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The third generation Hyundai Tucson receives cabin upgrades and cosmetic tweaks to keep it modern and relevant in a stiff segment.

19 Oct 2018


Thanks to technological advancement, smarter engineering and functional yet creative designing, it's hard to find an incompetent SUV amongst the brands that we often see on the roads today.

Hyundai is one of those brands.

Launched two years ago, the impressive Hyundai Tucson was fitted with a new 1.6-litre turbocharged engine. Now, it has received a facelift.

1.6-litre turbocharged engine produces an impressive 175bhp and 265Nm of torque

Mild changes but big improvement

Changes are mild here, but they add up to make a huge improvement to the third generation Tucson.

With its dominating new grille, new full LED headlamps with daytime running lights and new LED rear lamps, the facelifted Korean model is a modern-looking mid-sized SUV that scores high in the appearance department.

As a matter of fact, in our eyes, it scores the highest when you compare it with its main competitors like the Honda CR-V, the Kia Sportage and the Toyota RAV4.

Changes on its sheet metal are mild but they add up to make a big improvement of the appearance of the Tucson

Bigger change, massive improvement

Where it really starts to appeal, though, is on the inside, where Hyundai has focused on areas, such as additional features, materials and infotainment system, that needed much improvement.

Taking centre stage is a 7.0-inch floating dashboard-mounted infotainment touchscreen that comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Also standard on our test car are the built-in compass on the auto dimming rear view mirror, electronic parking brake and wireless phone charger.

Cabin quality has gone up a notch and is a good place to be in

A panoramic sunroof on our test car, coupled with the redesigned leather upholstery, instrument cluster as well as air-con panel vents do their part in enhancing the latest Hyundai's cabin ambience significantly.

A pity the Tucson doesn't come with ventilated seats - an essential feature for our climate that will surely give it an edge over Honda and Toyota.

New 7.0-inch floating infotainment touchscreen is the biggest change in the Tucson's cabin

Revised powertrain with the same punchy feel


Still, the Korean's energetic drivetrain should do well against its Japanese competitors. The 1.6-litre turbocharged engine residing underneath its bonnet is the same as before and will push out 175bhp and 265Nm of torque to its front wheels.

According to Hyundai, the car consumes less fuel on the road now, thanks to the reduction of engine friction. But during our time with the SUV, we managed 11km/L - a decent reading that wasn't much of an improvement from the previous model.

Our test car came with electronic parking brake as standard

A more obvious progression, however, is the way the car sprints from point to point. The responsive seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox has been tweaked, allowing the Tucson to complete the century sprint a tad faster than before.

More than just being punchy and powerful, the Hyundai Tucson manages to retain its refined disposition over undulations and broken tarmac - a key trait for a vehicle that you'll commonly use to transport loved ones.

513 litres of luggage space will certainly see to your road trip up North

Same car but different feel

All in, the Korean SUV feels like a more premium and capable car than before, thanks to the improvements Hyundai has given it to ensure its relevance and modernity in the competitive SUV segment.

All it's missing are those ventilated seats...
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Car Information

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Price

: $125,999

Engine Type

:

4-cylinder in-line 16-valve DOHC Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

1591cc

Horsepower

:

130kW (175 bhp) / 5500 rpm

Torque

:

265 Nm / 4500 rpm

Transmission

:

7-speed (A) DCT

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

8.9sec

Top Speed

:

201km/h

Fuel consumption

:

14.1 km/L

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