First Drives

11 September 2018

Review: Hyundai Tucson AWD

Off-road hardware ups the family SUV’s appeal

Samarpan Bhowmik
Car image

If you’ve been on the market for a spacious and premium SUV that won’t burn a hole in your pocket, Hyundai’s Tucson has been a sensible offering. When we drove it some time back, we were pretty impressed with what the South Koreans had pulled off, although, at this price point, we were expecting some off-road hardware. Now, Hyundai has set the record straight and the Tucson comes with all-wheel drive on the range-topping car.

Under the hood is the 2.0-litre diesel unit good for 183bhp and 400Nm of pulling power. The top trim car only gets the option of the six-speed torque converter automatic ’box but there’s still no paddle-shifters. The ’box isn’t the most intuitive but there are drive modes available -– Eco and Sport.

On the go, there’s a slight bit change in the way the car rides and handles. While we were a bit perturbed by how softly sprung the suspension was, in the AWD car, there’s a hint of underlying stiffness that has been introduced. This is especially evident when you are negotiating Mumbai’s pothole-laden streets. And while the SUV used to understeer a fair bit, with AWD, that flaw has been corrected to a decent degree. You can carry more speed into corners now and it masks bulk much better. The steering, however, is still about as incommunicative.

What’s the story off the tarmac?
Well, the Tucson is definitely more capable now, with the AWD system sending power to all four wheels as and when traction is needed. You could even lock the AWD system down into a 50-50 front-rear split with the press of a button. There are also features such as hill descent control and auto hold for some extra help in wild country but remember, this isn’t a hardcore off-roader and you won’t exactly be mud plugging on the weekend in this. It will, however, more than suffice for your average family getaway.

As welcome as these added capabilities are, we do wish Hyundai had also put in a sunroof. After all, even the Ford EcoSport or the Honda WR-V come equipped with one. Overall, the Tucson AWD is a competent product from Hyundai. It’s spacious, feels premium and with the addition of all-wheel-drive now, is quite capable too. And at Rs 25.74 lakh (ex-showroom), it doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket either.

1,995cc 4-cyl diesel, 183bhp, 400Nm, 6-speed torque converter auto
LxWxH: 4475x1850x1660mm
Wheelbase: 2670mm
Ground clearance: 195mm

Rating: 8/10

Tags: hyundai, honda, suv, awd, off road, tucson

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