Depending on which model you pick, there are 2WD or on-demand 4WD models with three engine options (two petrol versions and a diesel), and now a choice of four transmissions – six-speed manual, a conventional six-speed automatic, a seven-speed speed dual-clutch automatic, and the new eight-speed automatic. The direct-injected petrol 2.0-litre GDi unit’s output has been increased fractionally – up 1kW and 2Nm – to 122kW and 205Nm. Available in front-wheel-drive models only, it can be found in the Go and Active X, coupled with a six-speed manual or conventional six-speed auto, as well as the Elite auto.
Boasting a little more power and torque than some of its entry-level competitors, the performance characteristics are well suited to smooth, easy-going everyday use. It will certainly meet the needs of the vast majority of buyers, but may not excite everyone. Reinforcing the urban focus, 70 per cent of Tucson sales are 2WD versions.
Moving into the AWD models, the petrol option is a more sophisticated turbocharged 1.6T GDi unit. Maximum power is a useful 130kW with peak torque of 265Nm developed from 1500 to 4500rpm. It is paired solely with Hyundai’s seven-speed dual-clutch auto. The combination delivers stronger performance and is a bit more fun to drive; however, don’t expect breathtaking, sports car-style acceleration. Hyundai’s 2.0 CRDi (Common Rail Direct Injection) turbo-diesel is the most potent of the range, putting out 136kW and a robust 400Nm from 1750 to 2750rpm.
The improved ride and handling package adds to the comfort and driving ease.
The new smooth-changing eight-speed auto makes effective use of the engine output to improve acceleration and driveability, while reducing fuel consumption and noise. Official ADR fuel consumption for the diesel is a pleasing 6.4L/100km, while the petrol models are between 7.7 and 7.9L/100km. Over a combination of city and highway use, average fuel consumption for the 2.0 GDi, front-wheel-drive Elite model we tested was a respectable 9.1L/100km.