2016 Hyundai Tucson Diesel Automatic Road Test Review

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Hyundai has gone a lot aggressive lately with its products and it is no surprise that within 40 days since we drove the All New Elantra in Chennai, here we are in India’s most well planned city and capital of two states Punjab and Haryana – Chandigarh, to test drive the Korean car makers latest SUV for India the All New Tucson. The Tucson is the model chosen that will bridge the gap between the super successful Creta and the flagship Santa Fe. Join us as we get behind the wheels of this highly anticipated car model and find out if it is well worth the claims made. Find out how well did it fare in our exclusive road test review right here.

Food For Thought: This is not the first time that Hyundai has introduced the Tucson here. The car sold in our markets since 2005 (introduced globally in 2004) when it was in its first generation. Currently, the Tucson is in its third generation, India did not see the second generation as it was not introduced here though this was the generation that flaunted the Fluidic design sculpture for the first time on any Hyundai car. The Tucson is also sold in a few markets as the ix35 and as ix in its home market, Korea. Hyundai claims to have sold over 4.5 million units of this car since its launch across 160 countries globally.


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The Tucson was the first model from Hyundai to have used its Fluidic Sculpture design theme in 2009. The All New Tucson takes this forward and uses the Fluidic Design 2.0. The Tucson reminds us a lot of the larger Santa Fe in its exterior styling. The face comes with the Hyundai signature large hexagonal grill comprising of three thick chrome horizontal slats and a neat-looking chrome border chrome bands that very neatly hug the headlights giving a unique unified look.

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The headlights have a certain sharp yet fluidic design to them; they stretch back into the side fenders to an extent. These are dual barrel type LED headlights with LED static and bending lens on them. The headlights get a unique soft white eyebrow glow on them, making them very unique to look at. The wide front bumper is extremely muscular and houses angular shaped fog lamps and an extra set of white Day Time Running Lights (DRL) strip just under them placed in glossy black housing. The lower part of the bumper gets a large skid plate along with honey comb design air dam and the edges left unpainted in matt black finish.

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The bonnet sweeps back at a rather sloped angle. You have a neat- looking sharp character line that runs across here adding to the muscular image. The sides get a unique and sharp shoulder belt line that runs across the doors just above the door handles. The lower section of the door also gets a body line that runs just above the running board. The wheel arches come with fender guards in fiber that are unpainted to give that brute SUV feel. These guards extend themselves across the running board and meet the rear wheel arch guards. The running board also gets side scuff plates. The windows come with a smart looking chrome belt-line that uniquely curves itself at the D pillar much like the `Hofmeister Kink’ seen on the BMWs.

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The wing mirrors come with body-colored housing and LED turn lights on them. These mirrors get unique puddle lamps mounted on the lower part that glows when the car is locked or unlocked to welcome the owner. Door hands too come with pocket lights placed behind them that glow as though to greet the owner. When the car is unlocked the wing mirrors open up, making the puddle light in the mirror and the pocket lights on the door handle glow together. The Tucson comes with R18 multi-spoked diamond cut alloys with dark and light grey shaded spokes with 225/55 R18 spec Nexen N Priz RH7 tyre. The roof come with metal finish roof rails and a shark fin body colored radio antenna on it. The rear profile on this car is as interesting as the front and the sides. This profile gets highlighted with the split type LED tail lamps that extend their selves into the boot lid.


The rear windshield is placed at a sharp angle and comes with a neat-looking spoiler with unique aerodynamic air diffusers on the edges. The tailgate comes with a bulged out design on the top which flattens out on the lower section. The license plate is placed on the tailgate. The rear bumper gets an extra set of stop lamps in a neat extended strip deign. The bottom of the rear bumper comes with extended silver colored scuff plates and unpainted edges in black that merge with the fender inserts. The highlight for the rear profile is the twin chrome trapezoidal exhaust pipes on the right side of the bumper.

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The boot lid comes with a unique feature; it can be opened and closed electrically. You get a smart feature where the tail lid can be opened hands free, as it senses the keyless remote approaching. The opening height of the tail lid can also be set as per convenience and there is a smart stop feature too that senses if someone’s in the way during the motion and instantly stops its open/close action. The Tucson is an extremely class car to look at from the outside. The car is built using CKD kits and hence outstanding build quality and paint finish is seen.


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Get inside this SUV and you instantly feel the premiumness that the cabin comes with. You get a dual tone dashboard in black and beige color finish. The top part of the dash is made of a soft rubbery material usually seen on premium cars. The instrument gets advanced supervision cluster making it extremely readable and premium looking. Twin meter gauges with LCD multi function display in the middle does a good job here. The steering is a decent-sized three spoke design with generous leather wrapping and a dash of silver accents on to it. Multi function control buttons are placed on the steering and this steering can be manually adjusted for height and reach.

