Launch review: Hyundai Tucson Sport

 

A new derivative of the Hyundai Tucson was launched last week. The Tucson Sport has bolder looks and increased power and torque. For those looking for a spacious family car but which performs well on the road, the new Sport Derivative is probably the car for you.

 

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The drive

One of the biggest changes that the Tucson Sport features is an increase in power and torque. There are two option to choose from: the 1.6, 7-speed, turbo-petrol version and an 8-speed, 2.0 turbodiesel version. The petrol version’s power output has been increased from 130 kW to 150 kW while torque is increased from 265 Nm to 300 Nm. The turbodiesel, meanwhile, sees its power boosted from 131 kW to 150 kW and the torque goes from 400 Nm to 460 Nm.

 

tucson-sport-rear-studio_880x500This has resulted in what resembles a race horse at the gate. I noticed a lot of the drivers were wheel-spinning initially as they took off at intersections. Once I was behind the wheel, I did the same on my first take-off. It is incredibly easy to wheel-spin, especially in the petrol derivative. The throttle is very responsive and needs just a light touch to get going, which, however, you quickly become accustomed to.

 

The drive was comfortable, powerful and confident. Overtaking on single lane roads barely required effort and open-road driving was thoroughly enjoyable.

 

We had the opportunity to take the Tucson around Gerotek’s handling track. Even though, it is not the type of car you would expect to take on a race track, it handled it excellently. While I am not a racer and have little to compare against, I felt completely confident to take the corners at much faster speeds than usual. My driving partner, who is a racer, expressed a similar sentiment.

 

The looks

Hyundai has definitely ‘pimped their ride.’ Only a few changes were made to the exterior, including the addition of black rims, front splitter, side skirts, and twin chrome exhausts. It gives the car a definite sporty look.

 

tucson_interior_02_880x500The interior has been kept the same as their top of the range Tuscon. Some of the sportiness created on the exterior could have been echoed inside the vehicle, however, as a family vehicle, it is not necessarily a necessity. There are other more important things the interior needs for the family. The extra power and torque are for mom and dad to enjoy (safely).

 

The conclusion

The Tucson Sport is a modest R46 000 to R56 000 more (model dependant) than the Tucson Elite 2.0 diesel. This is likely to only make minimal difference to your repayments and definitely makes the Sport derivative something to consider if you were looking at the top of the range option.

 

With this price bonus, a powerful drive and just plain good looks, the Hyundai Tucson Sport is the perfect family car for drivers in need of just that little more from their SUV.

 

Good to know

The specs of the Tucson 1.6 TGDI Sport

Engine: 1.6L turbo-petrol

Transmission: 7-speed, Dual Clutch Transmission

Power:  150 kW

Torque:  300 Nm

Claimed fuel efficiency: 8.3L/100km

Price: from R654 900

Warranties:  A 5 year/90 000 km service plan, 7-year/200 000 km warranty and roadside assistance for 7 years or 150 000km.

 

The specs of the Tucson R2.0 Sport Turbodiesel

Engine: 2L turbodiesel

Transmission: 8-speed automatic

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 000km.

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