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Say howdy to the 2025 Hyundai Santa Cruz and Tucson

Upgrades bring smarter tech and increased capability to Hyundai’s best-sellers

Published: 27 Mar 2024

Hyundai has pulled the sheets off of the refreshed Tucson and Santa Cruz at the New York International Auto Show. We realize that’s a lot of US geography to throw at you in one sentence, but we promise two of those places are actually cars.

The biggest changes come to the Santa Cruz, the Korean automaker’s ute-like ‘sport adventure vehicle’ that’s been popular with drivers despite looking like an over-engineered house slipper. The refresh brings exterior changes to give the utility vehicle an even more aggressive look, as well as an updated interior to match.

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Fitted in the redesigned interior is a new panoramic display that contains a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and an audio-video navigation system of the same size. Thankfully, HVAC and other inputs retain physical buttons and switches.

Powering the updated ute-like is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 191hp and 181lb ft of torque fitted to an eight-speed automatic transmission as standard. Those looking for more grunt can opt for the turbocharged version of the same engine that brings the power output to 281 horsepower and 311lb ft. This unit is married to an eight-speed dual clutch gearbox with paddle shifters for sportier engagement. Both units power an all-wheel drive system by default.

Included in the changes is a host of new tech tweaks such as wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto integration, capacity for over-the-air updates, an in-car payment system that should make drive-thru visits a breeze, and a fingerprint scanner so Hyundai have your bank details and your biometrics!

Not to be outdone, the Hyundai Tucson was also on hand showing off a glow-up of its own. A new grille, redesigned front and rear fascias and a fresh set of alloy wheels give the Tucson the pop it needs to stand out from the wildly saturated SUV market.

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A revitalized interior brings a similar panoramic display shown in the Santa Cruz, along with a number of handy physical switches along the center stack.

In terms of powertrain options, the new Tucson offers up a 2.5-liter four-cylinder as its standard power plant, good for 187hp and 178lb ft. Go for the hybrid and the Tucson is saddled with a turbocharged 1.6-liter that squeezes out 231hp with the combined electrics.

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Plug-in Tucsons use the same engine paired with a 72kW electric motor and a 13.8kWh battery pack. This version of the Hyundai gives up 268hp and 258lb ft. Range and fuel economy details for any version have yet to be announced.

Like the Santa Cruz, the Tucson nets a number of tech features like the aforementioned fingerprint scanner for secure, key-free access, adaptive cruise control and a swathe of enhanced safety features. Drive modes now include an all-new “baby mode” to reduce sharp accelerations and smooth out driver inputs.

Both new Hyundais will be on display at this year’s New York International Auto shows and will be in dealer lots this summer.

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