A comfortable SUV

K Shivraj
Saturday, 17 June 2017

Hyundai Tuscon SUV offers a good level of luxury and is elegant but may not be as engaging to drive

Hyundai has relaunched the Tuscon SUV and it  comes in an all-new avatar. Named after a city in Arizona, the SUV, priced in the range of Rs 18.99 lakh and Rs 24.99 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi, is in its third generation. Hyundai did not bring the second generation Tuscon to India. Following the successful launch of Creta, Tuscon is placed between the Santa Fe and the Creta. 

A soft-roader that looks decidedly urban, the styling of Tuscon is in-line with Hyundai’s ‘Fluidic’ design sculpture. A massive three-slat grille makes up the front along with the stretched head lamps, and indents that house the fog lamps as well as the daytime running LEDs. The sides reveal a flowing shape that is a mixture of curves and subtle styling elements. 

A strong shoulder line, big wheel arches and the rising window line draw attention. Making up the well-rounded rear is a sharply raked windshield, which contributes to the vehicle’s soft-roader appeal. The slim and long tail lamps look similar to that of the Creta. They point at a strong family connection. The Tucson could be mistaken for a shrunken Santa Fe, and a grown-up Creta. Good proportions work in favour of the Tuscon. Riding on 17-inch dia wheels, the SUV looks elegant. 

The interior has a two-tone colour scheme, and looks a bit bland. With function over form, the quality of build is good. The familiar looking dash seems to strike a resemblance with that of the Santa Fe and Creta. Infotainment and AC control units are distinctly separate; the touchscreen is positioned higher up. The layout is logical like that of the Creta. 

The premium-looking seats are comfortable. Flaunting good equipment, including electrically adjustable seats, autonomous emergency braking and six airbags, the Tuscon offers good room for five people. Absence of third row means second row seating is quite comfortable. It has good width, and good amount of legroom and headroom. The seats are high set, and the boot space is generous. Flip the rear (60:40 split) seats, and the storage space created is simply cavernous. 

The 182bhp, 2.0-litre diesel engine with variable geometry turbo-diesel engine is mated to a six-speed auto transmission. Feeling refined, the engine ensures good response. Its ability to respond makes it feel peppy and easy to drive in the city. On the highway, the SUV picks up speed with ease. Overtaking is easy, and refinement levels impress even at high speeds. Three modes — Normal, Sport and Eco, alter the transmission behaviour, steering feel and throttle sensitivity. 

The 153bhp, 2-litre petrol engine, mated to a 6-speed manual, and a 6-speed auto transmission, offers good performance. It is not as sizzling as the diesel, but good nevertheless. Feeling highly refined, the petrol SUV, having three modes — Normal, Sport and Eco, in the automatic guise, does an easy job of driving in the city. The behavioural difference in either mode is not starkly different, and the SUV shifts gears smoothly. The gearbox may seem to get a bit confused when the accelerator is floored, the SUV, on the highway feels peppy and refined. Surprisingly, an amount of engine noise is felt at higher revs. 

Not as fast or quick as the diesel, the petrol Tuscon makes a good, relaxed cruiser. Exhibiting good body control, the Tuscon offers a supple ride. Ride is commendable as irregularities are handled well. The suspension, set a bit towards soft, has the SUV displayed some roll. It is well contained, but gives an impression that this SUV does not like to be hustled. The Flex Steer system alters the steering weight but stops short of improving the steering feel. 

Enthusiastic drivers may not find the Tuscon appealing; dynamically it is not as engaging as the CR-V. What it offers is a good level of luxury, refinement and a feel-good factor. 

Pros: Urban soft-roader appearance, equipment, comfort, ride, diesel performance
Cons: Not as engaging to drive, top variants expensive


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