The Tucson is not a new name in India as the previous generation of this premium SUV arrived six years ago but time flies and here we have the all new generation model which has been packed full of features and technology. This had to be done because mid-size compact SUVs are getting even more upscale and as a result, the top-end Tucson had to be pushed higher in terms of luxury. The new generation of Tucson does just that and has just been launched in India with diesel/petrol engines, the question is whether the new Tucson is worth it or not. Let’s take a look.
The new Tucson immediately impresses with its size and aggressive design. Even if it doesn’t look like it, seeing it in the real world reveals the true size of the SUV. India gets the long wheelbase Tucson which means it has a length of 4630mm which means it beats all other SUVs in its class for its size. Then the front gets a lot of attention with the huge dark chrome grille where the lights/DRL remain hidden, appearing to be part of the grille. The “parametric lights” are indeed quite cool and give the Tucson a unique look.
Then you will see big 18 inch alloy wheels along with lots of sharp lines/angles added to the design as well as the roofline blending in nicely. The rear also gets a light bar that connects the LED taillights and even the rear wiper is hidden out of sight so as not to disrupt the design. It’s a very cool design and we think it’s the best looking Hyundai product to date, along with the fact that you have to see it in the flesh to fully appreciate it.
The interiors are equally luxurious and a huge leap forward in terms of quality or design. It should be for the price, but the fit/finish of the look is pretty premium. We like the line that runs across the entire dash and on the door pads as well as the hidden air vents for even flow. Then the large 10.25-inch touchscreen comes with touch panels below for the controls, while the floating driver’s dash also looks great. The two-tone interior blends well with the black upper half of the dashboard while everything from the steering wheel to the key fob is different from other Hyundai cars.
Speaking of features, the new Tucson puts luxury SUVs that cost twice as much to shame as it features dual power seats with driver memory, but also cooled/heated ventilated seats while also featuring dual-zone climate control and a panoramic sunroof. The driver’s seat folds automatically for easy entry while the digital display also houses the Bild View monitor which shows both sides of the road when the indicators are in use. Detailed 360-degree camera with multiple angles, 64-color ambient lighting, 60+ connected features, wireless charging, 8-speaker Bose sound system, powered hands-free tailgate, OTA updates, nature sounds (which plays soothing sounds to calm stress), valet mode, Home-to-Car (H2C) with Alexa and Google Voice Assistant and more.
For the rear passengers there is also good news with a wide seat base that allows three passengers to sit easily despite the presence of a central tunnel as well as excellent head and leg room, while this thanks to the wheelbase which is the longest among its rivals. Plus, you can electronically move the front passenger seat from the rear, while you can even tilt the rear seat. The Tucson is a 5-seater with a large trunk while storage space is decent.
We drove the Tucson diesel with AWD but there’s also a 2.0l petrol too with an automatic gearbox as standard. However, we chose the most powerful diesel with its 2.0l block of 186 hp and 416 Nm of torque. There is also a standard automatic option with this engine and it is an 8-speed motor, while all-wheel drive with terrain modes and drive modes is also present. The diesel is very refined to start with and at low revs you’ll be hard pressed to tell if it’s a diesel or not. Although it’s a big SUV, the Tucson is easy enough to drive with light steering while also being easy to park.
At low revs, the gearbox is quite responsive but the accelerations are linear as well as the torque offered. The Tucson feels like a luxury SUV with the refinement and quickness with which it moves when needed. Like any diesel, this is an engine designed for cruising and the Tucson is all about covering great distances in one go with ease. We did miss the paddle shifters though, which is a surprise, but that aside, the performance and power make the Tucson fun to drive. The presence of AWD and terrain modes also makes it a bit of an off-roader with decent ground clearance. In terms of mileage, count 12 kmpl.
Despite its large size, handling is well sorted with a nimble feel you wouldn’t get in other old-school big SUVs, as well as stable handling with minimal body roll. We think the ride quality is slightly firm compared to speedbreakers, but softens at higher speeds, while cabin refinement is fantastic.
Finally, let’s talk ADAS and the Tucson gets Level 2 functionality with even rear radar for added functionality. Apart from the lane assist features, there are features like forward collision brake, traffic alert, blind spot alert, rear cross traffic, etc. You can adjust the functions or deactivate them, but we will say that the functions work very well even in our conditions with the lane keeping assist, especially also on roads where the markings are not so bright. The car will also monitor traffic when reversing or even when opening the door.
The top-end Tucson tested here is Rs 34.3 lakh and that’s a big jump in price over the previous one, but it’s also a lot more car for the money. The new Tucson does everything right and what you’d expect from a premium SUV with massive space, comfort and functionality while looking good and the diesel being fast. It’s a great buy as a premium SUV, and its long waiting list and limited availability are its only flaw.
What we like: Looks, quality, space, features, performance
What we don’t: Lacks steering wheel paddle shifters, no 7-seater option
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