Re­spectable in ev­ery area

Joondalup Weekender - - Driveway - Craig Duff

A MID-LIFE re­fresh en­dows the Tuc­son with 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 drive-away price puts the Elite on a par with high-spec 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.

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 full­size spare wheel.

Braked tow­ing is rated at 1600kg but the tow­ball load is re­stricted to 140kg.

There’s a full set of ac­tive safety soft­ware in the Elite, with AEB, adap­tive cruise con­trol, rear crosstraf­fic alert, blind-spot warn­ing and lane-keep as­sist stan­dard.

AN­CAP rates the Tuc­son a five-star car. Pedes­trian pro­tec­tion was rated mar­ginal but it’s a moot point given AEB in­cludes pedes­trian de­tec­tion.

All-wheel drive ver­sions of the Elite are a huge step up from the 2.0-litre front­drivers, sim­ply be­cause the AWD ver­sion uses a 1.6litre 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.

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

The Hyundai Tus­con Elite.

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