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The new Tucson trounces the competition - with unbeatable value for money


The Tucson is back. The South Korean marque’s baby SUV, the ix35, was reimagined and redefined in 2016, and the new version is designed to take down the formidable Nissan Qashqai. It’s been quite the success. It was hugely well received among Ireland’s leading motoring journalists when it was launched. It was crowned the Irish Mid-Size SUV of the Year 2017. It became Ireland’s best-selling car the moment it hit the market – the first time an SUV has claimed such an accolade.

There are good reasons why. Here are some of them:

Hyundai Tucson is incredibly well priced.

Let’s begin with the important one. The Tucson Comfort, a capable, practical and extremely well-equipped SUV, can be bought new for just €27,195. That’s roughly on a par with the most sparsely equipped VW Golf. Further up in the range is the Tucson Executive, from €31,945, which comes with an even wider array of safety features and toys (more on that later), all the way up to the range-topping Premium Plus at €37,945, which comes with the kind of stuff that seems more at home on a €60K Mercedes than an affordably-priced, reliable Korean SUV.

The smart money’s on the Tucson.

It looks fantastic.

The new-look Tucson was envisioned with Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture design philosophy in mind from day one. In plain English, that means lots of flowing lines, sculpted curves and the range encompassing hexagonal front grille. All of those things come together to give the Tucson a streamlined, yet muscular appearance, hunkering down to the road like it’s planted on all fours. It looks luxurious but not ostentatious (even on the flagship model’s 19-inch alloys), and the twin tailpipes at the rear offer just the slightest hint that there’s much more to the Tucson than a family hatchback on stilts.

It comes with a ludicrous amount of equipment.

This is where the Tucson really gets into its stride – and it’s where the Nissan will start feeling shaky. Because the even the entry-level Hyundai comes with 16inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth with voice recognition, a rear parking assist function, cruise control and various pieces of leather trim. As standard.

But (probably) the most popular model, the lavishly equipped Executive, comes with even more toys, and with only a modest price increase too. For just €4K more you’ll also get sat-nav, an 8-inch touch screen with a rearview camera, leather upholstery and heated front seats. Let’s just remind us: this isn’t a footballer’s Range Rover. It costs a sliver over €30,000.

Buyers happy to shell out for the most specced-out version, the Premium Plus, get a serious amount of kit for their money; on top of the aforementioned features, this model also comes with a blind spot detection system, lane change assist, autonomous emergency braking, power seats, rear seat heaters and a heated steering wheel. And rather a lot of other stuff too.

In short – every model gives you a colossal bang for your buck.

It’ll fit more stuff inside than you think.

The Tucson’s wide body (it’s bigger than a Qashqai) and tall roofline mean three adults can fit into the back seats without the car feeling so big as to be unwieldy in tight spaces. The rear seats can recline too, and when the car’s full, the Premium version’s panoramic sunroof will ensure nobody feels cramped.

Open up the rear and you’ll find more than enough room for a dog/pushchair/flatpack wardrobe in the 513-litre boot, and considerably more when you fold or split the back seats with the easy-to-access lever.

Tucson is cheap to run. Really cheap.

SUV’s are no longer synonymous with enormous gas-guzzling engines destroying the planet with 30mpg fuel economies and more emissions than a Saturn V rocket. The new Tucson, according to Hyundai, can manage a mind-boggling 61mpg in 1.7 diesel spec, which equates to a mere 4.6L of juice for every 100 kilometres of driving.

That would be tough to crack in a VW Polo, never mind a mid-size SUV. Of course, in real-life scenarios, the true fuel economy may be a little lower – but there’s no getting around the fact that this is not a thirsty car.

And on reliability, it’s business as usual; the Tucson benefits, as do all Hyundais, from the manufacturer’s industry-leading five-year unlimited mileage warranty. 


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