Car review: Hyundai Tucson

Australian buyers flock to Hyundai’s Tucson.

Hyundai’s Tucson has been at the pointy end of Australian sales charts for what seems like forever.  Its family friendliness, features and the brand’s reputation are just some of the compelling reasons Australian buyers flock to it.

But while its 2019 update might appear to be, visually at least, relatively minor, it does add some significant and valuable features to the equipment list.

The model line-up has had a minor rejig with Go replacing Active as the entry model, while Active X, Elite, and Highlander continue. The existing line up of 2-litre and 1.6-litre turbo petrol and 2-litre diesel engines carry over with some revisions, as do the FWD and AWD drivelines, but there’s a slick new 8-speed auto behind the diesel.  

While there are some obvious differences, like new wheel designs and interior and exterior styling changes, the best of the new stuff is inside.

The equipment list now includes the Smartsense pack, which makes enhanced safety features available to most Tucson buyers. It’s standard on the two higher spec models and a $2200 option on automatic Go and ActiveX models. It includes features like forward collision avoidance, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic warning and lane keep assist, all of which were often only found in higher cost models in the past.

All have an easy-to-use, tablet-style multimedia display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus Hyundai’s Auto Link which connects the Tucson’s computer by Bluetooth to a mobile phone to allow owners to keep track of vehicle performance with the Auto Link app. The top-of-the-range Highlander gets Auto Link Premium which provides an enhanced range of features including remote engine stop/start and door lock/unlock as well. 

The upgrade also includes some changes to the steering ratio to make it a bit sharper, while the local steering and suspension tuning program delivers the taught and refined package that buyers value and have come to expect. For my money, the diesel with its slick new transmission and AWD is the pick of the drivetrains. The 1.6 turbo petrol with its seven-speed DCT runs a close second and the 2-litre petrol, while not as refined as the others will still find favour with economy minded buyers.  

To sweeten the deal, there’s a Lifetime Service Plan, five year unlimited kilometre warranty, complimentary Roadside Assist for 12 months on new vehicles which extends for up to 10 years if the vehicle is serviced with Hyundai and, for Highlander buyers, the ongoing subscription cost for Auto Link Premium is included in the service price.


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