A kick-up the arse with Hyundai’s Tucson Sport boot

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I’ve driven and reviewed several Tucsons in the past. The current model offers a complete package that’s certainly a respected option within its compact SUV brethren folk.

Last year saw the Tucson modelling some minor tweaks and upgrades - to keep it looking refreshed. The model lineup includes a 2.0-l Premium and Elite model, a 2.0-l diesel Executive and a 1.6 T Elite. To complete the cake batch, so to speak, the range is topped with Sport models.

This eye-catching head-turner has been through the panel shop. Now bolstered with quad-tailpipes, beefed bumpers, side skirting and a hulked rear bumper. It looks a bit like a Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, only more compact. Street cred abounds as heads turn at the Sports masculine looks. This Tuscon won’t get any flack as a soccer mom car, that’s for sure.

The Sport model is available in either the 1.6 T or 2.0-l diesel. Of course, like the rest of the car, the engines have been fine-tuned. There’s no point in beefing up the car’s kit and badging it as a bad boy if you haven’t upped the stakes under the hood! The 1.6 T is up from 130kW/265Nm to 150kW/300Nm while the 2.0 diesel is up from 130kW/400Nm to 150kW/460Nm. The petrol motor is paired with a 7-speed dual-clutch, while the diesel is paired with an 8-speed automatic. In terms of acceleration, the standard models hit the 100km/h mark in more or less 9 seconds. The Sports tune-ups should easily knock off a second or more in the 100km/h sprint. More importantly, it’s the way the Tucson Sport puts the power down on the tarmac – there are oodles of power in any gear - making acceleration effortless. Unfortunately, both Sport models aren’t AWD (all-wheel drive). In lesser models, a front-wheel drive set up suffices. The problem with the Sport models is sending its added power through just the front wheels – which means wheel spin and torque steer, detracting from an otherwise refined package as part of your driving experience.

Soft-touch material and easy-to-use electronics abound, space for five and a nicely sized boot are all part of the Tucson’s qualities, making this an accomplished offering.

If a compact SUV is your goal in life, yet the fear of being afflicted with the judgement of driving a soccer mom vehicle is a concern, then Hyundai’s Sport model is the answer. Dressed head to toe in athleisure attire, the Sport has the cred to stop the dreaded fear of being a desperate housewife or househusband.

Plus +

  • Nicely equipped.
  • Aggressive looks.
  • Refinement.

 

Minus –

  • Top models are pricey.

 

The Competition

Ford Kuga, KIA Sportage, Mazda CX-5, Nissan Qashqai, Opel Grandland X, Subaru Forester, Peugeot 3008, Renault Koleos, Toyota RAV4, Volkswagen Tiguan.

 

Pricing

Tucson 2.0 Premium R425 900

Tucson 2.0 Premium auto R446 900

Tucson 2.0 Executive R488 900

Tucson 2.0 Elite R529 900

Tucson 2.0D Executive R563 900

Tucson 1.6T Elite R598 900

Tucson 2.0D Elite R608 900

Tucson 1.6T Elite Sport R654 900

Tucson 2.0D Elite Sport R664 900

 

Service and Warranty

A 5 year/90 000km service plan; a 7-year/200 000km warranty; and Roadside assistance for 7 years or 150 000km. All service intervals are 15 000km, with a mandatory initial 5 000km service for the Tucson 1.6 TGDI Elite and Sport derivatives.

 

My Choice

Tucson 2.0D Executive R563 900

www.hyundai.co.za

 

 

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