Test Drive: Hyundai Tucson – Tough and tautPOSTED BY Amirul Hazmi ON 07 April 2016
BIGGER isn’t always better. For the market of active metropolitan family, a vehicle that sits higher than normal sedan and not so thirsty as an off-roader, a small two-wheel-drive SUV makes perfect sense.
Hyundai, following the trend of major automakers, has introduced its small the Tucson more than a decade ago.
Now in its third-generation, the new Tucson appears to be bigger in every diemnsion than its predecessor, it is packed with even more modern features and sophistication.
The LED daytime running light and light-tube strips on its parking light also works in the vehicle presence.
As the Tucson complements the dynamism of city driving, the sloping line across the doors gives the car a muscular and solid look, as it is ready to respond to driver’s command to tackle the open road.
The rear combination lights features an elegant design, and the sportiness made clear with the rather high position.
Moving to the interior, the car that this writer sampled is opted with a bright red leather seats. The option is available only for Executive variant. Other than the seats, the red leather highlights are featured across the upper panels on the door.
While red interior is not favoured to some people, this writer had no issue with it (probably due to familiarization from the interior of E92 M3).
The steering and dashboard has soft touches that indicates the quality and maturity in the Tucson.
The new Tucson is only available in front-wheel-drive (FWD) setup for Malaysian market, although there are all-wheel-drive (AWD) options for the other market. Malaysian buyers who want a more serious AWD SUV from Hyundai would have to go for the bigger Santa Fe.
A smooth six-speed automatic transmission channels the engine output to front axles. Hyundai claims that the transmission is now helps in fuel economy and reducing CO2 emitted.
In front of the driver, a nicely-designed steering wheel with nifty soft touch. Although there are quite plenty of buttons within reach of driver’s thumb, the buttons for cruise control, volume, infotainment menus and phone connectivity are all in an intuitive layout.
Power from the engine is not as punchy as modern turbocharged engine, this writer feels the power delivery quite traditional – smooth with peak power at the higher range of engine revs.
The Drive Mode features three different settings; Normal, Sport, and Eco, manages the engine response and behaviour according to driver’s mood and driving conditions.
The difference are not so apparent though, but giving much attention when tapping the throttle, the sharpness differs and could impact fuel consumption as well.
Riding on a decent touring tyres, the Continental Max Contact 5, the Tucson feels stable at high speed, although the suspension could be firmer.
The rear seats are recline, providing passengers with an extra degree of comfort that makes significant difference on long journeys. The legroom and headroom are pretty ample too.
When folded, the rear seats add up to 488-litre of total cargo space, with 1,094mm wide opening of the tailgate makes loading and unloading more convenient.
On safety department, the Tucson is equipped with ISOFIX child anchors, front and rear parking assist system (PAS), downhill brake control (DBC) and hill start assist control (HSAC), apart from six airbags and vehicle stability management (VSM).
It carries a bold, modern and active look while giving an old-school yet fun driving experience.
Hyundai also offers “Safe Drive”, a 24/7 roadside assist to provide assistance for the owners in case of accidents, breakdown or parts malfunction. The Tucson is also offered with a five years warranty or 300,000km assurance, whichever comes first.
Specifications of the Hyundai Tucson:
Engine: 2.0-litre MPi
Gearbox: 6-speed automatic
Suspension: McPherson strut (front), multi-link (rear)
Max Power: 153-hp at 6,200rpm
Max Torque: 192Nm at 4,000rpm
Safety features: Six airbags, ABS, ESC, HAC, DBC, VSM, ISOFIX child anchors
By: Amirul Hazmi