Car review: Hyundai Tucson

The best looking car in its segment?

Years back when I was still at university, a friend of mine, who will remain unnamed, was completely obsessed with the Hyundai Tucson. She said it was her dream car and that the minute she could afford it, she would buy one. I couldn’t quite understand it. I didn’t think it looked particularly good and I know family friends of ours who did own one were left very unimpressed, especially with the engine.

Things then changed in 2009 with the introduction of the next generation, named the Hyundai ix35. It went on to become a best seller with more than 32 000 units sold in South Africa. It looked a whole lot better too. It was only recently surpassed by the Ford Kuga.

So now, we are back to the Hyundai Tucson again. Confused? I don’t blame you. Hyundai feel this will simplify things and give people fresh thinking. With looks like this you don’t need a name change to encourage fresh thinking! The new Hyundai Tucson has to be one of the best looking cars in the segment. And this is saying a lot, this segment houses competitors such as the Toyota Rav4, Volkswagen Tiguan and the previously mentioned Ford Kuga.

It’s a bit bigger than its predecessor and certainly more striking, more aggressive looking. You will notice a bit of the Santa Fe coming through. The cabin is also impressive. It may not feel as premium as some of its competitors, but it is still pleasing to the eye. The top of the range Elite model  (there is also the Premium and Executive trim levels) comes standard with a panoramic sunroof which adds to the spacious feeling inside the cabin. The centre console has been redesigned and the Elite models boast a large display screen for the new-generation navigation system. Other standard features include dual zone air conditioning, a rear view camera display, cruise control and a host of storage compartments.

Hyundai Tucson

Safety features are also in abundance; the Premium trim level gets a rear view camera, speed sensitive auto locking doors, remote keyless entry and a driver, passenger, side and curtain airbag. The Elite model adds Blind spot detection, lane keeping assist and rear cross traffic alert.

Hyundai Tucson

The lineup consists of only two petrol engines, namely the 2,0-litre and the new 1,6-litre turbo. The reason we won’t see the 1,7 turbodiesel anytime soon is because of our dirty fuel, but Hyundai hasn’t written it off completely, we might still see it arrive later this year.

Hyundai is also probably one of the most honest when it comes to fuel consumption figures, they want to give us something that is a little bit more realistic to achieve, unlike some other manufacturers. The 2,0-litre with a six-speed manual gearbox has a claimed figure of 8,9 litres/100 km.

The Tucson is comfortable and the ride is great. There is minimal road noise coming in to the cabin and both engines provide enough power to keep most drivers happy. The car just feels more mature somehow. The new Tucson is something I would definitely consider if I were in the market for a great family car.

One of the most impressive things coming out of Hyundai is its 7-years/200 000 km drivetrain warranty which comes standard. The Hyundai Tucson range has a 5-year/150 000 km manufacturer’s warranty as well . Roadside assistance for 5 years or 150 000 km and a 5-year/90 000 km service plan is also included.


Hyundai Tucson 2.0 Nu Premium (manual): R359 900
Hyundai Tucson 2.0 Nu Premium (automatic): R379 900
Hyundai Tucson 2.0 Nu Elite (automatic): R439 900
Hyundai Tucson 1.6 TGDi Executive (manual): R419 900
Hyundai Tucson 1.6 TGDi Elite DCT AWD: R499 900


RAV4 starts at R334 300
Volkswagen starts from R354 700
Ford Kuga starts from R339 900