Hyundai Tucson Road Test Review – Can it Lead the pack?


Hyundai launched the Tucson in India in 2005 when it was way ahead for its time. The SUV had its following at that time too in niche circles. Now in 2022 Hyundai has re-launched the latest generation Tucson as their flagship model for India and has loaded with the best of the best of features and gadgetry from its kitty. We get behind the wheel of this the All New Hyundai Tucson driving it around some beautiful countryside roads of Nandi Hills in Bangalore to understand all about the most stylist SUV in its class. Belt on and sit tight to know all on what could be the Best Hyundai ever for our markets.

Food for Thought

Hyundai launched the Tucson in India in 2005 when it was in its 1st generation. Currently in its 4th generation the Tucson code named the NX4 was unveiled in 2020 to the world which went into production later. India gets the Long Wheel Base version of the Tucson. The SUV uses Hyundai and Kia’s N3 platform which is one of their latest ones. The Tucson becomes the 1st car model from Hyundai in India to come with the ADAS safety system. The smart looking SUV is named after the second-largest city in Arizona ‘Tucson’.

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Exteriors

In terms of exteriors the Tucson stands out with its sharp and extra uniquely stylish design. The SUV stands at 4630mm in length, 1865mm in width, 1665mm of height and a overall wheelbase of 2755mm. Styling is very sharp with character lines flowing on all of its body profiles.

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The face is uniquely different stylized with a large parametric grille finished in dark chrome with its edges cleverly hiding its LED DRL which is disguised as a part of the grille.  The bumper gets loads of sharp lines and also houses the LED white headlamps on the edges along with skid plate with a large wide air dam. The bonnet gets four character lines flowing backwards.

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The sides is highlighted with sharp character lines running all over its doors in a parametric design. The fenders get squared out wheel arches along with faux fiber cladding. 18 inch wheels on diamond cut alloys add to the SUV appeal. The running board also gets the black fiber cladding completing the SUV brute look. There is a satin chrome garnish that runs around the top of the window line and mates on the quarter glass adding a lot of style to the sides. The roof gets roof rails finished in glossy black along with a large panoramic sun roof and a shar fin antenna.

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The rear profile is as striking as the front and sides. Here the main design element is the Tiger Claw design LED tail lamps that mate with a strip running across the width of the boot lid. The rear windshield is placed at a sharp angle along with a large spoiler under which is neatly hidden the rear wiper giving the rear a clean look. Also the Hyundai logo is placed inside the glass rather than on it. The rear bumper gets stop lamps along with a large faux skid plate in silver completing the tough SUV look for the Tucson.

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Interiors

Step inside the Tucson and you are greeted with the dual tone color theme and a different styled cabin area. The dash comes in dual tone finish with a subtle chrome lining that kind of engulfs the driver and passenger mating into the door pads. The dash houses two 10.25 inch color displays one as the AVN system and other as the instrument cluster. Both the displays are very crisp and clear to read. The instrument cluster gets you all the vital information as per the vehicle and also the ADAS modes on it.

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The AVN system is highly advanced and runs on the latest version of Hyundai’s BluLink OS which gets with it Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth phone connectivity, 360 degree camera display, FM radio along with more than 60 connected car features in it. You also get 64 color ambient lighting and sounds of nature feature on here along with Amazon Alexa enabled voice control features. The steering is a 4 spoke unit with adjust for height and reach. You get metal inserts and premium leather wrapping with MFD buttons laid on it.

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The climate control gets full digital touch control command unit and comes with dual zone setting along with a unique diffuse air flow mode that gives out the air flow in soft pattern. The centre console gets two USB mobile charge ports, power outlet and a mobile charge dock. The transmission shifter comes with leather cladding and metal base and has the option for tiptronic shifting. You get electromechanical hand brake, drive mode toggle button, terrain mode button (Diesel AWD model) and buttons for cooling and heating the front seats (seat ventilation). The drivers seat gets 10 way electric adjust while the passenger seat also gets electric adjust feature.

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The rear seats come with 40:60 split fold and also get three adjustable headrests along with a folding arm rest. Comfort in the front and rear seats is excellent with loads of knee, shoulder and head room available. The front passenger seat can be adjusted by the rear left passenger using the boss control buttons placed on the edge of the front seat, this comes very handy if you are seated behind with your driver driving the car and you need to extend your leg room further.  The rear seats can also be adjust for incline angle as per comfort level.

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The Hyundai Tucson comes with a boot space of 540 liters which can be further increased by folding down the rear seats using the remote fold knob placed in the boot. The cargo area can be accessed using the electrically opening tail gate.

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Engine – Drive – Transmission

The Hyundai Tucson comes with two engine options to choose from. You get the 2.0L 4-cylinder Petrol engine that makes 156PS of power and 192Nm of torque mated to an 6-speed automatic transmission. For diesel lovers you have the 2.0L 4-cylinder Diesel motor that makes 186PS of power and 416Nm of torque mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. On the Diesel option you also have a 4WD as Hyundai calls it the HTrac trim to choose.

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We drove both the Petrol and the Diesel 4WD versions of the Tucson. First things first both the Petrol and Diesel engines are highly refined motors. Driving the Petrol first, the power delivery is excellent and the gear shifts are very positive with the engine always eager to give you the power as needed. The Diesel hearted Tucson is a mile runner, with loads of torque available and tons of power at tap across all RPM’s. The steering feels very well weighted on both the versions and the feedback is pretty positive. You get drive modes on both the versions of the Tucson – Eco, Normal, Sport and Smart (only diesel AWD). Along with this the Diesel version also gets Terrain modes Snow, Mud and Sand to play with. In the drive modes the instrument cluster changes colors with some neat video game like animation.

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In terms of braking the Tucson gets an all wheel disc brake setup with ABS and EBD which offers very good braking bite and feedback. The overall drive feel is very positive and premium on the Tucson. The SUV feels effortless to drive and feels connected always. In cabin insulation is excellent and the suspension does a e good job at gliding over bad roads, pot holes and bad roads.

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Safety

The Hyundai Tucson comes with 6 airbags, ABS with EBD, ESC, VSM, hill start assist, brake control, TPMS, rain sensing wipers, ISOFIX points, 360 degree camera,.

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ADAS Safety

The Tucson is the only model in its segment to come with ADAS Level 2 safety feature. In this you get ,Land keep assist, safe exit warning, rear cross traffic collision avoidance assist, forward collision avoidance, forward collision assist, blind spot view monitor, smart cruise control, forward collision warning and lots more. We did try the smart cruise control, lane keep assist, forward collision warning and all of them worked flawlessly helping, aiding and saving the occupants at all times.

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Competition

The Hyundai Tucson goes up against the likes of the Jeep Compass, Volkswagen Tiguan, Skoda Kodiaq, Citroen C5 AirCross and also against the Toyota Fortuner and the Mahindra XUV 7OO if you compare the prices.

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Verdict

The Hyundai Tucson not only is a very good looking SUV in its class but also offers space, practicality, comfort, safety and premiumness inside out. The SUV is the only option to go for if you seek ADAS safety feature. The Tucson is a complete head turner in terms of how it looks and gets loads of road presence with attention that it demands all over that it goes. The Hyundai Tucson becomes the flagship model for the Korean car maker here in India and will surely give sleepless nights to all of its rivals with its robust virtues making it a very wise and practical option in its class.

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