Hyundai Tucson 1.7 D

SE NAV

Hyundai Tucson, side action
Hyundai Tucson, front action
Hyundai Tucson, rear action
Hyundai Tucson, dashboard
Hyundai Tucson, rear seats
Hyundai Tucson, front seats
Hyundai Tucson, boot

YOU might have noticed how the media is getting us ready for cars that drive themselves - do your emails/nails/shopping list on the way to work.

Well, don't hold your breath. It will take some years, better road markings and lots of new cars before we let the machine take over completely.

But for a gentle introduction of how the autonomous car might feel, jump into the Hyundai Tucson, push a switch on the lower dash and be prepared for a surprise.

For, with the lane departure warning activated, this Hyundai will gently nudge the steering wheel as it keeps you between the white lines on the road ahead.

If you find this a nuisance, the system can be switched off with a simple prod of the button that switched it on.

But before you do that, you might like to let the other part of this clever technology show what it can do; in the shape of what Hyundai calls lane keep assist.

With your hands off the wheel the car tracks itself round gentle bends before a warning sounds and you're instructed to get back in charge. Not recommended in the handbook, of course, but a sign of what is to come, eventually.

Already here and raring to go is this latest European-built SUV from the Korean company that has gone in record time from building humble cars bought on price alone to machines that fight for orders against cars with much fancier badges (think BMW X1).

Taking over from the old ix35, the Tucson looks every inch the modern urban street fighter, built taller than a hatchback and packing a solid visual punch.

Like most of its competitors this butch image is a bit of a fib; most versions will have front-wheel drive only, with a 4x4 system reserved for top end, dearer models.

Most British winters won't trouble a two-wheel-drive Tucson anyway (add a set of winter tyres to get you to your commuter train station in anything but a snowdrift) and you'll be saving on purchase price and go further between fill ups too.

It's actually quite a big car and heavy with it, so the surprise is how a 1.7-litre diesel engine copes so well.

If ever there was proof that stopwatch figures don't always tell you anything useful, this Tucson's near 14 seconds to 62mph is it.

The car feels powerful enough not to worry its driver, who ought to be impressed with the 47mpg the Tucson recorded on test.

A ride that stays mostly controlled and a quiet cabin add further to the sense of a car made spacious and accommodating for the real world.

And while in that world, you'll have time to admire a collection of goodies that come as standard with this mid-range model. Included are Bluetooth connectivity, DAB radio, heated front seats, cruise control, climate control and a sat nav system whose clarity ought to make an £80,000 Range Rover blush.

FAST FACTS

Hyundai Tucson 1.7 D SE NAV

Price: £23,090

Mechanical: 114bhp, 1,685cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 109mph

0-62mph: 13.7 seconds

Combined MPG: 61.4

Insurance Group: 16

C02 emissions: 119 g/km

Bik rating: 20%

LATEST Hyundai NEWS

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

Read more View article

WHEN they say the Hyundai Tucson Premium model comes fully loaded they're not...

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

LATEST NEWS

Google+