When Hyundai introduced the second-generation Tucson in 2009, it immediately drew the attention of family men and suburbanites alike. Compared to its predecessor, which looks boxy and uninspiring, this current one with its curvy bodywork practically has designer looks.
As a further compliment to Hyundai’s design team, the Tucson also doesn’t seem to have aged. This would explain why the facelift only consisted of minor revisions to the exterior. The new components here are the sportier-looking alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, a revised front bumper that now includes foglamps, and restyled tail-light clusters.
The more tangible updates can be found inside. In contrast to the preceding model, this latest one has an interior made from nicer materials. In particular, the seats and door trims feel a little softer, and the air-con vents have metallic trimmings to give the cockpit a classier feel.
More significantly, the gauges now feature the brand’s Supervision cluster – a snazzy display that shows pertinent driving information. The hi-fi system has been upgraded as well. Apart from having USB and Auxiliary points, it offers Bluetooth connectivity, too.
What the Tucson’s cockpit lacks is a steering wheel that can be adjusted for reach. Like its predecessor, the current model’s helm only allows its tilt angle to be varied. And, unlike its cousin, the Kia Sportage (which has also been updated), the Tucson units sold here will not be equipped with the Flex Steer function, which allows drivers to choose from three assistance levels. Then again, most Tucson owners will probably appreciate the fact that, by default, this SUV’s steering is utterly effortless.
The NU powerplant under the bonnet that replaces the Theta II unit, however, is a mixed bag. According to Hyundai, this motor is cleaner because it emits 200g/km of CO2 instead of 209g/km.
But output-wise, it’s down by 14bhp and 6Nm from the old motor, which produces 166bhp and 197Nm. The new unit’s fuel efficiency is also lower – a litre of unleaded is only good for 11.9km instead of 12.7km previously.
But despite having fewer ponies, the Tucson is no slower than before and still takes 11.5 seconds to hit 100km/h. Also thankfully unchanged is the car’s driver-friendly nature.
Despite its size, it’s easy to pilot around town because of its excellent outward visibility, and is comfortable on longer journeys thanks to its pliant ride. If you’re a mild-mannered motorist looking for a mild drive, this could be it.
2014 Hyundai Tucson 2.0 (A)
ENGINE 1999cc, 16-valves, inline-4
MAX POWER 152hp at 6200rpm
MAX TORQUE 191Nm at 4700rpm
GEARBOX 6-speed automatic with manual select
0-100KM/H 11.5 seconds
TOP SPEED 177km/h
CONSUMPTION 11.9km/L (combined)
CO2 EMISSION 200g/km