FEEL AT HOME IN TUCSON
STYLISH, SPACIOUS AND SURE TO IMPRESS BUYERS
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.