This seems confusing but it actually makes sense.
When you think of a halo car, you likely think of something seriously luxurious, or seriously vast. For Lexus, it was the gorgeous LFA. For Maserati, it's the new MC20. For Elon Musk's company, it will be the upcoming Tesla Roadster. For Hyundai, it's the Tucson. Why is a family SUV being touted as the halo car for the Korean company and not its biggest SUV or sportiest model? Well, first we need to discuss what a halo car is. Beyond that, we need to accept that Hyundai is very unlike other automakers, making its own rules and forging its own path.
A halo car is the one that a manufacturer chooses as the perfect symbol of everything it wants its customers to see from the brand. It's the vehicle that details its best efforts in design, innovation, and often performance. However, for Hyundai, it hasn't been around for decades like Ferrari or BMW. No, Hyundai is a relatively new company, and as a result, it doesn't have a back catalog of past production heroes or famous race cars. Thus, the brand has decided that it needed to choose a vehicle that would be instantly recognizable as a Hyundai while also offering some of its best technology, design, and luxury features.
Speaking to WhichCar, SangYup Lee, Hyundai's Head of Global Design, says: "That luxury side we've got covered by Genesis. Hyundai is still a volume brand but a volume brand can give a more premium touch to bring special value in the volume market," he said. "This is the intention and what we want to create in Hyundai."
Essentially what he's saying is that Hyundai wants to portray itself as accessible to the masses while also offering the luxury and design that those who can afford to spend more expect. With a sporty Tucson N on the way, the performance aspect will be addressed too - all in a package that is relatively affordable and highly popular.