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Date: 21 Dec 2018 Author Type: Public Review
Author: Julian Lurie edited by Liam Mothilall
Source: Julian Lurie
Hyundai South Africa has just updated its Tucson range with new design features, new gearboxes and a few derivative changes. Our road test today features the all new Tucson 1.6 TGDI Elite with a 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission. Hyundai's Tucson has been a top-contender in its market segment since the first generation was launched in 2009.

The Tucson's new sporty exterior design is recognized by; its new front and rear appearance, the cascading grille, newly designed headlights, fog lamp and the refined new light signature, with full LED headlights, which give the car a high-tech image. An up-lifted front bumper and refined skid plate complement the Tucson's exterior appearance. At the rear, the Tucson sports a new rear taillight design, with a redesigned bumper and exhaust tailpipe to complete the picture. The side profile features a new design 19" alloy wheels shod with Korean 254/45R19 Kumho radials. Other exterior features include; the panoramic electric sunroof, twin black roof rails, the discreet tailgate spoiler, sharkfin antenna, rear washer/wiper and twin tailpipes.

The Tucson's interior is also new, sporting a redesigned dashboard with high-quality soft touch material, incorporating a double stitching line for a more high-quality feeling of the interior. Interior space is quite generous, with ample leg, head and shoulder room, both back and front. The front bucket seats are well shaped, very comfortable and the electrically operated driver’s seat is fully adjustable making it easy to find a suitable driving position. Oddment storage is provided for with six cup-holders, two in the floor console, two in the fold-down armrest in the rear, all four door pockets, a lidded box on the floor console and a fair-sized cubby. The focal point of the center console is the floating audio system screen, which has an ergonomic position to allow drivers to stay focused on the road. The infotainment system in the Tucson offers a satellite navigation function used with one's Apple cell phone and CarPlay.

Standard features include; air conditioner, Bluetooth, Cruise Control, headlight adjuster, parking sensors front cornering lights, full leather upholstery, electric front seat adjustments, blind spot fold-in exterior mirrors, driver’s left footrest, four door pockets, thee grab handles, and a sunglass holder. The long list of comfort and convenience items includes; cruise control, the infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, driver, passenger, side and curtain airbags, Electronic Stability Programme, full leather seats, Cross Traffic Alert detectors, auto air conditioner with climate control, panoramic sun roof, keyless entry and push button start, and an extra USB port in the rear, delivering additional power to recharge the devices on-board if needed.

Safety features in the new Tucson include; Blind Spot Detection and Cross Traffic Alert, Vehicle Stability Management that keeps the car stable on wet, slippery or rough roads, as well as Hill-start Assist Control to prevent roll-back when pulling off against an incline. Passive safety features such as dual driver and passenger airbags, curtain airbags and Isofix latching points are fitted to all Tucson derivatives.

The Tucson 1.6 TGDI Elite model is powered by a 4-cylinder 1 591 cc turbo-petrol engine developing 130 KW of power and 265 NM of torque and is coupled with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission driving the front wheels. The new 7-speed dual-clutch transmission offers three driver modes – ECO –Sport – Comfort. For the acceleration tests, selecting “sport” mode and drive, and to let it change automatically, it covered the 0 to 100 km dash in a reasonable 9.3 seconds and has a top speed of just over 200 km/h. The petrol consumption over the week I had the press vehicle, the trip computer gave me a reading of 10.3 litres per 100 km’s which is pretty good.

Driving the 1.6 TGDI Elite model, surprisingly the 1.6 litre turbo engine felt more powerful than expected in most situations and automatic transmission changes are smooth and almost imperceptible. Under hard acceleration from low speed, it was a bit sluggish, but once on the move, with the Dual Clutch Transmission selecting the right gear for the occasion, it gathers momentum quite rapidly. The suspension system is excellent as it comfortably irons out the very poor tar road surfaces, and even gravel roads with “washboard” corrugations were nicely smoothed out. The handling on gravel was very good, with the well weighted steering providing good handling, even on the rough sections and in fast cornering. The Tucson's ride and handling are quite sporty. The steering and road traction are predictable and competent, the ride is refined, and the cabin is super quiet at highway speeds, in fact first class for an SUV, while wind and road noise are well controlled. Driving on the freeways, the Tucson 1.6 TGDI Elite runs unstressed registering just 2 200 RPM while cruising at 120 km/h in 7th gear, and at 3 100 RPM at 160 km/h if you dare. The tip computer gave me a fuel reading of 9.6 litres per 100 km which is quite good.

The recommended retail selling prices for the new Hyundai Tucson 1.6 TGDI Elite Dual Clutch Transmission is R559 900 which includes a 5 year / 90 000 km service plan, a 7 year / 200 000 km warranty comprising Hyundai's 5 year / 150 000 km warranty, with an extended 2 year / 50 000 km drive-train warranty, Roadside assistance for 5 years or 150 000 km’s and service intervals every 15 000 km.
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