bezels. Around the sides, the window surrounds are now black and the door handles are body coloured.

The N Line rides on 19-inch alloy wheels which, along with the door mirror caps, roof and extended rear spoiler, are painted black. Around the back, there’s a gunmetal grey skid plate and a pair of real tailpipes.

Inside, the black interior is perked up with a range of red highlights. There’s bright red stitching on the dashboard, steering wheel, and seats, which also have red piping. While the front seat design is the same as other Tucsons, N Line models are trimmed in a mix of faux leather and mock-suede upholstery. The red stitches extend the gear selector, which in manual models share their design with the i30 N.

Aluminium pedals aside, the Tucson N Line’s cabin loses all of the silver trim found in other variants; the vent surrounds, door handles and infotainment surround are all black. Standard equipment includes an uprated nine-speaker Krell sound system, and a panoramic glass roof will be optional.

On its release in the UK, the Tucson N Line will be offered with one petrol engine and a new diesel option. Based on Hyundai’s existing 1.6-litre turbo diesel, a 48-volt electrical system updates the unit with a mild hybrid setup. While it’s not able to operate in a full EV mode, it allows the Tucson to engage its stop/start system before coming to a complete stop, and a brake regeneration system can be fed back into the driven wheels, reducing load on the engine. 

The changes, according to Hyundai, result in an 11 percent reduction in CO2 emissions relative to the conventional 1.6 diesel. It will be offered with both a six-speed manual and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. Though Hyundai officials would not give a time frame, they confirmed to Auto Express that the 48v system will soon find its way into petrol-powered Hyundais, too.

The current petrol choice is a familiar one: the 175bhp 1.6-litre turbocharged unit is already available in other Tucsons, and can accelerate from 0-62mph in 8.9 secs when paired with a dual clutch automatic gearbox.

WLTP figures for the Tucson N Line show that it will emit just 118g/km for 1.6-litre turbo diesel when coupled with the dual-clutch auto and only 117g/km for the manual. Figures for the standard 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol are higher with a figure of 175g/km for the manual and 163g/km for the automatic.

Hyundai’s N Performance division has been involved in a couple of modest chassis tweaks to sharpen up the handling of the petrol. Revised dampers are slightly firmed up relative to regular models, while the electronic power steering software has been tweaked to give a sportier feel. These changes will not be applied to the 1.6 diesel, which will share its settings with the rest of the Tucson range.

While the Tucson is the second Hyundai to gain the N Line trim, it looks likely that other models will follow suit. Hyundai insiders wouldn’t be drawn into confirming which would come next, but said, “we will see how successful this model is before a full roll-out [of N Line].” Should other models receive the N Line treatment, expect similar exterior styling tweaks and a black and red interior theme.

The Tucson N Line is due to be released in May. While prices are still to be confirmed, expect a starting figure above the existing SE Nav trim.

Do you like the Hyundai Tucson N Line? Let us know in the comments below...

Recommended

New Hyundai Tucson PHEV 2022 review
Hyundai Tucson PHEV - front
Hyundai Tucson SUV

New Hyundai Tucson PHEV 2022 review

Is the award-winning Hyundai Tucson even better with plug-in hybrid power?
17 Jan 2022
New Hyundai Tucson scoops 2022 Carbuyer Car Of The Year award
Hyundai Tucson Carbuyer COTY
Hyundai Tucson SUV

New Hyundai Tucson scoops 2022 Carbuyer Car Of The Year award

The striking Hyundai Tucson SUV has won the big one in our sister title’s Best Car Awards 2022
6 Oct 2021
Mid-size SUV of the Year 2021: Hyundai Tucson
Hyundai Tucson - header
Hyundai Tucson SUV

Mid-size SUV of the Year 2021: Hyundai Tucson

The Hyundai Tucson is the Auto Express 2021 Mid-size SUV of the Year with the Skoda Enyaq iV and the Nissan Qashqai commended
7 Jul 2021

Most Popular

New Toyota GR86 2022 review
Toyota GR86
Toyota GR86

New Toyota GR86 2022 review

The GT86 has evolved into the GR86, gaining a bigger engine, a stiffer shell and chassis tweaks. Is it now affordable sports car perfection?
26 May 2022
New Smart #1 ride review
Smart #1 - front
Smart

New Smart #1 ride review

We get an early taste of the new all-electric Smart #1 from the passenger seat ahead of it going on sale at the end of this year
27 May 2022
New Ora Funky Cat electric car is out of the bag in Britain from £30k
Ora Cat 01 - front
Electric cars

New Ora Funky Cat electric car is out of the bag in Britain from £30k

The high-spec Ora Funky Cat First Edition lands with plenty of kit, but cheaper versions and long-range model also planned
27 May 2022