The Sports Utility Vehicle that has put Hyundai firmly on the map in South Africa and elevated it to the number four position among automotive brands in the country has been launched with an all-new design, inside and out, and it is proudly wearing the Tucson badge again.
Originally launched in 2005, the Hyundai Tucson caught the attention of South Africa SUV buyers and became a firm top-seller in the segment for several years when it was followed its successor, the ix35, in 2009.
“A total of 22 716 Tucsons were sold in South from 2005 to 2010, and the total sales for the ix35 from 2010 up to 2016 were 33 692. The overall total of 56 408 Tucson and ix35 sales is proof of the popularity of Hyundai’s SUV, and we are ready to fight for the top position in this very competitive market segment again with the new model,” says Stanley Anderson, marketing director of Hyundai Automotive South Africa.
“The Tucson model name has now been revived, and with it a new level of sophistication, quality and comfort in this compact SUV that will again make it a favourite among local buyers.”
The all-new Hyundai Tucson is introduced in South Africa in five derivatives, ranging from the entry-level Hyundai Tucson 2.0 Nu Premium with a either a manual 6-speed gearbox or automatic 6-speed transmission, to the range-topping Hyundai Tucson 1.6 TGDi Elite derivative with the 7-speed Dual-Clutch Transmission (7DCT) and All-Wheel Drive.
In between lies the Hyundai Tucson 2.0 Nu Elite, also with the 2-litre petrol engine and automatic 6-speed transmission, but with a high level of standard features. One step down in terms of standard features is the Hyundai Tucson 1.6 TGDi Executive, also with the new turbocharged 1,6-litre petrol engine, but with a manual 6-speed gearbox. The Executive offers a level of comfort and standard features that fits in between the Premium and Elite offerings.
Bold and athletic exterior creates unique SUV appearance
The All-New Tucson design concept incorporates a sleek, urban style combined with the strong ruggedness typical of an SUV. Peter Schreyer, President and Chief Design Officer at Hyundai Motor Group, explains how Hyundai designers achieved the dynamic proportions:
“Design expresses our progressive spirit and passion, and it is transforming our brand. The All-New Tucson has a distinctive and athletic presence achieved through refined, flowing surfaces, bold proportions, sharp lines and most importantly, our newest generation hexagonal grille – our brand signature,” summarised Schreyer.
The front of the All-New Tucson is dominated by the hexagonal grille, which connects with the LED headlamps to create a distinctive identity. A wing-shaped horizontal bar at the front bumper, which incorporates the LED daytime running lights, gives the car a unique style and provides a visual reference for the car’s wide track.
By moving the A-pillar back it becomes visually disconnected from the long bonnet, accentuating the sleek profile. The directional shape of the wheel arches contributes to the car’s agile and dynamic appearance, even at standstill. The expressive ‘Z’ character-lines above the rear wheel arches emphasise the powerful stance, while the kick-up belt moulding converges with the falling roof line to complete the sculptural side profile.
At the rear, the All-New Tucson’s personality is reinforced by strong horizontal lines flowing from the wheel arches. The combination lamps and reflectors are stretched to the body edges to further underline the bold proportions, with the rear skid plate and twin exhaust adding a sporty touch.
Refined interior combines elegance with ergonomics
The Hyundai interior design team’s objective was to ensure that, when potential buyers first enter the car, they will be instinctively impressed by the cabin’s space and the attention paid to the smallest details.
Inside, new soft-touch, high-quality materials are introduced across the cabin surfaces, creating a refined cabin ambience. The new horizontal layout of the centre console conveys the car’s elegance while increasing the feeling of roominess. The interior has undergone extensive ergonomic testing to ensure ease of use and a pleasant and sensuous experience.
Sophisticated exterior and interior colour palette
The All-New Tucson is offered with a range of ten exterior colours, comprising one solid (Polar White), four metallic (Platinum Silver, Ara Blue, White Sand and Milky Tea) and five pearl colours (Ash Blue, Ultimate Red, Phantom Black, Micron and Pepper Grey).
All come with the Oceanids Black interior package with a high quality black leather upholstery.
COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE
A number of clever convenience and connectivity features add refinement to the cabin and enhance the on-board experience.
Front seats feature long seat cushions and comes with electric power adjustment for the driver and front passenger in the Elite derivatives, and two-way electric powered lumbar support for the driver’s seat.
Generous space from efficient packaging
The All-New Tucson is built on a completely new platform that offers generous interior dimensions. There is an excellent exterior-to-interior dimension ratio, continuing the Hyundai tradition for highly efficient packaging.
With all seats upright, the roomy luggage area is 1 030 mm wide, 889 mm deep and 806 mm tall, delivering up to a substantial 513 litres of capacity. This increases to a maximum of 1 503 litres with the rear seats folded. Practicality is boosted by a lower trunk-sill height, two-level trunk floor and a stowable cargo cover.
