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ALL-NEW 2016 HYUNDAI TUCSON: REVAMPED

HyundaiTucsonNepal10The Hyundai Tucson, more commonly referred to as the “Tuckson”, gained popularity when it first came to the Nepali market. Now this was before Hyundai brought on the overhaul in their design concept and introduced the fluidic beauties that we see on our roads. Although it was a decent looking machine, it wasn’t the striking good looks that were getting the Tucson all the attention. What did increase its popularity was the fact that it was as close to owning an SUV as you could get without actually buying an SUV.

1genhyundaitucson1024(The first gen Hyundai Tucson)

In fact, in the Nepali context you would categorize the Hyundai Tucson as an SUV (just like you would say the Rav 4 is one) on account of its large stance. Hence, the Compact SUV was largely accepted as a sport utility vehicle. Furthermore, it had the capability to stand up to the status of being given the stature so it was loved by the masses despite its less than average looks (sorry Hyundai).

2HyundaiTucson1024(The second gen Hyundai Tucson)

Through the years it has gone through a lot of cosmetic changes along with the rest of the Hyundai roster and we are pleased to see the Tucson in its new avatar. It’s better than ever and is a gorgeous thing to look at. Here is our review of the all new Hyundai Tucson which looks to follow up on the massive success of the Creta.

EXTERIOR

Tucson has dropped the no frills image and really gone all out for their new iteration. It maintains the stature of its predecessors and adds on to the design elements with much of the same cues as they’ve incorporated in their larger Santa Fe. The bulgy bug eyed head lamps have been replaced with a set of sleeker wraparound headlights which come with LED DRLs. A prominent triple slated chrome plated grille houses the Hyundai badge inside the hexagonal shape and gives the front end a strong appeal.

HyundaiTucsonNepal1

High shoulder lines run through the length of the car to meet the wrap around tail lamps in the rear. A sloping roofline leads to a sporty spoiler and merges with a well-rounded behind. Rolling on 18 inch rims the Tucson boasts of a very attractive side profile, including the thick black body cladding and a chromed rising beltline moulding. Horizontally split rear tail lamps have integrated indicators and sit under the rear windshield. The gradient of the rear windshield is also significant and gives it a sportier appearance than the older version which is further accentuated with its rear skid plate.

HyundaiTucsonNepal5

Overall, the third generation of the Tucson seems to have got it right in terms of appearance. Hyundai’s design philosophy has been a winner and even more so in the case of the Tucson. Many argue that it looks like a larger version of the Creta and we can’t see what’s so bad about that. The Creta was a magnificent piece of design and the Tucson treads in the same area.

HyundaiTucsonNepal6

INTERIOR AND FEATURES

It is a feature rich affair inside the spacious cabin of the Tucson. It has a panoramic sunroof, cruise control, drive modes, parking sensors; you name it, it has it. And the fit and finish of the interior is of top quality and its dashboard has a smooth finish with dials and knobs performing various functions well.

HyundaiTucsonNepalinterior

However, the infotainment system is a massive letdown for a car which otherwise feels extremely premium. A simple system console performs the duties of Bluetooth connection, phone and music. Steering wheels get a number of controls that manage telephony, music and mode selection.

HyundaiTucsonNepalinfotainment

The instrument cluster provides the information you need when you drive in a visually appealing and readable manner in a 4.2” color TFT LCD flanked with analog speedometer and rev meter. Rear view cameras display what’s going on behind you on the inside rear view mirror.

HyundaiTucsonNepalspeedometer

The Tucson features ample adjustment in the steering wheel and seat, so it’s easy to find a comfortable driving position. There is plenty of room to seat 5 people comfortably and the seats themselves support the passengers well. Front seats are even equipped with cooling air ventilation system for high-humidity weather conditions or three levels of heating capability for chilly winters. Air bags and ABS will be offered as standards and you get 6 of them.

HyundaiTucsonNepalseat

To make your life easier, there is an added feature of an intuitive hands-free smart tailgate which will open automatically when you stand within the rear detection zone for three seconds or more with the smart key in your pocket.

PERFORMANCE

You get the option of a 2.0 MPi petrol engine capable of a maximum 155 ps at 6,200 rpm and 19.6 kg∙m torque at 4,000 rpm and a 2.0 CRDi diesel engine that delivers 185 ps at 4,000 rpm and 41.0 kg·m torque at 1,750 -2,750 rpm.

HyundaiTucsonNepal8

We were driving the petrol engine and we started out with it in the eco mode to see how it fared in the city traffic. That is where you would most likely be using it any ways. But to be completely honest, we also wanted to get that out of the way before we got to go at it in the open roads. The eco mode was surprisingly fun to drive, there was noticeable lag but that is a given on any automatic and that too in eco mode. Maneuverability was decent for such a big car and it handled itself very well in the urban cluster. Over the shoulder visibility could have been improved though. Also, like with most other offerings from the Korean manufacturer, we would have loved it if there was more feel and feedback on the steering. Nevertheless, we are beginning to get more used to the light drivability.

HyundaiTucsonNepal3

The new Tucson has a host of safety features which protect you if you’re driving like an idiot. There is the Autonomous emergency braking (AEB) system which is designed to secure you from any potential collisions ahead, using high-tech radar and camera sensors that keep you safe even when you’re not looking. There is also the blind spot detection (BSD) which also uses sensors to monitor vehicles approaching blind spots from the side and rear end of the vehicle.

HyundaiTucsonNepal2

After switching the eco mode on and off several times within the city, we finally headed to the outskirts of the city where the roads opened up and we could really give it a go in the new Tucson. Switch to sport mode and the Tucson is an entirely different beast. Triple digits come easy and it doesn’t make a big fuss about it. Fling it around corners and it maintains its calm and composure adding to your driving experience.

VERDICT

We’re not going to say the Tucson was the most loved SUV (compact), but it was definitely extremely popular. Although most people pronounce it differently, the Tucson was somehow always amongst the talked about SUVs in Nepal. But it wasn’t always pretty and we never really fell for it… until now. The new Hyundai Tucson is definitely a looker and it comes filled to the brim with features. Aesthetic upgrades were just what the popular car needed.

HyundaiTusconNepal11

And we don’t mind that it takes the SUV tag because it comes pretty close to it in the Nepali context. It is large, has good road presence, and provides a premium experience throughout.

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