Hyundai Tucson : Official Review
The Hyundai Tucson is on sale in India at a price of between Rs. 18.99 - 25.00 lakhs (ex-Delhi).
What you'll like:
• Contemporary styling that is universally appealing
• Punchy 2.0L diesel engine mated to a smooth automatic transmission
• Comfortable ride quality & car-like dynamics
• Cool features such as the hands-free tailgate, LED headlamps, electric parking brake, ECO / Sport driving modes & more
• Top-notch safety kit: 6 airbags, ESC, VSM, all-wheel disc brakes, hill-start assist etc.
• Hyundai's reliability, competent after-sales, 3 year unlimited km warranty & 3 years of free servicing!
What you won't:
• No w-o-w factor on the inside. Interior simply doesn't feel special enough for a Rs. 30 lakh car
• Expensive, especially the top trim. Full-size 7-seater SUVs are priced in the same ballpark
• Some features are conspicuous by their absence (sunroof, auto-wipers, ventilated seats)
• Manual transmission gets step-motherly treatment; poverty-spec base variant only
• 2.0L petrol motor is strictly average. Doesn't impress like the diesel
re: Hyundai Tucson : Official Review
The Tucson is back in India after a generation gap. Hyundai launched the first generation Tucson in India in 2005. It was an automobile ahead of its time. Based on the Elantra platform, it was a competent SUV in terms of performance, ride and handling. It had a modern 2.0L CRDi motor which made 111 BHP and a torque on demand AWD system. Sadly, it didn’t do very well since Indians could not fathom paying between Rs. 13-15 lakhs for a 'compact' SUV from Hyundai in those days. Its oddball styling didn't help either. The Honda CR-V led the sales back then. Hyundai was also not synonymous with premium cars resulting in the Elantra and Tucson both being discontinued in 2007. Hyundai decided to skip the second generation for India and focus on its small cars.
How times have changed! Today, Hyundai is on a roll with the Creta being the best-selling compact crossover in 2016 and is now associated with a premium image. Hyundai already have the Santa Fe and to fill in the gap between the Creta, they have got the Tucson back to India. Now in its third generation, the Tucson gets Hyundai's second generation Fluidic styling which tones down a bit on the curves and swoops. And it certainly does look pleasing. Its worldwide reveal was in early 2015 and it started selling in the second half of the year. It has now been introduced in India with 2 engine options and 2 transmission options powering only the front wheels of the car. Sadly, we don't get the AWD option available on the international variants. Hyundai also seems to be pushing customers towards the automatic variants of the Tucson owing to the rise in demand for automatics in the country. So much so that the Manual variants of the Tucson are stripped down to bare basics and lose out on a bunch of features like automatic climate control, side and curtain airbags, ESC, front parking sensors, auto dimming IRVM, leather upholstery, chrome finishes, LED Headlamps and tail lamps, etc. Hyundai also won't give you a fully loaded petrol automatic, the range topping variant i.e. the GLS AT is available only with the 2.0 L diesel engine.
Hyundai Motor Group's subsidiary, Kia Motors is planning to enter the Indian market by 2019. This would be a 'Datsun' move by the Korean manufacturer (related discussion). Kia has also started testing some vehicles on Indian roads. The fleet also includes the 'Sportage', which shares its platform with the Tucson. It would be interesting to see how the current Indian market reacts to the Tucson until the sibling comes along.
When you first look at the Tucson, it does remind you of the Creta at first glance. It's got a very similar shape, and even the grille looks similar. But look a little closer, and you will notice that it is larger (205 mm longer) and looks prettier. The Tucson is very well proportioned and is pleasing to the eye from all angles, without looking overdone or over curvy like some of the previous Hyundai vehicles. The only thing which some may argue is overdone, is the huge chrome grille at the front. But then again, we Indians love chrome, so I don’t anticipate any complaints on that front.
In terms of road presence, it's definitely more than the Creta, since it is larger, and surprisingly looks almost as big as the Santa Fe on the road. We did get a lot of Creta owners checking the Tucson out during the drive. It's 4,475 mm long which is about 215 mm shorter than the Santa Fe, but the difference isn't much in terms of height and width.
Since we are now seeing many more 5 seater crossovers/compact SUVs, it makes sense for Hyundai to bring back the Tucson. The Indian market is maturing and has accepted the monocoque SUV segment, whereas earlier people would wonder why you didn’t buy a much larger vehicle for the same price. Though in a broader perspective, the Tucson's competitors will also be the Innova, Fortuner and Endeavour which all look much larger, and have 7 seats. The Yeti is closest to the Tucson in terms of size, and VW's upcoming Tiguan will be going directly against it. Going by the sales figures, the Tucson seems to have garnered quite a bit of attention with over 1000 copies being sold in the last four months outselling even the mechanically similar Elantra. The direct competition (Yeti and CR-V) on the other hand haven't even reached three digit figures in the last few months. That said, if history is anything to go by, considering its price and size I don’t know if Indians will really find the Tucson value for money over the future once the novelty factor wears off. The Innova and lower variants of Endeavour offer a lot more car for a similar price as the Tucson.
