Last Word First
Hyundai have got their Tucson spot on. It ticks the boxes everywhere you care to look and as we rapidly approach the end of another motoring year, its sits atop the sales charts – the people have spoken.
Not only have the populace had their sales say, Ireland’s Motoring Journalists have just awarded the Tucson the heady accolade of Irish Medium SUV of the Year 2107, in association with Continental – the endorsement is effectively complete.
Powered by its 1.7litre diesel, the Tucson’s semi-high-rise crossover format is hugely attractive to buyers, with all the major manufacturers offering an alternative to the family hatchback/saloon. Given that it replaced the ix35 and might have expected a more reserved uptake on the sales charts, the 2016 Tucson sits in some 7,500 of the nations driveways – one has to be impressed.
Make: Hyundai, Model: Tucson, Format: 5-door/5-seat Crossover/SUV, Engine: four-cylinder, 1.7CRDi, Power: 116bhp, Torque: 200Nm, Transmission: 6-speed manual, front-wheel-drive, CO2 rating: 119gm/km, Tax Band: A4, Annual Road Tax: €200, Trim Levels: Comfort, Comfort Plus, Executive, Premium, Premium Plus, Boot space: 513 litres, (1,503 with rear seats folded).
Some of the Competition: Nissan Qashqai, KIA Sportage, Toyota Rav4, Renault Kadjar, SsangYong Tivoli XLV, Ford Kuga, VW Tiguan, Seat Alteca
Hyundai have capitalised on the popularity of the crossover/SUV in the package that is the Tucson. Size wise, it is big enough to satisfy the needs of families, but small enough not to intimidate by its bulk – remembering many are stepping up from a family hatchback - It even looks friendly!
It does however look substantial, well built and finished with longevity in mind. The front-end looks distinctive with its three-bar grill and nicely slanted headlight and foglight design, my test car receiving plenty of positive nods and comment during my test drive.
As a mobile living room, the Tucson is a nice place to be. It had space for five, cubbies to prevent the rattle and roll, plus a very high level of standard equipment. Choose my test car in Premium trim and you get a plethora of comfort and safety systems that would require a large mug of coffee to go through. Suffice it to say that even in standard trim and akin to the trend of other marques, we now have available to us all we have envied in others heretofore.
The Tucson’s inherent ability to satisfy the needs of buyers in this segment is nationally evident and during my test drive all who entered were positive in their comments.
On the Road
Being an SUV, (Sports Utility Vehicle), the mid-sized Tucson is also wider than for example the i30, placing you above the normal drive-height of the average family hatchback/saloon. It is one of its key factors of attraction and certainly affords the driver a better, more commanding view of the road ahead. A degree of recalibration eliminates any concerns of the Tucson’s size and once done, drivers will revel in its easy company.
Dynamically, the Tucson goes about its business without fuss, the 1.7litre CRDi providing enough go to entertain, whilst delivering an average fuel consumption over my test drive of 5.4litres/100km, on a healthy mixture of city, urban and cross-country roads.
Overall handling is really composed on the Tucson, coping well across all my road-mix and allowing internal conversation to be conducted normally, road noise intrusion kept to a minimum. Personally I put no sporting demands on the Tucson, its design concept one that encourages smooth and progressive driving, rather than out and out corner attack. That said, the Tucson is no slouch and is very capable of leaving tarmac is its mirrors with the right encouragement.
Hyundai Tucson Prices
The 1.6 litre 2WD petrol from €26,245 (ex delivery and related charges)
The 1.7 litre 2WD diesel from €27,995 (ex delivery and related charges)
The 1.7 litre diesel 2WD from €28,995 (ex delivery and related charges)
The 1.7 litre diesel 2WD Tucson executive from €30,995 (ex delivery and related charges)
The 2.0 litre diesel 4WD Manual executive €36,495 (ex delivery and related charges)
The 2.0 litre diesel 4WD Automatic executive €38,995 (ex delivery and related charges)
The Tucson premium 1.7 litre diesel 2WD €32,995 (ex delivery and related charges)
The Tucson premium 1.7 litre diesel 2WD €36,995 (ex delivery and related charges)
Rarely do I get a road test vehicle that has the script effectively already written. From the off the Tucson ticked all the consumer boxes and the response is undeniable. In the last few weeks, we the Motor Journalists of Ireland have awarded the Hyundai Tucson the title of Irish Car of the Year 2017 in its category. If only all decisions were this easy.