Hyundai Tucson

Premium 2.0 CRDi

Hyundai Tucson, front
Hyundai Tucson, front
Hyundai Tucson, front
Hyundai Tucson, front
Hyundai Tucson, front
Hyundai Tucson, side
Hyundai Tucson, rear
Hyundai Tucson, interior
Hyundai Tucson, boot
Hyundai Tucson, interior
Hyundai Tucson, interior
Hyundai Tucson, rear
Hyundai Tucson, boot

THE SUV market has been a key one for Hyundai as it has grown from bit-part player to world force in the last decade and a half.

Since the first Santa Fe went on sale in Europe in 2000, the South Korean car maker has delivered more than 1.2 million SUVs to customers across the continent, with more than 130,000 of those in the UK.

The ix35 has made a significant contribution to that success since 2009, when it replaced the Tucson as the marque's offering in the compact SUV sector - but now the ix35 has gone and the Tucson is back.

And it's already proving a hit - quickly becoming Hyundai's fastest selling car from launch in the UK and Europe when order books opened late last year.

Typified by an elevated ride height, chunky wheel arches, roof rails and a prominent, muscular grille the new Tucson has bold SUV looks with clean, sharp lines that are bang up to date - but its family friendly combination of space, practicality and generous equipment levels will have also appealed to early buyers.

Power comes from a choice of two petrol and four diesel engines with, depending on trim level, either front or four-wheel drive and manual or automatic transmissions.

That's plenty of choice to suit all tastes and pockets in terms of performance and running costs and my car was sporting the lower powered version of two 2.0-litre diesel options, with all-wheel drive and the six-speed manual gearbox, which aims to strike a good balance between the two.

Delivering 136ps and with a responsive throttle it's a refined unit that packs enough punch to cope with most situations.

Designed, built and tested in Europe to cope with the demands of European roads the chassis provides a smooth, comfortable ride while impressive control is maintained.

Good grip and minimal body roll in corners offers some nimble handling for a relatively tall motor - its wide stance in relation to its length, not to mention various electronic safety systems, no doubt helping with stability.

Hyundai claims more than 54 miles per gallon on average for this model but for my week behind the wheel - which, admittedly, consisted mainly of start-stop urban driving - it hovered around 40mpg.

Hyundai interiors continue to improve and the Tucson represents another step forward.

The extra width means that there is room for five adults to travel in comfort with plenty of practical storage space for all of their coffee cups, drinks bottles and personal items.

At 513 litres the boot is also generously sized and with the 60-40 split rear seats folded down offers an impressive 1,503 litres of loadspace - although these figures reduce to 488 and 1,478 litres respectively if you opt for a spare wheel.

There is more scratchy, unyielding plastic on display in the cabin than is ideal, especially given that Hyundai's are no longer as cheap as they used to be.

But what the South Koreans do to ensure they're still great value for money is pack in plenty of tech and creature comforts that you wouldn't find in comparable rivals.

Entry level S trim cars start at less than £19,000 and get standard features such as digital radio; Bluetooth, USB and AUX sockets, alloy wheels, air conditioning and automatic headlights.

My Premium spec test car sits one below the range topper and costs almost £10,000 more but boasts such luxuries as an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment and satnav system, leather upholstery with heated front and rear seats, all-round parking sensors, reversing camera and dual-zone climate control.

There's also a whole raft of safety kit including autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist, blind spot detection and a system that alerts the driver to traffic behind the car when reversing.

FAST FACTS

Hyundai Tucson Premium 2.0 CRDi

Price: £28,425

Mechanical:136ps, 1,995cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 114mph

0-62mph: 10.9 seconds

Combined MPG: 54.3

Insurance Group: 20

C02 emissions: 139g/km

Bik rating: 27%

Warranty: 5yrs/100,000 miles

LATEST Hyundai NEWS

HYUNDAI is looking to the future by launching a mild-hybrid version of its...

Read more View article

THIS may be a bit early in the day for you but as I write we are in the middle...

Read more View article

A MEASURE of just how attractive and capable a car the new Hyundai Tucson is...

Read more View article

LATEST NEWS

Google+