Hyundai Tucson 2.0

CRDi Premium SE

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

WHAT'S in a name? Quite a lot, if you ask the people at Hyundai.

The South Korean firm last year replaced its rather anonymous sounding ix35 with the all new Tucson which has already established itself as a front runner in crossover-SUV land.

There's certainly nothing anonymous or bland about the new model's name or styling. With a frontage that resembles the larger Santa Fe and a much more co-ordinated rear end, the Tucson is among the best looking and spacious cars in its class.

Mind you, competition is tough with rivals such as Qashqai, Kadjar and the new Tiguan in its tyre tracks.

Two diesel versions and a 1.6-litre petrol are offered. I drove the more powerful of the diesels, a two-litre 182bhp with automatic transmission. The smaller diesel is a 1.7-litre which pushes out 134bhp.

With four wheel drive the Premium SE has all the trimmings its name suggests and benefits from the extra urge provided by the larger engine.

The cabin is a big step up over the old ix35 with plenty of soft touch plastics, good fit and easy to read dials that are also well placed. A large touch screen sits centre of the dash.

All versions come with DAB radio, Bluetooth and air con, while the Premium SE is treated to sat nav, heated front seats, leather upholstery and parking sensors.

There's plenty of room for passengers and their luggage. Front seats are large and comfortable and the split rear bench can fit three adults but the person in the centre must deal with the transmission tunnel which reduces legroom.

The hatchback boot takes up to 513 litres of cargo and when the rear seats are folded this expands to 1,503 litres, which is slightly roomier than the Renault Kadjar. Unfortunately the Tucson's rear seats don't fold completely flat. Headroom is generous front and back.

There are plenty of pockets, bottle holders and cubbies for the inevitable family clutter.

Ride is compliant, verging on soft with a good capability of soaking up poor surfaces and bumps.

Nevertheless, body roll is kept well within check allowing keen drivers to press on around bends. The on-demand four wheel drive system feeds 50 per cent of the torque to the rear wheels when required. The steering is light but offers little feedback.

Noise levels of the new 2.0-litre diesel are pleasantly muted and the twin clutch six-speed automatic gearbox pairs up well, offering punchy mid-range acceleration and a sprint to 62mph in 9.9 seconds. Top speed is a respectable 125mph.

If economy is a top priority, you are better going for the smaller 1.7-litre diesel couple to two-wheel drive. Extra equipment of the Premium SE plus the four-wheel-drive system add weight, making it a more thirsty proposition. The official combined average is 43.5mpg, but it's more realistic to expect around the 33mpg mark.

FAST FACTS

Hyundai Tucson 2.0 CRDi Premium SE

Price: £31,015

Mechanical: 182bhp, 1,998cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via automatic gearbox

Max Speed:125mph

0-62mph: 9.9 seconds

Combined MPG: 43.5

Insurance Group: 23

C02 emissions: 170g/km

Bik rating: 31%

Warranty: 5yrs/100,000 miles

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