The current-generation Hyundai Tucson isn't old. Revealed in 2020, it technically launched as a 2022 model-year vehicle. As such, it's strange to see camouflaged versions already in development but Hyundai is dead set on keeping its popular SUV fresh. And now, we have a better idea of the planned changes for the next iteration.
That's because these photos catch a test vehicle without heavy camouflage at the front. That's different from our previous Tucson sightings, and we immediately see something quite interesting. Unless there's more trickery taking place with false panels behind white camo wrap, it sure looks like the grille is smaller. This would be difficult to notice if a front number plate wasn't attached, as we don't think the size is much smaller. The upper portion of the fascia between the grille and lower intake looks larger, with more real estate above the plate compared to the current model.
Gallery: Hyundai Tucson Facelift Spy Photos - Less Camo
This could simply be a trick of the camo wrap, but there is a precedent for Hyundai making such a change. The automaker unveiled the facelifted Elantra sedan earlier this year with a much smaller grille, and the same holds true for the latest Sonata. A smaller grille for the Tucson could bring it closer in line with the four-door family. It's also worth noting that both sedans received facelifts shortly after debuting a new generation. We could well be seeing the same timeframe happening here.
While the Elantra and Sonata received extensive facelifts, we aren't expecting such drastic changes for the Tucson. The outline of the large lower intake looks the same as the current model, and the corner-mounted lights are a match as well. We can also still see lights integrated into the Tucson's grille at the upper corners. For better or worse, its face stands out among the plethora of SUVs available to buyers, and current sales are trending well above last year's level. We suspect Hyundai doesn't want to rock that boat too hard.
That's why we think heavy camouflage covers on the doors and rear are largely just for show. A close look suggests angled body lines flaring out on the rear doors to the quarter panels are still there. The rear fascia with side exhaust tips is already offered in some markets, and the portions of taillights we can see closely resemble those currently in use. If anything, minor design updates to the rear fascia and light housings could be planned.
Being a mid-cycle refresh, we aren't expecting changes to the powertrain. Covers on the dash are visible in this photo set, so updates to interior components are likely. A larger touchscreen is always a possibility, which often requires significant reworking of the dash to make it fit.
Hyundai still doesn't list a 2024 Tucson on its US website, but this is probably a 2025 model. As is often the case, it will likely debut first for South Korea where it could be a 2024 SUV, with an official North American launch coming next spring.