You remember the Tucson name from 2005 when Hyundai sang praises of on an SUV with dynamics of a sedan. Now at the time when everybody questioned its butch looks, and not many were interested in driving dynamics, the Tucson received a cold reception from the populous. Eventually Hyundai pulled it out of the market and did not even bring the second generation to the country waiting for the market to mature. It’s come back definitely sounds like a fair deal in 2016 when SUV market has become the hub of attraction. The new 2016 Tucson is been excellently positioned between the compact Creta and the huge Santa Fe. This new SUV comes as a feature packed product with powerful engines and strong after sales backup.
It’s amazing how Hyundai gave that tiny underline tough image of the older version and covered it all with handsome lines of Fluidic 2.0 design theory. This one is brawny enough to gobble long highway miles, splash around in a dirty slush pit and after a wash classy to be turned up at an embassy cocktail dinner. The new Tucson looks better than anything in the segment currently with its big muscular body and just enough dash of chrome and fancy looking lights both front and rear. The 18 inch diamond cut alloy wheels are the nicest looking wheels around at the moment. Hyundai has added LED static bending and positioning lights which aid night driving significantly.
Walk towards the car with the key in your pocket and you are greeted by puddle lamps and door handles which have pocket lighting in them for convenience. The 8 inch central touch-screen adorns the centre of the dashboard which is very legible even on the move, so you get to see navigation very clearly. Audio system has 10-speakers which dispense clear audio and can be connected to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. To make it even easier the system also uses voice commands for basic functioning. The entire cabin has been made using good quality plastics with careful application of silver and piano black touches. Though the interior could have been made more premium and better looking, but what you get for your money is sufficient for most.
Seats are comfortable and supportive at the front with the driver’s seat getting electronic adjustments at the push of a button. Come to the rear seats and you get surprised by the amount of space available in terms headroom and knee-room. Even if you want to carry a third passenger in the rear, there is enough space for the entire row to get comfortable. There is an air-conditioning vent at the rear that throws enough cool air for rear passengers to be cool on very hot days.
Engine & performance
Both2.0 petrol and diesel options are available for the Tucson with automatic and manual transmissions. The diesel engine which we drove produced a lot of meaty torque and was frugal as well. For manual variant you require very less downshifting as 400Nm means it will keep you pulling from as low as 1,750rpm. Power delivery is very smooth and the mid-range is enough to give you a strong shove in the seats under hard acceleration. But it is addictive and you will be corrupted into pushing it on open roads for that longitudinal g-force sensation.
The petrol version on the other hand is a sweet sounding refined engine that fun to drive. It produces about 154bhp of maximum power and 193Nm of peak torque. But because it is a feature packed SUV with a lot of equipment making it heavier, it is advisable to go for the diesel variant as it puts out more usable torque.
Ride & handling
Ride quality is reasonably steadfast and even riding on these 18 inch wheels considerably smooth. All that noise about more than 50 percent high tensile steel pays dividends here. The handling is stable even when pushed around corners. Tucson also manages to minimise body roll, but be advised at civil speeds. No SUV can have zero body roll as it sits high from the ground. Brakes are discs all around and work brilliantly in bringing the vehicle to a stop stably.
Safety & equipment
Safety in cars is very important for today’s buyers and Hyundai has addressed this with attention. Around the cabin you get 6-airbags, it has stability program and anti-lock brakes with electronic brake distribution. Also driver assist features like hill-start assist, downhill brake control and parking assist on the front and rear adds to assurance. The tail gate is electrically opened and closed at the push of a button. For some reason if it is useful to you, the extent of the opening of the tailgate can be adjusted as well. Another shout-out goes out for the sound isolation; it is very quiet inside the cabin that a soft conversation can be heard across.
So in a nutshell what we have seen in our short stint with this 2.0 litre diesel is that for somebody eyeing to buy a great looking SUV loaded with features and comes with a splattering of torque, the new Tucson fits the bills very well indeed. Tucson comes with 3 year unlimited mileage warranty which also includes 30,000km free maintenance. And by any chance your car develops a car in the middle of your travel; don’t panic as Tucson 3 year road side assistance with it.