Reviving an old nameplate, Hyundai South Africa has chosen to fall back on the Tucson name when it came time to replace its popular medium-size SUV, the ix35.
Hyundai has become one of SA’s largest automotive players (it is the fourth overall best seller) with a hard-to-beat track record of value for money. Compare any model Hyundai to competitors in the market and chances are you will not find similarly priced models with the same high level of standard equipment the Korean brands have become so renowned for – although some of this advantage has lately been eroded due to unfavourable exchange rates.
In its line-up, the first-generation Tucson and its successor, the ix35, have been top sellers in the segment for medium-sized SUVs that act as crossover models to fulfil a multiple of roles and cover a lot of bases – family cars, commuters, and weekend lifestyle partners.
What does this mean?
With the new name comes a new level of sophistication, quality and comfort. For instance, the interior design team’s objective was to ensure that when potential buyers first enter the car they will be instinctively impressed by the cabin’s space and the attention paid to the smallest details. Because of this, refinement levels have been elevated significantly.
With its bold look, it is in fact hard to see the Tucson as the successor to the ix35 because it is so radically different from before.
What’s the fuss about?
The old ix35, while certainly not unattractive, was not considered as stylish as its Korean sister model, the Kia Sportage. The tables have turned. The Korean brands have hired some of the best European design talent, headed by the renowned Peter Shreyer, and the result is evident in the show-stopping look of the new models.
Five individual Tucson models are available with normally aspirated 2.0-litre petrol power and 1.6-litre turbo (TDGI), a choice of running gear (FWD and AWD), a choice of trim (Premium, Executive and Elite), and choice of gearbox (6-speed manual and auto ‘boxes, and a 7-speed dual-clutch auto, known as 7DCT).
Some years ago, Hyundai was the first manufacturer to offer a 5-year/150 000km factory warranty. Hyundai has so much faith in its own products, and such a proven track record of long-term reliability, that it is now the first in South Africa to offer a ground-breaking 7-year/200 000km drivetrain warranty, together with roadside assistance for 5 years/150 000km. All Tucson models come with a 5-year/90 000km service plan, and service intervals are set at 15 000km.
For those that cannot necessarily afford a brand new Hyundai Tucson, or perhaps prefer the predecessor, the Hyundai ix35, click here to view average second-hand pricing and the current availability online.