Head on, it has the characteristic Hyundai SUV family look which is consistent with the Creta and the Santa Fe. The trapezoidal grille has 3 horizontal slats which are hollowed out. The DRLs look a little bit aftermarket, and it would have been nice had they been integrated into the headlamp or foglamp assemblies:
The rear does have a lot going on, but manages to look fine. It also reminds you a lot of the Elite i20. The rear windshield is high up, as are the tail lights, with the rear fog lights placed lower in the bumper. There is also a silver diffuser which tries to give out sporty intentions. The boot has a horizontal line running across which may fool you into believing it's a split tailgate:
The side profile is interesting with a window line that rises up a fair bit towards the rear. The wheel arches and side skirts have plastic cladding all round. Also, the wheel arches have an interesting design going on. They aren't perfectly rounded but swept towards the back. Surprisingly, the ground clearance is only 170 mm which is lower than its siblings, the Creta (190 mm) and the Santa Fe (185 mm). Being only front wheel drive, the Tucson is unlikely to see much off road terrain so the cladding will at best protect it against some urban scars:
In terms of paint finish and panel gaps, there's nothing to complain about, but it doesn’t feel as solid as the European vehicles:
The Tucson isn't as high as the CR-V or the Yeti, yet it is the widest and has the longest wheelbase among the competition. This somehow gives the car a planted and squatted down stance when seen from the rear:
Though the car has a toned down fluidic design language, you cannot ignore some of the fine elements in the design. The side has a sharp arrow straight line running from the front fender to the tail lights visible from this angle. Also note the crease that etches the bottom of both doors:
Swept back dual barrel LED headlamp unit with high beams as halogens. Turn indicators placed beyond the high beams towards the grille. Notice how the grille and the headlamp unit are gelled together to have a seamless look:
Dual barrel LED lamps and the high beam in action. A point worth noting is that while the low beams are twin LED barrels which provide great illumination, the high beams are regular halogen lights which frankly, are sad as compared to the low beams. On locking the car with the button on the keyfob or the request sensor (on the door handle), the indicators blink once. On unlocking, they blink twice. Flash the headlights and the projectors + high beams (both) come on. There is a follow-me-home function as well where the headlamps and tail lamps stay on for 30 seconds or so after the car is switched off (the headlight switch should be in the "Auto" position):
LED static bending lights placed between the low beams and the high beam. Only the top end GLS variant gets the LED bending lights, all other variants get halogen bending lamps:
The lower variants get single halogen projector headlamps as well as a halogen static bending lamp in the middle (Manual variant doesn't even get this!):
Front fog lamps placed above the strip of 5 LED DRLs. The fog lamp and DRLs get a piano black finished surround:
The 5 LED DRLs look a little bit aftermarket, and it would have been nice had they been integrated into the headlamp or foglamp assemblies like they have in the 2017 iteration of the Tucson in the United States:
The front bumper gets an air dam at the bottom, and a faux silver skid plate as well. It also houses four parking sensors:
The hexagonal front grille is intimidating and houses the Hyundai badge on the top slat:
The tow hook cap is placed on the right side below the front parking sensor:
A clean underbody with a fair bit of protection:
Front wheels get these aero flaps which run along the front side of the wheel wells:
A well contoured bonnet with creases running along the edge. Note that the hood actually curves downwards:
Washers nicely tucked away underneath the hood:
The jets squirt out a side stream and the wipers have a good sweep:
The Tucson badge on the left...
... and the CRDi badging on the right side of the tailgate. Other than these 2 badges, the Tucson is pretty much debadged:
No Auto badge to differentiate between the MTs and ATs. The petrol variant doesn’t even get the VTVT badging:
ORVMs are body coloured and have integrated turn indicators. The ORVM's open out when you walk up to the car with the key in your pocket, and the indicators blink twice. A nice touch as a part of the 'Welcome' function:
The ORVMs are equipped with puddle lamps, and the LEDs are switched on when you approach the car with the key in your pocket. These stay on for approximately 15 seconds:
Chrome door handles with request sensors for the driver as well as passenger door. Press the button to lock or unlock the car. While unlocking, there are two honks and while locking there's a single honk from the car. The thing to note here is that the horn for locking and unlocking is different than the car horn and this horn gets irritating after a while:
Along with the puddle lamps, the door handles have an LED inside as well (à la BMW). Neat:
18 inch diamond cut multi-spoke alloy wheels which are shod with 225/55 R18 Nexen tyres (South Korean brand). The alloys look swell with the paint shades and go well with the overall look of the car. The MTs get 17 inch clean silver alloys with 225/60 R17 tyres. For India, these 17s will be more practical (better ride, less prone to damage, cheaper to replace tyres):
Disc brakes with ABS at the front and rear:
Small quarter glass shows the sloping roofline as well as the rising window line. Notice the chrome strip at the bottom running upwards:
Hyundai claims that the frame structure uses 51% advanced high strength steel. It also gets 3 cross members across the roof:
A sunroof would definitely have been a much appreciated addition on the Tucson. The roof rails are standard across all variants:
Shark fin antenna at the end of the roof:
The roof swoops down to give the SUV a squat stance. The tailgate contours are also smooth and curvy. Check out the steep angle and the height of the rear windshield:
Nice attention to detail by adding this cover between the spoiler and rear windshield:
LED tail lamps at the rear with the turn indicator switched on. You can see the lamp bulging out slightly from the body line:
The tail lamp cluster lit up. Looks wicked:
Two reversing lights for the SUV. Also check out the LED HMSL and the rear fog lamps:
