Among them is South Korean-marque Hyundai Tucson which has been recently facelifted and is available in two variants - 2.0 Elegance (priced RM123,888) and 1.6 Turbo (RM143,888). All prices are on-the-road without insurance.
A major change to the new 2.0 Elegance is the grille as the horizontal slats, a main design feature of the Tucson, has been omitted on this variant. However, the slats are featured in the high-specced 1.6 Turbo.
Personally I prefer it without the slats. It gives the front fascia a cleaner look without losing its boldness.
Also new is the bumper and foglamp housing which has now combined the LED daytime running lights as it was split previously. The body of the Tucson retains its sporty stance as before.
The big change inside is the centre dash which has done away with an integrated infotainment display and replaced it with a floating 7in screen on top. As such, there is a new air vent housing below it followed by the climate controls. By just seperating the different elements on the dash, it gives it a clear and functional layout to the ovreall dashboard.
The 2.0 Elegance offers a spacious and comfortable cabin with leather-covered seats and abundant leg and headroom for rear passengers. It has a boot space of 488 litres and the rear seats fold down 60:40 if you want more. It also has keyless entry for convenience. Its 2.0L engine is well suited for the SUV in terms of power as the naturally aspirated mill produces 155PS and 192Nm of torque.
The infotainment system supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as Bluetooth to sync up to your preferred device and it has USB, AUX and two 12-Volt sockets.
The Tucson comes standard with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Hill-start Assist (HAC), Downhill Brake Control (DBC), Brake Assist System (BAS), Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), rear parking sensors and rear view camera. However, you only get two airbags with the 2.0 Elegance.
Ride and Handling
The front wheeled driven Tucson 2.0L Elegance offers a refined ride with the engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. It doesn’t feel underpowered either.
The suspension soaks up the rough surfaces and bumps to give you a comfortable ride but does not turn floaty in the corners. In fact, the SUV is quite precise in its handling so it keeps you confident on the road.
Noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) is also kept to a minimum in the cabin. In terms of fuel consumption, official figures are 12.7km/l.
The Tucson comes with a three-year or 50,000km free service maintenance (whichever comes first), and a five-year or 300,000km (whichever comes first) warranty programme.
The entry level Tucson offers decent value for the price and while it does not have the added features in the turbo variant, which you have to pay another RM20K more, some things should have been included like more airbags and an auto up power window for the driver’s side (it only has auto down).
Other than that it is a bold-looking SUV and fun to drive with its comfort, stability and confident road handling.
Hyundai Tucson 2.0 Elegance
Engine: 1,999cc, Nu 2.0 MPi
Maximum power: 155PS at 6,200rpm
Maximum torque: 192Nm at 4,000rpm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Features: Two airbags, keyless entry, rear view camera, halogen headlamps, LED daytime running lights, 7-inch display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, USB, AUX connectivity, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Hill-start Assist (HAC), Downhill Brake Control (DBC), Brake Assist System (BAS) and Vehicle Stability Management (VSM)
Price: RM123,888 (on-the-road without insurance)