Is this Hyundai really a BMW rival?
Hyundai’s Tucson recently underwent a handy nip and tuck to bring it a little closer to the company’s latest brand face. Still among the sexier SUVs on sale, Tucson was always a looker thanks to its Peter Schreyer style, but now it gets a slightly more characterful smile among several tasteful changes to an already great looking SUV.
Other enhancements include those chrome on black alloys to keep it contemporary all-round — wheels like that have become all the range of late, haven’t they? Biggest news inside is that new floating 7-inch touchscreen lurking atop a much-improved double stitched soft touch dash — with all the kit and connectivity to go with the gadget of course, from Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to USB, Bluetooth and satellite navigation and maybe a sink too.
Packing a panoramic sunroof, power leather pews, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and more, this range topping 2.0D Elite gets healthy 131kW 400Nm 2-litre turbodiesel propulsion with ESP, VSP and Hill-start. Fire it up and there's a pleasant burble beyond the noticeable hush and drive it and this Hyundai delivers its repertoire in impressive style.There’s a solid, dependable feel to how it drives — as good as most of its premium rivals.
Tucson performs well enough too — not quite as quick as Teuton rivals like similarly packed X1 or Q3, but close enough to never really notice. Its 8-second 0-100 dash is around a second off those braggards, but does that really matter? Tucson 2.0d is frugal and clean burning enough too and dare we say, it looks quite a lot better than either of those two.
The reason we bring that Audi and BMW up is because Hyundai has priced this flagship model right in the middle of X1 and Q3 territory — there are, of course dearer and cheaper versions of those cars to choose from too and the Tucson range runs from here down, but is a Korean car worthy of consideration with cars like those around?
Well fifteen-thousand South African Tucson buyers can't be wrong — yes, there are areas where those rivals are better, but not many. Never mind this Hyundai does other things better and it ends up a pretty close call. All that's missing will be those rings or propeller and you’d be surprised how many people see them as a stigma, rather than a boon.
Of course Hyundai has also come a hell of a long way in its relatively short time as an automaker — this car is worlds apart of those early bargain-basement offerings and its price deserves to be closer to — or so closely undercut the best out of Bavaria,.
So even if the Hyundai Tucson 2.0D Elite has slipped beyond the R600K mark, we think its worth the money — especially if you are among those who consider the Hun two to carry a little too much of stigma… - Michele Lupini
Images - Giordano Lupini
ROAD TESTED: Hyundai Tucson 2.0D Elite
Engine:131kW 400Nm 1997cc turbodiesel I4
Drive: 8-speed automatic FWD
0-60km/h: 4.17 sec
0-100km/h: 8.89 sec
0-160km/h: 20.36 sec
400m: 15.6 sec @ 140km/h
120-160km/h: 9.66 sec
Fuel: 7.9 l/100km
CO2: 164 g/km
Warranty/Service 5y 150K/5y 90Kkm
LIST PRICE: R609K