Fleet Auto News recently test drove the new Hyundai Tucson and found it to be a versatile vehicle with potential appeal to both the retail SUV buyer and fleet managers.
As the global successor to the ix35 and its longer and wider, moving it into the ‘Medium SUV’ category in FCAI’s vehicle classifications.
The increase in size is evident on the inside with good leg and head room making it a useful vehicle that will accommodate the business road warrior. And with three reasonable sized seats in the rear it’ll handle the domestic duties on the weekend as a salary packaged vehicle.
It’s available in four levels of specification with the the Active (fleet model) available in the fourth quarter of this year with full details yet to be confirmed.
You’ll be able to buy a front wheel drive only, or all-wheel drive Tucson with a choice of four engines including turbo diesel and turbo petrol. And with three transmissions options buyers will be spoilt for choice.
Safety is a significant theme with inclusions such as six airbags, Vehicle Stability Management, Brake Assist, Auto Dusk Sensing Headlamps and Daytime Running Lights standard across the range. The top level includes features such as front parking assistance, tyre pressure monitoring and Autonomous Emergency Braking.
At the wheel there is plenty of scope to adjust the seat and steering wheel for a comfortable driving position and the dash layout provides for good monitoring of the vehicle and accessories. With the steering wheel controls providing access to cruise control and audio buttons.
The digital clock and ambient temperature display are easily visible (which is important for the fleet driver rushing around town to appointments), and there are enough USB and 12v power outlets to charge a range of devices.
Auto pairing makes the Bluetooth facility easily accessed and the sound is loud and clear. Interestingly Hyundai is introducing Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to increase connectivity between the vehicle and your smartphone.
We drove three variants of the Tucson between Canberra and Thredbo and found it just as capable in the city as on the open highway. We even challenged it on some un-sealed (and pot-holed) roads to fully test the locally tuned suspension and we’re certain this extra effort and attention to detail makes a significant difference to ride comfort (104 separate suspension combinations evaluated).
Overall driveability was great through a well matched engine and transmission with the diesel variant performing particularly well in the winding and hilly tracks through the alpine region.
Cargo space in the rear is generous at 488 litres (seats up) and includes a retractable cover. All rear seats fold down to near flat, providing a total 1,478 litres of storage space. This is a big improvement over the iX35 for traditional wagon fleet buyers.
Like all Hyundai vehicles the Tucson is covered under the Hyundai iCare program including a Lifetime Service Plan and five year unlimited kilometre warranty. The service increments are 15,000 km and 7,500 km for the petrol and diesel variants respectively.
Fuel economy ratings (combined) for the naturally aspirated direct injection petrol variant is 7.8 – 7.9 litres /100 km and 6.4 – 6.8 litres / 100 km for the diesel.
With list pricing starting at $27,990 it’s a vehicle to consider for fleets that need the space that only a wagon or medium sized SUV can offer.