Sam says ‘dis baie lekker’
At least this is what a passer-by in a parking lot had to say. When walking back to the car in a parking lot during my time with the car, I overheard a man talking to his partner about the car while staring at it non-stop. I caught his parting, rather reverent comment, that it was ‘baie lekker!’
One thing for sure is that it is a very appealing looking SUV. When adapting the regular Tucson to include a Sport variant, the exterior was one of the areas that received some of the most attention. Only a few changes were made but with big effect. The addition of black rims, front splitter, side skirts, and twin chrome exhausts gives the SUV definite sporty look.
The changes also combine to make the Tucson look a much more impressive and a bit squatter. It also appears lower to the ground due to the side skirts but this is all an illusion as the height dimensions are no different to the rest of the range. The difference between this latest vehicle and the older, boxier looking version, is many kilometres apart.
While the passer-by may have been commenting on the exterior of the vehicle, the real beauty of the Tucson Sport lies beneath the hood. It is available in two derivatives, the petrol version with a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine, and a diesel version with a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine.
Between the top of the range Hyundai Tucson 2.0D Elite and the tested vehicle which was the turbodiesel, the power has been increased from 131 kW to 150 kW. Torque has seen an increase from 400 Nm to 460 Nm.
Consequently, it feels like you have a powerful ‘beast’ just ready to do your bidding. The drive is solid but nimble, taking corners confidently and absorbing anything South African roads have to throw at it. Gaining speed and overtaking is no challenge. If not for anything else, the drive alone sells the car to me.
Fuel consumption is set at an impressive 8.3L/100km but does it live up to this? I managed to get 9.1L/100km with various driving conditions, so it is not far off and for an SUV of that size and with those power specifications, it is still a fair figure. The petrol variant may not have been as impressive which is why I would choose the diesel if given the choice.
Both variants of the Sport variant offer the same interior as the top of the range vehicle released before the Sport. It is fully-equipped and incredibly comfortable car to drive.
The Hyundai Tucson Sport is approximately R56 000 more than the pre-Sport range. With changes limited to the exterior and the power and torque, I am divided on whether the price difference is worth it. Even without the extra power and torque of the Sport range, the Tucson 2.0D Elite is still a powerful vehicle. I think it will appeal, however, to families who want the convenience and family-friendliness of an SUV but without sacrificing the ferociousness of a sports car.
Ultimately, however, I found very little lacking in the Tucson Sport. It was thoroughly enjoyable to drive and roaring to go, no matter the road.
The specs of the Tucson R2.0 Sport Turbodiesel
Engine: 2L turbodiesel
Transmission: 8-speed automatic with manual shift option
Power: 150 kW
Torque: 460 Nm
Claimed fuel efficiency: 8.3L/100km
Price: from R664 900
Warranties: A 5 year/90 000 km service plan, 7-year/200 000 km warranty and roadside assistance for 7 years or 150 000 km.
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