RE­SPECTABLE IN EV­ERY AREA

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Front Page - Craig Duff

VALUE

A mid-life re­fresh en­dows the Tuc­son with just enough kit to be com­pet­i­tive against the lat­est crop of new mid-sized SUVs. Stan­dard are eight-inch touch­screen with smart­phone mir­ror­ing, sat­nav and dig­i­tal ra­dio. The drive­away price puts the Elite on a par with high­spec ri­vals, de­pend­ing on who is do­ing deals in a par­tic­u­lar month. Choose any colour other than white and it costs $595. The five-year, un­lim­ited km war­ranty is re­as­sur­ing; less im­pres­sive are ser­vice in­ter­vals of 12 months/ 10,000km, though the first four trips cost $1290 if you pay up­front.

COM­FORT

Leather-trimmed seats are good but the Elite lacks heat­ing or cool­ing for the front pews and only the driver’s side is power ad­justed. Legroom in the back is OK for tall adults. The boot is a rea­son­able 488L, ex­pand­ing to al­most 1500L with the rear seats folded, and there’s a full-size spare wheel. Braked tow­ing is rated at 1600kg but the tow­ball load is re­stricted to 140kg.

SAFETY

There’s a full set of ac­tive safety soft­ware in the Elite, with AEB, adap­tive cruise con­trol, rear cross-traf­fic alert, blind-spot warning and lane­keep as­sist stan­dard. ANCAP rates the Tuc­son as a five-star car, award­ing it 35.53/37s when it was tested in 2016. Pedes­trian pro­tec­tion was rated mar­ginal but it’s a moot point given the AEB in­cludes pedes­trian de­tec­tion.

DRIV­ING

All-wheel drive ver­sions of the Elite are a huge step up from the 2.0-litre front-drivers, sim­ply be­cause the AWD ver­sion uses a 1.6-litre turbo — it’s not only more pow­er­ful but also uses a frac­tion less fuel in the process (7.7L/100km against 7.9L). The sus­pen­sion is well balanced but tuned for com­fort over cor­ner­ing and can thump over larger bumps. The brakes are re­spectable with­out be­ing bril­liant.

AL­TER­NA­TIVES MAZDA CX-5 GT, $44,990 DRIVE-AWAY

A deal has the CX-5 GT priced on a par with the Tuc­son and it packs com­pa­ra­ble per­for­mance and safety, along with the bonus of traf­fic sign recog­ni­tion and it’s a marginally bet­ter drive.

TOY­OTA RAV4 CRUISER, $45,990 DRIVE-AWAY

Toy­ota is keen to shift the RAV4, as ev­i­denced by this price through­out Septem­ber for the top­spec all-wheel drive Cruiser. It uses a touch more fuel at 8.5 L/100km but will carry more cargo with 577L of space.

NISSAN X-TRAIL ST-L, $43,100-$44,100 DRIVE-AWAY

The ST-L has the best rear seat space of this group but is start­ing to show its age in terms of ac­tive safety fea­tures and in­te­rior fin­ish against the lat­est op­po­si­tion. Boot space is great at 565L.

VER­DICT

The Tuc­son is good in ev­ery area with­out ex­celling at any one thing. Hyundai’s com­pet­i­tive price should earn it a place on shop­pers’ short-lists.

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