Why would I buy it?
- Premium interiors
- Loaded with features
- Refined and punchy diesel
Why I would avoid it?
- Expensive offering
- No seven-seat option
What is it?
8 / 10
The Hyundai Tucson has been around for a long time now and even though it hasn’t been a big seller, Hyundai has made sure it is constantly updated. Hyundai still believes that there is a market for a premium five-seater SUV and even more so now with consumers looking to spend their hard-earned money. The latest Tucson aims to offer everything a buyer can expect from a premium SUV. So how good is the new Tucson? Let’s take a look.
What’s new inside and what's on the feature list?
8 / 10
If the exteriors weren’t enough, the Tucson’s interiors are just phenomenal. The low-slung dashboard not only allows for a clear view of the road but is also designed beautifully. It’s an amazing amalgamation of straight lines and curves along with top-notch quality. The dual-tone dashboard gets piano black and aluminium inserts that look and feel rich. There is also a cloth-like insert running across the dash that adds to the premium factor. The highlight of the dashboard is the vent-like design that blends into the massive infotainment system. Now, these aren’t just for show but are actually vents for letting out diffused air. The 10.25-inch infotainment system and the aircon controls make it look like a giant screen.
Even the 10.25-inch digital cluster sits below the dashboard line and looks fantastic. Details are something that Hyundai has worked very hard on and it shows, giving the interiors of the Tucson a very premium feel. Even the seats get details like a metallic insert which looks great. Apart from looking good, the seats are also large and comfortable and offer excellent support.
The same applies to the rear bench too and the Tucson is as spacious as a five-seater can be. Even the boot at 540 litres is huge and can accommodate even more once the seats are folded with just the tug of a lever. On the features front, the Tucson is loaded and how. The 10.25-inch touch screen infotainment system is linked to a banging Bose audio system and gets wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You also get a Home-to-Car Alexa and google voice assistant, multi-air mode, powered driver seat along with heating and ventilation for the front seats, panoramic sunroof, powered tailgate, wireless phone charging, and sixty-plus connected car features. On the safety front, along with level 2 ADAS, the Tucson also gets six airbags, ESC, Hill decent and assist control, a 360-degree camera, and more.
What’s it like to drive?
7.5 / 10
The Hyundai Tucson will be available with two engine choices, a 2-litre petrol or a 2-litre diesel with us driving the latter. The R 2.0 engine is carried over albeit with a small bump in power. The Tucson now makes 185BHP and 416Nm of torque. Power is transmitted to all four wheels in the all-wheel drive variant or the front wheels in the two-wheel drive variant via the same 8-speed, torque converter gearbox. Now Hyundai diesels have always been a little noisy on the outside, but the Tucson sounds pretty quiet and it feels even more refined from the inside.
On the move, the two-litre engine is extremely linear. I was expecting a sudden surge in power but there was none. Just a clean sweep of the tacho across the powerband. The Tucson is quicker than it feels with the refinement and linear power delivery masking all the drama. It gets to three-digit speeds very quickly and one has to show restraint on the right foot or end up paying a speeding fine. The eight-speed gearbox also works well but at times it does hesitate while upshifting especially when one is really burying the throttle. While you can use the gearbox in tip-tronic mode, we’re surprised Hyundai hasn’t offered paddle shifters in the Tucson. But driving in everyday conditions, the 416Nm of torque means there is power in abundance for all situations. Overtaking is as easy as pie and the Tucson sits comfortably, cruising at triple-digit speeds. The linear power delivery means it’s extremely easy to drive in town too and you don’t end up almost rear-ending the vehicle in front when the turbo spools up. The Tucson also gets drive modes and three traction modes. The traction modes work well with the HTRAC all-wheel drive system which gives the Tucson the capability to explore the roads less travelled as well. Since this was a first drive we had very limited time to explore the Tucson’s ride and handling.
The Tucson does not boast a fancy suspension set-up. McPherson struts and a multi-link with coil spring make up the Tucson’s suspension. At slow speeds, the Tucson feels very compliant and takes in bumps very well, however, try going faster over the bad sections and the suspension gets noisy and the thuds do filter in. This isn’t your body-on-ladder SUV that is made to pummel the potholes into submission. The Tucson’s handling comes across as predictable and being a monocoque set-up, the it is made to munch the blacktop. It feels extremely stable at high speeds and the long sweeping corners are something that the Tucson enjoys. The steering feels light in normal mode but becomes considerably heavy when one switches into sport mode. While there isn’t much feel, the steering instils more than enough confidence to drive the Tucson hard. We will get a better idea of the Tucson’s ride and handling when we get it for a proper road test. The Tucson also gets a level 2 ADAS suite which includes forward collision avoidance, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, and more.
How does it compare and what’s the price?
7 / 10
First, let’s take a look at what the new Tucson compares against. For a while, Tucson has had no direct competition, but its closest competitors are the higher variants of the Jeep Compass and the Citroen C5 Aircross which comes in diesel only. Prices for the new Tucson start at Rs. 27.70 lakh for the petrol AT platinum variant while the top-end diesel AT signature variant is priced at Rs. 32.87 lakh. And finally, the 4WD variant which you see here comes in the top Signature variant only and is priced at Rs. 34.39 lakh which is slightly higher than the Volkswagen Tiguan. We think the Tucson’s toughest battle will be to convince buyers that this Hyundai despite the premium pricing offers everything one could ask for in a premium SUV and that Hyundai is just as capable as any other premium manufacturer out there to dish out top-notch luxury offerings.
The new Hyundai Tucson might come across as expensive, but then it also offers a lot more than its competition. It looks fantastic, the interiors are spacious and boast top-notch quality, it’s loaded with features and also is the only car with level 2 ADAS amongst its peers. Also unlike, the C5 Aircross which only comes with a diesel option and the Tiguan which only gets a petrol engine, the Tucson provides both options. All in all, the new Tucson comes across as a fantastic product from Hyundai, offering everything one can expect from a premium SUV in this price bracket and more.
Pictures by Kaustubh Gandhi