Having expanded its Tucson family car range in South Africa with the launch of 1.7- and 2.0-litre turbodiesel derivatives in late 2016, Hyundai has added a beefed-up Sport version of its 2016/17 #CarsAwards Family Car finalist
Hyundai’s ix35 and its predecessor, which was also named the Tucson, made the Korean brand a force to be reckoned with in the compact SUV segment. While most brands offer reasonably good budget and family vehicles, it's quite an accomplishment to produce an SUV that’s premium enough to woo the high-income earners, yet affordable enough for the masses. The Tucson arrived in 2005 and proved a success, as did its successor, which arrived in 2009.
The all-new Hyundai Tucson is a smart-looking SUV with exterior styling that looks more "European" than "Korean". There are 8 versions, ranging from the entry-level Hyundai Tucson 2.0 Nu Premium with either a manual 6-speed gearbox or automatic 6-speed transmission to the flagship R2.0 Elite automatic.
Space and features
The interior of the new Tucson is quite spacious with a claimed luggage capacity of 513 litres and utility space of 1 503 litres (with the rear seats folded down). The centre console gets a smart-looking six-speaker audio system that boasts Bluetooth connectivity as well as USB and auxiliary inputs.
Executive models sport electrically-adjustable front seats, dual-zone climate control (including a cooled glovebox), cruise control and automatically folding side mirrors, whereas top-spec Elite models further benefit from blind-spot detection, rear park distance control as well as a panoramic sunroof (a large infotainment screen that can host a new-spec satnav system is optionally available).
The Tucson's safety specification is impressive too. It comes with blind spot detection, vehicle stability management, rear cross traffic alert and 6 airbags (driver, passenger, side and curtain units).
Engines and transmission
The 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder motor from the Hyundai Veloster Turbo is lifted straight from the sporty coupe’s body and fitted in the Tuscon. Packing 130 kW and 265 Nm, this motor promises performance that’s not affected by the higher altitude (and thinner air) of Johannesburg and Pretoria. You can choose either a 6-speed manual or 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, the latter of which features 2 driving modes; Eco and Sport.
The Tucson Sport, however, is slightly more powerful. The derivative features a body kit comprising front bumper, side skirts and rear diffuser was imported, while Tiger Wheel & Tyre supplies an alloy wheel specifically for this product; the blacked-out 19-inch alloys definitely look the part.
The Tucson Sport derivative is instantly recognisable by virtue of its 19-inch alloys and quartet of exhaust tips.
Finally, there needs to be rortier noise to round off this "performance" Tucson and, to that end, a 4-pipe sports exhaust has been fitted. In terms of peak power outputs, you're now looking at numbers of 150 kW and 295 Nm, which are respectable figures. In comparison with the standard model, those are increases of 20 kW and 30 Nm. As with the standard car, power reaches the front wheels through a 6-speed manual gearbox.
The other petrol engine in the range is a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated 4-cylinder petrol engine that delivers 115 kW and 196 Nm. Hyundai claims this motor will consume just 8.9L/100km on the combined cycle with a manual transmission, while its turbocharged cousin's consumption should be 8.5 L/100km in conjunction with the dual-clutch ‘box and all-wheel drive.
The Tucson range comes equipped with full-sized spare wheels and utlity space increases by virtue of the 60/40 split rear seatback.
Two turbodiesel engines were added to the lineup in November 2016. The 1.7-litre turbodiesel has been uprated from the previous generation ix35. It now produces 85 kW and 280 Nm of torque.Claimed fuel consumption on this unit, when connected to a 6-speed manual gearbox is 6.8L/100 km.
The top-spec turbodiesel engine is a 2.0-litre 4 cylinder unit. Its peak outputs are claimed at 131 kW and 400 Nm which should translate into generous overtaking and towing ability. The derivative is only available with a 6-speed automatic transmission.
Hyundai Tucson prices in South Africa (June 2017)
|2.0 Premium||R 379 900|
|2.0 Premium auto||R 399 900|
|1.6 Turbo Executive||R 449 900|
|1.7CRDi Executive||R 449 900|
|2.0 Elite auto||R 469 900|
|1.6 Turbo Executive Sport||R 499 900|
|1.6 Turbo 4WD Elite||R 534 900|
|2.0CRDi Elite||R 539 900|
All models from the Hyundai Tucson range have a 5-year/150 000 km manufacturer’s warranty, enhanced by the additional new groundbreaking 7-years/200 000 km drivetrain warranty as standard. Roadside assistance for 5 years or 150 000 km and a 5-year/90 000 km service plan with service intervals at 15 000 km are also included.
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