Mileage as of writing this
1800 kms, out of which about 800 were on the "highway". It is kind of ridiculous though that I'm unable to maintain a constant speed of 90-100 km/h even for short bursts during the day, and that on a 6 lane NH1. Driving has become increasingly frustrating, but I digress. Mileage per L is around 11.5. Which is okay because my local usage is mostly bumper to bumper all the way. On highway runs the MID shows a mileage of 14+ km/L, and I think it is quite accurate.
Edit on Feb 14: I'm upto about 3400 kms now. Usage pattern
Everything. It is the only car I use. Work, gym, highway, outstation, road trips, everything. She's started everytime I need to be somewhere. Around 20000 kms yearly sounds about right. No one else gets to drive the Tucson except my kid brother, who stays away Exterior styling and design
Hoo boy. The Tucson is unmistakably a Hyundai in exterior design. I believe it to be the most accomplished, most modern, most coherent
Hyundai badged car in existence today. It looks mouth watering-ly good from every single angle. I really can't find fault anywhere though if I had to nitpick, I'd say that the rear exterior lights and the rear windscreen could've been better.
As far as looks go, it is a proper evolution of the Santa Fe design. The Santa Fe being an earlier model imbibed some elements from the Tucson in a facelift after the Tucson launched. Every single panel flows onto the next, and yet the Tucson gives off this sort of muscular presence. This one is not slender. The chrome is very tastefully applied and looks slick on black. It has no loud tricks, it does not shout, and yet it commands your attention. I have noticed many, many people eyeing the car while I'm driving. Infact, people in crossovers and SUVs "stare" the most (they don't catch me catching them because I'm usually wearing sunglasses :P). I take it all as a complement for the Hyundai design team. You can see the "inspiration" it has caught. The rhomboid exhaust tips are GLE AMG like, the side stance with that elongated spoiler is kind of similar to the Cayenne, though there's nothing directly lifted, as far as I can tell. Everyone who's seen it, strangers, family, friends, they all say a very common thing. The car appears to be a far more premium car at first glance, till they haven't had a chance to see the Hyundai badge. The dual shaded wheels look lovely too.
The car carries only two words on the exterior, 'TUCSON' & 'CRDI', no trim labels, no capacity labels.
Peter Schreyer, formerly of Audi and now with Kia since the last 10 years has designed only the Tucson for Hyundai, and I'd say this is a job well done. Overall build quality, fit & finish, paint quality and panel gaps
Tight. There are no loose bits, no untoward panel gaps, no buttons overextending themselves, she feels really well put together. I have seen and read reviews from various places, worldwide, and none of them have ever mentioned anything lacking about build quality and interior fit and finish. I could notice some aberrations in the paint, specially when she was showroom new. 3M paint protection reduced these to a large extent, though they're still there and are visible but you have to look very closely.
The doors open in 3 stages. They feel nice and heavy, though aren't "tank" heavy. They shut with a satisfying clunk. Infact, there's no 'tinny' feeling anywhere. The hood is actually quite heavy to hold up. The electronic tailgate has a proper motor "wheeze" sound when it opens and shuts. Word of warning: though it is "anti-pinch", if it hits your head directly while closing, it is going to hurt. No, this did not
happen to me. Not even once.
The panel gaps are different for different panels, and yet they're consistent across their mirror image counterparts. For example, the gap between the spoiler and the tailgate is not the same as the gap between the spoiler and the roof, but on both sides, left and right, the gaps are equal.
I tried the "thumb press" test on every section of the car. Except for the small centre of the bonnet, no panel gave in. I'm quite strong, and believe me, I pressed. Wheels and Tyres
The Tucson comes with 225/55/R18 Nexon N Priz RH7 Korean made tyres with a max load of 750 kilos and max pressure of 44 psi. Tread depth is around a quarter of an inch.
While they're adequate and the car does not feel, nor looks under tyred, I'd have preferred a 235 section with a higher sidewall. It is not difficult to reach the limits of these 225s with sports mode and 400Nm on tap. Low profile tyres look great, but I've had a couple of occasions where I wished I'd have thicker tyres. These tyres just can't take bumps as well as higher profile tyres, and my daily drive has craters seeing which even the moon might point and laugh. I'm going to try 235s or even 245s with my first tyre change. I'm actually surprised that Hyundai didn't go with 235s as that's the size Santa Fe comes with.
The only "over busy" part of the exterior are the 14 (!) spoke wheels. The 18" rims look great by themselves, and the Tucson looks great wearing them. I've posted a picture above of the blue Tucson with 19" wheels, I think those look better , though only slightly. Those are the wheels I thought I'd change to, if I'd gotten the Creta. The 30th anniversary Tucson in Australia came with 18 inchers in black. They look super. I wonder how these 18s, the ones that the car came with, will look in black. Another mod to think about, along with that gorgeous blue wrap.
