By: IOL Motoring Staff

An old name is making a comeback as Hyundai launches its all-new Tucson in South Africa this week.

The new SUV replaces the ix35, which itself replaced the original Tucson of 2005 and Hyundai believes its "new level of sophistication" will ensure it stays one of the favourites in its crowded market segment where it goes up against the likes of the Toyota Rav4 and Ford Kuga.

This Tucson is built on a completely new platform and the design has been thoroughly modernised on the outside and inside, where you'll find an abundance of soft-to-the-touch materials and improved visibility. The stiffer structure and additional padding also leads to significantly less noise, vibration and harshness, says Hyundai, while the upgraded chassis aims to improve the ride without compromising road holding.

TURBO POWER AT LAST

While the more cost-conscious model soldier on with a traditional normally aspirated 2-litre petrol engine, with 115kW and 196Nm on tap, upper models get Hyundai's brand new 1.6-litre direct injection turbo petrol, rated at 130kW and 265Nm.

Both engines are available with a six-speed manual gearbox, but the auto-shifting options differ as the 2-litre offers a conventional six-speed automatic while the 1.6T can be had with a new seven-speed dual-clutch DCT unit. The latter combo comes with the range-topping Elite specification and this is the only model fitted with all-wheel drive, which also has a lock mode for trickier surfaces, which works at up to 40km/h.

A WALK THROUGH THE RANGE

There are three specification grades on offer, but your choice also depends on which engine-gearbox pairing you choose.

Funny enough, the entry grade is called Premium, but it does at least pack a six-speaker DAB+ sound system, Bluetooth connectivity, 17-inch alloy wheels and six airbags.

The mid-sped Executive comes with the 1.6T engine with manual transmission and front wheel drive, and standard kit includes black imitation leather with electric adjustment for front occupants, auto headlights, dual zone climate control and a reverse camera.

The range-topping Elite spec, with a 2.0 FWD or 1.6T AWD, gets all indulgent on us with a large display screen, blind spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, panoramic sunroof and larger alloy wheels (18" on the 2.0 and 19" on 1.6T).

PRICES

2.0 Nu Premium manual - R359 900

2.0 Nu Premium auto - R379 900

2.0 Nu Elite auto - R439 900

1.6 TGDi Executive manual - R419 900

1.6 TGDi Elite DCT AWD - R499 900

Prices include a five-year/150 000km warranty, seven-year/200 000km drivetrain warranty and five-year/90 000km service plan.

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