Hyundai has re-introduced the Tucson in India in an all-new avatar.The all-new Tucson has been launched carrying a introductory price tag of Rs 18.99 lakh for the base petrol variant, and Rs 24.99 lakh for the top-spec diesel variant (ex-showroom, Delhi).
Design and Styling
Everyone has their baggage and for the Tucson, it's the awkward styling of both its predecessors the 1st gen that was sold in India and the 2nd gen a.k.a the ix35 that wasn't. One look at this new SUV, though, and you know that Hyundai went back to the drawing board. It follows the Fluidic 2.0 design architecture so the looks are anything but understated. The signature hexagonal grille highlights the front and is flanked by plus-sized headlamp clusters that feature dual-barrel LEDs and LED pilot lights. Even the foglamp housing is aggressively contoured with the DRLs slitting it in the middle.
Build quality is quite solid, but step into the cabin and you're faced with a rather unique let-down.Unfortunately, the Tucson's cabin lacks that wow factor, which is a bit disappointing considering the flamboyant exterior.
It is, however, a very ergonomic arrangement and you do get that must-have commanding driving position of an SUV. The cockpit is highlighted by an easy to read instrument cluster that includes a 4.2-inch LCD multi-information display. The trim is finished immaculately and quality is top-notch overall. Soft-touch plastics and silver accents bump up the snob-factor and, as you'd expect from a Hyundai, the feature kitty is juicy.However, you can tell that the manual variant plays second fiddle since it's essentially a base grade. While the automatic variants get leather seats, the manual gets cloth. Both versions get hide on the steering, gear lever and armrest, but only the 2-pedal Tucson gets a 10-way electrically adjustable driver's seat. Even a novelty feature like the compass on the auto-dimming interior rear-view mirror is limited to the AT grades, not to mention, the MT doesn't even get a smart key, push-button starter or rear AC vents. That said, the 8-inch touchscreen AVN system comes as standard and gets both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, apart from the usual Bluetooth, AUX and USB options. The screen is large enough to use on the move and the touch-sensitivity is good, but there's definitely some noticeable lag. The steering is adjustable for both rake and reach; the glovebox is cooled; the seatbelts and headrests are adjustable and you get cruise control too.
Getting into the SUV isn't too daunting because the floor-line isn't too high, though older folks will have to put in a little effort. Yes, there's adequate space for 5 adults and the rear seats can be reclined too. All the seats provide adequate overall support, but the middle passenger won't be comfortable. The rear AC vent console is intrusive, while the front seats have hard plastic at the back, so there's no cushioning for your knees if you're tall. The rear armrest also juts out a fair bit when folded in, so the backrest isn't comfortable for the middle occupant either.
For safety, dual airbags, ABS with EBD, ISOFIX, rear parking sensors and a rear camera come as standard. While the AT ,GL;variant gets front parking sensors plus side and curtain airbags too, only the range-topping "GLS" grade gets ESC, vehicle stability management, brake-assist, hill-hold and hill-descent control.
Hyundai has also played it relatively safe with the powertrains. The petrol mill is the same Nu-2.0-litre unit you get in the Elantra and in a slightly higher state of tune. Ironically the actually "new",engine here, and the one we've driven, is the 2.0-litre "R",diesel that makes 185PS and 400Nm.
Ride and Handling
The Tucson has a high strength steel-intensive monocoque structure and dynamically, it's quite sedan-like. So the ride quality is pliant and there isn't much vertical bobbing either. Bad roads and potholes are dealt with effortlessly. Even though it rides on large 18-inch wheels, the large sidewalls keep things civil and it's planted even at high speeds. The handling's quite predictable too and it doesn't feel top heavy, but body roll is noticeable through the corners. Thankfully, the steering, traditionally a weak point with Hyundais, is quite direct and reasonably communicative, but exit a corner too hot and the torque-steer can catch you off guard. With 4 wheel discs, there's adequate stopping power.
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