The Hyundai Tucson offers more than just affordability for its 4x4 structure. Standard equipment is generous even on an entry-level trim, but all variations are able to deliver the off road capability 4x4 buyers are after in this kind of vehicle. You won’t have any problems driving through the toughest terrain. You also won’t have any problems driving the car thanks to its body control and corner handling. The diesel engine also comes highly recommended.
The 2.0-litre diesel engine is the best of the Tucson range. At first it was released as a 138bhp but was given a power boost in 2008 via a rebadged CRDi at 148bhp. The engine has no problems pulling from low revs; plus the extra power can arrive at 62mph after just 11.6 seconds. The revised engine is also more economical than the previous unit.
The Tucson manages to handle on road conditions such as corners and minimal body roll even if it’s meant to be an off roader. The vehicle is also able to maintain enough grip. Motorway journeys are relatively comfortable, but expect that as an off roader it can’t get comfortable around town. The Tucson is available either as a front-wheel or four-wheel drive only model. The 4x4 version employs an on-demand system that runs the front wheel drive so it detects traction loss. Off-road terrain conditions would require a permanent four-wheel drive that reaches up to 21mph.
The Tucson is home to a spacious cabin as well as soft and wide seats. Electric windows and air conditioning come as standard equipment in all models. Boot space is generous at 540 litres but this volume is smaller than off roader rivals like the Toyota RAV4. Rear seats can be split and folded at 60/40, resulting in a flat load space that can fit large and boxy objects. There’s also extra stowage space care of a tray under the passenger seat and a deep cuppy between the front seats.
The diesel engines are usually the more popular choice since the petrol engines tend to be unresponsive and slow on the road. The 2.7-litre V6 sounds extra powerful in its numbers but the automatic gearbox it comes with tends to limit the engine and slows down its pace. Handling is decent along corners, but the ride isn’t kept comfortable along uneven roads. Steering could also use more precision; rivals easily beat the Tucson in this aspect.
The cabin sports a rather boring and drab design made of gray plastics. The material seems cheap and tends to scratch easily. The leather on the seats are also too thin and appear low rent. Drivers will also have a problem with the lack of reach adjustment on the steering column. Thankfully the layout is easy to navigate and features such as climate control are easy to operate. Instrument dials are also clear and not difficult to look for. The high mounted gear also has a practical position but like the rest of the cabin, is made of cheap material.
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