Western Suburbs Weekly - - Communitty Driveway - Robert Buys

HYUNDAI'S link with US cities is mak­ing a come­back with the ar­rival of the re­place­ment for the muchloved ix-35 SUV.

Re­vert­ing to its orig­i­nal name, the swish all-new Tuc­son is dressed to im­press.

More tuxedo than the Ari­zo­nian city it's named af­ter, the new Tuc­son has grown in all ar­eas since it first ar­rived 11 years ago and later mor­phed into the ix-35.

Up against ri­vals such as Mazda's CX-5 and the Toy­ota Rav4, the Tuc­son has three lev­els of ap­point­ment.

Ac­tive and Ac­tive X are the base mod­els, built in Korea and fea­tur­ing 2WD with a 2.0L mo­tor.

Ac­tive gets a six-speed man­ual and the X and all other new Tuc­sons use au­to­mat­ics.

They have leather trim and seven colour op­tions and take the place of the hugely suc­cess­ful Tuc­son City.

Priced at $27,990 through to $30,490, they are ex­pected to be the vol­ume sellers in the pri­vate sec­tor.

Elite and High­lander vari­ants are built in the Czech Re­pub­lic.

AWD is stan­dard on both and it uses the 1.6 litre turbo en­gine from the sporty Veloster, mated to a seven-speed au­to­matic.

A seven-inch mul­ti­func­tion touch screen and rear cam­era are stan­dard, as is elec­tric tail lift and prox­im­ity key.

Elite is priced from $38,240 to $40,240 for one with a 2.0 litre turbo-diesel en­gine.

High­lander is the pre­mium model and comes with lane stay tech­nol­ogy that ac­tively uses the elec­tronic steer­ing to keep the ve­hi­cle trav­el­ling safely in the driv­ing lane.

This is cou­pled with an elec­tronic ve­hi­cle de­tec­tion sys­tem for mon­i­tor­ing traf­fic in front of the ve­hi­cle. There is also a pass­ing car light in the heated mir­rors for the driver to be con­fi­dent all bases are cov­ered.

The High­lander is priced from $43,490 with petrol power to $45,490 in diesel mode and has ev­ery­thing op­tioned in ve­hi­cles twice the price.

A mas­sive glass roof, 19-inch al­loy wheels with Con­ti­nen­tal tyres and front park­ing sen­sors are stan­dard, and bring to­gether Hyundai's Euro­pean styling and en­gi­neer­ing con­nec­tions.

The 2.0 litre turbo diesel mo­tor pro­duces 136kW and a very ca­pa­ble 400Nm of torque to push it along. This mo­tor seemed very fuel ef­fi­cient on our two-hour drive from Can­berra to Thredbo, not even mov­ing the nee­dle off the full mark. Of­fi­cial con­sump­tion fig­ures have not yet emerged.

The in­te­rior sound dead­en­ing and feel of the SUV on a va­ri­ety of sealed and un­sealed road sur­faces was su­perb.

The foot­print gives a nice pos­i­tive feel on all sur­faces and ex­cel­lent sus­pen­sion damp­ing gives a Euro ride with­out jud­der through rough corners. It has a well weighted elec­tric steer­ing and the car feels neu­tral and bal­anced even when pushed hard.

Mod­els with in­ter­nal dis­play sys­tems are Ap­ple Car/Play and An­droid com­pat­i­ble.

There is good vis­i­bil­ity, com­fort, and am­ple stor­age and cargo room in all mod­els.

Rear-seat pas­sen­gers are well catered for with gen­er­ous head and legroom and also get in­di­vid­ual air­con vents. Also stan­dard are twin power sock­ets, a USB and AUX plug in the front and the boot mea­sures 488 litres.

Ver­dict: Stylish, spa­cious and qual­ity-built, the new Tuc­son also has a five-year war­ranty.

The Tuc­son is back, smarter, big­ger and bet­ter.

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