The reversing camera sits next to the boot release button:
Four parking sensors at the rear as well. Also seen here is the rear diffuser-like faux skid plate which has a tow hook above the exhaust:
Rear fog lamp and the reflectors have been combined into one unit:
A look at the underbody from the rear. You can see the multi-link coil spring suspension here:
The underbody protection from the front extends quite a bit till the rear on both sides. Also check out the heat shield covering the part of the fuel tank which is close to the exhaust pipe:
Very sporty exhaust tips. I wish Hyundai had given twin exhausts - one on each side, since the other side looks bare without the exhaust tips:
Even the rear wheels get these aero-flaps:
Standing next to big brother. At first glance, you won't notice much of a difference between the Santa Fe and the Tucson. The width and height are almost similar, with the Santa Fe edging out the Tucson by 30 mm on both parameters:
Alongside the Yeti, first thing you notice is the width of the Tucson:
Even though the Tucson is wider, the Yeti on account of its design & roof rails stands slightly taller by 31 mm:
With that long snout and 100 mm longer wheelbase, the Tucson is visibly longer than the Yeti (253 mm):
Interior - Front
The Tucson, just like the Creta and other crossovers isn't a tall SUV and hence the ingress and egress isn't much of a task. You just walk up to the car and slide into the seats. The first thing that you notice when you are inside the Tucson is that the dual tone black and beige interior doesn't feel as upmarket and appealing as it should for a Rs. 30+ lakh car. The much essential w-o-w factor seems to be missing in the Tucson cabin. These kind of designs work in the sub-20 lakh cars, but Hyundai needs some more pizzazz in its premium rides:
Though not exciting, the dash is well laid out with minimalistic styling cues. Visibility all round is satisfactory:
Leather wrapped steering wheel is nice and grippy. The steering mounted controls are similar to the ones seen on the Elantra and are easily accessible. The hornpad is quite a reach thanks to all the buttons and will be a cause of complaint:
Infotainment system can be operated with these buttons on the left. Telephony commands at the bottom and voice command along with mode function at the top. Mute function can be operated by pressing the volume button inward:
MID and cruise control buttons are placed on the right spoke. To engage cruise control, press the 'cruise' button on the steering wheel, push the toggle switch downward and a SET indicator is displayed on the MID. Increase or decrease your speed by moving the same switch upwards or downwards:
The steering offers satisfactory rake and reach adjustment to suit various driving positions:
4.2 inch display placed in between the tachometer on the left and the speedometer on the right (just the way we love it). Fuel and temperature gauges are analogue and the meter is backlit in white:
Start the car and you are greeted with a welcome screen which has the Hyundai logo. The MID displays outside temperature at the bottom left, the current gear position on the top left and the odometer is placed on the bottom right. Two trip meters show distance travelled, average speed and the time taken for that particular trip. The distance to empty is indicated as 'Range'. A horizontal bar indicates the instant FE in the last few seconds when the speed is more than 10 km/h, and average FE is displayed as a number above it. The MID also displays information regarding the service intervals, which can be set in terms of kilometers or months:
The car can be started only in P or N mode, if tried otherwise, a sign pops up on the screen. There is also a warning sign if the wheels aren't aligned at the time of starting the car, and also a quick notification when the wheels have been aligned properly just like the Elite i20. The traction control can be switched off which is then displayed on the MID (switch TC off only when starting on snow or such slippery surfaces). While deactivating the Auto Hold function, if the brake pedal is not completely depressed, a message will appear on the MID. Specific door open warning is also displayed with the door being marked in red. Parking sensor display comes up as soon as reverse gear is engaged:
You can set the Fuel economy meter to auto reset after ignition on or after refueling. The park assist system has 3 levels for the chime. During the shifts a pop up box appears on the left of the screen to show the order of drive modes (P-R-N-D). The current gear position is displayed on the top left corner. In manual mode, current gear is also displayed in this box. The instrument cluster illumination can be adjusted for 21 levels:
A bunch of options are available on the MID for the settings of various systems in the car. User settings for door includes different options for auto lock, auto unlock and smart tailgate activation and deactivation. You can also customise the Auto lock and unlock feature based on different parameters (e.g. auto unlock on shifting to P or on driver door unlock). Few options on the MID for controlling the light options as well wherein you can control even the number of flashes for the one touch indicator. Press and hold the 'OK' button on the right spoke of the steering wheel to get more information regarding a particular option:
Sturdy control stalks similar to the ones seen on the Elantra and the Creta. Sadly, the Tucson doesn't get rain sensing wipers. Instead, five intermittent levels for the front wipers and two levels for the rear wipers are available. Push the stalk for the rear water spray and pull it towards yourself for the front water spray. You get auto headlamps on the right with front and rear fog lamp settings in the inner side of the stalk. The sound inside the cabin when the indicator is blinking is quite good and feels premium:
Engine start stop button is similar to the one on the Santa Fe. It is backlit in blue and gets a chrome ring around it. In OFF position, the steering gets locked. Press the button once without your foot on the brake pedal to unlock the steering wheel and the electronic accessories (e.g. audio) are now operational. Press the button once again to get the car in 'ignition on' mode. With the brake pedal pressed, hit the button to start the car. This turns off the 'ON' light:
Silver brushed finish around the air vents. The air volume is controlled by turning the knob on the bottom. Two vents present on the center fascia on either side of the ICE...
