Test all limits in the Nissan Navara
Test all limits in the Nissan Navara

Walk the line

There’s a new Hyundai Tucson flagship in town, featuring all-wheel drive, a sporty and distinctive exterior design and a thoroughly modern and comfortable interior. ANTON WILLEMSE JNR reveals more about the brand-new N Line.

When it was launched in 2021, the new Tucson was met with mixed reviews. Some loved the extreme departure from Hyundai’s usual design, while others remained unsure. The futuristic design looked like a concept that somehow made its way to production from the drawing board. Hyundai has now doubled down on this sleek new look with the introduction of the Tucson N Line.

It is important to note that the changes are purely aesthetic in nature, with one additional feature: the introduction of AWD. This means that for the most part the new halo product is internally identical to the current model line-up. However, Hyundai claims that it combines the dynamic design, comfort and advanced features of the Tucson with the motorsport-inspired styling attitude of the manufacturer’s N Line, basically placing the sport in sport utility vehicle (SUV).

If I have to be honest, this really is a very attractive vehicle. At the front, the grille sits taller and is wider than on other Tucson derivatives and also incorporates the N Line badge. The parametric jewel patterns on the grille have been emphasised with edges that create additional reflections depending on the angle. Parallel to the grille sits a rectangular bumper with a larger air intake, giving the N Line a more aggressive look, similar to that of the WRC-inspired i20 N Line.

To emphasise the car’s sporty appearance at the rear, the Tucson N Line is fitted with an aerodynamic spoiler that is longer than that of the standard model and garnished with fins. The lower rear is accentuated by a red reflector band and a diffusor, while aggressive twin tip muffler exhausts further bolster the sporty look.

Finally, stronger and sportier 19-inch alloy wheels and wheel arches that match the body colour are also part of the package.

Interior

The Tucson N Line’s sophisticated and spacious interior features flowing forms inspired by waterfalls. This is accentuated by sporty N Line interior styling and an exclusive colour pack. Ample N Line accents and badging ensures you will never be unsure about which model you are driving. A nice example of this is the steering wheel which is decked in all-leather with N Line badging and bespoke red stitching, while the new N Line has a black headliner which gives a sleeker and more contemporary feel to the cabin.

Performance

The Tucson N Line’s 2-litre turbocharged CRDi diesel engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and HTRAC all-wheel drive (AWD) system. The engine delivers up to 137kW at 4000rpm, and 416Nm of peak torque between 2 000rpm and 2 750rpm. Top speed is rated at 201km/h and accelerating from standstill to 100km/h takes 9.4 seconds. However, the real outstanding feature of the engine is its frugal, real-life consumption of 6.5 liters/100km, measured over a combination of urban and open-road driving.

The Tucson N Line’s advanced HTRAC AWD transmission is a multi-mode system, and provides an electronic, variable torque-split clutch with active torque control between the front and rear axles. By tracking vehicle speed and road conditions, the system can optimally apportion torque between the front and rear axles, as well as control braking between left and right wheels.

Selectable Normal, Eco, Sport and Smart drive modes apply specific HTRAC torque distribution settings, to provide confident control in all conditions. The system has a wide range of torque distribution variability, and is designed to be advantageous in various conditions, including straight-line acceleration, medium/ high-speed cornering, and during hill-starts. Additionally, the HTRAC AWD system incorporates a Terrain Mode to enable safer driving on challenging untarred or gravel roads. The driver can choose between three settings: Snow, Mud and Sand.

Rands and cents

The Tucson N Line AWD has a price tag of R799 900. This includes a 7-year/200 000km warranty, consisting of a comprehensive 5-year/150 000km manufacturer’s warranty and an additional 2-year/50 000km powertrain warranty. A 6-year/90 000km service plan and 7-year/150 000km roadside assistance are also standard.

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