A 4×4 for the price of a medium hatchback? Dean Mitchell tests the upgraded Hyundai Tucson to see whether the package is as good as it sounds
If you spot a new Hyundai Tucson out on the roads, you may be forgiven for mistaking it for a previous model Santa Fe, which has shrunk in the wash. Whilst the Santa Fe was no oil painting to look at, the Tucson is different, being more compact and appearing less bulky compared to some of the bigger 4×4’s available today.
When Hyundai chose to upgrade the Tucson range last year, they beefed up the engine, now developing 148bhp – up 10bhp on the old model, and added a two-wheel-drive manual gearbox option to join the automatic versions already present. Prices have always been keen, offering an off-roader for the same price as a medium hatchback, from the mainstream opposition.
Equipment levels on the entry-level models are impressive, with air conditioning, body-coloured bumpers and trim, auxiliary and USB audio connections, privacy glass, all-round electric windows and a host of other goodies which should make competing manufacturers sit up and take notice. The Tucson on test is the £18,310, range-topping Premium, which has everything already mentioned plus a full leather interior, electric sunroof, automatic lights, ESP and traction control, 4WD and electric folding door mirrors. Handily those mirrors fold away even after the ignition has been switched off. With 148bhp available under the right pedal, this propels the Tucson to 62mph in 12.0 seconds, and onto a top speed of 110mph. Peak torque is low down, meaning that pick-up is very good, and seemingly doesn’t seem to suffer from turbo-lag. This allows plenty of confidence when attempting to navigate a roundabout or join a motorway. Combined with the gutsy engine is a six-speed gearbox, which feels precise, and each gear was positive in its selection.
The leather interior exudes luxury and improves the whole driving experience. The centre console, however, is made of hard plastics, but its design is strong and bold lines made it look appealing. With rear seats that recline for added comfort, passengers will find the Tucson a comfortable place to travel in. Then there is the four-star EuroNCAP rating, along with a host of other safety features that include Electronic Stability Programme and Traction Control, plus anti-lockbrakes, an intelligent 4WD system, six airbags and childproof rear door locks.
RIVALS: Jeep Patriot 2.0 CRD Limited, Kia Sportage 2.0 CRDi Titan, Nissan Qashqai Tekna 2.0 dCi 4×4
- Engine: 1991cc, 4-cylinder, turbodiesel
- Gearbox: 6-speed manual
- Max Power: 148bhp at 3,800rpm
- Max Torque: 225lb ft at 1,800-2,500rpm
- Max Towing Weight: 1,600kg
- Combined Consumption: 39.8mpg
- CO2 Emissions (taxband): 187g/km (J)
- 0-62mph: 12.0secs
- Max speed: 110mph
- Insurance group: 11
Excellent levels of equipment, Tardis like interior, competitively priced with five year warranty
Reverse gear selection blocks cigarette lighter, lack of badge kudos