… and these trapezoidal vents on the side of the dashboard:
Switches on the right side of the driver below the AC vent for tailgate operation, illumination adjustment and switching off the traction control. See that dummy button in between? It's supposed to be for blind spot detection which is missing on the Indian variant:
Fuse box is located below the buttons and the cover is easily removable:
The layout is similar to what we’d seen on Elantra. It also has a master kill switch which is useful when you want to park the car for a longer period of time:
Details of the fuses and amperage provided at the back of the cover:
Traditional fuel flap release is located on the floor…
… while the bonnet release lever is placed below the dashboard on the right hand side of the driver:
The black and beige theme continues on the doorpads as well. A tweeter and speaker are housed in the doorpad and it also gets a reflector at the bottom:
Buttons on the door are identical to those seen on the Elantra. And just like in the Elantra, you only get auto up and down function for the driver side window. The ORVMs can be opened or closed electrically by moving the switch to the right or left respectively. Or keep the button in Auto mode to open or close during unlocking and locking:
Soft cushioning where one would place their elbows feels comfortable:
The door handles look classy, finished in silver:
Door pockets can accommodate a one litre bottle plus other knick knacks:
Safety reflectors on the bottom part of the front doors. The Santa Fe had warning lamps (reference image):
Tucson branded plastic scuff plates which honestly look quite cheap / dull. The Elantra had metallic finished ones:
The seats are nice and provide ample support for people with wide shoulders as well. Cushioning is soft, and the beige colour looks good but ventilated seats would have been the icing on the cake:
Driver seat is 10-way adjustable and offers lumbar support. The buttons are firm and feel durable. The travel range for seat height adjustment as well as fore & aft movement is extensive:
Passenger seat gets a manual lever for fore and aft adjustment…
… as well as recline adjustment:
The center armrest is long and comfortable for most drivers, but it can neither be adjusted for height like the Yeti nor can it slide forwards. As a result, some may find it out of reach:
Front seatbelts are height adjustable. Note the curtain airbags:
Pedals are decently spaced. Accelerator pedal is of the organ type which is ergonomically friendly (related thread):
Heated ORVMs provide a wide and clear view:
The IRVM is decently sized, but the thick D-pillars and the rear headrests hamper the visibility:
The auto dimming IRVM has its ambient light sensor at the back:
The glare sensor is placed on the right side of the button. This senses the light from the headlights of the vehicles behind you and sends the information to the control unit for the dimming. Long press the button for more than 3 seconds, to turn off the auto dimming feature. When operational, the slot on the left of the button is lit in green:
The IRVM has this cool compass feature that indicates the direction in which you are heading. Short pressing the IRVM button controls the compass feature:
Rearward visibility as mentioned, is obstructed by the huge D-pillars and the rear headrests:
Solar sensor placed at the end of the dashboard for the climate control:
Functionally laid out center fascia doesn’t have much going on in terms of style. All the controls are within reach and are placed ergonomically:
Notice how the dashboard extends slightly to provide a small shade on the 8" infotainment display. The system supports Bluetooth, Aux-in and USB connectivity:
Dual zone automatic climate control system with Hyundai's cluster ionizer which helps in keeping the air inside the cabin free of smell. The blower gets 8 levels of adjustment and is considerably silent till 3. It starts getting audible at 4 and 5, above which it keeps on getting louder progressively till 8. Pressing the knob on the passenger side activates the 'Sync' which means both driver and passenger sides have the same temperature. If the passenger side knob is used, sync is disengaged and passenger gets his own climate control zone. Piano black finish on the top part near the hazard light is a nice touch:
The buttons are backlit in classic Hyundai blue:
Two 12 V sockets along with USB and Aux-in ports. The USB and Aux-in are backlit in blue at night:
A small cubbyhole with a removable rubberized mat is provided below the ACC which you can use to keep your smartphone + odd items:
Two same sized cupholders which do not have a rubber bottom. Also there's a small cubbyhole just above the cupholders which is good for keeping loose change and other stuff (not big enough for a phone). Must say, good utilization of space:
The top end diesel variant gets an electronic parking brake. The buttons for Auto Hold, parking sensors, downhill assist control and different drive modes are located below it:
The center armrest storage compartment gets an additional removable open compartment. However, items such as loose change will rattle since the bottom is hard plastic:
The central storage compartment is quite deep with felt lining at the bottom. Would have liked a USB port here like the one on the Elantra:
Since only the top end GLS gets the electronic parking brake, the remaining 4 variants get the good old manual handbrake. Note the gear lever now moves to the left:
The manual hand brake lever totally eats up into the armrest's storage space:
Dual airbags are standard across the line-up. The base model misses out on the side and curtain airbags:
The higher GLS variant gets 6 airbags in total:
The glovebox is medium sized with a damped opening action. It's cooled and illuminated and gets a pen holder:
The AC vent is adjustable:
Both driver and passenger side sunvisors get vanity mirrors and have an extension that can completely block out the sun in between the IRVM and the visor:
Both vanity mirrors in the visors are illuminated; need to be switched on manually, but get turned off automatically when you fold the visor back in place:
Nifty ticket holder at the back of the driver side sunvisor:
Auto defogging sensor placed behind the IRVM. The system prevents the windshield from fogging up and is operational only when the heater or air-conditioner are running:
The roof console has map lights, a Bluetooth mic and sunglass holder. Just like in the Elantra, you can turn the front and rear cabin lights on from this console. Also, all the cabin lights dim out slowly after you step out and lock the car. The sunglass holder has a soft lining to prevent scratches. A sunroof is sorely missed on the Indian Tucson:
