2022 Hyundai Tucson is finally here and we got to spend a day with it in Bengaluru; here is the first drive impression of the brand’s flagship SUV
It took two years for Hyundai to bring the new generation Tucson to India! As it is finally here, there is a lot more to talk about it and for that, we headed to the outskirts of Bengaluru. The global fourth generation Tucson has been brought to India in its long wheelbase avatar and thus compared to the old model, it is 50 mm longer, 15 mm wider and has an 85 mm longer wheelbase while the fuel tank capacity is at 54 litres compared to 62 litres.
The wheelbase length of 2,755 mm enables a roomy cabin with ample headroom, legroom, knee room and thigh support for a close to six feet guy like me while the walk-in device helps the rear seat occupant to adjust the front passenger seat to free up more room. Another practical feature is the powered tailgate and a boot space capacity of 540 litres that can be extended to 1860 litres when the rear seats are folded.
A boot level at the back helps in folding the rear seats easily and bringing them back up. The 2022 Tucson is loaded with technologies and handy features such as a 10-way adjustable front driver seat with heated, ventilated and memory function, an eight-way adjustable front passenger seat and a highly likeable 360-degree camera system. The sounds of nature feature sounded gimmicky but I did prefer to use them at standstill but not very often.
The 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with ten regional language support as well as Alexa and Google voice assistant alongside the 10.25-inch all-digital cluster brings a lot to the table. With more than 60 connected features, the cabin is certainly a busy place to be but the dual-tone black and white cabin finish and the use of soft-touch materials and fabric finish on the dashboard and door pads add to the premium nature.
You would appreciate the airy feel from inside besides the large panoramic sunroof and the spacious driver’s cockpit. The multi-air con loops are cleverly hidden on the dashboard and a metallic trim runs across the width and the same finish can be seen on the front seats.
The adjustable headrests, plenty of storage spaces, charging ports at the front and the rear, dual-zone AC, deep cupholders and armrests further accentuate its practical appeal.
The AC spread could have been a bit better right off though and the eight-speaker Bose audio sounds just familiar. The packed equipment list boasts 64-colour ambient lighting, voice commands, and a whole suite of Hyundai SmartSense features. The Level 2 ADAS tech makes the new-gen Tucson the first-of-its-kind for Hyundai in India and it will drip down to other models too eventually.
Some of the highlights are Forward collision avoidance, blind spot monitoring, driver attention warning, smart cruise control with stop and go, lane keep assist, safe exit warning, rear cross-traffic avoidance assist, forward collision warning, lane following assist, high beam assist, blind spot collision avoidance assist, forward collision avoidance assist, leading vehicle departure alert, lane departure warning and blind spot collision warning.
Amongst these, the blind spot detection and collision avoidance assist, driver attention alert, rear cross-traffic avoidance assist and lane following assist are my favourites and the Level 2 ADAS could be more refined moving forwards. Subtle features such as the warning if something is left on the rear seat, hidden wipers and a charging socket at the back deserve more appreciation.
The new Tucson scored five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests and it comes with safety features such as TPMS (Tyre Pressure Monitoring System), VSM (Vehicle Stability Management), EPB (Electric Parking Brake), HAC (Hill Assist Control), ESC (Electronic Stability Program), rain-sensing wipers, DBC (Downhill Brake Control), front and rear parking sensors, reverse parking camera with dynamic guidelines and ISOFIX child seat anchorage.
In addition to all the geeky tech and gizmos, what grabs your attention in an instant is the Sensuous Sportiness design philosophy-based exterior as it is a major breakthrough compared to the old Tucson.
The front fascia features a parametric jewel pattern grille with hidden LED DRLs and the LED headlamps are placed within a triangular housing. The front bumper has a lower air intake and a skid plate while the muscular bonnet could have been slightly raised to give a more aggressive and upright stance the segment beckons.
The 18-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, sleek body panels, thick cladding on the squared-off wheel arches and the bulge, black finished pillars with chromed window line extending to for a thick strip, sloping roofline, connected LED tail lamps, a busy rear bumper, sculpted bootlid, etc make the new generation Hyundai Tucson a certain eye-catcher.
The colour palette comes with five single-tone colours and two dual-tone shades (white with black roof and red with black roof). We drove the HTRAC part-time all-wheel-drive system of the new Tucson paired with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine producing a maximum power output of 186 PS at 4,000 rpm and 416 Nm of peak torque between 2,000 and 2,750 rpm. It is linked with an eight-speed automatic transmission and immediately I felt the absence of the paddle shifters.
The light steering wheel offers good feedback and is leather-wrapped and grippy too. In a typical Hyundai fashion, the bodyroll is minimalistic while the McPherson front strut and five-link rear with coil springs absorb bumps efficiently enabling a comfortable ride mainly on the highways. But when the going gets tough and manoeuvring through deep potholes at low speeds could be slightly unsettling.
The Tucson does not feel like a tall riding SUV while blistering through corners and the chassis is well composed to offer impressive stability at three-digit speeds and getting past 160 kmph isn’t difficult. Lower down, the powertrain provides punchy performance with torque delivery in no time and moving up the rev range, you do not find yourself running out of juice.
The transmission is slick and responsive and it adapts to the driver’s commands almost every time. The Eco, Normal, Sport and Smart drive modes give plenty of options to extract either mileage or top-level performance or possibly both and the Smart mode chooses the settings based on the driving style.
With a tractable engine and an immediate transmission, the five-seater can tackle quite a bit of off-roading and in other variants, it stays front-wheel driven. There are three terrain modes available: Snow, Mud and Sand and based on the surface conditions they can be deployed. With prices between Rs. 27.70 lakh and Rs. 34. 39 lakh (ex-showroom), the 2022 Tucson is on the premium end of Hyundai’s spectrum and it takes on Jeep Compass, VW Tiguan, Citroen C5 Aircross and the top-end variants of Mahindra XUV700 that are competitively priced.
The new Hyundai Tucson does have the character, enthusiasm and is a darn good looker too by any standards. It will be a perfect stepping stone for anyone wanting to upgrade their Creta and it boasts a features package as good as anyone would anticipate in this segment with the Level 2 ADAS taking the spotlight. With Hyundai targeting to sell 5,000 units of its every year, it is almost a niche offering and the strategy does reflect in its pricing.