Convenience and connectivity features are tailored to customer needs
The interior has been ergonomically designed to enable intuitive operation. The instrument cluster has been positioned towards the windscreen for excellent visibility and minimum distraction. The A-pillar has been engineered to reduce blind-spot width by 6 mm compared to the previous model, with visibility from the lower side window increased by 37 mm. In the Elite derivatives a panoramic sunroof adds to the airy feel, providing 30% wider opening than before.
The centre console of the all-new Tucson has been redesigned and features a sound system with Bluetooth connectivity than enables music to be streamed from a smartphone or iPod, and connecting with a cell phone with the added comfort and safety feature of steering wheel operating buttons.
The Elite models are fitted with a large display screen for the new-generation navigation system,
A navigation system, available as a R15 000 option in all the derivatives, can suggest the routes not only on the trip distance, but also on the time needed to get to the final destination.
A new seamless DAB+ digital radio with six audio speakers is standard across the range. Further connectivity is provided through USB and AUX connections in the centre console.
Comprehensive active safety package
The introduction of new technologies means the All-New Tucson is one of the most comprehensively equipped vehicles in its segment when it comes to safety features.
Blind Spot Detector (BSD)
Also using radar technology, the Blind Spot Detector (BSD) with Lane Change Assist monitors the rear corners and, if another vehicle is detected, a visual alert appears on the exterior mirrors. If the driver then activates the indicators an audible signal is emitted. This also applies for a lane change situation when another vehicle is detected.
This safety system is a standard feature in the Elite derivatives.
Vehicle Stability Management (VSM)
In the Executive and Elite derivatives, the Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) combines Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Motor Driven Power Steering (MDPS) to help the driver keep the vehicle under control in case of an emergency maneuver. Under acceleration or braking on surfaces with different levels of grip, VSM applies selective steering forces to intuitively guide the driver to remain on course.
Rear-Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)
Using the BSD sensors, the Rear-Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) system reduces the risk of collision with approaching traffic when reversing out of narrow areas with low visibility. Using a radar to scan a 180-degree area behind the vehicle for approaching cross-traffic, RCTA alerts the driver visually and acoustically in the Elite derivatives.
New passive safety features for driver and pedestrian protection
A number of passive safety features are included in the All-New Tucson. For occupants there are six airbags, including driver, passenger, side and curtain airbags throughout the range.
Bodyshell structure and use of ultra-high strength steel
The all-new bodyshell structure features 51% advanced high strength steel, increasing torsional rigidity (up by 48%) to offer greater impact resistance. Straightened body connections, applied on dash chassis member and A-pillar, provide additional collision energy dissipation paths. A new high-tensile steel side-impact protection device installed in the doors allows a more even distribution of impact forces.
ENGINES AND TRANSMISSIONS
One of the outstanding features of the All-new Hyundai Tucson range is the turbocharged 1.6-litre T-GDI petrol engine that is introduced for the first time in a Hyundai SUV in South Africa.
Dealing particularly well with the oxygen-starved Highveld and other high-lying and mountainous areas in South Africa, the turbocharged 4-cylinder engine delivers maximum power of 130 kW at 5 5 00 rpm, and its torque delivery peaks at 265 Nm from 1 500 to 4 500 rpm. The engine is offered with a six-speed manual gearbox or the new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (7DCT), which gives a choice of fully automatic operation or manual gear changes.
The Premium derivatives in the all-new Hyundai Tucson range come with a 2-litre naturally aspirated 4-cylinder petrol engine that delivers 115 kW maximum power at 6 200 rpm, and maximum torque of 196 Nm at 4 000 rpm.
Fuel consumption of 8,9 litres per 100 km in a combined test cycle has been recorded for the Hyundai Tucson 2.0 Nu Premium with the 6-speed manual gearbox, and 8,5 litres per 100 km for the Elite version with All-Wheel Drive and the 7-speed Dual-Clutch Transmission.
Seven-speed Dual-Clutch Transmission (7DCT)
The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (7DCT) is available for the first time in the Hyundai SUV line-up. Developed in-house by Hyundai, the 7DCT system offers drivers fully automatic operation (ideal for town driving) or sequential manual gear changes, selected with the gear-lever for greater driver involvement.
The new 7DCT system performs seamless shifting through an alternative operation of the two clutches, providing many benefits over an automatic transmission. For example, fuel consumption and CO2emissions are reduced, and performance is enhanced while shifting quality is maintained.
This transmission features a high top gear ratio which lowers engine revs during high-speed cruising, enhancing refinement, while also improving fuel economy and cutting exhaust emissions. Compared to a six-speed automatic transmission, the fuel efficiency could be improved by up to 20%.
Two driving modes Eco and Sport, are available with the 7DCT. It can be selected with a button on the centre console. In Eco mode, gear shifts happen sooner to ensure better fuel economy, while the gears are shifted at higher engine revolutions in Sport mode. The mapping of the engine control module also changes in Sport mode, which leads to quicker
Four-wheel drive system
In the range-topping Hyundai Tucson 1.6 TGDi Elite, the 1.6-litre T-GDI petrol engine is mated to a four-wheel drive (4WD) system, which keeps the highest traction on rough, loose or slippery surfaces while enhancing cornering performance.
