The drive’s engaging

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Hyundai Tucson, which had a facelift recently, has not changed much in terms of external appearance and cabin space, but performs well

From the time it was launched in India, the Tucson found good market acceptance. Priced upwards of 

Rs 20 lakhs (Rs 25.44 lakhs ex-showroom Delhi to be precise), the new model comes in only one trim — top-spec GLS with all-wheel drive. Not marking a drastic change in terms of looks or the way the cabin is done up, the 2018 model is more a facelift than an all-new offering. 
An urban soft-roader

Flaunting an external appearance that is influenced by Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design, and is no different from the earlier model, the Tucson looks stylish. Seeming to pick-up styling cues from the bigger Santa Fe rather than the smaller Creta, the prominent design element at front are the dual-barrel LED units and signature hexagonal grille flanked by swept-back headlights. A horizontal plane seems to visually divide the lower half of the bumper. It splits the fog lamps and the day time running LEDs. Walk over, and the sharply rising window-line draws attention.

Riding on 18-inch dia wheels, the SUV comes across as an urban soft-roader. An amount of dynamism is dialled by the flared wheel arches. The rear consists of a tailgate flanked by slim wrap-around LED lights. 

Good cabin space
Inside, there’s good supply of space. The dash is a mix of beige and black. The dual-zone HVAC and infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen make up the centre console. The infotainment system has both, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The instrument console has dials that are easy to read. A 4.2-inch screen has trip computer and other info.

The multi-function steering wheel, seats, armrest and the transmission knob are leather-wrapped. There’s a fair amount of cubby holes in the dash and in various other places to store stuff. The front seats are comfy and have good amount of room. The driver’s seat is power adjustable.

Legroom at the rear is quite impressive, and the rear seat back (60:40 split) reclines for more comfort. Some may find the rear seating a bit low however. The boot offers 513-litre worth of storage space. Drop either of the split seat, and it increases further. The boot can be accessed with the auto-opening feature such that the tailgate pops open when stood near it with the key. Equipped with good kit, the Tucson features six airbags, ABS, EBD, ESC, brake assist, downhill brake control and parking sensors along with a reverse camera. 

Punchy engine
The 185bhp, 2-litre turbo-diesel engine routes power through a six-speed auto transmission and a front-axle biased all-wheel drive. A 4WD lock (with switch on the console) does give the option to split the torque 50:50 between the front and the rear, and the Tucson does an easy job of going up or coming down the off-road paths with an amount of loose soil thrown in. On the road, the AWD system helps the SUV to exert its power more effectively than the earlier front-wheel drive model. The front tyres do not slip during take-off. The punchy engine makes for a strong pull and an enjoyable drive. Performance is strong, and aided by good refinement levels.

Better body control
A slight tweak of the system has ensured that the new Tucson exhibits better body control. It feels more poised in corners, and feels better planted at speeds. The steering weighs up well, but is not enough to make for an engaging experience. If the ride feels a bit stiff at low speeds, it turns pliant with an increase in speed. When compared to its competitors like the Volkswagen Tiguan, the new Tucson does its job well. And, there’s a new Jeep model coming soon. If this means fierce competition, Tucson’s track record will be a big advantage. It is also backed by Hyundai’s expansive network. But will these two be enough to draw potential buyers? The Tucson has its work cut out.  Review


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