Every so often in the overpopulated SUV market a new vehicle comes along that makes you sit up and pay attention. Meet the manual, six-speed, executive model armed with a smooth slick short throw gear change.
The Tucson is an absolute breeze to drive for it comes in full Hyundai style with a lot of kit on board as standard. This includes a high quality hand-stitched black leather imitation trim, climate control, a high quality sound system and all the latest connectivity, electric windows and electrically adjustable drivers seat.
The winner in this model has got to be the latest Tucson 1.6 motor that delivers quite amazing capability for such a small engine size. The unit breathes through a turbo charger and delivers a hefty 130kW of useable power with 265Nm of torque. All this amounts to no lack of power at any speed. It is also silky smooth with little or no appearance of turbo lag.
Improving the ride of the new Hyundai two-wheel drive sees the introduction of updated Mcpherson struts with a stabiliser bar and a delivery from the seat of your pants of good sports type handling characteristics with a set of good dampers up front, coil springs and a multi-link set up, all add up to a piece of competent packaging for the road.
With an all-new design concept the Tucson updates its desirability by a big margin if you’re into pure road style, for its smoother all purpose design was captured by Peter Schreyer to deliver a family resemblance to its bigger brother the Sante Fe. Overall the unit is a big step forwards from the older models that preceeded this turbo edition.
Getting down to the twisty bits the turbo spells out some above average feedback and excitement even with the occasional front end axle tramp delivered from some foot-flat over zealous driving. As you push on to the outer limits the 7000 rpm limits can leave you unfazed at the Tucson’s ability and the overall quality of its ride. It remains a big surprise as the overall tractability and the brilliant body control in fast sweeping country roads for it employs a new electronically controlled differential to transfer wheel power to retain its driving composure under more extreme conditions. This all adds up to making the new Tucson lots of fun to drive. It is also equipped with a VSM stability programme which can very discretely intervene if things look like they are going pearshaped.
The above units are priced at just under R380 000 and come with a seven-year /200 000km warranty. So if you are in need of a new SUV, the smart money would be on the new Tucson Turbo, all things being considered.
- Hyundai Tucson Turbo Specs
- Engine: four-cylinder, turbo,
- D-CWT 16 valve
- Capacity: 1 591 cc
- Power: 130kW @ 5500 rpm
- Torque: 265Nm@ 4500 rpm
- Gearbox: six speed manual
- Ground Clearance: 172mm
- Warranty: seven years/200 000km