Interior - Rear
The doors on the Tucson open in a wide three step action. The seat height isn't too high that needs you to climb up into. Getting in and getting out isn't much of a task:
There is decent amount of space between the B-pillar and the rear seat base, so moving your legs in and out won't be that difficult:
The doorpad continues with the black and beige theme. The material used on the doorpad is all hard plastic, no soft touch materials here except for the leather insert to rest your elbow:
The rear door pocket can easily gulp in a litre bottle and some other knick knacks:
No tweeter here on the rear door (there is a speaker below the power window switch):
The rear bench is quite comfortable and relaxed. The seats are soft and provide fair under thigh support as well:
The seatbelt buckles for the middle passenger are neatly tucked in when not in use:
The seatbelt for the middle passenger is also a 3-point one (roof mounted) :thumbs up:
Instructions to fasten the seatbelt are given on the hook itself:
Legroom at the rear is sufficient:
Maximum and minimum legroom shown in this image:
With the driver's seat set to Omkar's (5'10") driving position, there's plenty of legroom at the back. When pushed all the way back, the hard plastic seatback won't touch your knees, but it will be touching your shin:
Recline angle of the bench is comfy…
… and it can be adjusted as well. There are about 18 steps from a straight position to the maximum reclining position. You can totally chill in here:
Showing the difference in recline angles with the maximum & minimum positions:
The center armrest is a little on the higher side. For shorter folk, the arm rest might be too high. Also note the rising window line, which is unpleasant for short passengers:
The center armrest has two cup holders with the same bottom texture as the front cup holders:
A warning sign indicating the headrest should be at the same height as that of your eyes to prevent whiplash injury:
The floor hump is intrusive for sure. Internationally, there would be a driveshaft underneath. Middle passenger won't be happy:
Rear air-con vents are standard across the AT variants. While there is only one common air volume controller, their direction can be adjusted individually. Like the vents at the front, air flow can be completely stopped by using the volume controller. Overall, the rear AC is effective:
Spring-loaded grab handles are provided on both sides. Only the RHS grab handle gets a coat / bag hook (it is foldable):
Rear cabin lamp has one button with two positions - on (pressed) or door (not pressed). There is no "OFF" position. It can also be operated by using the switch for the front cabin lamps:
With the tailgate wide open. The electric tailgate can be opened in three ways - Long press on the key fob, button on the tailgate and button on the right side of the driver. There are two warning beeps whenever the tailgate is opening or closing. For emergency stopping of the tailgate, press the boot close button on the tailgate once, while the tailgate is in motion (opening or closing). Long pressing boot button on the tailgate or the key will resume the motion of the tailgate.
Using the key, press the boot button when the tailgate is opening to pause it midway. Long pressing the same button will close the tailgate instead of carrying on with the initial opening action. In the same way, if you pause the tailgate midway while closing and resume it by long pressing the boot button, it will open (ignoring the previous closing motion).
The tailgate even has a memory function. While opening or closing, pressing the tailgate switch for more than 3 seconds sets the tailgate height. The system gives you two beeps to tell you that the position has been saved. In order to erase the set height, push the tailgate manually to the maximum open position and save that position by pressing the tailgate switch for more than 3 seconds. The tailgate also has an anti-pinch function (we tried):
530 litres of boot space at the rear. The loading lip is a little high off the ground which means that you have to pick-up the luggage to place it in. The Tucson has a "Smart Power Tailgate" function. This feature opens the boot automatically when it senses the smartkey for over 3 seconds within the sensing zone. Very useful if you are carrying luggage in both your hands. How it works - with the car locked, stand at a distance of 50 - 100 cm from the boot, with the smartkey on you. The car's indicators start flashing with beeps and the boot opens after 3 seconds (there are six beeps in total and the boot opens on the fifth). This system won't work if the "Smart Tailgate" feature is disabled through the MID, or if the smartkey is detected within 15 seconds of the doors being closed & locked:
You get a retractable luggage screen in place to hide the stored cargo. Very nice. You can't really place anything on top as it will get thrown around (can't hold a lot of weight either):
The screen has spring loaded stoppers at the end which fix the screen in particular slots. You can put the screen in another slot as per the requirement:
The rear seats have a 60:40 split:
They can also fold down almost flat:
The boot is illuminated. You get a 12V power socket and a small luggage hook. Luggage tie-down hooks are placed at the bottom. You can see at the bottom there is another slot for the luggage screen when not in use:
Small storage cubicles on both sides. Can also be used to place the luggage screen:
The spare wheel cover is well cushioned!! Can be folded in half:
The spare wheel is a full size alloy. The tools aren't placed neatly in a thermocol cut out like the Elantra (reference image):
Grab handle on the luggage tray base:
Boot close button on the tailgate. There is also a groove for closing the tailgate manually:
As per US norms, emergency tailgate release to open the boot manually from the inside:
The tailgate gets full cladding, no cost cutting here:
The back of the rear seat gets a bag hook which has a maximum weight rating of 3 kg:
Top-tether ISOFIX on both rear seats:
ISOFIX for child seats:
The Tucson's infotainment unit gets an 8 inch touchscreen display with a navigation system and voice recognition. Along with the standard Bluetooth, USB and Aux-in connectivity options, the system also supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This system is the same one which is used in the Elantra with 4 speakers and 2 tweeters. The overall sound quality is decent, but not as good as what European cars offer in the same price bracket.
