The new 2021 Hyundai Tucson has been released at last in Australia, with Korean brand’s new mid-size SUV taking a price hike – the base model now kicks off at $34,500 before on-road costs. Now in its fourth iteration, the local line-up will come in the base model ‘Tucson’, mid-spec Elite and the top of the range Highlander grades. Across all grades will be the availability of a sports-focused N Line package that adds sporty styling details.

“Since its introduction in 2004, Tucson has established itself as an SUV with broad family appeal, selling more than 220,000 units in Australia,” Hyundai Motor Company Australia Chief Executive Officer, Jun Heo said.

“Now in its fourth generation, all-new Tucson’s futuristic styling, segment-leading active safety, convenience and comfort technologies, and enticing N Line pack make it a uniquely appealing medium SUV,” he said.

Hyundai has increased pricing over the previous model Tucson – an entry-level, 2.0-litre petrol model is now $2,360 more expensive than the outgoing entry-level Active automatic. High-spec Highlander models now eclipse the $50,000 threshold before on-road costs. It is clear that Hyundai has more premium aspirations this time around, this is no longer a cheap, basic SUV, but rather one to rival class leaders.

Three drivetrains are offered this time around, all with automatic gearboxes. The manual base model seen in the old Tucson has been killed. The base engine which comes standard across the range is a 115kW/192Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine driving the front wheels and is paired solely to a six-speed automatic transmission. The same drivetrain is offered on the smaller i30 hatchback.

Elite and Highlander models are also available with a two other drivetrain options, both which also give the Tucson all-wheel-drive. Buyers have the choice of a 132kW/265Nm 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine with a seven-speed dual-clutch auto or a 137kW/416Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel engine with a conventional eight-speed automatic. The hybrid and plug-in hybrid models available overseas are yet to be announced for Australia.

Pricing for the 2021 Hyundai Tucson kicks off from $34,500 plus on-road costs for the entry-level Active 2.0L petrol FWD. The mid-spec Elite starts at $39,000 (the 1.6T AWD is $43,000 and the 2.0D AWD is $45,000) and the top-spec Highlander is priced from $46,000 (1.6T AWD: $50,000, 2.0D AWD: $52,000).

Even the base Tucson comes with an 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 4.2-inch driver’s display, manual air conditioning, cloth seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear selector, keyless entry, automatic halogen projector headlights with LED daytime running lights, a six-speaker sound system, heated and auto-folding mirrors, 17-inch alloy wheels, rear air vents, an acoustic windscreen and power lumbar support for the driver.

Hyundai has given the Tucson their latest safety features with autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with support for intersections, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality, lane-follow assist with lane-keep assist, rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring (with braking support), a speed limiter, tyre pressure monitoring, rear occupant alert, and rear parking sensors. A clever new piece of technology is safe exit warning, which warns occupants from exiting the vehicles into oncoming traffic.

Moving up the range to the Tucson Elite gives a nice increase in standard equipment for the money. 18-inch wheels are now standard, along with leather seats and door trims with heated front seats, a powered driver’s seat, keyless entry with push button start, dual-zone climate control, rear privacy glass and Hyundai’s excellent 10.25-inch multimedia system with satellite navigation – though oddly, this larger system reverts the CarPlay and Android Auto to wired. Front parking sensors and automatic wipers – which should be standard on the base model – are also added.

The Tucson Highlander starts from $46,000 and like the Tucson Elite is offered with all three engines choices. The Highlander features 19-inch wheels, LED exterior and interior lighting, different front styling, a panoramic sunroof, a heated steering wheel and rear seats, cooled front seats, a powered front passenger seat, a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, a premium Bose sound system, a 360-degree surround-view camera and an electric tailgate. The Highlander diesel also scores Hyundai’s remote smart parking system, where you can move the car forward and reverse with the key.

An N Line option pack ($3,500 on the Active, $2,000 on the Elite and $1,000 on the Highlander) is also available, adding unique 19-inch alloy wheels, a body kit, a gloss-black grille, leather and suede upholstery, and a sportier steering wheel – for the base Tucson and Elite, it also adds the LED exterior lighting (which again, should be standard across the range) and the 10.25-inch driver’s display from the Highlander. Other options include $595 premium paint, as well as $295 grey or brown leather upholstery for the Highlander.

The 2021 Hyundai Tucson targets key rivals such as the Toyota RAV4, Subaru Forester, Volkswagen Tiguan, Skoda Karoq, Nissan X-Trail, Mitsubishi Outlander and the Kia Sportage, which is the Tucson’s cousin.

2021 Hyundai Tucson pricing (plus on-road costs):

Active 2.0L FWD 6AT: $34,500

Elite 2.0L FWD 6AT: $39,000

Elite 1.6T AWD 7DCT: $43,000

Elite 2.D AWD 8AT: $45,000

Highlander 2.0L FWD 6AT: $46,000

Highlander 1.6T AWD 7DCT: $50,000

Highlander 2.0D AWD 8AT: $52,000

Metallic paint: $595

Grey or brown leather upholstery (Highlander): $295

The 2021 Hyundai Tucson is now on sale in Australia. Stay tuned to DiscoverAuto for the latest Hyundai news.

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Eagle eyed in the courtroom and when evaluating cars, Michal shares the DiscoverAuto team's passion for helping empower you to pick which car is right for you. Whether you want to know the most intricate details about a car's engine, or simply which car has the largest boot in its class, Michal has you covered.

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