Whenever I get into a sport utility vehicle (SUV), its bulk always gives me the expectation of not only being a steady ride, but a heavy one.
But the Hyundai Tucson was different.
For one, the refreshed Tucson had feather-light steering that made the driving experience car-like instead.
Together with its nicely tuned MacPherson struts and multi-link suspension, driving over our pothole-riddled roads did not seem unpleasant.
It is a rugged yet sleek looking vehicle, with sharp lines for a chiselled, muscled look without being overly so, something that will make it appealing across genders.
Looks-wise, the Tucson, like most, if not all Korean-made automobiles, has come a long way and seemed to have gone through the infamous Korean surgery to emerge as a rugged yet sleek vehicle.
The exterior design is complemented by front projection headlamps with LED positioning lamps with a slight upward tilt, which I like to think gives it a somewhat saucy look.
Underneath the hood however, performance for this updated Tucson has been improved with the use of the Nu 2.0 MPi engine with multi-point injection that features dual-continuous variable valve timing and all-aluminium construction which significantly reduces fuel consumption.
This start-stop button controlled engine is capable of 158PS at 6,200rpm, and maximum torque of 192Nm at 4,000rpm; enough to satisfy most drivers’ daily use needs.
This also means that there is plenty of power when you need it; like when climbing steep roads, a situation the Tucson excels in with the help of hill-start assist control and downhill brake control.
It is also a vehicle that encourages some outdoor fun, with roof bars for easy installation of bike racks.
Normally, sporty accessories on any vehicle will give it an instant outdoorsy appeal, but the Tucson has made it a part of its elegant look.
The generous boot space with the option of fully foldable back seats should be quite enough for most luggage needs.
VIPs should also take note that the Tucson comes with a hidden latch to pop the boot door open from the inside; very useful if you are kidnapped and have been shut in at the back.
The inclusion of a reverse camera display and parking assist on such a large vehicle is also a great help and in terms of safety, the Tucson has the basics covered with anti-lock braking system with electronic brakeforce distribution, six airbags and even hill-start assist control and downhill brake control.
Ladies will also appreciate two, perhaps accidentally safety-related, features of this SUV, namely the keyless entry (bye bye digging around that black hole we call a bag).
The other is the front and back lamps that continue to conveniently light up in the dark for few seconds after the Tucson is locked.
Cabin-side, the appointment is not overly luxurious, but makes up for it in terms of comfort with deep semi-leather seats and plenty of space to stretch out legs and arms.
The rear seats, apart from being fully or 60:40 split foldable, can be reclined and has a pull-down arm-rest in the centre.
The Tucson comes in a range of colours including Pure White, Titanium Gray, Hyper Metallic, Cobalt Coast, Remington Red, Atomic Orange, Phantom Black and Sleek Silver.
This is a vehicle for someone who knows what they want out of life, reflected by how each element comes together in a complementary manner to produce a smoothly functioning hunk of good engineering without wasted space or effort.