Hyundai Tucson Elite CRDI AWD

Hyundai has added further style and substance to its best-selling SUV, the Tucson, for 2019.

A new entry-level variant, the Go, also joins the range which now features a refreshed look, safety and technology upgrades and more standard equipment.

The revised line-up – which also includes Active X, Elite and Highlander – offers a choice of four-cylinder powertrains and transmissions depending on the variant, including 2.0-litre petrol, 1.6-litre turbo petrol and 2.0-litre turbo-diesel.

The focus of this review is the Elite CRDi AWD which, as the nomenclature denotes, is powered by the latter engine mated to a new eight-speed automatic transmission.
With peak power/torque outputs of 136kW and 400Nm, the Tucson CRDi is squarely in the mix with the turbo diesel offerings of Nissan’s X-Trail (139kW/380Nm) and Ford’s Escape (132kW/400) but falls short of Mazda’s CX-5 (140kW/450Nm).ADR combined cycle fuel consumption of 6.4 litres/100km narrowly trails the Escape’s 5.5 and CX-5/X-Trail’s 6.0. Real world motoring is a different story – our test vehicle returned 9.2 litres/100km.

As with all new Hyundai product sold in Australia (except for the iMax and iLoad), the Tucson comes with bespoke suspension and steering tune for local drive conditions.

For 2019, the front strut tops and rear assist arms and bushes were redesigned and thicker rear forward locating arms with redesigned bushing fitted. The steering ratio has also been increased. In the quest for improved ride and handling, some 14 front and 35 rear damper builds were evaluated, over thousands of kilometres on a variety of surfaces, from country roads to freeways and corrugated dirt roads.

Hyundai Tucson interior

Without driving the newcomer and its predecessor back-to-back, it’s difficult to quantify improvement. Suffice to say, though, that the 20i9 Tucson’s dynamics are at the pointy end of the medium SUV segment.

We would have liked to report on the new engine/transmission performance, but unfortunately a misfuelling incident prior to the RACQ taking delivery compromised the test. Although remedial work had been carried out, the car was still not running at its optimum.

As previously, we found the Tucson to be eminently comfortable and user-friendly.

The addition of Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Blind Spot Detection and Rear Cross Traffic Alert adds to an already extensive suite of safety technology.

There’s been detail improvement and finessing too. Rear seat passengers now have a handy USB charging port and a matching full-size spare wheel and tyre is standard.

KEY STATS

  • PRICE: $43,150 (excludes on-road costs)
  • ENGINE: 2.0-litre, turbo diesel 4-cyl
  • ANCAP SAFETY RATING: *****
  • TAILPIPE CO2 (g/km): 168

FOR:

  • Eight-speed auto, more safety, comfortable and spacy.

AGAINST:

  •  No front park sensors, tyre noise over coarse bitumen.

Hyundai Tucson rear