I Hate The New Tucson But I Love Its New Dashboard

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Image for article titled I Hate The New Tucson But I Love Its New Dashboard
Photo: Hyundai

I am hardly a fan of the redesigned Hyundai Tucson. But I have found its saving grace, and that is its glorious dashboard.

Let me emphasize how much I don’t like the Tucson’s exterior design. I don’t like the thing’s face. At all. It’s clashing; both geometric and bulbous at once. The headlights are busy without good reason and the bottom of its front bumper looks disembodied.

OK. Its rear and hatch design are better and the taillights are neat, but you have to put your best foot forward, Hyundai. It’s more like it put its best foot inward: The dashboard of the Tucson has some pretty good design that borrows a little from the past and the future.

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It’s definitely a busy dashboard and I can’t imagine how much of the heavy U/I lifting is done (competently) by the huge touchscreen interfaces but it does a good job segmenting the information and at a cursory glance it’s a logical layout. You could even mistake it for a physical button interface. I know I did!

Image for article titled I Hate The New Tucson But I Love Its New Dashboard
Photo: Hyundai
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I think the reason it looks good is that it seems to be laid over a grid. The overall sensation is busy but never overloads your senses. I’m even a fan of the soft blue lightning, where I’m usually attracted to the amber in BMWs. (Technically, the Tucson’s gauges can be set to amber.)

The buttons sit in rows and columns and squares within squares. It works! Even the center console is laid out in a logical way and it reads easily. Going from left to right in order of importance. Shifter to the left and coffee to the right, all in the same square.

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Image for article titled I Hate The New Tucson But I Love Its New Dashboard
Photo: Hyundai

I disliked the speedometer screen at first because I felt it was small relative to the rest of the dash, but I’m coming around to it because I think it meshes well with the steering wheel. The wheel is odd with its flat bottom that isn’t quite a bottom. Again, I don’t understand Hyundai’s affinity for disembodied design, but it’s alright. When taken in all at once, the wheel and gauges look good.

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Image for article titled I Hate The New Tucson But I Love Its New Dashboard
Photo: Hyundai

All of this is to say that the Tucson’s dashboard is a pleasant surprise and a welcome one because that’s a driver’s point(s) of contact with a car. I think I’ll happily drive one of these now, but I’m still not doing any double takes after I park.