Just look at that colour. Source: dailymercury.com.au
The spare is a proper spare, a full size alloy. I'm glad Hyundai didn't skimp on this.
This size isn't common in India as yet, and I hope when the time comes for my first tyre change, proper options are available.
I also don't notice much tyre noise. Honestly, not much of any type of noise filters through to the cabin. Safety and related equipment
"With great power comes great responsibility". Hyundai seems to believe that this applies to the very top variant of each car only. Every single Hyundai, no matter the price, the segment, the shape, size, engine power, form, all the electronic driver aids and usually the side and curtain airbags are reserved for the top variant.
- ESC or Electronic Stability Control
- VSM or Vehicle Stability Management
- HAC or Hill start Assist Control
- DBC or Downhill Brake Control
- Brake Assist
ESC, VSM and ABS are active traction control systems, and I believe them to be quite important for crossovers and SUVs, specially for first time buyers. The cars behave differently under sudden direction change, a manoeuvre which isn't uncommon in India. I have no idea on how complicated or expensive they are to implement, but if they are available in any variant in the Creta, they had better be available in all variants of the Tucson. They're not. So was the case with the Santa Fe too. These aids were probably the biggest reason in my mind to go for the top variant, GLS.
Rant aside, the GLS carries absolute top notch safety. Euro NCAP gave it 5 stars, deservedly so. Everything from park assist with camera and (f&b) parking sensors, steering mounted controls, carplay, auto door lock, 4 wheel disc brakes, strong lights, along with good high speed stability work together to create a secure and comfortable environment.
"Comfortable"? Yup. Suite comfort is one thing that is ignored by many while viewing overall safety. When the car removes distractions and eases user interactions, your mind is much more tuned to the road, much more of the time, which is why I take "convenience" features like CarPlay (Siri) and steering controls as proper safety features. Even something as simple as the humble car AC can have a profound effect on your drive. So instead of being bothered by the heat, getting stuffed, irritated, distracted by the sweat and cursing your shitty day/life, you're nice and easy in the car and paying full attention to that idiot motorcyclist who is going to cut your way seventeen times within the same traffic signal before the next one comes in and repeats and then the next one and they keep on coming like a swarm of machines gunning for Zion. Sorry, I went a little "Newman" there. I kid, I kid.
However, as loaded as the Tucson is, there are a few proper safety & convenience features missing which I would've liked it to have.
- Driver knee airbag
- Top speed limiter in cruise control
I want the top speed limiter because cruise control in its current form is kind of useless. There is never low enough traffic anymore even on 6 lane highways for me to relax and enjoy a constant speed. There is however a notorious history of me unconsciously speeding on NH1. Top speed limiter would take care of that problem easily, and would take care of one more thing I have to think about. I've actually wanted this for quite long and I'm surprised Tucson doesn't have this.
Edit: As of this edit, Jan 31, 2017, Herr Clarkson mentions this very thing on the latest episode of TGT, that instead of paying attention to the road, you're paying attention to and distracted by speed traps. I have held this view for several years. Having a speed limit of 70 on a 6 lane highway is simply idiotic, specially for modern, safer cars.
The silliest important missing "feature" however is the passenger seatbelt warning sound. I don't want to have to explain to my co passenger on how they should wear the seatbelt or their neck may snap off, and for them to just laugh it off, and tell me to lighten up. I feel uneasy, and I'd rather my mum would wear that damn seatbelt instead of, or atleast before
praying every time she sits in the car.
There were also a few features which were removed from the Indian version, mostly radar based stuff like lane departure warning and blind spot assist; I would've liked blind spot assist to be present. As it is implemented in the Tucson, a small red label lights up when it detects another vehicle in either ORVM's blind spot. I've never used it but believe to be quite useful, specially in 'merge' situations. I know the rear cross traffic alert will be useful, I miss this feature while backing out of my driveway almost every day. The picture will explain it better.
Source: hyundaiusa.com Overall Features
The Tucson comes loaded, though there isn't much there that you wouldn't expect from the car, it being a Hyundai and costing that much. The ones I particularly like are the smart powered tailgate, auto & LED headlamps, front parking sensors with on demand activation, powered driver's seat adjust, auto hold, electronic parking brake, cornering lamps, 'sport mode', auto door lock and auto defogger. Auto Defogger
is brilliant. As long as you have the climate control on, the sensor monitors the appearance of condensation on the front windscreen and activates automatically to get rid of it, and it works pretty doggone well. The powered tailgate
has turned out to be extremely useful, and I didn't expect it to. I now put most 'everyday' things in the boot. It keeps the interior clean, and the rear seat fresh. So stuff like my gym bag, my squash racket etc. which used to go onto the rear seat now go into the boot. While getting out of the house, before reaching the car I can open the tailgate using the smart key, have the boot open when I reach, keep my stuff in, press the button on the tailgate and simply move to the driver's door without having to or waiting for it to close. When I reach my destination, I put the car in P, press the button to open the tailgate, get out of the car and lock it using the request sensor, take my stuff from the already opened boot, press the button to close it and simply walk away. There is a setting to disable the powered tailgate and you can use it manually all the way through, which brings me to the button on the boot. It is horrendous to use. The only button on the car which betrays the car. It is squidgy, and it is difficult to hit it properly in one go. It is under this wide rubbery area somewhere and feels very squirmy. Eh.
