Introduced earlier this year at the Geneva Motor Show is the all-new Hyundai Tucson, and it didn’t take long for it to arrive on our shores. Just days after the C-Segment SUV made its global debut, Hyundai Sime Darby Motors introduced the locally assembled Tucson facelift – a model that’s effectively replaced by the new one in record time.

The Tucson will be offered in two trims (Elegance and Executive), but they’re mostly add-on features and accessories. As such, it retains the older Nu 2.0-litre MPI engine making 153 hp and 192 Nm of torque. That’s quite likely the only thing left unchanged, because the entire car is built from the ground up, and with that it gets a roomier cabin.Hyundai-Tucson-Launch-1

QUICK FACTS

Name Hyundai Tucson 2.0L Elegance Hyundai Tucson 2.0L Executive
Engine
1,999cc; inline-4 DOHC
1,999cc; inline-4 DOHC
Transmission 6-speed automatic 6-speed automatic
Max Power 153 hp @ 6,200 rpm 153 hp @ 6,200 rpm
Max Torque 192 Nm @ 4,000 rpm 192 Nm @ 4,000 rpm
Price (OTR with insurace) RM129,888.99 RM143,888.00

EXTERIOR

At first glance, we have to admit that this third generation Hyundai Tucson is much easier on the eyes when compared to the new Kia Sportage. The design, penned by Peter Schreyer, is based on Hyundai’s evolved design language dubbed Fluidic Sculpture 2.0. Now, both variants are not of the highest specifications, so we won’t be getting the 19-inch wheels, LED headlights, all-wheel drive and some other driver assistive technologies.

Hyundai-Tucson-Launch-17

Instead, our Tucson gets auto levelling halogen projector headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels (tyres are profiled at 225/60), keyless entry and rear view camera as standard. If you opt for the Elegance variant, you’ll miss out Hyundai’s chrome-coated signature hexagonal grille, chrome door handles, puddle lamps, LED DRLs and LED positioning lights; all of which are reserved for the more expensive Executive variant. It’s a pretty basic car, but if there’s one thing we can really appreciate the Tucson for is its build quality.

INTERIOR

Much of the old Tucson’s style can hardly be traced on the outside, and the same can be said when stepping in the cabin. The dashboard is now straightforward and clean while keeping ergonomics close to mind. Both variants will get black leather seats as standard with the Executive trim benefiting from powered 8-way driver seats including 2-way lumbar support. For the first time in the C-Segment SUV category, Hyundai is offering two leather seats upgrade options – either Red Leather or White Nappa Leather.Hyundai-Tucson-Launch-20

The Executive trim will get Hyundai’s Super Vision instrument cluster with a 4.2-inch TFT screen built between the odometer and tachometer, whereas the Elegance trim will make do with a conventional cluster with a 3.5-inch Mono TFT LCD screen. The cheaper variant will also have to skimp on Electronic Parking Brake, electronic chromic rear view mirror with compass, rear air-conditioning vents, Audio Visual Navigation head unit (Android based), push-start ignition and cruise control.

PERFORMANCE

As mentioned earlier, the Tucson will only be offered with one powertrain that is the Nu 2.o-litre MPI engine. It’s transversely mounted and makes 153 hp at 6,200 rpm and 192 Nm of torque peaking at 4,000 rpm. Drive is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox which Hyundai claims to deliver better acceleration and reduced fuel consumption. Hyundai-Tucson-Launch-10

The front axle sits on a pair of McPherson Struts while the rear sits atop the conventional multi-link suspension. If you opt for the Executive package, there will be a Drive Mode Control System which lets you choose between three driving modes – Eco, Normal and Sports, but these are simply throttle and gearbox remaps.

SAFETY

On the safety side of things, both the Elegance and Executive Tucsons will get ABS, ESC, Hill Start Assist, Downhill Brake Control, Brake Assist and Vehicle Stability Management as standard. The Executive however, gets six airbags (Elegance only two airbags) with a Safe Drive Recorder.Hyundai-Tucson-Launch-45

WHAT ELSE?

The Hyundai Tucson is now on sale and available for viewing and test drives at Hyundai showrooms near you. There will be a total of seven exterior colours to choose from, on top of the three leather seat options. Pricing for the Tucson Elegance is RM129,888 and the Executive at RM143,888. Both prices stated include GST and insurance. All new Tucsons come with Hyundai’s 5-year or 300,000km warranty programme, whichever comes first. That equals to 164 km a day, everyday, for five years!


IMAGE GALLERY


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Matthew H. Tong
A straightforward, fun-loving guy who appreciates the superficiality of a car's appeal, but his admiration for anything on four wheels gives him no reason to neglect the makings of a car. He still believes that fun comes with three pedals and a stick.