The touchscreen is responsive and the display is high definition. The large fonts make it easy to use:
Front doors get a speaker each, mounted higher than those seen on most cars:
And a tweeter in front of the door handle:
The rear just gets a speaker on each door:
Pressing the home button shows you the menu options:
A split screen displaying the map/location and the current media file being played:
A look at the navigation menu with options:
Navigation can of course be turned to full screen:
Different options for the route you choose to take:
For the geeks out there, you can enter the GPS co-ordinates as well for your destination:
The navigation system allows you to have a multi-route plan as well:
You can choose the route according to your preferences i.e. shortest, recommended, with minimum toll or freeways etc.:
You can also play a simulation of the route to have an idea of the flyovers or the exit from a particular roundabout. Super cool!
Brightness levels can be set independently for daytime and night time. If you are bothered by the screen while driving at night, you can switch off the display completely from the display settings screen or by pressing the 'DISP' button below the screen:
System is compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Owners will enjoy this integration the most:
When you switch the gear lever to Reverse position, the screen goes full screen and turns on the reversing camera. Adaptive guidelines too. The 4 rear parking sensors help when there are different objects around. If an object is in the 60 to 120 cm range, there are intermittent beeps to warn you. In the range of 30 to 60 cm, the beeps get more frequent. Anything less than 30 cm, there is a continuous warning beep:
Hyundai reminds you not to run your battery down!
Driving the 2.0L Diesel AT
The first generation Tucson was powered by a 2.0L CRDi engine. The second generation (which didn't make it to India) featured a new diesel powerplant from the R-series of engines. This engine has been carried over to the 3rd generation Tucson you see here. It is an all-aluminium 4-cylinder block with 16 valves and two overhead camshafts. The 2.0L comes with a variable geometry turbocharger, and has a healthy power output of 182 BHP (@ 4,000 rpm) and 400 Nm (@ 1,750 - 2,750 rpm) of torque. The engine is mated either to a 6 speed AT or 6 speed MT.
With the brake pedal pressed, hit the starter button once and the diesel engine comes to life. The first thought that comes to your mind is that the diesel is refined. You don’t get any clatter inside the cabin at idle, and vibrations are very well controlled too. Slot the gear lever into D and lift your foot off the brake pedal, the car crawls forward at ~7 km/h. On pressing the accelerator, you will find that it is quite sensitive; with the low end torque of the diesel, the Tucson will lurch forward and might catch some drivers by surprise. Inside the city, the Tucson feels very peppy, and is effortless to drive in traffic. Darting into gaps is easy with the strong torque and a gearbox which doesn’t hesitate to downshift.
On the open road, once you stretch her legs, the Tucson impresses. It picks up speed quickly, and with the good insulation, you may not realize the speeds you are doing. The gearbox works well on the highway as well, resulting in easy overtaking since the AT doesn’t wait to downshift when you step on the throttle. At 100 km/h in 6th gear, the engine rpm is spinning at a lazy ~1,550 rpm and at 120 km/h, it is just above 2,000 rpm. While doing these regular highway speeds, you'll be impressed with the refinement levels. You don’t get much engine or wind noise inside. And this continues even above regular highway speeds which is commendable.
The 6-speed slushbox is a regular torque converter unit, and I would say it is satisfactory in performance and behaviour. You can't compare it with the DSG or ZF boxes, yet it does the job and no owner will be complaining. The gearshifts are smooth and cannot be felt most of the time. Shifting speed is also decent, and it doesn’t feel slow like some yesteryear Hyundai ATs. Using the manual mode and shifting with the gearstick is not fun though, since there is a distinct lag from the time you tap the shifter to the time the ratio actually changes. Best to keep it in 'auto' mode only. If you put your foot down, the AT holds the gear almost till the redline (4,500 rpm) and then upshifts on its own. What you won't like is the engine note after 4,000 rpm which will make you want to upshift early. It sounds strained, as if it is saying that it has had enough - please upshift! In terms of acceleration, the Tucson is not slow by any means and it certainly picks up speed quickly. But it's no BMW X1, even though it has a similar horsepower rating on paper. The gearbox probably has a big factor to play here as it cannot match the 8-speed on the Bimmer and really sucks up some of the power.
The Tucson gets 3 driving modes: Normal, Sport and ECO. For the automatic variants, the different modes alter the gearbox behaviour, steering weight and throttle sensitivity.
• Normal Mode: The default setting when you start the car. Throttle response, steering weight and gearbox behaviour are just 'regular' in this mode.
• Sport Mode: I didn’t notice any change in throttle response, or maybe the change was too little to notice. The steering seemed a tad bit heavier, and the gearbox was holding on to gears a little longer before upshifting. But all in all, there wasn't a world of difference.
• ECO Mode: Throttle response seemed to get dulled a bit, the steering had become lighter, and the gearbox was upshifting gears earlier. But once again, not a major difference.
The modes seemed a bit gimmicky as compared to the Europeans, as they don't significantly change the driving characteristics. Amongst all the factors, the steering weight change is the most perceptible. One thing to note is that if the car is in Normal or Eco modes when it is switched off, it will continue in the same mode after restarting. However, if it is in Sport mode when switched off, it will reset itself to Normal mode.
