A few years ago, I was delighted to attend the launch (or maybe relaunch) of Hyundai’s medium-sized SUV the Tucson. Held at Cape Kidnappers, it was an amazing event with an outstanding backdrop. Back then, we experienced the new look, new designed SUV both on and soft-road and were wow’d by its technology and capability. Well it seems that Hyundai has done it again.
Over the years the nameplate has moved from Tucson to iX35 then back to Tucson (which was where/when I first met the model) so I guess, technically, you could call this new model the ‘4th Generation’ but since it’s had a nameplate hiatus (and Fourson doesn’t fit with the story), we’ll stick with this being the Tucson II.
The new Tucson has taken the giant leaps of style and technology found in the previous model and evolved them even further. From top to toe, front to back, inside and out the new Tucson has been enhanced, even if (in my opinion) it didn’t need it – but to be perfectly clear, I’m pleased with the result.
Its face has been given a nose job, a new cascading ‘Hyundai’ chrome front grille, sleek and modernised headlights, with LED DRL’s and low set Fogs. Profile lines are more pronounced and the wheel arches have been shrouded with marginally offset covers that give the vehicle a sense of motion even when stationary. There’s LED tail lights, a roofline spoiler, creatively designed dual tailpipes and the entire medium-sized SUV sits on a set of very stylish alloys.
My Twoson came in bright ‘fiery’ red and it attracted the sun and looks in equal proportions.
The roomy interior has been upgraded and comes loaded with family-friendly gear. The floating infotainment touchscreen offers all smartphone connectivity and apps. The dashboard is uncluttered and seems expansive but thanks to the steering wheel buttons and overall layout, everything is fingertip close.
Being a Hyundai, the safety of your family is obviously at the forefront and the Twoson is the automotive equivalent of bubblewrap. I won’t list all the features (we both don’t have the time), but there are airbags and curtains, sensors for alerts, radar for proximity and (short of having a liferaft) most driving aids and safety boxes have been ticked – Some, of course, are model dependent.
Under my vehicles bonnet was a reasonably powerful 2L with 136kW and 400Nm (of power and torque) and all the efficiencies that came with diesel power.
Anyway, sunny days prevailed while the Twoson was in my possession, so the beach called out loudly. Packing the family and their needs for a day beside the sea is normally a traumatic affair, complete with tantrums about what to take and what to leave. However, with the Twoson’s spaciousness, I had the luxury of just saying yes to all manner of requests. For instance, Teddy bears are not sand friendly but great travel partners apparently.
Highway, country and metal roads all proving no contest for the SUV, we explored some of the more remote greater Auckland locations and really made a weekend of things – the rear USB connectors ensuring very little ‘are we there yet?’ quizzing.
The Tucson 1 was a very smart and good looking SUV, but the Twoson (Tucson II) is all this and then some. It offers up plenty of room and safety for all that travel within but still allows a little driving friskiness should you so desire.