DRIVEN: Hyundai Tucson N-Line adds sporty styling and all-wheel drive to the mix

Published Jun 2, 2023


Johannesburg - South Africa is not unique when it comes to how we view what our cars look like and what it says about us. Think VW R Line, Kia GT Line, Audi S Line, Peugeot GT Line and Mercedes AMG Line.

Hyundai comes to the party with their N-Line branding and in this case the new Tucson N Line.

Based on the popular Tucson they have tweaked the exterior and interior to give it a sportier appeal as well as changing the drivetrain, placing it above the Elite 2.0D as the flagship of the range.

Till now the four variations were only available in front wheel drive but the N Line has Hyundai’s HTRAC all-wheel drive system providing a welcome addition to the family.

It uses the same Hyundai 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine with 137kW and 416Nm coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission with a multi-mode system providing an electronic variable torque-split clutch with active torque control between the front and rear axles.

Under Normal mode it will mostly send power to the front while in Sport Mode the rear axle gets much of the attention. There’s also Eco and Smart Mode which takes your driving style into consideration and then adapts power as needed.

In addition to the standard modes it gets Terrain Mode with Snow, Mud and Sand, which Hyundai says should be able to get you to the top of Sani Pass.

Setting it apart from the normal garden variety Hyundai Tucson it has a larger grille with “elaborate parametric jewels” with N Line badging, a rectangular-shaped bumper with a taller and bigger air intake and black bezels framing the headlamps.

The rear is characterised by twin-tip tailpipes, large diffuser and an extended spoiler while the tailgate is electronically operated and 19-inch N Line alloys round off the package.

In front of the driver is a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and the centre of the dash sees an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system that’s wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible.

The very comfortable and supportive suede and leather N-branded sports seats are heated and cooled and like the rest of the cabin red stitching adds a sporty touch while a black headliner, sports steering wheel, leather gear shift knob and metal pedals make it a rather comfortable place to spend time behind the wheel.

As with its siblings the Tucson N Line’s drive quality is fantastic despite the larger wheels and lower profile tyres.

The engine refinement and gearbox pairing provides a smooth ride even over our potholed littered roads with reasonable steering feedback through tighter corners.

Despite the go-fast bits, being a diesel you’re not going to be smashing sprint records but rather arrive in sophisticated comfort.

It’s no slouch, mind you, with power delivered smoothly throughout the rev range. Passing slower traffic is easily done and it will get to 100km/h in 9.4 seconds and top out at 201km/h, more than ample considering the car’s intended purpose.

After driving a couple of hundred kilometres, fuel consumption stood at 6.5l/100km, right on the button for the numbers quoted by Hyundai.

It comes with a slew of safety features including Smart Cruise control, Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep and Lane Follow Assist, Fatigue Detection/Driver Attention Warning, Forward Collision Avoidance Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance Assist as well ISOFIX child seat attachments, driver and front passenger side and curtain airbags and side impact protection beams.

The Hyundai Tucson N Line flagship adds an impressive array of features and nice to haves on an already popular choice. The fact that the all wheel drive system provides a different option for lifestyle lovers gives it an added dimension for those keen to get away from the madding crowd.

The Hyundai Tucson N Line comes with Hyundai’s impressive seven-year/200 000km warranty (consisting of a five-year/ 150 000km manufacturer's warranty, supplemented by an additional two-year/50 000km manufacturer's powertrain warranty), a six-year/90 000km service plan and seven-year /150 000km roadside assistance.

Pricing: Tucson R2.0 N Line AWD: R799 900