A sweet air intake system in place:
Pull the top cover to remove the air filter for cleaning purposes. The ECU is placed just beside the air filter:
The firewall is well-insulated...this shows in the Tucson's refinement levels:
The underside of the bonnet is insulated as well:
Lots of reminders for the fuel pump attendants:
Simple gear shifter with tiptronic function. To engage Manual mode, move the gear lever to the right. Push the gear lever forward to upshift and pull down to downshift. No sports mode on the shifter since you have the different driving modes:
A peek at the unlock switch:
Shift lock release button on top. Use the shift lock button when you park on an incline and can’t move the lever out of "P". The feature could also be used to tow the vehicle. The current gear position is lit up in blue (red for reverse gear):
The controls behind the gear lever. Surprisingly, you can hear the electric parking brake engaging and disengaging even inside the cabin. When 'auto hold' is activated and you shift to P, the auto hold deactivates instead of engaging the handbrake (like in some of the premium cars). The parking sensor button has an orange backlight when activated. Drive mode selection and downhill brake control on the right:
MID displays ECO mode in green and SPORT mode in orange (should've been red??). The display is blank for normal mode:
The auto hold's green sign lights up when it's active. A boon in traffic as you don't need to continuously keep the brake pedal pressed - the car will hold itself in place. This pop-up sign (in white) shows up when you try to disengage it without placing your foot on the brake pedal:
When you activate the downhill brake control, this green symbol appears on the right. A speed of 8 km/h is maintained when going down a steep slope. While this feature is useful in offroaders, we aren't sure of its utility in an on-road SUV:
Driving the 2.0L Petrol AT
The Tucson is also being offered with a 2.0L petrol engine, considering the recent inclination of customers towards petrols. This 2.0L Nu series engine with Dual VTVT is similar to the one in the Elantra, and the power output has gone up slightly by 3 BHP to 153 BHP @ 6,200 rpm. The torque rating remains the same at 192 Nm @ 4,200 rpm. The petrol is available only in two variants: the Base MT and GL 6-speed AT, missing the GLS AT found in the diesel. We cannot understand this step-motherly treatment from Hyundai & feel that it is the customer who should be making the final variant choice.
At idle, the diesel was quiet. The petrol is dead silent! At a standstill, you won't even realize that the engine is running.
Like in the diesel, the Petrol AT gets 3 driving modes - Eco, Sport & Normal. Again, the modes seemed gimmicky and there were slight behavioural changes in the steering weight and throttle response. While driving in Normal mode, with a gentle foot on the accelerator, you will see consecutive shifts happening in the range of 2,100 - 2,200 rpm. With Eco mode, the shifts take place at a slightly lower rpm as the gearbox tends to shift up early for increased fuel efficiency. In Sport mode, the AT holds the gear for a slightly longer time, but it isn't a huge difference as compared to the Normal mode.
Start-off is pretty smooth and you will appreciate the smooth gearshifts at slow speeds. The cabin is pretty silent at commuting speeds too. The engine + gearbox combination seems perfect for urban conditions and relaxed driving. It's smooth, refined and peppy enough. Enthusiasts will be disappointed though. Floor the accelerator and you will notice that the gearbox gets confused. Revvs build up for over a second before the downshift takes place! This wouldn't be half as bad if the engine wasn't as loud as this one - when pushed, engine noise is surprisingly high. IMHO, it is louder than the diesel engine at high rpms which is a first for me. Also, since the torque rating is almost half of the diesel's, the Tucson's mid-range isn't that fast. You really have to revv the engine to get it moving; this translates to a whole lot of noise inside the cabin. There is no doubt that the 2.0L diesel & its gearbox are more impressive.
Take the Tucson out on the highway and it can be a good cruiser. The power delivery is linear in nature. It's best to use this engine in a calmer driving style and build up speed gradually. Cruising at 100 km/h, the engine doesn’t feel strained and the tacho is around 2,100 rpm; 120 km/h is seen just above 2,500 rpm. Using Sport mode while on the highways is a good idea as the steering is a little heavier which complements the car's cruising ability well. Engaging manual mode is something most enthusiasts won't enjoy. There is a noticeable delay from when the gear is manually selected to the time when the shift actually takes place. This can get irritating at times. It's best to avoid manual mode, unless you want to prepare the SUV for a quick overtake by bringing the engine in the proper power band. The conservative tuning means it won't allow aggressive downshifts either. The Tucson petrol is best suited to a sedate owner. If you have a heavy right foot, the diesel is for you.
153 BHP @ 6,200 rpm and 192 Nm of torque @ 4,200 rpm produced by this all-aluminium block:
One of the many parts shared with Kia - the ABS motor:
The firewall is insulated, and there is quite a bit of space behind the engine:
A look at the air vents up front. Also notice the distance between the grille and the air scoops. It has been covered up properly:
Even the petrol engine gets insulation under the hood. Hyundai isn't known for cost-cutting, unlike some of its rivals:
The gear lever is similar to the diesel's, although it sits towards the left side. Why? Because the manual handbrake lever is on the right (closer to the driver):
Sadly, the Petrol AT misses out on auto-hold, downhill brake assist & the electronic parking brake:
Different drive modes displayed on the tachometer:
No petrol badging under the fuel flap (typical Hyundai):
Ride & Handling
The Tucson has McPherson struts up front, and a multi-link set up at the rear. The suspension does a commendable job and is a long way away from the bouncy 'all over the place' Hyundais we had a few years ago. It is on the stiffer side, but I have a feeling a lot of it is due to the 18” wheels on the higher variants which we tested. The MTs with their 17" rims won't have this firm edge.
At low speeds, the suspension is very compliant and works silently. Small bumps are dismissed off and you don’t even feel them. It takes larger bumps well; you may feel them, yet you won't hear the suspension giving you a loud thud. The suspension does feel a bit busy though, because there is always some body movement. At higher speeds too, the suspension doesn’t exactly flatten out. Still, overall the Tucson is a comfortable long distance cruiser.
