First Drive: 2016 Hyundai Tucson

Tucson has come a long way. From a boring crossover to this sexy looking machine. The new Tucson has a European character to it – which is a welcome change. Add to that, a 2.0 liter engine with enough oomph to change lanes in a breeze and an improved chassis and we have a compact CUV that has elements of a pleasing vehicle that tickles our senses. Let’s look at the new Tucson in detail.

Exterior

The Tucson’s overall look can be summarized in one word – beautiful. The moment it was launched, I tried to think of an angle which is unattractive. Alas, there is none. If I have to start nitpicking, I would say the wheel design can be improved as the alloys remind me of the Audi RS7’s wheels albeit cheap. The Tucson looks like a cheerful CUV without being abnormal. It just suits the Compact CUV segment perfectly.

Interior

The Tucson, I must say, feels more premium than the older sibling – the Santa Fe. Whatever adhesives they used to hold the thing together, it works fine. The stiff body with less than average body roll shows craftsmanship and the overall feel of the steering wheel is nice. The driver does feel connected to the road at almost all times. However, there is significant road noise and wind noise and the insulation can be improved. For now, you can turn the audio volume up to not be disturbed by the road noise.

Coming back to the premium feel, the leather seats are comfortable and feel upmarket. The gearbox as well feels superior. The dashboard also feels non-clunky which is good news considering the segment. Storage spaces too are decent with cubby spaces and above-average boot space. The rear leg room is also satisfactory. On the equipment front, this test car wasn’t the top most spec. So, it did not have the optional touchscreen option. The rest of the features – including the Bluetooth, sunroof, audio system, parking sensors and rear camera – worked very well and I have no complaints whatsoever.

Drive

The test car I got was powered by 2.0 liter engine producing 150 BHP and roughly 200 Nm of torque. This small but punchy engine is mated to a 6 speed automatic gearbox. All basic stuff – nothing outlandish at all. The engine accelerates progressively without any issues and the gear shifts are smooth as well. There are various driving modes but I did not feel any difference at all in throttle response or suspension. The AWD option is good for going on the beach and that’s it. The ride height saves the bumpers from uneven roads and dips. 

In our test run, the Tucson accelerated from 0-100kph in 9 seconds whereas the stopping from 100-0kph took around 3.5 seconds. The fuel economy is where the Tucson really surprised me. I managed to cover 3 days with one fuel tank – travelling back and forth from Sharjah to Dubai in rush hour. That is an achievement! At the end of the test, the fuel figures were 8.6 l/100km. All in all, a good daily commuter.

Verdict

The all-new Tucson has looks that wow, bigger interior space than the previous generation and an above-average fuel economy – the holy trinity of daily drivers. Do give this car a shot!

For more information, please visit the Tucson car buying guide.

Tags:

Hyundai | Tucson | UAE 2016

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