Launch Report: the new Hyundai Tucson

Hyundai SA released the new Hyundai Tucson and we were privileged to attend the day event at Century City in Cape Town.

Most of the time, pictures of a new model don’t do it justice until you see it in the flesh; or metal to be precise.

The new Hyundai Tucson was no exception. Apart from a futuristic angular design, my first observation of the new 4×2 SUV, was the low stance it has. With surely a low sitting COG (center of gravity), I was looking forward to driving it, as I was expecting a dynamic ride.

Later in the presentation, it was confirmed that this new Tucson was the widest in its class at 1865 mm, hence the low stance in appearance.

With the new Tucson, you will have a choice of two power plants, a 2.0L petrol (115 kW / 192 Nm) and a 2.0L diesel (137 kW / 416 Nm)

We headed out towards Riebeeck Kasteel in the 8-speed auto diesel derivative and from the get-go, it was clear that the diesel had much more grunt than really needed to overcome gravity on a steep hill.

The front tyres on our car squealed more than once during normal get-aways, but we later found out that it wasn’t just the punchy diesel, but also the pressures sitting at 2.8 bar all round.

I was kind of worried about hitting the sink-plaat corrugations on gravel roads with those overly inflated 235/55/19 tyres, but was then pleasantly surprised by the effect of the new damper design on the shocks.

The wheel arches also have extra sound deadening materials incorporated in the plastic inner linings above every wheel. That clearly results in less cabin noise, as we have experienced ourselves.

After enjoying a lovely lunch at The Barn in Riebeeck, we headed back to our starting point in Cape Town.

The new Tucson is certainly a looker, especially in darker colours where the rear lights blend in much more fluently into the angular design theme of the whole car.

It’s as dynamic as expected, with a car-like feel on the road, while it’s very happy as well on a dirt road. I think the competition has a serious problem, as this car comes loaded with features, starting from a price tag of R519 900.

Watch out, Germans! There’s a new Korean in town.

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