New mid-sized Korean SUV nearly ready to storm in as latest Toyota RAV4 rival, but Australian timing still unclear.
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UPDATE: The 2021 Hyundai Tucson has now been revealed. See our full story here.

The new-generation 2021 Hyundai Tucson has been spied testing again this week, the first time since it was properly previewed at last year's Los Angeles motor show.

Although the new Tucson had been caught in camouflage earlier in 2019, it was LA's Vision T plug-in hybrid concept that offered the best look yet at what we can expect from the new mid-sized SUV.

And, as spy photos both last year and this week make clear, the new Tucson will have plenty in common with its concept progenitor – at least in the styling stakes.

As our spy photos show, that will at least mean a headlight and grille arrangement that lines up closely with the unified look worn by the Vision T, in a style now adopted by a number of brands.

Sharp angles and harshly creased character lines dominate the rest of the new model's styling, with deep cuts through the profile and bold box-style arches at each corner.

As with the current model, launched in 2015, the new Tucson will showcase a tapered roofline and narrow glasshouse.

Given the electrification focus of the Vision T concept, the new Tucson may launch with at least a hybrid option, borrowing the 143kW 2.0 four-cylinder hybrid powertrain from the 2020 Sonata.

Of course, Hyundai is unique in offering hybrid, plug-in hybrid and full-electric versions of its Ioniq hatch, and we could see the same path taken by the new Tucson.

Even if it arrives with only a hybrid option beyond the petrol (and possibly diesel) options, the new Tucson would prove a popular alternative to the monumentally popular RAV4 Hybrid.

In PHEV (plug-in hybrid EV) form, the new Tucson would offer a point of difference beyond the RAV4 Hybrid, but with a necessary higher price point attached.

When will the new Tucson come to Australia?

Timing for the new model's unveiling is still to be confirmed, but a mid- to late 2020 date would line up with the lifecycle of the current model.

In that case, an early 2021 debut in Australia would seem likely.