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The Hyundai Tucson facelift delivers more punch with cleaner BS6-compliant engine options, some pretty useful features and retains the sedan-like dynamics.

  • BS6 Hyundai Tucson

Story: Sarmad Kadiri
Photography: Sanjay Raikar

The first thing that you notice is the signature fluidic Hyundai design language. With some subtle changes the Hyundai Tucson looks quite sophisticated and could easily blend in at most European car brand showrooms. The huge front grille gets four distinct slats with just the right amount of chrome. Each headlamps come with five LED projector units and are among the better looking design seen on SUVs. The new-shape fog-lamps still get halogen bulbs, but are laced with smart-looking LED day-time running lights. The bumper also isn’t overly sculpted and gels nicely with the up-market urbane look of the car. It also sports the much needed front parking sensors, which help you park and come out of tight spots without inflicting embarrassing scratches.

You know it’s a facelift especially if you look at the side profile. Obviously, not much has changed here. It retains the rising shoulder-line, highlighted with a strip of chrome, which sharply elevates near the C-pillar. There are new-look roof-rails, too, that gives the 2020 model some more distinction. The 18-inch alloys now come in trendy two-tone machine-finish and run on 225-section tyres. I like the large wheel arches which are cladded with black plastic, adding to the SUV flavour. Then there are some small details which add to the feel-good factor like having the turn indicators integrated within the outer rear-view mirrors, and a puddle-lamps that illuminate the floor near the doors every time the car is unlocked.
The rear also has the soft-curve design with wrap-around tail-lamps. An interesting detail here is the reflectors on the side which is very useful while driving at night. The attractive tail-lamps are split and extend over to the tail-gate. Even the rear reflectors have been brought up higher on the boot lid for better visibility. Overall, the 2020 model looks very mature, understated and premium. If you like car designs which aren’t in your face, then the Hyundai Tucson will surely suit your palette.

The interior, too, has that sophisticated feel, with focus on finish and quality. In 2020 Hyundai Tucson, out goes the dated beige-and-black dashboard and in comes a sportier all-black one. The big change here is the new layout with soft-touch materials, intricate dual stitches and a brand-new floating 8-inch touchscreen display. Over the years, Hyundai have managed to master the craft of building premium-looking cabins which, in terms of design and appeal can match even premium European cars.
Even if you have a rather tall chauffeur, there’s just no need to worry as there’s abundant knee room at the back too. And in spite of the rising shoulder line, the large window and panoramic sunroof ensure you never feel claustrophobic. The rear seats offer good under-thigh and back support and there’s even individual headrest. Since the Hyundai Tucson is pretty wide, three adults can be seated abreast without trouble. Moreover, the back rest can be reclined, so you can get a quick nap while being chauffeured back home after a long day at work.
What I like about the rear storage area is that it is flat and square. This means you can utilise the 513-litres of space properly and since there isn’t a raised loading sill, you can even load heavy luggage without breaking your back. Plus there’s a convenient luggage-curtain for privacy of your belongings. A lamp and a 12-volt charging point further enhances the boot’s usability. The boot floor also conceals a 17-inch spare wheel (not alloy wheel). If you need to use it, you’ll have to limit the speed to 80 km/h since it’s smaller in size compared to the 18-inch alloys the car runs on.

On the facelift, an important upgrade is that both the front seats are electrically adjustable bringing more convenience to the users. Plus there’s the assurance of having six airbags, including curtain airbags. In terms of practicality and features, it’s a good place to be as the Hyundai Tucson gets all the creature comforts you may desire. Cruise control, wireless-charging dock for phones, auto headlamps, auto wiper, an electric parking brake, an auto-hold button, it has it all. An important addition is the tyre-pressure monitoring system which prompts the driver to top-up the air.
Now the 2020 model comes equipped with the BlueLink connected car system. You’ll notice this even before you step in the car, since there’s a panic button on the key fob and the smart electric tail gate pops open when you step close to it. And yet, the powered tail-gate also gets the one touch shut feature. Obviously, there’s the usual Smartphone connectivity and inbuilt navigation as expected in a car of this price. And there’s more. There are three driving modes, hill decent, rear sensors and camera with steering adaptive guide-line and an Infinity music system with eight speakers with decent base that makes your playlist sound richer.

With the intention of reducing emissions, the Hyundai Tucson hosts a BS6-compliant 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbo-diesel engine. This comes with a more tactile 8-speed automatic transmission replacing the older 6-speed AT. We have the 2-wheel-drive option, though there is an option for 4WD too which we will be driving a little later.
This BS6 mill depends on a smarter e-VGT which make it peppy and spontaneous to drive. It puts out 185 hp at 4,000 rpm and makes 400 Nm of torque between 1,750-2,750 rpm. The gearbox is more intelligent now and flicks through the 8 speeds to provide you a balanced driving experience. And it’s fast enough too. Hit “Sport” mode and the engine becomes more aggressive, the transmission holds on to the revs a little longer and the steering becomes slightly more responsive. We hooked up our testing equipment to check the performance and it impressed us going from 0-100 km/h in under 10.5 seconds.
Switching to “Eco” mode makes the steering extremely light and keeps the engine relaxed to improve the efficiency, but performance drops a bit, too. The highlight is that even when you’re travelling around 100 km/h the revs are kept low around 1,800 rpm. The best part is that apart from being powerful (Hyundai stress on it being the segment best) this diesel unit is pretty quiet and smooth. This makes cruising in the Hyundai Tucson a very relaxing car to drive. The cabin is insulated so well and is free from any unwanted engine, tyre or wind noise; just what you expect from an SUV of this stature.

Ride and Handling
As before, the suspension is setup to offer a balance of comfort and sportiness. This is vital for a country like ours where the roads are anything but ideal. In the Hyundai Tucson, you won’t regret not slowing down for that unexpected patch of broken road as it soaks it in with surprising ease. The passengers actually get to catch-up on their nap on long drives, as most of the usual road undulations are kept at bay.
The setup is good enough for most drivers and you can’t expect it to behave like a performance sedan. For a SUV it’s sporty enough and controls body-roll very well. You can chuck it in to a corner at good speeds and it will impress. There’s no boat-like pitching or swaying that many SUVs are infamous for. However, our 2-wheel-drive Tucson variant does miss out on the Advanced Traction Cornering Control (ATCC) which it’s AWD sibling gets. Yet it manages to effuse confidence to be driven hard and fast.
BS6 Hyundai Tucson 2020 price and review

The biggest strength of the 2020 Hyundai Tucson is it offers the right balance of features, price, and driving pleasure. It’s totally worth Rs 25.56 lakh (ex-showroom) for the feel-good factor it has in the way things are executed, the comfort it offers and the impressive features it brings.

(Also Read: MG Gloster Review)


About the author: Sarmad Kadiri



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