The front wheels receive 100% of torque during normal road driving with up to 50% sent to the rear wheels, automatically, depending on conditions. A manually-selected ‘Lock Mode’ splits torque 50/50 for enhanced stability at speeds up to 40 km/h.
The 1.6-litre T-GDI petrol engine is also available with the front-wheel drive system in the Hyundai Tucson 1.6 TGDi Executive (manual), while the 2.0-litre naturally petrol engine in the Premium derivatives is available with front-wheel drive only.
New chassis for Europe focused on ride comfort and driving dynamics
The new chassis of the All-New Tucson has been developed with a focus on ride comfort without compromising driving dynamics. The new rack-mounted motor-driven power steering is precise and direct while the suspension and dampers offer high levels of comfort and compliance for a smooth ride.
The front suspension features a McPherson strut system, receiving a new rebound spring and four bush mountings on the subframe to enhance comfort and reduce NVH. The refined multilink rear suspension system is improved to enhance overall dynamics. As in the front, the rear subframe receives four bush mountings, while the upper and lower suspension arms are increased in length to enhance overall suspension performance.
Hyundai Motor has developed every element of the chassis to enhance high-speed and cornering stability, while also maximising the benefits of the long wheelbase (2670 mm) and wide track to optimise ride and handling characteristics for European roads and consumer needs.
A brake system upgrade incorporates larger discs (305 mm front/ 302 mm rear) and wheel cylinders to enhance braking distance and heavy usage resistance.
A new electric motor-driven power steering (MDPS) system features newly developed software and a rack-mounted electric motor. Tuned for the European market, it affords a faster, more direct response to inputs, enabling the driver to feel more connected with the car and the road.
Cornering performance is enhanced with Advanced Traction Cornering Control (ATCC), combining the 4WD variable torque distribution and ESC. In the event of understeer, higher torque is applied to the rear axle, while braking the inner wheel, improving cornering performance.
The new Drive Mode Select (DMS) function on automatic transmission models offers customers a choice of two drive modes – Normal and Sport – with different characteristics for the steering and transmission (for AT or 7DCT versions).
Comfortable and quiet cabin
The new, stiffer structure for the All-New Tucson has enabled Hyundai engineers to achieve significant gains in the suppression of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH), making it one of the quietest and most refined cabins in the class. Increased sound-absorption at the base of the A-, B- and C-pillars protects occupants from road vibrations, while new high-density anti-noise pads are fitted within the central and rear floor pans to limit noise ingress.
At the front an underfloor cover is fitted beneath the engine bay, while at the rear a change to bush-mounting rather than solid-mounting for the rear subframe isolates the cabin from road surface irregularities transferred through the rear suspension.
Tested on European roads
To ensure European customers receive the best possible combination of ride and comfort, handling and steering, performance and refinement, the All-New Tucson was developed using Hyundai’s extensive engineering and testing facilities in Europe. Every element of the All-New Tucson’s running gear was tested to enhance high-speed and cornering stability, while also maximising the benefits of the longer wheelbase and wider track to optimise ride and handling characteristics for European roads.
Axel Honisch, Head of Vehicle Test and Development at Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Centre, said: “We take a comprehensive approach to ensure that every Hyundai vehicle is tested in the most extreme conditions so that our customers always enjoy high standards of comfort, ride, handling and reliability. To fully prepare the All-New Hyundai Tucson for the European market, our teams tested it in severe heat – from 40 degrees Celsius in southern Europe’s summertime down to 30 degrees below freezing in the Swedish winter.”
Hyundai engineers completed accelerated durability testing on the famous Nürburgring Nordschleife, supported by the company’s on-site test centre. Equivalent to 180 000 km of everyday driving, the design concentrated on six key areas: steering, suspension, brakes, tyres, seats and air-conditioning, while evolving EU-specific adaptations of core hardware.
The pricing of the five derivatives in the South African line-up of the all-new Hyundai Tucson is as follows:
Hyundai Tucson 2.0 Nu Premium (manual) R359 900
Hyundai Tucson 2.0 Nu Premium (automatic) R379 900
Hyundai Tucson 2.0 Nu Elite (automatic) R439 900
Hyundai Tucson 1.6 TGDi Executive (manual) R419 900
Hyundai Tucson 1.6 TGDi Elite DCT AWD R499 900
Hyundai’s 5-year/150 000 km manufacturer’s warranty, enhanced by the additional new groundbreaking 7-years/200 000 km drivetrain warranty, comes standard with the all-new Hyundai Tucson package, as well as roadside assistance for 5 years or 150 000 km.
All derivatives come with a 5-year/90 000 km service plan, and service intervals are spaced at 15 000 km.