The perfect family SUV. A catchphrase that many SUVs, many brands across the globe aim and aspire for. But what are the right ingredients to the perfect product? Well, you’d certainly be looking at the way it dresses, the tech it wears, the driving dynamics it inculcates, the space it offers, and the reliability it comes with. A set of wheels that can inspire assertiveness as you drive to work and also double up as your most preferred weekend wheels.
Look around and you’ll realize not many SUVs incorporate such a wide array of factors. Some are either too small and should be shamed for being called an SUV whilst some are bigger than the truck that transported your bedroom wardrobe! A few are butch on the outside yet too agrarian on the inside while few others just lack the finesse of the modern era. Cross down the names as you go down the list and one will always remain, always shine as the perfect one. That, ladies and gentleman, is the Hyundai Tucson.
It’s an uncommon vehicle, agreed. But that’s only on the Indian roads. Globally, the Tucson sells in glorious numbers, right from the varied conditions of the American continent to the harsh and brutally challenging conditions of the USSR. Oh wait, it’s called Russia now. Or Putin’s chateau? Nevertheless, the point being made here is that for a vehicle to gain such good credibility across the globe, it has to be made that well and flatter those many buyers.
So what has Hyundai done to an already good product? They’ve made it better. How exactly? Well, the engines have now been upgraded to greener, BS6-compliant norms. While the petrol mill produces 150bhp and 192Nm of torque via the outgoing six-speed automatic transmission as standard, it’s the diesel powertrain that’s been fairly updated. While the figures remain a healthy and torquey 182.5bhp and 400Nm, it’s the gearbox that’s really gained some good numbers. Out goes the six-speed AT and in comes an all-new eight-speed transmission, with a HTRAC AWD system available with the top-spec GLS trim.
In typical Hyundai fashion, the gearshifts are silky smooth and relatively intuitive as well. Sudden throttle inputs will take a second to register but when it does the AWD system delivers power very confidently to all wheels basis the traction and requirement of each one. On our review, we ended up driving the Tucson to Lonavala on a wet spell and while the SUV was super planted and confidence-inspiring on those twisties (discount the relatively numb steering wheel), the eight-speed transmission ensured a sheeny, relaxed and a very polished highway cruising experience.
On the inside, Hyundai has made the Tucson more modern by now offering an eight-inch floating infotainment system with the brand’s connected BlueLink technology. This has shuffled the dashboard design a bit with the AC vents being repositioned, but otherwise things remain largely familiar. Families are sure to cherish the addition of that massive panoramic sunroof that’s comparatively quick in its operation as well. Additionally, there’s a dual-zone climate control on offer, the driver’s seat in now 10-way adjustable, and your phone can now be charged wirelessly. Oh, the tailgate can now be operated with a touch of a button from the inside and that just adds to its upmarket feel.
Now you’d wonder why spend extra on the Tucson when the Creta gets most of these features and is at par in terms of the features list. Well, they might look very similar on paper but the Tucson has a clear edge in packing the equipment better. The biggest difference you’ll notice is in the quality of execution; while the Creta remains an extremely good proposition, the Tucson raises the bar even higher and every surface is beautifully finished – the seats are more accommodating, the cabin is that much more lavish and the touch and feel is very upmarket. Then there’s that astounding cabin insulation that completely shuts off exterior noises while you’re munching miles out on the highway.
Hyundai has also updated the exteriors on the Tucson, which now gets a tweaked front fascia that wears those swanky looking blacked-out headlamps with five-LED elements, a revised bumper with repositioned fog lamps, and an updated grille that’s very neatly finished. The rear gets LED lighting too and overall the updated Tucson retains the styling cues of the model it replaces. It looks smart and brings those international design cues to our roads, something that a lot of buyers would really admire.
Extremely good on features, exceptionally well-behaved in terms of its driving dynamics and even comes with a few powertrain options to choose from. Then there’s Hyundai’s extensive dealer and service network that boosts your confidence to drive it further, explore more, and spend longer hours behind the wheel, wandering through our varied section of roads while all occupants are transported in utmost comfort and safety. Traits of the perfect SUV, don’t you think? That’s what the Hyundai Tucson is. A great product made even better.
Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesel
Transmission: Eight-speed AT
Fuel tank: 62 litres
Boot space: 513 litres
Tyres: 255/55 R18
Prices: Rs 22.31 lakh onwards (petrol 2WD, ex-showroom)