It’s a barrage of Hyundais at COTY this yr, although none comes with the identical degree of business criticality because the Tucson mid-sized SUV.
Competing within the nation’s hottest car section after utes, the Tucson is a big-volume participant that jostles with the likes of the Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-5, Subaru Forester, and its stablemate on this very discipline, the Kia Sportage.
The fourth-generation Hyundai Tucson follows its predecessor with myriad variants, but selecting one for COTY wasn’t that tough.
First, choosing the two.0-litre turbo-diesel over the 2 petrol drivetrain alternate options was a no brainer: the bottom 2.0-litre petrol is underpowered and the 1.6-litre turbo is hobbled by a recalcitrant dual-clutch auto.
Second, the $45,000 Elite trim grade is a mid-spec mannequin that gives worthwhile extras over the bottom Tucson whereas delivering vital financial savings over the range-topping Highlander.
Our COTY check automobile’s worth was additional boosted by an optionally available N-Line pack that, for simply $2000, provides an entire raft of goodies together with LED headlights, full-size digital driver show, leather-based/suede upholstery, auto excessive beam, and varied exterior/inner elaborations that lend the Tucson a barely sportier – learn: higher – look.
If we limit our subjective views on the styling to our resident automobile designer, Richard was quietly impressed. “The outside and inside styling isn’t trendsetting however is sweet and up to date.”
However onto extra goal issues…
All vehicles could also be examined in opposition to the Automobile of the 12 months standards, but it’s unimaginable to disregard some type of comparability when two closely associated autos are within the combine.
And so it wasn’t ignored; the Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage have been bundled into the identical driving group to make sure judges might check them back-to-back. There have been variations found on the proving floor, together with ESC calibrations.
“Surprisingly, the Tucson’s stability management and traction smarts are extra intrusive on gravel than the Sportage’s – they’re overly nannying,” Curt proffered. “The traction management appears to be compelled into an old-school method of turning off the facility faucets utterly fairly than making an attempt to work out a response that permits progress.”
“Respectable oiler; properly paired with a torque-converter auto” – Curt Dupriez
Nonetheless, all judges acknowledged the system was at the very least doing its factor to maintain the driving force on the straight and slim. And it was the Hyundai that dealt with the emergency lane-change manoeuvre with better distinction.
“The Tucson was much less scrappy than the Sportage, containing its mass extra convincingly,” famous Alex.
There was additionally shared disappointment that the N-Line badge doesn’t convey any efficiency or dynamic features for the Tucson because it does with different Hyundai fashions, but there was nonetheless widespread reward for the SUV’s good ranges of grip, respectable steering, and strong dealing with on the 5 % Gradient course.
The two.0-litre turbo-diesel was not fairly as admired as the two.2L diesel within the Palisade, with judges imparting some criticism for the engine’s barely coarse and clattery nature.
There was additionally wonderment on the lack of new-generation engines – together with the badly wanted hybrid possibility that will assist give the Toyota RAV4 a more durable run for its cash.
Whereas not each merchandise of cabin expertise ticked containers for judges – such because the so-so digital driver show and lack of wi-fi cellphone charging in all however the Highlander – the inside was thought-about a serious enchancment.
That particularly applies to elevated cabin house that comes as a pure results of bigger car dimensions.
It’s an enchancment shared with the Sportage, after all.
Dylan summed up the inescapable comparability. “Selecting between this and Sportage is like selecting between Cokeand Pepsi.”
The query is whether or not the Kia would style simply that bit sweeter to go one step additional…
|Engine||1998cc 4cyl turbo diesel|
|Energy||137kW @ 4000rpm|
|Torque||416Nm @ 2000-2750rpm|
|Transmission||8-speed automated, AWD|
|Security||5 stars (ANCAP)|
|Weight (heavier than claimed)||130kg|
|Noise at 100km/h||68.2db|