Tucson, the first soft-roader to hit the Indian market owes its name to an unlikely source: a major city in the state of Arizona!
The Tucson was the only diesel soft-roader in India when it was launched in 2005, as its lone competitor in the segment was the petrol Honda CR-V.
But the recently-launched all-new third generation Hyundai Tucson will have to see off fierce competition from several domestic and foreign models in the continuously growing soft-roader segment in India.
Neither an off-roader nor an SUV
Although most soft-roaders have light-duty all-wheel-drive systems, they do not come under either the off-road or the SUV categories. They are generally known as ‘Urban SUVs’ as they offer extremely good grip on highways and the roads in cities. Specifically, the Tucson delivers better grip on slippery surfaces than most of the regular soft-roaders.
Riding on Creta’s success
Hyundai chose not to launch the second generation Creta SUV in India as the response for the Tucson was not so great in the local market. However, the overwhelming success of Creta prompted the carmaker to roll out the third generation Tucson to cater to the needs of customers looking for a better and bigger soft-roader. It has been projected into the SUV segment to fill a perceived void between the Creta and the Santa Fe.
If the Creta boasts a premium technology, Tucson undoubtedly is a super-premium vehicle. With its incredible and stunning looks, competent finish as well as overall facilities, the Creta even challenges elder sibling Santa Fe. The third generation Tucson comes with advanced features such as the one-touch parking brake found in Mercedes-Benz and BMW models, while the side curtain airbags and well-designed seats give the vehicle a premium SUV feel.
Styling and safety features
Hyundai has packed in a whole bunch of safety features in the all-new Tucson without compromising the vehicle’s aesthetic value. It sports a styling and modern look, taking Hyundai's Fluidic Sculpture design philosophy to the next level. The highlight of the new Tucson is its long feature list that includes stunning projector headlamps and front and rear LED lights. The standard 17-inch alloy wheel too adds to its youthful looks and aggressive demeanor. In a nutshell, the Tucson reenters the Indian market offering standout styling and top-notch safety.
Design and interiors
The interior of the new Tucson is spacious and luxurious than the old model. Having a five-seat arrangement, the vehicle offers ample space and comfort for front and rear passengers. There is plenty of legroom at the rear as well as storage space. The driver’s seat is designed to perfection to meet ergonomic requirements. The new Tucson’s specifications include the sophisticated instrument cluster equipped with 4.2" color TFT LCD, 10-way power adjustment driver seat, automatically folding heated wing mirrors, rear-view mirror with compass, push button start, electric park brake, dual zone climate control featuring a cluster Ionizer, and an interactive 8-inch touchscreen which offers satellite navigation.
Diesel variant takes the cake
The all-new Hyundai Tucson SUV is available in both the petrol and diesel fuel trims, but the 2000 CC 4-cylinder diesel variant is the star performer. It belts out a thumping 185 bhp at 408 Nm torque. The 6-speed automatic transmission and the power-packed engine complement each other. The petrol engine generates 155 bhp.
The Tucson most definitely is a driver's car. The drive is smooth and comfortable and handling is extremely sporty. 4WDs are not that popular in India, but Tucson gives customers here a decent option for a premium five-seater SUV.
The all-new Tucson petrol variant is launched in India at a price ranging between Rs 19.32 lakh and Rs 22.17 lakh, while the diesel model is priced in the range of Rs 19.32-Rs 22.37 lakh.