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You get an 8-inch HD touch screen full color infotainment screen in the center dash. This is the same unit that also does duty on the all new Elantra. You can control all the entertainment functions, navigation and also mobile connectivity via this center screen. The entertainment part is taken care by Arkamys Premium Sound system (Premium French Audio Company) that plays soulfully clear audio levels via the 6 speakers across the cabin area. This unit also comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Connectivity feature inbuilt. The climate control unit is a dual zone unit with AC vents also placed between the front seats for the rear passengers.

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The center dash gets a lot of pre-programmed buttons like on the German SUVs. You have the automatic shifter; a very unique electro mechanical parking brake operated using a button like on the German cars instead of the regular pull type one. You also have the Auto Hold mode for automatically getting the parking brakes on or off while in traffic. You also get the drive mode button which toggles the driving modes between Normal, Eco and Sport modes. Then you have the Hill Assist Control that helps the vehicle from not moving backwards on an uphill and downhill brake control that prevents the vehicle from sliding down when coming down from a slope. Another unique feature on the Tucson is the inclusion of a digital compass on the centrally mounted rear view mirror which is also a very helpful feature.

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The seats come in good quality leather upholstery in beige color. The driver’s seat can be electrically adjusted for 10 way settings to suit the driver’s comfort. The front seats offer excellent comfort and support, and are very well shaped with good amount of padding. There are a lot of storage spaces, cubby holes and bottle/can holder spaces spread all across the cabin area around the center console, door pads etc. plus you also get a closable, deep storage area under the center armrest between the front seats. The rear seats come with three adjustable headrests and can be folded 40-60 split when needed.


The rear seats back rest incline can be reclined to the best angle as per the passengers comfort and convenience. There is lots of leg room, headroom, knee room for passengers inside the cabin. The Tucson has a boot space of 513 litres, which can be further extended if the rear seats are folded when needed. The cabin has a very premium and airy feel to it and feels premium to touch and feel. Comfort level is high in here with extremely good amount of space all around.


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Hyundai has launched the All New Tucson in India with a choice of Petrol and Diesel engine options to choose from. You have the nU 2.0-Liter (155 PS) petrol unit that also does the duty on the New Elantra but the pick of the engine option is the one we drove. The all new Tucson also comes in a 2.0-Litre CRDI Diesel engine. This is a brand new motor that has 1995cc of capacity and 185 PS at 4000 RPM and makes 408 Nm of torque at as low as 1750 RPM. Both these engines come with an option of either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission options.


As we drove the 2.0-Liter Diesel automatic and that’s the one which will be in maximum demand here is how it feels. Start the Tucson using the push button starter and you instantly notice how quiet the cabin is. There is absolutely no engine noise or vibrations at idle coming inside the cabin. Shift to drive mode and the beast surges ahead in quick time. The drive feel is extremely well sorted out and confidence boosting. As the speed builds up the vehicle feels a lot more planted. Hyundai has improved their overall drive feel over the years and the Tucson easily takes it ahead, a lot ahead. The best way to describe the overall feel would be to say it is smooth, calm and comfortable.


The cabin is very well insulated and there is no road noise, engine noise or vibrations that filter in. There are the drive modes to choose from, Normal mode for city driving, Eco for best fuel efficiency and the Sport mode for more spirited driving. Shifting these modes changes the gear shifts and steering feel of the car. The gear shifts are super smooth and there is lot of power available at all speeds. Driving position is perfect and the steering feels lively.

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The electro mechanical parking brake and auto hold feature work very well and is a boon during traffic stop and go situations. The engineers behind the suspension system need to be praised for this bang on setup. The suspension is hard to find fault with. It rides over bumpy surfaces such as country roads well and dispenses with pockmarks and potholes with ease. However, we noted it could be a little jiggly over sharp-edged speed bumps but very rarely. The overall drive feel on the Tucson is very lively and inspiring.


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Hyundai has priced the Tucson very aggressively starting at 18.99lakh for the base petrol version, while the fully loaded diesel automatic that we drove comes in at 24.99lakh ex Delhi. The Tucson out beats the rivals that it has in the Skoda Yeti and the Honda CR-V hands down on all grounds. The Tucson comes loaded with features and goodies till the brim including safety features like 6-airbags, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), ABS with EBD, Hill start assist(HAC), Downhill Brake Control (DBC) to name a few. The Tucson is a very smart looking SUV with very well sorted diesel engine and transmission and an extremely quiet cabin. It is easily one of the best diesel engines from Hyundai seen till date. To top it up, you get an unmatched Hyundai Premium Assurance which gets you 3 years or unlimited kms warranty, 30,000kms free maintenance, 3 years roadside assistance, 3 years navigation upgrade as the icing on the cake (deal clincher).


2016 Hyundai Tucson Photo Gallery:

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Photography Credits: Dr. Anand Narvekar