The global trend for the sports utility vehicle (SUV) segment has been growing rapidly.
It is reported by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that in the United States of America, the SUV accounted for about 42 per cent of the overall U.S vehicle sales in 2017 compared to 30 per cent in 2010.
Hence, there are no surprise that most carmakers had start to focus on improving its SUV model range, in order for them to stay in the game.
Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors Sdn Bhd, the official distributor of Hyundai vehicles in Malaysia, has introduced its facelifted third generation Hyundai Tucson at the end of October 2017, offering a refreshed front bumper, metallic silver grille and halogen projector headlights.
Auto News Asia took the Hyundai Tucson 2.0L Elegance for a test drive and it is a pleasant SUV.
This third generation facelifted Hyundai Tucson 2.0L Elegance has minor cosmetic changes to its exterior, but its interior is slightly modern than the previous set up. The interior is finished with high quality plastic, leather and carbon fibre lookalike trims.
It remains a comfortable, spacious, stylish and pleasant ride. It is not the weekend car, where one would take it for a morning drive and tackle sharp bends. It is a practical vehicle for the everyday usage.
Powering the Hyundai Tucson 2.0L Elegance is a 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated Nu MPi engine, paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. Resulting to 153 hp at 6,200 rpm and 192 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm.
The smooth 2.0-litre engine now produces torque earlier in the rev range compared to before, this means that the driver do not need to rev it as hard as before to get the best out of it. It is powerful enough to overtake slow trailers during an uphill climb, and it could easily exceed the legal speed limit.
During corners, the Tucson 2.0L Elegance sits tightly and its body roll is kept under control. The light weighted steering turns in quickly but there’s not much feedback for the driver.
The Tucson overcome bumps, potholes and damage road conditions pleasantly, it even soaks up the larger potholes.
There’s generous space in the Tucson. Most Asian adults can easily fit comfortably in the SUV, with enough headroom, shoulder room, knee room and leg room. The noise, vibration and harshness level is relatively low. The engine, tyre and wind noise are isolated from the cabin, at most driving speed.
It measures in at 4,480 mm in length, 1,850 mm in width, 1,655 mm in height, with a wheelbase of 2,670 and weighs 1,508 kg. It has a 488 litres of boot space and 62 litres of fuel tank capacity.
The Tucson 2.0L Elegance is equipped with 17-inch alloys, projection halogen headlamps, LED daytime running lights, front and rear fog lamps, leather seats, multi-function leather steering, instrument cluster with 3.5-inch mono TFT LCD, keyless entry, automatic light control and seven-inch infotainment display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as Bluetooth, AUX and USB functions.
The seven-inch infotainment system is user-friendly to operate and the sound system plays loud tunes. The bass is strong, powerful and solid, but the treble is short of sharpness and clarity. Far apart for those audiophiles that seeks for live-concert-liked sound quality.
As for the Safety aspects, it is fitted with two airbags, anti-lock braking system, electronic brake distribution, electronic stability control, hill-assist control, downhill brake control, brake assist, vehicle stability management, rear parking distance warning, rear-view camera, and ISOFIX child seat anchor points.
The facelifted Hyundai Tucson 2.0L Elegance is priced at RM123,888 excluding insurance. It is covered by a five-year or 300,000 km whichever comes first warranty and a 50,000 km or 3-year free service package.
We drove the Tucson 2.0L Elegance for over 300km and a mixture of highway and city driving resulted to 9.2 to 10.3 litres per 100km (l/100km). A cruise on the highway at speeds below 110kph recorded 7.1 to 8.3 l/100km. After some pedal-to-the-metal driving, it used about 10.6 to 12.6 l/100km.
Overall, we had a good time with the Tucson 2.0L Elegance but there are still some features missing. It would be great if the Tucson 2.0L Elegance could come with some driving assistance system like some of its competitors have, such as the lane departure warning, blind spot warning, and also the adaptive cruise control.
Apart from that, it would be nice if it is fitted with the 360-view car camara system to help the driver maneuver the SUV at tight spot.