ON THE ROAD – IAN LYNAS DRIVES THE NEW HYUNDAI TUCSON
The Hyundai Tucson has been a resounding success in the Irish market and this motoring scribe never got the opportunity to drive earlier versions until now when I took the wheel for a seven day test in a range topper, (Ultimate in N.I. and Exclusive Plus in ROI).
I had the 1.6 T-GDi engine with 230PS allied to a six speed automatic transmission and this combination provides a smooth effortless drive. The system is paired with a 1.49kWh lithium-ion polymer battery and you have instant torque of the 44.2kW electric motor.
The fourth generation model gets the looks; strong styling allows the new Tucson to stand out from the crowd; designers developed the all-new futuristic design elements through geometric algorithms produced by cutting-edge digital technology. This clever process, known as ‘parametric dynamics’, utilises lines, faces, angles and shapes created through digital data to create unprecedented, bold design aesthetics. The results are prominent geometric patterns known as ‘parametric jewels’ appear throughout the SUV’s design, giving it a progressive character. The most prominent display of these parametric jewels is on the vehicle’s front grille.
I liked the sophisticated and spacious interior which delivers high comfort levels for driver and passengers, where technology and information intersect harmoniously. When entering the Tucson eyes focus on the 10.25-inch AVN touch screen as it fills the centre of the vehicle.
The designers dispensed with physical knobs and buttons, so all AVN, heat, ventilation and air conditioning functions are controlled via touch, making it the first Hyundai model to feature a full touchscreen console. I have to admit I do like buttons, but within days I was fully at ease with the new system.
The employment of quality soft-touch materials throughout the interior, lift the look and feel to a new level, while new indirect air vents start from the doors and flow to the centre console. I did not expect this level of convenience and quality; this is one SUV which can challenge the German brands.
This SUV that really delivers and all onboard can enjoy pleasant ambient mood lighting, which is positioned in the two side pockets of the centre fascia, in the wireless charging pad and door map pocket.
There is choice in abundance with no fewer than 64 configurable colours and 10 levels of brightness to fit every mood and offer even more scope for personalisation. Today, the driver demands the highest level of connectivity. State-of-the-art Bluelink telematics, boasts features such as remote lock, Last Mile Navigation and checking fuel levels via the Bluelink app. For music on the move a premium KRELL sound system and there is wireless phone mirroring (in combination with Display Audio) and wireless charging.
With a new platform delivers a wide, open interior space that guarantees occupants the comfort and space usually reserved for models in the segment above. The latest Tucson is 20mm longer, 15mm wider, and with a 10mm longer wheelbase compared to the previous model; rear passengers can enjoy 26mm of additional legroom; thanks to clever positioning of the battery underneath the rear passenger seats. Boot space has been increased, providing up to 620 litres overall for luggage with the seats folded you have a generous 1,799 litres.
Safety is class leading and includes an enhanced seven-airbag system with a new centre side airbag to prevent front passengers from colliding with one another. Active safety and driving assistance includes Highway Driving Assist (HDA), Blind-spot View Monitor (BVM), and Blind-spot Collision-avoidance Assist (BCA), among other and Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) with car, pedestrian and cyclist protection has also been upgraded to include Junction Turning.
Handling and comfort are aided by the new Electronic Controlled Suspension’s (ECS) which I discovered worked well and I encountered a wide variety of roads.
When it comes to the SUV, the new Tucson will take some beating and for peace of mind it comes with one of the best warranty packages currently available.