Hyundai SUV toast of

the school run

Hyundai Tucson, front
Hyundai Tucson, nose
Hyundai Tucson, side
Hyundai Tucson, rear
Hyundai Tucson, back
Hyundai Tucson, interior

THIS may be a bit early in the day for you but as I write we are in the middle of gin and tonic week.

Now I like gin as much as the next man, woman or child before it is put up the chimney. Gin soothes the savage breast, no matter how much bad press it got from Hogarth, and goes ever so well with cucumber. This in my book makes it one of your five a day.

The thing is there are now so many regional and niche gins it all gets a bit confusing. Liverpool gin is distilled on the city's dock road, probably not for the first time, and is an infusion of aromatics and botanicals. Just 18 miles away is the home of Ormskirk gin, a similaralchemy of herbs and if I remember correctly, a pleasing citrus background.

Every town now seems to have its own brand. It is only a matter of time until we have the Bill Smith 27 Acacia Avenue gin or bottles of Legless Doreen.

It could well be that all this gin confusion is a clever attempt by the health puritans to keep us off the sauce.

Not only can you spend a whole morning deciding which delightful combo suits the mood of the coming evening but prices of these specials are so high you may well be tempted to go with just the tonic water.

Similarly in the autosphere there is a dizzying array of SUVs. Believe it or not I have been in the market for a middling crossover for almost a year and simply cannot make up my mind. Well okay I can. It won't be a BMW or Audi because I need money left over for gin.

Last weekend I all but killed a couple of Jeeps off-roading and thought 'this is it'. But then the Škoda Kodiak pricing caught my eye. Just before the driver rolled up with a new Hyundai Tucson.

This is the replacement for the ix35 and uses a name last seen in the noughties. And the name is all you would recognise.

Hyundai has taken the car up market to the extent that it is like going into your old boozer and finding it now only serves cocktails to chaps in tight trousers.

Tucson has style, space and adds a new dimension to the school run. Yes, take it to the countryside but it is most at home getting to and from it.

The premium diesel was powered by a two-litre 16-valve four cylinder engine and so, not surprisingly, had what we could call sober performance - 0 to 62mph in 10.9 seconds is hardly the stuff of gay abandon.

In consumption terms, however, this translated to a combined promise of 54.3mpg although tax at £130 is middling stuff. The price to you is £29,000.

Something hardly reflected in the equipment list.

It would not be unreasonable to suggest that Hyundai has it in mind that many drivers have the attention span of a brick. There is so much safety equipment and so many driver alerts, I really feel only the profoundly drunk could get into trouble.

On a personal security level avoid muddy pumps with see-you-home and puddle lights.

Which moves us to the conveniences and comforts department where the expected automation and connectivity is titillated by things like a chiller glovebox, leather trim, heated front seats and recliners in the rear.

Practical? Massively. Loads of luggage space, storage and fixing points.

The cabin of the Tucson is beautifully finished, it takes inspiration from the larger Santa Fe and easily competes with premium brands in terms of user friendliness and feel. There is an eight-inch touch screen with navigator, traffic monitoring and reversing camera.

If you are looking for a family SUV stick this one on the list. It is well finished, heavily kitted and comes with a five year warranty. I'll drink to that.

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