SMALL CHANGES, BIG IMPACT | 2019 HYUNDAI TUCSONPosted On: February 23, 2019 By : AutoLife Team
Hyundai, being the brand that is dear to the hearts of Nepalese people, also happens to be one of the bestselling brands in the country. Almost all of their four wheelers that comes rolling out of their factory door becomes instantly popular and gets widely accepted in the country. With all that, we can say that the Hyundai Tucson has received the same treatment. Tucson is a name that has been around for quite a while in our market. An SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) adored by all, the Tucson was a very successful SUV in its category and still is but in today’s era, has to face a lot of competition with several entries being made in its segment by new and old rivals alike. So, in response, Hyundai has taken the Tucson and given it a mid-life refresh to spice things up. So, did Hyundai do justice to the new Tucson? Can it prove that it still has a place in this fierce market? Let’s find out.
The Tucson has always been a handsome SUV and Hyundai has made it look even more attractive with this new facelift model. The changes start from the front, the headlights have been given a fresher look with the new DRLS (Daytime Running Lamps) that resembles the eye brows. There is also another DRL located just below the fog lamps. The grille is still in its signature cascading form but is a lot sharper than before. The side remains largely unchanged except for the new wheel designs which look very smart. The tail lights gets new LED strips that light up when you hit the brakes. The welcome feature opens up the Outside Rear View Mirror (ORVM), lights up the door handles and the puddle lights turn on when you approach the vehicle.
The Tucson is known as a Crossover SUV in other regions but since we do not import big SUVs like they do, the Tucson is considered a mid-sized SUV here. Here in our market, much smaller vehicles are considered crossover vehicles. By stating this fact by no means we’re trying to say that the Tucson is a small vehicle, and for the conditions that we have here it is a very well sized vehicle, it has the right proportions to have its street presence felt and is even spacious enough to comfortably seat four other passengers.
The interior is where the Tucson receives the newest features; it gets a 7 inch touchscreen infotainment system which was not present in the older Tucson. The Floating Screen adds a nice touch to the well-designed interior it already had. The infotainment system comes paired with both Apple Car Play and Android Auto, so which ever platform you prefer the Tucson has you covered. The leather upholstery is of high quality and is a place that’s very comfortable to be. It is also perforated for the heated and cooled front seats which definitely comes in handy when you want to be seated comfortably during the diverse weather conditions, on top of that the steering wheel can be heated too. The beige interior makes way for the new all black interior which gives it a sportier touch. The layout looks simple and elegant with ease of use kept in mind, there is a handy wireless charger in front of the gear shifter for the phones that support wireless charging. This makes it a lot easier as there is no need to be carrying your data cable in order to charge your phone while driving the vehicle.
The back seat is equally as comfortable to be seated in, with plenty of leg room and head room for the rear passengers. Even the transmission tunnel that runs through the middle of the floor is not too intrusive for the mid seat passengers as there is plenty of space on each side of the foot wells. The massive panoramic is still present and it is as appealing as before if not more! Overall, the interior of the Tucson is built with quality materials and a classy design. On top of the well-built body, you can count on six airbags to make sure that you and your passengers are always safe while traveling. (Note: Airbags are only deployed on those seats where the passengers are wearing their seatbelts.
PERFORMANCE AND HANDLING
The Tucson gets a 2.0 Petrol engine producing 164 HP @ 6200 RPM and 207 Nm of torque @4500 RPM. We were given the petrol automatic variant for test drive, the petrol engine was punchy across of the rev range where its peak power is felt from 4500 RPM onwards. The 6 Speed automatic version that it comes mated with does the shifting job well, it is not the fastest in terms of changing gears but it is no slouch either. It will take a little time to kick down to the right gear to get into its power band. While cruising it is very smooth but if you want the gears to be held longer then there are two options available. You can either put the vehicle in sport mode which makes the response sharper and holder the gear a tad bit longer or you can put the vehicle in manual mode and take over the control of shifting gears. The Tucson does lack paddle shifters so in order to change gears you will have to use the gear lever, slide it to the manual mode then move it forward to increase a gear or pull it backwards to decrease a gear.
The Tucson handles the corners and holds the corners well, it has a light steering wheel making it easy to drive in the congested traffic of our country. It also has the HTRAC system which takes the H from Hyundai and TRAC stands for traction, this is an intelligent system developed by Hyundai. What this system does is it adjusts the traction according to the requirements, it checks for the environment that you are driving in and according to that it will adjust itself to provide the best traction possible. It electronically controls the brake pressure on the right and the left wheel to provide maximum braking performance and with its computerized system it will adjust the torque distribution between the front and the rear axle to provide maximum traction at all times. The HTRAC is not the only driving assistance that the Tucson gets as it also boasts having ESC (Electronic Stability Control) to make sure that the vehicle doesn’t not lose traction while make fast change in directions which works in conjunction with the Vehicle stability management (VSM). If you are going down a hill then just a press of a button will engage the hill descent control which will take over the braking so that the driver can focus more on maneuvering the vehicle. On top of that it gets hill start assist so that if you have to start climbing up a hill then the system will make sure that you do not roll backwards. Other safety features include ABS meaning you can jam the brakes and the fact the all four wheels get disc brakes meaning the braking duty will be a breeze.
The Tucson is a very famous SUV and has a strong fan following, it has been admired by most throughout its life and will continue to be admired since it’s getting better with age. With the popularity of SUV growing every day and people willing to spend astronomical amounts on their private vehicles the market is accepting cars priced high pretty well. The Tucson starts from Rs.94,96,000 to Rs.1,10,96,000 for the top spec model. There are a lot of vehicles in this segment since the rise in its popularity with strong competition from its own sister concern, the Kia Sportage. Sometimes the smallest of changes are the ones that make the biggest difference and this is a perfect example. This is not a complete overhaul but a facelift, the changes to the exterior makes it an even more appealing package but the addition of the touchscreen infotainment system that was sorely missing in the past version is one thing that can make a huge difference as it was one feature that was lacking in the older models.