Hyundia - Tucson (2008 on)By admin • Oct 30th, 2008 • Category: Car Reviews
PRO: Good value and well equipped with an unbeatable warranty
CON: Doesn’t provide much feel-good factor
Hyundai’s ever burgeoning range of 4×4s has been joined by the Tucson, which aims to compete at the budget end of the Land Rover Freelander, Toyota RAV-4 and Nissan X-Trail market. To appeal to image-conscious buyers, they’ve made it more stylish than its two other 4×4s, the Terracan and Santa Fe. Given that its brief is unlikely to involve crossing deserts and tropical rainforests, it isn’t exceptional off-road ability, but has enough ability to cope with muddy car parks and general towing. It doesn’t bring anything new to the market, but does make a temptingly-priced and value-packed alternative.
There are three units to choose from, a 2.0 litre petrol, a 2.7 litre V6 petrol and a 2.0 litre turbo diesel. All offer adequate performance, but do become rather coarse when worked hard. The 2.0 litre petrol is only available as a five-speed manual, whilst the V6 is only available with a manual ‘box. The diesel is available with either gearbox but we think that a manual diesel is probably the pick of the range.
Under normal driving conditions, the Tucson is front-wheel driven. Power is only transmitted to the rear wheels once the fronts start to slip. There is also the option to lock the system into four-wheel-drive at speeds of up to 21mph. Such a system is not really up to the task of serious off-roading, but will cope with muddy car parks or towing requirements easily enough. It’s not unpleasant to drive on the road, but there are better handling off-roaders.
Large, rather flat seats will accommodate the biggest behinds, but don’t offer much in the way of support. Cabin space is reasonable and will just about cope with five passengers if those in the back aren’t too big. All models attempt to provide a generous level of equipment.
The rear seats split and fold totally flat to increase the already reasonably sized boot. There are numerous eyelets for securing loose items in the back andthe boot can be optionally accessed via the rear screen with opens separately. Cabin storage is ample and there is additional storage under the boot floor.
Rated as a four star (out of five) car when it was crash-tested by Euro NCAP, which is more than acceptable for a car of this size and class. Comes with six airbags as standard as well as ABS brakes and traction and stability control systems. All models are protected with central locking, alarm and immobiliser.
It hasn’t been around long, but the signs bode well. It also has the reassurance of a five year warranty to protect you should anything go wrong.
Buying & Selling
Buying new - Newly launched, so there aren’t any on the used market. Hyundai also makes the Terracan and Santa Fe which are more capable off road, but cruderon. Make sure you live close enough to you dealer as you’ll need to revisit for servicing to maintain the long warranty. Good value for money.
Buying used - Used examples will be rather thin on the ground, thanks to recent launch of model, and five year warranty which appeals to private buyers who like to hang onto their cars.
Selling - Better looking than its Hyundai off-road siblings, which ought to help resale. Badge not remotely aspirational but is gaining some credibility thanks to the long warranty and generally solid engineering of Hyundai cars. Off-roaders remain a popular proposition amongst the buying public.
Tucson is very well priced when you consider it in the context of its rivals. It won’t hold its price quite as well, but then you haven’t spent as much on it in the first place. V6 is rather thirsty, the diesel obviously being the best bet for keeping running costs down. Parts and serving costs are comparatively good.
Tucson scores reasonably on the eco front. With an average of 198 g/km CO2 across the model line-up, its emissions are fairly standard for a large 4×4. However, it’s worth noting that the line up has a high number of diesel models, bringing the average down and giving buyers more choices of low-emission versions. Diesels typically produce less CO2 than petrol engines with similar power outputs. The range is not particularly economical, averaging 36 mpg.