The Tucson name is not unfamiliar to India as Hyundai used to sell the first gen model many years back. However there is a lot of difference between the Hyundai of that time and now which shows in the new Tucson. After the super hit Creta, the successful SUV formula has been honed further by Hyundai now. Available with petrol and diesel engines, there are three trim levels with the petrol only available in two trim levels.
Powertrain & Performance
On offer are two engine options with a 2.0 petrol and diesel. The petrol develops 154 bhp and 192Nm while the diesel having 183 bhp and 400Nm. You can get both engines with a 6-speed auto and manual. The diesel manual has an official efficiency figure of 18.42 kmpl for the MT and 16.38 kmpl for the AT with the petrol giving 13.03 kmpl for the MT and 12.95 kmpl for the AT. We drove the petrol and diesel automatics. The petrol 2.0 is the same motor as the Elantra but here in the Tucson, performance feels toned down. It is smooth and reasonably powerful for everyday use but lacks outright punch and sounds strained when pushed hard.
For a big petrol, it has decent efficiency though. The star of the line-up though is the diesel. This engine has a lot of torque and power delivery is strong and seemingly more effortless than the petrol. It is surely the more fun to drive with gearbox working better too. It is quick and makes good use of the generous amount of power available. The driving mode feature (on AT) has three modes with Sport mode being fun. The new Tucson is one of the better Hyundai SUVs in terms of ride and handling. The ride is excellent and the car is very comfortable as a cruiser. It is not to be pushed hard but when done so, it is not all over the place with decent body control. The steering is again an improvement from other Hyundai cars but still is too light. On the positive side, its very easy to drive and shrinks around you in the city.
Build & Styling
Inside it is traditional Hyundai fare and by that we mean very good quality levels and an easy to use cabin layout. The design lacks the flash of the exterior but comes across as a suitable jump from the Creta but we actually prefer the Tucson interior over the Santa Fe too. The black and beige combo looks good with all the various controls designed with pleasing attention to detail. Hyundai has stuffed a lot of features but the standout ones include the 8 inch touchscreen AVN with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, powered tail-gate, electronic parking brake, 10 way power adjustable drivers seat, 6 airbags alongside the usual features you expect in a car of this price. The Tucson also scores in terms of space with good legroom and comfort at the rear.
We have saved the best for last as many will buy it for its looks. Is this the best looking Hyundai SUV? We think so. A lot more aggressive looking than the Creta, it looks lower and wider plus carries a lot of presence. It is certainly the best design having the Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 Design Philosophy with the sharp headlamps, hexagonal grille plus strong character line.
Frankly the Tucson does not have any rival in the price bracket it occupies. The CR-V is only available in petrol and the Tucson-especially the diesel automatic makes the best sense. The petrol while good is not as fun or efficient as the diesel. We would also say that the GL and GLS trims make more sense considering they pack in more equipment to justify the price. Just like the Creta, new Tucson is another well planned and executed move by Hyundai .and would be a success no doubt