Milestones

Hyundai celebrates one millionth Tucson sale

Hyundai is celebrating a sales milestone with the Tucson.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

It's been 16 years since the first Hyundai Tucson arrived for sale in the U.S. Since then, it's evolved with each of the three generations design delivering what customers are looking for - a safe and reliable, budget-friendly compact SUV. It's named after Tucson, Arizona

First Generation (2004-2009)

2004 Hyundai Tucson

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The first generation of the Tucson competed directly with the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V, as it does today. Buyers could get it in their choice of two powertrains, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder (139 horsepower) or a 2.6-liter V6 (173 horsepower). A five-speed transmission was standard on the smaller engine and a four-speed automatic was available. V6 buyers all received the automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive was standard and four-wheel drive was available.

Hyundai offered the model in GLS, SE, and Limited trim levels by the time the generation was over though at the beginning it was a GL, GLS, GLS Limited grade ladder.

Standard equipment included air conditioning, six airbags, electronic stability control, a CD player, alloy wheels, keyless entry, and cloth upholstery. Upgrading your model got you access to premium features like a cassette player, body cladding, a six-disc CD player, automatic climate control, heated seats, and leather upholstery.

The SUV received accolades for its safety from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Similar praise was heaped by Consumer Reports for its reliability.

Second Generation (2010-2015)

2010 Hyundai Tucson

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The second-generation Tucson was unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. It received a complete overhaul, upping the amount of in-car tech and looks. The model retained its same focus on safety and reliability.

Hyundai sold the model in GL, GLS, and Limited trim levels. It was now available with either a 2.0-liter or 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that achieves 165 horsepower and 176 horsepower, respectively. GL models came standard with a manual transmission. A six-speed automatic transmission was available in the GL and standard in GLS and above SUVs.

The list of available features includes steering wheel-mounted audio controls, Bluetooth, navigation, and a standard iPod interface system.

In 2014, the model's engine lineup received a significant upgrade gaining more power and lower emissions. Eventually the list of features included LED tail lights, stylish alloy rims, interior appointments, a panoramic sunroof, vehicle dynamics control, proximity key, and a better audio system.

The SUV earned a Top Safety Pick designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Third Generation (2015- present)

2019 Hyundai Tucson

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The third-generation Tucson was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 2015. For the U.S. market, Hyundai found that variety was the model's key to success. They offered the Tucson in six trim levels (SE, Night, Eco, Sport, SE Plus, and Limited) at launch but the names and features changed over the course of the generation.

Standard equipment included a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that was paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, 17-inch alloy wheels, a 5-inch infotainment touch screen, CD player, Bluetooth, rearview camera, and iPod integration. The long list of available features included LED headlamps, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Blue Link services, navigation, premium interior surfaces, an ionizer, and automatic dimming rearview mirror.

A turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine is available. Both engines variants are available with all-wheel drive.

Hyundai is expected to introduce the next-generation Tucson soon.

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The 2022 Lexus ES will debut next week.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

The meat and potatoes of the Lexus sedan lineup, the ES, is due for a refresh, and it will get one. The 2022 Lexus ES will be shown publicly for the first time this Sunday as part of the festivities of the Shanghai auto show.

While the photo doesn't tell a lot, there's some things you can bet on in the 2022 ES. For starters, look for all the improvements that the auto has gotten over the last two years to carry over into the new model. That includes the addition of all-wheel drive to the lineup and standard blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert.

The ES Black Line may not make its way to the 2022 version of the midsize sedan. Generally, blacked out editions are available only at the tail end of a model run ahead of a refresh or generational redesign. However, the blacked out elements could become available as part of a package.

The headlight photo that Lexus has offered as a teaser shows a housing that is not dissimilar to the one that the Lexus IS wears. However, the daytime running light is on the bottom here, instead off the top. Like the IS, there are strong hood lines.

At the back, the preview video shows a vehicle that is very similar to the current model. It's taillights, a strong chrome line that runs the width of the year, and rear lip spoiler all look mostly same as before.

As for what to expect underneath the body of the car, there's not a lot of indication from the teasers, which leads one to believe that's where the biggest changes are coming. There's a good chance that we'll finally say goodbye to the Lexus touch pad in favor of a touch screen display that's within a comfortable distance.

It's also likely that Lexus will fine tune the dynamics of the ES in a similar fashion to how the Lexus IS got more performance-focused driving dynamics in its latest redo.

Stay tuned for more specifics are the curtain is pulled back on April 19 in China (April 18 in the U.S.).

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The Hyundai Santa Cruz will debut next week but ahead of that, the design department is giving a closer look at the truck in a new video.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

We'll see the Hyundai Santa Cruz in full for the first time when it debuts on April 15 but ahead of time, Hyundai is setting the stage for expectations with the model. To help with that, the company released a video today featuring the truck's design manager discussing the inspiration for the utility vehicle.

The quick one-minute video is hosted by Brad Arnold, design manager at Hyundai North America. The Southern California native is the leader of the team that created the Santa Cruz, a project that began years ago. He's joined in the video by Senon Franco, the lead designer at Hyundai North America.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America
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As Arnold explains in the video, the design of the Santa Cruz started with a simple premise: "this is not a typical truck". Based on how Arnold describes the capabilities of the truck, that sounds true. It is meant to "thrive in dense urban environments and the open outdoors". One could argue that no full-size truck on the market today does that. Neither do most of the midsize models, though their sizing is better for that landscape.

Arnold says that the Santa Cruz is "small in size", a call that serves to remind viewers that the Santa Cruz isn't a big truck. It's more similar in size to the forthcoming Ford Maverick, a small truck that slots below the Ranger in Ford's lineup.

However, the company isn't even calling it a truck. The new model is being referred to as the Santa Cruz Sport Adventure Vehicle. This sounds a lot like how Kia is referring to the new generation of its Carnival minivan as a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV).

Arnold says that the design is meant to make the Santa Cruz not look like a truck. Rather, it's supposed to look "like a Santa Cruz". Part of that includes the front end, which looks like a carryover from the fascia of the 2022 Hyundai Tucson.

Among the other secrets Hyundai is giving away ahead of the product's reveal is that there will be more than one "efficient" powertrain, a flexible bed, "cutting-edge" connectivity, and all-wheel drive.

Watch the video for yourself below.

Design Inspiration | 2022 Santa Cruz | Hyundai www.youtube.com

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