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Wheels Asia - - First drive - TEXT AND PHO­TOS AZFAR HASHIM

The new tur­bocharged Hyundai Tucson is an im­pres­sive SUV that truly de­serves praise

urely, ma­jor­ity of you read­ers live an ac­tive life­style: Cy­cle ev­ery even­ing af­ter work, hit the swim­ming pool ev­ery Satur­day morn­ing and will spend the en­tire Sun­day out with the fam­ily. While it’s not easy be­ing Lance Arm­strong, Tiger Woods and su­per­man all in one, you just en­joy do­ing it.

Thus, the car you are buy­ing must have the fol­low­ing mind: It must be spa­cious and ver­sa­tile. Brand­ing is not the is­sue, as what is most im­por­tant here is that it must be able to com­pli­ment and serve it­self as a prac­ti­cal car for all your needs. An MPV might seem to be the best so­lu­tion, but hon­estly speak­ing it just makes you, well, look twice your age.

So what car should you get then? Here’s a sug­ges­tion - a fam­ily SUV, like this qui­etly in­tro­duced Hyundai Tucson Turbo.

Now don’t laugh it all off just yet. SUVS are no longer those staid, boxy­look­ing chunk of metal on wheels. Far from that; fac­tu­ally, man­u­fac­tur­ers have been churn­ing out at­trac­tivelook­ing es­tate, and this of­fer­ing from Hyundai is quite the looker.

Vis­ually, the Tucson does not come with any fancy body kits or what­nots, giv­ing it some sort of charm; it looks ma­ture and did not try too hard to be what it’s not meant to be. A front wheel driver, it will sur­vive the ur­ban jun­gle per­fectly; the road-tax friendly 1.6-litre tur­bocharged en­gine mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch au­to­matic trans­mis­sion auto churns out a re­spectable 175bhp and 265Nm of torque, strong enough to lug all that 1,624kg body­weight around. Hence, a zero to 100km/h ac­cel­er­a­tion tim­ing of 9.1 sec­onds for a ve­hi­cle in this class, is truly, wor­thy of praise.

De­spite the down­sized en­gine (a 2.0-litre, nat­u­rally-as­pi­rated vari­ant is also avail­able), out on the ex­press­way it is sur­pris­ingly re­fined to drive. Hyundai’s en­gi­neers seemed to have put in lots of ef­fort at keep­ing the cabin quiet and as vi­bra­tion-free as pos­si­ble. In fact, at ex­press­way le­gal cruis­ing speeds, sounds from the en­gine com­part­ment are hardly au­di­ble, you don’t get any

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