Hyundai Tuc­son

And up­dated ver­sion of Kore­ans’ smaller cross­over driven, too

Auto Express - - Contents - James Brodie James_brodie@den­ @jim­my­brods

AS well as in­tro­duc­ing an all-new Santa Fe (Page 36), Hyundai has tweaked its big-sell­ing Tuc­son SUV. Over 600,000 ex­am­ples were sold glob­ally last year, and Europe is its big­gest mar­ket.

De­sign changes are head­lined by a new grille, which fol­lows the Santa Fe by us­ing Hyundai’s lat­est ‘cas­cad­ing’ profile. New LED head­lights and tail­lamps ap­pear, while the bumpers have been given a mi­nor re­think. The lat­est car rides on new-look wheels, too.

But the most eye-catch­ing changes come in­side. Hyundai has thor­oughly re­vised the Tuc­son’s dash­board with a brand-new look. A whole new up­per dash means that the tall, but­ton-heavy cen­tral stack and touch­screen have been re­moved. In­stead, the cleaner de­sign now uses a float­ing dis­play.

Over­all, the driv­ing en­vi­ron­ment feels much more mod­ern. It ap­pears nicely built along­side its VW Group ri­vals, with all the harsher plas­tics and ma­te­ri­als tucked away where hands won’t find them. It still feels like a func­tional rather than funky place to sit, but that doesn’t de­tract from the fact this is still a roomy SUV, both in the front and in the back.

New en­gines also play a key role, with the ar­rival of a fresh 1.6 diesel and a 2.0-litre 48-volt mild hy­brid. For now, you’ll only be able to choose this sys­tem on high-spec 2.0 diesel Pre­mium and Pre­mium SE cars; the same tech will ar­rive on the new 1.6 CRDI in 2019.

But un­like many other 48V sys­tems, Hyundai’s doesn’t en­able to­tal en­gine cut-off for fuel-free miles. In­stead, it’s there purely to sup­port the diesel en­gine, pro­vid­ing an ad­di­tional 16bhp when needed. Un­der light ac­cel­er­a­tion it re­duces load to save fuel, while floor­ing the throt­tle sees the 0.44kwh bat­tery pack emp­tied for ex­tra per­for­mance. Slow­ing the car re­cu­per­ates en­ergy to recharge the small bat­tery.

Al­low­ing the en­gine to run at lower loads means that this new unit is quiet, near enough mut­ing that trade­mark diesel rat­tle when driv­ing around town. Per­for­mance could be bet­ter, though; the bat­ter­ies make the Tuc­son heav­ier, so it feels slower than the num­bers sug­gest.

Ef­fi­ciency gains aren’t stun­ning, ei­ther. Hyundai sug­gests the 48V sys­tem will re­turn a seven-per-cent fuel econ­omy gain, and al­though the claimed 49.6mpg means it shouldn’t be too thirsty, CO2 emis­sions of 151g/km are a lit­tle steep.

NEED TO KNOW The re­vised Tuc­son is also avail­able with a range of new or tweaked non-hy­brid petrol and diesel en­gines

New dash de­sign, with a float­ing in­fo­tain­ment screen, is a wel­come ad­di­tion. Bank of switches sits be­hind gear­lever

PRAC­TI­CAL­ITY AWD mod­els are less prac­ti­cal than front-wheel-drive Tuc­sons, and the 48V car’s boot is smaller still. But with 459 litres on of­fer, it’s still a us­able size, with no bulky load lip EQUIP­MENT New float­ing screen is stan­dard on all but the ent

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