Hyundai Australia isn’t planning to make its incoming Tucson Hybrid a niche player, anticipating “healthy supply” of its electrified SUV.

    Speaking with CarExpert at the launch of the new Ioniq 5 N, product planning and development manager for Hyundai Australia Tim Rodgers said the Tucson Hybrid should be more readily available than its supply-constrained Kia Sportage Hybrid counterpart to better take on the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.

    “Obviously the market demand is very strong for a hybrid, and we’ve seen that with Kona for example – without any kind of marketing the hybrid was flying off shelves,” Mr Rodgers said.

    “It’s quite incredible what that powertrain brings for a car like the Tucson which is already so popular.”

    “I don’t want to promise the world because there will be a limit… but I’d like to think we’ve got healthy supply,” Mr Rodgers continued.

    “Let’s see how that plays out in reality, because the demand might just be overwhelming. But from what I know… we’re not going to be super constrained much like our cousins [at Kia].”

    Kia Australia recently detailed its two-strong Sportage Hybrid range, with monthly volume capped at around 200 units per month. Meanwhile, some 80 per cent of Toyota RAV4 sales are hybrids, and that does 2500-3000 units per month overall.

    It could mean we see Hyundai close the gap in the mid-sized SUV sales race with the introduction of a hybrid option.

    In 2023 the Tucson finished fourth behind the  Toyota RAV4 (29,627), Mitsubishi Outlander (24,263) and Mazda CX-5 (23,083) without an electrified option like the Toyota and Mitsubishi.

    Due mid-year, the updated Hyundai Tucson is expected to drop its diesel option with the introduction of hybrid, with Mr Rodgers confirming a “rationalisation” of the local powertrain lineup.

    “Much like what we’re doing on Santa Fe, we’ll change our strategy in terms of powertrain availability with the introduction of [the] Tucson Hybrid,” Mr Rodgers said.

    “[Hybrid] will have a certain role to play, and that means we’ll sort of rationalise the powertrain lineup.”

    Currently, the Hyundai Tucson is available in Australia with three powertrains: a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol with front-wheel drive (2WD), a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol with all-wheel drive (AWD), and a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel with AWD.

    Elsewhere in the world, the 169kW Tucson Hybrid and 195kW Tucson Plug-in Hybrid are also available. Only the former has been confirmed for Australia, and there’s potential for both 2WD and AWD versions of the Tucson Hybrid to make it Down Under pending supply – though local specifications are still to be confirmed.

    The Tucson HEV pairs a 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine with an electric motor, small li-ion battery and a six-speed automatic transmission. System power output is quoted at 169kW.

    You can read about the confirmed updates from the most recent global announcement here.

    MORE: Everything Hyundai Tucson

    James Wong

    James Wong is the Production Editor at CarExpert based in Melbourne, Australia. With experience on both media and manufacturer sides of the industry, James has a specialty for product knowledge which stems from a life-long obsession with cars. James is a Monash University journalism graduate, an avid tennis player, and the proud charity ambassador for Drive Against Depression – an organisation that supports mental wellness through the freedom of driving and the love of cars. He's also the proud father of Freddy, a 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI .

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