There's also one irritating thing about the powered liftgate, at mall and 5 star entrances. They need to view your boot from inside, which really irritates me as a practice and is a violation of my privacy, and is a pointless practice anyway because they do not ever check inside the luggage. Anyway, everytime I tell the person that this will open and close automatically, and for them not to fiddle with it, and yet, sure as night follows day, they will try to slam it down. Grrr. Also, the liftgate will only open and close when the car is in P, so when I tried to open it the first time we were at the mall and the car was in N, it looked kind of suspicious that I couldn't open the tailgate of a new car for a minute. Auto Hold
: GTO has already explained this very well in his 530d M-Sport review, but this is what it does in a nutshell: it disables the 'creep' in auto transmission cars by engaging parking brake when the car comes to a complete halt. This is very useful in stop and go traffic, particularly when it is downhill, or on flyover descent. The car can be in D all throughout without you having to change to N or P, or having to re-engage the parking brake very time the car moves a few feet. To move, simply press the accelerator pedal. Note that moving again from hold is slightly jerky, and not smooth as moving from standstill by letting go of brake. This is logical however, as in essence the electronic parking brake disengagement and accelerator input are overlapping. The brake light remains on whenever Auto Hold is, er, holding. If you open the door or turn the car off when auto hold is activated, the parking brake indicator turns on and auto hold is deactivated. From here on, the parking brake will have to be manually disengaged and auto hold will have to be manually reactivated. On demand activation of front parking sensors
is very useful in getting the car around tight spaces. They disable again, automatically, when you reach a certain speed. Electronic parking brake
was another revelation. I took it for a gimmick, a sort of party trick, but it is very convenient to use. One, it's just a small pull of the finger instead a pull of the arm, and two, it disengages automatically when you put the car in D or R. Three, it looks much better than a lever, and sits very symmetrically in the space. Four, auto hold would not be possible with a manual parking brake. Sports mode
is more like "caffeine" mode. It's like the car's been give a shot or two of espresso. I like What I would've liked
It pretty much ticked everything that I wanted in a car before
I actually got the car. Once I got the car, and have now had it for about a couple of months, I want more.
The obvious ones, specially ones which are present in the international version and aren't in India, are ventilated seats, panoramic sunroof and AWD. I feel the price would've been totally justified if they'd included just these three. Ventilated seats is an absolute shocker, the Elantra has had them for 5 years now. Someone at Hyundai is getting the skunk stuff from Manali because if it were the good stuff, we'd have gotten all three. Aside from these, the following are my top picks: Ambient lighting
: This is one thing that totally transforms the interior feel of the car. It makes it appear plush, and adds a huge amount of niceness
to the cabin. It just feels good to have, and probably adds a few lakhs in perceived value to the car. HUD
: I'm a gamer, so HUD is like the ultimate feature for me in a car. Not only is it a very cool piece of tech, it is incredibly useful. Better positioned levers for fuel tank lid and the boot
: Why are the fuel tank lid and boot opening levers in the same dingy places as they have been for the last 20 years? It is filthy to fiddle with the fuel tank lever. Why couldn't these be electronic buttons too? They've been in the same place for the last twenty years. I don't see why they have to stay there, even if they are to be manual. Also, while we're at it, why do the direction indicator stalks have to move physically after 'indicating' when the steering returns back to centre? The "tunng" they give off is kind of unbecoming. They need to be electronic. The car electronics know precisely where the steering is, where and how much it is turned. Wireless CarPlay
: Oh please, let this be software updatable. In its current form, it is only useful on long, outstation drives. Using cables is so 90's. Memory seats
: You can't have electronic seats and not have memory for the setting. That's just cheap. Give me just one, I don't care. I want the seat just the way I like it after my friend, bro or the valet take the car for a spin. I don't want to have to fiddle with it. Left OVRM moving to 'kerb' position on engaging R
: This is a bit of a personal quirk. My driveway is a bit tight, specially since my mum demands that it be lined up with plants all through. I know this feature exists, and so I want it. Right now I do it manually everytime.
It really does get tight
Felt lining all over the boot: naked plastics are just nasty when you ask for 30L, H
I also wish if somehow we could activate the rear camera while driving normally. It'd be cool as an IVRM substitute. I think it can also remove some blind spots while changing lanes, it has a wide field of view.