Update: The 7-seat Hyundai Tucson (Hyundai ix35) chassis mule has been spied on test in South Korea.
5 September 2018 -
Days after reports speaking of a 7-seat next-gen Hyundai Tucson for India, spy shots of a three-row Hyundai SUV have surfaced online. However, these spy shots are of a test mule based on the China-only Hyundai ix35.
The new Hyundai ix35 was introduced last April built on the second-gen Tucson's hardware. It appears that Beijing-Hyundai is working on a long-body version of it next. Spy shots show a stretched wheelbase, but the elongated C-pillar is just a hack to get component testing started. Expect a new top hat with Hyundai's new design language on the deluxe Tucson variant.
Hyundai has a different plan for the competitive three-row SUV in markets like India where the Santa Fe is deemed expensive by the costing teams. It plans to launch the fourth generation Tucson in 5- and 7-seat versions, the same way Volkswagen and Honda offer the Tiguan (7-seat version: Tiguan Allspace/Tiguan L) and CR-V respectively internationally.
The current Hyundai Tucson, which starts at 18.30 lakh*, is assembled in India. Moved by the spurt in demand for C-SUVs Mahindra XUV500 and the Jeep Compass, HMIL has reportedly convinced the HQ to manufacture the fourth generation model in the country, and that should lead, firstly, to lower pricing. Featuring a design inspired by global models like the Kona, the fourth-gen Tucson will arrive in India between 2020 and 2023, serving as an option to Hyundai Creta owners who wish to upgrade.
The bigger Hyundai ix35 could go on sale in China sometime in 2019.
[Image Source 1: autohome.com.cn]
[Image Source 2: bobaedream.co.kr]