New Hyundai Tucson 2.0 Diesel AT Review : Mid-Size Masterstroke

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Added in: Hyundai

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Back in 2005, the introduction of the first-generation Hyundai Tucson in the Indian market made for a pleasant surprise. However, it was a little ahead of its time, as Indians were yet to warm up to premium SUVs. Nonetheless, it met with a reasonable amount of success, but it wasn’t enough to call for the second-generation Tucson to India, thus leaving a big void in India’s tryst with the Tucson. Then the Creta came along, and the rest is history. Preferences shifted from C/D-segment sedans to compact, so-called premium SUVs, and the Creta along with a few other models reaped the maximum benefits of the transition. Prompted by its massive success, Hyundai India has brought in the third-generation of the Tucson, which will be straddling the Creta and the Santa Fe. We find out how good it is.

New 2016 Hyundai Tucson Design and Styling

 

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The new Tucson is a diva. No matter what angle you look at it from, the new Tucson shines. The styling is governed by Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design philosophy that explains the lissome sculpting all around. The front end, arguably, is the most eye-catching. A large, trapezoidal grille with lashings of matte chrome takes center stage.

The Tucson’s heavily jewelled front end is highlighted by those sexy, dual barrel LED headlamps that have static bending lamps and slender strips of DRLs. The well sculpted front bumper also hosts a set of DRLs, along with fog lamps.

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The sides look particularly sporty, with strong character lines, a ‘kicked up’ window line and slightly squared off wheel arches, while the wraparound tail lamps and the raked rear screen make the rear end look appealing. Subtle skid plates all around, minimal body cladding, beautiful 18-inch, diamond cut alloy wheels and dual, trapezoidal exhaust tips round off the new Tucson’s aesthetic package.

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That’s some expressive glassware; hides a static bending lamp in there.

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Instances of metal bent like that make the Tucson look like the diva that it is.

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These 18-inch wheels are so intricate that you’ll get lost in them.

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The shark-fin antennae that’s the rage these days.

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These squared off exhaust tips are an unique touch

New 2016 Hyundai Tucson Interiors

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The interiors are a great place to be in, but somehow don’t convey the INR 20+ lakh club feel. Yes, there’s a good interplay of beige and black sections, along with leather upholstered seats, metallic accents and slivers of chrome. The black sections are all swathed with textured, soft touch plastics, and the leather wrapped steering wheel is a joy to hold. Words like up-market and premium can be thrown around without a second thought to describe the new Tucson’s cabin. Yet, there’s something missing that deters the cabin  from feeling as plush as the money it commands. Maybe it’s the details, like how the inside door pulls aren’t finished in chrome, or the lack of wood trimmings, or the absence of aluminium sill plates that rob off some premium air.

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Yep, that’s a sill plate and it should’ve been done up in aluminium..

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..while those door pulls should have been chrome smeared.

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Space isn’t a problem inside the new Tucson. There’s ample head- and leg-room in both the rows, while the seats themselves are supremely comfortable. The front seats have excellent lumbar and under-thigh support, while the rear bench leaves nothing to complain about.  The driver’s seat is 10-way electrically adjustable and the driving position is perfect for the crossover that the Tucson is.

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The rear bench gets an integrated arm-rest with a couple of cup holders for the times when the awkward fifth occupant isn’t around.

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There’s plenty of storage space inside – more than you’ll ever need actually. There are a couple of bottle holders beside the gearlever, a sun-glass holder, a cooled glove-box, a couple of spaces below the center console to stow phones/knick-knacks, a spacious cubby hole between the front seats and door pockets that will hold two 500 ml bottles.

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The boot is good for 513 liters of luggage with all the seats in place, while the rear bench having a 60:40 split can be folded flat (almost) to release more boot space.

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The center console is dominated by the large, all-new, 8.0-inch touch screen equipped infotainment system (sourced from the new Elantra) that is equipped with both Apple Carplay and Android Auto for integration of app based navigation (MapMyIndia), streaming audio, voice controlled search capabilities and smart phone applications.  Touch sensitivity is fantastic, with almost instantaneous responses and well-layered, intuitive menus.

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The screen doubles up to display feed from the reverse camera, replete with adaptive guidelines, while the 6-speaker ‘Arkamys’ developed sound system sounds better than average.

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There’s an abundance of connectivity options with three 12v power sockets (2 up front and 1 in the boot) aside from USB, AUX ports.

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That’s a good looking steering wheel right there.

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Instrumentation is neat and comprehensive; 4.2-inch MID between the dials is more informative than your CA.

New 2016 Hyundai Tucson Features

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Being a Hyundai, the new Tucson is brimming with segment-first features. Proceedings start off with auto-folding ORVMs with puddle lamps that do their thing when the ignition is turned off and on. There’s an electronic parking brake (only for diesel variants) that crunches into operation with just a flick of a switch, while an Auto Hold feature (AT only) lets you leave the brakes alone in D mode when the vehicle is stationary at a stop light.

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The icing on the cake is the Welcome Function. As you approach the Tucson with the key fob in your pocket, it senses your presence and automatically unlocks the car as the auto-folding ORVMs swish into operation, and the puddle lamps/ door pocket lights glow. Stand closer to the tail gate and it, being power operated, opens automatically after three beeps. This works well if you’re exiting a departmental store, hands full of groceries and you need to dump them into the boot.  The tailgate also comes with an anti-pinch function and you can even choose a pre-set height for it to open up to.

