The Hyundai Tucson is an important model in the Korean carmaker's India line-up and I am not talking volumes here, but the positioning! The Tucson has remained the flagship in Hyundai's SUV portfolio and so it's crucial to keep it modern and contemporary. And how ironic is that! The facelift of the third-generation Hyundai Tucson has come to our shores around the time when a completely new fourth-generation model has already made its global debut. The good part is that the facelift is a decent upgrade in almost all departments. We drive it to see what it's like.
Also Read: Hyundai Tucson Facelift Launched In India
I quite like the new alloy pattern of these 18-inch wheels and the curves at the rear complement the relatively slim taillights. And that's about it, majority of the changes are centred on its face and the rest of the car remains unchanged and retains the proportions as well.
The Hyundai Tucson manages to maintain its balanced and modern crossover looks with the facelift as well.
Also Read: New Generation Hyundai Tucson Revealed
It's on the inside that the changes are more pronounced. The facelift comes with an all-black cabin as opposed to the dual-tone black and beige interiors seen in its predecessor. While largely the layout of the door-pads and roofline remains unchanged, the dashboard and central console have been revamped and draw inspiration from the Hyundai Kona. It also sports the same 8.0-inch HD infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Navigation among others.
The new Hyundai Tucson facelift is a connected car as well thanks to the addition of the new Bluelink connected car tech. Having said that, Hyundai should have carried forward the Creta's steering wheel that looks cool and feels really sexy to hold and we'd have liked the buttons to offer more tactile feedback, especially those on the door armrests. But overall, it's a classy cabin and one that feels sophisticated and upmarket.
The 2020 Tucson, in typical Hyundai fashion, is loaded to the brim with creature comforts. The big panoramic sunroof adds a sense of roominess on the inside. Then there are features like a 10-way power adjustable driver's seat, 8-way power adjustable front passenger's seat, auto foldable and adjustable wing mirrors, LED headlights and taillights, LED DRLs, auto-dimming inner rear view mirror (IRVM), dual-zone auto climate control, MID that gives all the information you need and then some, wireless phone charging, park assist and 360-degree camera view among others.
The steering wheel that is adjustable for both rake and reach and there is an eight-speaker Infinity premium sound system which sounds good. But, the Bose and Arkamys units in the new Creta and Venue remain ahead by leaps and bounds.
Also Read: Hyundai Tucson: New vs Old
The Hyundai Tucson has always been a comfortable and hassle free car to drive and there's no substantial change in the terms of mechanicals. The 2.0-litre, four-cylinder BS6 diesel engine that we are driving is high on refinement and offers good enough grunts and in a very smooth manner. It is coupled with an electronic variable geometry turbocharger or eVGT and churns out 182 bhp at 4000 rpm and 400 Nm of peak torque that is accessible right from 1750 rpm to 2750 rpm. Now, that may not feel particularly exciting but it makes the drive really comfy.
The eight-speed torque convertor automatic gearbox offers smooth shifts while the in-gear ratios are tall. But you feel a faint hesitation when it shifts and that kind of pacifies the response. So, it's not really sporty or punchy with the response, but is smooth as butter when it shifts and retains the character of a premium crossover. We really wish though there were paddle shifters on offer. It also gets a 2.0-litre petrol engine that belts out 150 bhp at 6200 rpm and 192 Nm of peak torque at 4000 rpm and is mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox as standard.
|Hyundai Tucson facelift||2.0-litre VTVT Petrol||2.0-litre eVGT Diesel|
|Displacement||1999 cc||1995 cc|
|Max Power||150 bhp @ 6200 rpm||182 bhp @ 4000 rpm|
|Peak Torque||192 Nm @ 4000 rpm||400 Nm @ 1750 - 2750 rpm|
|Transmission||6-Speed Automatic||8-Speed Automatic|
New All-Wheel Drive System
The Hyundai Tucson facelift also gets the Genesis sourced all-wheel drive transfer case with the advanced traction and cornering control system (HTRAC) system which is essentially an intelligent all-wheel drive. Basically, it splits power between the front and rear wheels depending on the traction required. So when you are coasting the car sends all the power to the front wheels and it helps you to save fuel but otherwise the default driving setting for the AWD is 80 per cent power upfront, 20 per cent to the rear. It can go to 50:50 depending on the need and the system detects that based on traction and gives it to you.
So it's self-adjusting in automatic and therefore very easy and convenient to use. So you can explore some countryside, hill stations and manage some mild off-roading with this one, but it's still a crossover and you can't go extreme with it and that is more because of the design, low approach and departure angles and limited axle articulation.
Ride & Handling
The driving dynamics of the Tucson remains the same which is a good thing as it suits the sophisticated nature of the car. The suspension don't make much noise or fuss offering a cushy ride and maintains good stiffness around the bends even when you are cruising at reasonably high speeds. But this one likes being driven with ease and is not meant to be a corner carver, so you do feel body rolls when hurrying around sharp bends and there's a bit of understeer on stretched corners. The steering is quick and responsive and offers decent feedback as well. It still remains one of the bests even when compared to the steering feedback of newer models.
The Hyundai Tucson is also pretty well-loaded with safety and driver-assist tech like electronic stability control, downhill brake control, vehicle stability management, hill start control, brake assist, auto hold, electronic parking brake, ABS with EBD, ISOFIX child seat mounts and six airbags among others.
So the Hyundai Tucson facelift remains a premium and comfortable daily driver for city commute and highway runs and will serve well for weekend jaunts or your annual trip to the mountains. But you actually start thinking twice after bringing pricing in your perspective. Prices for the Hyundai Tucson start at ₹ 22.3 lakh for the base two-wheel drive variant and go up to ₹ 27.03 lakh for the range-topping all-wheel drive (AWD) trim. Now, the direct rival for the Tucson is the very capable Jeep Compass which undercuts the two-wheel drive version by ₹ 6 lakh and the top-end model by over ₹ 3 lakh. Then, there are the Skoda Karoq and Volkswagen T-Roc which come to India as a completely built unit (CBU) and in a single petrol automatic variant. The Hyundai Tucson Petrol which is offered in front-wheel-drive (FWD) only, is positioned between both models, undercutting the Karoq by ₹ 1.47 lakh for the top-end variant while the base variant is ₹ 2.31 lakh more expensive than the T-Roc.
So yes! Though it's a flagship and feels like one, customers at this price point want something bigger, bolder and a bit more versatile. By versatile I mean something that looks macho and is a tad more capable off-the road. The Hyundai Tucson facelift remains a fancy and urban crossover which will have very sophisticated buyers with a specific taste.