What is pleasantly surprising is, in spite of the busy feeling, the Tucson feels very stable at higher speeds. Of course, the vague steering is a fly in the ointment, but you don't realize the speeds you are doing. In a way, it reminded me of the Elantra which had a competent suspension setup. Hyundai has indeed come a long way. The Tucson isn't bouncy even at higher speeds! The handling is predictable, while body roll is well-controlled through the corners. Curves taken at higher speeds won't make passengers uncomfortable. Further, the 225/55 Nexen tyres provide sufficient grip and even quick lane changes are predictable. There's ESC & VSM to help you deal with emergency situations, should they arise.
The steering does have some play at the centre, and also seems to be artificially heavy from time to time (especially in sports mode). In some situations, I wished the assistance was a bit less. Steering feel is lacking, and it feels disconnected from the road (ol' Hyundai trait). Know those long bends on the expressway? The EPS feels rather vague there. Inside the city, the steering is nice to use and makes driving in traffic easy.
The brakes are another strong point of the Tucson. The all-wheel discs do an excellent job and bring the Tucson to a stop quickly...without any drama. ABS with EBD works very well from high speeds and it is reassuring to know the vehicle will stop when you want it to. Area of improvement? The pedal feels spongy after the initial bite (this has been observed in other Hyundai cars too).
• The Tucson received a 5 Star EURO NCAP rating in 2015 (detailed report).
• ARAI rated fuel economy figures: Petrol MT - 13.03 km/l, Petrol AT - 12.95 km/l, Diesel MT - 18.42 km/l, Diesel AT - 16.38 km/l.
• Fuel tank capacity - 62 litres.
• Audio system and connectivity options are standard across all variants.
• Front parking sensors missing in the MT variants.
• While Auto hold is ON, you can shift from N to D and back from D to N without keeping your foot on the brake pedal.
• Impact sensing door locks are standard on all variants.
• Under the Hyundai Premium Assurance Program (HPAP), you get a standard warranty of 3 years/unlimited kilometres.
• Existing Hyundai owners get a 4th year Extended Warranty free of cost.
• 3 Years/30,000 kilometres free maintenance, 3 years Roadside Assistance, 3 times Map update are also standard :thumbs up.
• 3 home visits on the 15th day of ownership, then in the 6th month and 18th month. Dealer tells us these are just feedback sessions. Keeps the customer (attention) & Hyundai (feedback) happy. A technician would be sent to the customer's house. If the customer is facing any minor problems, they would attempt to solve it there itself. If the car needs to be serviced or something more major, they would take the car to the service station.
• First service at 1,500 km / 2 months, second at 10,000 km / 12 months. Subsequent services after every 10,000 km / 12 months.
• Available in 5 colour options - Pure White, Sleek Silver, Star Dust, Phantom Black and Wine Red. India doesn't get the Ara Blue paint option from the international model.
• The Tucson has a drag coefficient of 0.33.
• SUV is named after the city of Tucson, Arizona.
• Designed by Peter Schreyer, Chief Design Officer at Hyundai who's famous for styling the Audi TT. For a look at the initial sketches of the Tucson - click here.
Disclaimer: Hyundai invited Team-BHP for the Tucson test-drive. They covered all the travel expenses for this driving event.
The Smaller yet Significant Things
Check out BHPian Ach1lles' Review of his Phantom Black Tucson. The test car which we had was in Star Dust body colour. Here is the Tucson in Pure White…
…and Wine Red:
A look at the throw from the headlamps. The Dual LED lights do a good job in lighting up the road ahead:
In comparison, the halogen high-beams are not so great:
The wheel wells get insulation and do a fine job of eliminating road noise:
The only variant badging was this peel-off sticker on the rear quarter glass :D:
35 PSI constant for normal as well as full load:
VIN plate is on the B-pillar of the passenger side…
…and under the driver's seat:
A deeper look into the footwell shows the motor-driven power steering system box (above the brake pedal). Also note the OBD port on the top right of the picture:
Soft lining on the inside of the seatbelt buckles to prevent scratches on the center console:
On the side of the center console is this small slat to place newspapers / documents. Only the passenger side gets this (not the driver side):
Useful coat / bag hook on both B-pillars:
Standard Hyundai-family key. A premium car should've gotten something snazzier:
Even the switches on the right side of the driver are backlit in blue. Manual headlamp leveller in the lower variants. Also note the missing traction control switch:
Hyundai recommends Shell:
Re: Hyundai Tucson : Official Review
Thread moved from the Assembly Line to Official Reviews. Thanks for sharing!
Re: Hyundai Tucson : Official Review
The attention to details is amazing on TeamBHP reviews. My first impression regarding the interior cabin wow factor was the same. Only slightly better than Creta, but doesn't justify the price. It has great features and is an ideal sized SUV for urban conditions if you can spend that much.
Re: Hyundai Tucson : Official Review
Agreed Hyundai has come a long way in all other departments but why they are still not getting the right feel in the steering. Is it technically so difficult to get it right ? what components/parts or design makes the difference in the feel of the steering. Where Hyundai designers are lacking ? Can someone pinpoint/demystify exactly what is going wrong with them ? All the fun disappears and driver looses confidence if steering doesn't feel right. :Frustrati
Yet another overpriced Hyundai which slots in between the already expensive Creta and the Santa Fe!
Looks brilliant from every angle though.
You now just cannot say that Hyundai's are boring to look these days, can you?
Excellent review and pictures!
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