Hyundai has marked 30 years since its entry into the Australian market with 300 Special Edition versions each of its popular Tucson and Santa Fe Series II SUVs.
Setting the ‘30’ Special Edition apart from the rest of the Tucson range is a stealthy combination of matte-grey side steps and matte-black 19-inch alloys, a new twin-outlet muffler neatly integrated into the rear bumper – which also incorporates a sporty rear diffuser – and exclusive Ash Blue paint with exclusive ‘30’ badging.
Priced at $37,750, the Tucson ’30’ Special Edition is powered by a 1.6-litre, 130kW/265Nm turbocharged petrol four-cylinder engine, matched with a seven-speed dual clutch transmission and all-wheel-drive, as per the Elite and Highlander variants. Nought to 100km/h comes up in around eight seconds and the ADR combined cycle fuel economy is 7.7 litres/100km. Our test averaged 10.9, with a best of 6.1 highway cruising.
Equipment specification is based on the Active X variant and includes six airbags, downhill brake and hill start assist controls, reversing camera with dynamic guidelines, rear park assist system with guidance, LED Daytime Running Lights, front fog lights, roof rails, cargo cover and net, powered folding/heated side mirrors and a full-sized alloy spare wheel.
Connectivity is comprehensive: seven-inch touchscreen audio with MP3 capability, six speakers, Apple CarPlay compatibility, aux/USB audio input with digital iPod compatibility, Bluetooth, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and cruise control. Satellite navigation, however, is an omission.
Interior space is one of the Tucson’s strengths, with all occupants well accommodated. Generous head room applies, and leg and foot space is better than might be expected for the segment. The driver scores two-way electric lumbar seat support while centre rear occupants have uncluttered seating, save for a relatively low driveline ‘hump’ in the floor.
The cargo area, accessed via the hands-free power-operated tailgate, is also spacious. Compared with Mazda’s popular CX-5, there’s an extra 85 litres with the 60:40 split-fold rear seats upright, according to Hyundai. Drop them flat and space swells to a claimed 1478 litres.
The interior fit and finish has a neat, quality look with leather-appointed seats as standard.
Local suspension turning has contributed to competent, secure and predictable handling, and the Tucson also rides well over all surfaces. The same cannot be said, however, about the smoothness and quietness levels. Over coarse chip bitumen, tyre ‘roar’ is intrusive, and under hard acceleration the engine takes on a harsh note.