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Other notable features include dual zoned climate control with a ‘Sync’ function that equalizes zones, rear AC vents, door pocket lights, an electro chromatic inside rear view mirror with an integrated compass, heated ORVMs, automatic headlamps, cruise control, extendable sun visors, power windows on all four doors (with only driver’s window getting the ‘Auto Up’ feature), and a smart key with button start.

Even the base variant comes packed with projector headlamps instead of the dual barrel LED units, cloth upholstery instead of leather, 17-inch alloy wheels in place of 18-inch ones, and most of the features mentioned above.

New 2016 Hyundai Tucson Engine and Performance

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The new Hyundai Tucson gives a couple of 2-litre engines to choose from. The petrol unit is the same as on the Elantra but puts out 155PS of power – 3PS more than the Elantra. The diesel unit, the talking point here, is all new and develops a healthy 185PS and 400Nm of generous torque. Both engines come paired to either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission, and send power to the front wheels (an all-wheel-drive variant is expected next year). We briefly sampled the one that is likely to be more popular – the diesel automatic.

NVH levels are well contained, and at idle there’s barely any engine noise filtering inside the cabin. Even at cruising speeds, the new Tucson’s cabin is remarkably silent. Performance is brisk and the diesel fuelled Tucson surges ahead with gusto, reminding you that its power-to-weight ratio of 112PS per tonne is not only the best in class, but also betters some SUVs above its class. The eVGT (Electronic Variable Geometry Turbocharger) ensures that power delivery is linear by keeping lag to a minimum, although there is a perceptible amount of it below 2,000 rpm.

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However, it never gets in the way of drivability, which is excellent, be it while negotiating sticky urban traffic or while blasting on the highways. Although the engine is quite free revving for a diesel sipping mill, and will easily rev out to 5,000 rpm in the blink of an eye (relatively), you don’t need to. Instead, all you need to do is ride a wave of satisfying surge of torque that is the sweetest between 2,000-4,000 rpm. Milking this power band will get you past slow moving traffic with ease, and account for most overtaking maneuvers.

The Sport and Eco driving modes, like in the Elantra, have their share of characteristics. While Eco mode dulls down throttle response considerably and calls for an early up shift from the 6-speed AT, Sport mode is noticeably aggressive, with the revs rising, the throttle response becoming more eager and the AT shifting later than usual. The sportier mode is actually quite enjoyable, and is sure to perk up your commute. As for fuel efficiency, Hyundai India claims a mileage of 16.38kmpl for the diesel AT, and 18.42kmpl for the diesel MT.

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A word of appreciation for the 6-speed AT, which does it job well. Shifts are smooth and relatively quick, and its brain barely gets confused in everyday driving conditions with unpredictable throttle inputs. It always has the right cog ready, albeit with a hint of delay that’s to be expected as this is no DCT.

New 2016 Hyundai Tucson Ride and Handling

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The independent suspension all around does a great job, as the Tucson’s ride quality is generally supple. The ride does feel a bit jittery at low speeds because of the Hydraulic Rebound Stoppers on each shock absorber, especially when going over broken surfaces, but things improve as the speeds rise. There’s none of the bobbing and pitching, while the Tucson comfortably takes potholes and irregularities in its stride.

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The handling is predictable, but not particularly involving. Neither the chassis nor the steering communicates well, while body roll, though well contained, is a bit of kill-joy. The artificially weighted steering wheel does try to be direct, but comes across as a bit vague. Cars with the 6-speed MT also have a ‘Flex-steering’ feature (only in Sport mode) that weighs up the steering rack during some spirited cornering. For all its intents and purposes, the new Tucson is dynamically well behaved.

New 2016 Hyundai Tucson Safety

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As for safety, the new Hyundai Tucson offers dual airbags, ABS with EBD, ISOFIX, rear parking sensors and a rear camera as standard. The AT ‘GL’ grade adds front parking sensors, side and curtain airbags too, while the range-topping ‘GLS’ grade gets ESC, vehicle stability management, brake-assist, hill-hold and hill-descent control.

Verdict 

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There’s little at fault with the new Hyundai Tucson. It’s got the looks, it’s got true diesel performance (with efficiency) and it’s got the toys. The interiors, though comfortable, practical and spacious, could have been a bit more inviting, but the goodness of the rest of the package overwhelms that fact. For those who’ve had enough of their Creta and are looking for a upgrade on similar lines needn’t look any further than the Tucson. The new Hyundai Tucson may just create a niche for itself as a relatively compact, good looking, premium 5-seat crossover, because not everyone is looking for size and 7 seats.

New 2016 Hyundai Tucson Variants and Prices

2.0 e-VGT 2WD MT (Diesel) – INR 21,59,000
2.0 e-VGT 2WD AT GL (Diesel) – INR 23,48,000
2.0 e-VGT 2WD AT GLS (Diesel) – INR 24,99,000
2.0 Dual VTVT 2WD MT (Petrol) – INR 18,99,000
2.0 Dual VTVT 2WD AT GL (Petrol) – INR 21,79,000

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