The capacitive touch cost-cutting zealots are losing the car interior war. The global 2025 Hyundai Tucson was just revealed, and it gets a radically new interior that banishes a bunch of distracting fake buttons on the path to increased user-friendliness. Oh, and Hyundai’s bestowed it with even sharper styling that ratchets up the futurism by a notch or two. Needless to say, I have a feeling this thing will do huge numbers.
The Tucson is a big deal for Hyundai. By the end of September, the marque had sold 153,180 of these compact crossovers in America, blowing the next-best-selling Elantra out of the water by nearly 50,000 units. If you parked each one of those Tucsons nose-to-tail, it would form a line of crossovers stretching from Indianapolis to Atlanta and then some. Mad to think about, isn’t it?
Before we get into what makes the facelifted Tucson so important, let’s talk a little about the exterior revisions. The new car’s styling is slightly more aggressive, with a pronounced lower air intake and eight daytime running lights like the Hyundai Santa Cruz. Needless to say, it’s a hot look, bolstering that cyborg arachnid face with a stronger chin.
In profile, changes aren’t especially obvious. Sure, the rear valence has been re-textured, the rear auxiliary lights take on a new form, and the wheels are new, but this is a subtle facelift in the grand scheme of things. Of course, it helps that the current Tucson still looks like the future, a true testament to the chops of Hyundai Chief Designer SangYup Lee and his team. Also worth mentioning is the presence of matte paint, a Hyundai hallmark. The brand’s been doing matte paint options on and off for a decade now, and its current process involves a matte clearcoat over a standard basecoat. [Ed Note: It seems a little out of place on a sensible car like the Tucson, but I admire the boldness. -DT].
However, the big news for this facelift is the interior. In case you don’t remember what the top-trim Tucson interior right now looks like, here’s a photo for context. Notice the complete lack of buttons and knobs for the infotainment and climate controls. While I love the diffused air vents and the flat dashtop, certain adjustments here are just straight-up hazards, and Hyundai’s only gone and fixed it for 2025.
What a change, right? While I’ll miss the swathes of fabric on the dashboard and the high-mounted diffused air vents, I can get behind this new setup. Sure, several climate controls are still capacitive touch, but the inclusion of temperature, volume, and tuning knobs is a massive improvement for user-friendliness. Oh, and all the infotainment keys are now buttons, a massive improvement over the old capacitive touch setup. In addition, the center console’s been redesigned for optimal storage, the electronic shifter has moved to the steering column, and the steering wheel no longer places metal near most points where you’d rest your hands. Can I get a hell yeah from my cold climate friends?
With the return of physical interior controls to the top trim, Hyundai is promising to make a great crossover even better. While this isn’t the U.S.-spec model shown, don’t be surprised if these updates make it to America for the 2025 model year, when the Tucson will likely continue to sell like condoms in an Olympic village. If everything goes according to plan, these should be everywhere soon.
(Photo credits: Hyundai, Thomas Hundal)
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