Text: Jude Morte / Photos: Hyundai Press | posted December 10, 2009 08:13
European flair and five-star safety
Hyundai managed to fire the last salvo for the year with the launch of the new Tucson compact SUV.
Once again defying convention with a design hallmark that artistically captures the dynamic motion and gestures characteristic of fluids, Hyundai daringly transforms the Tucson into an exhilarating SUV unlike any other. With its sweeping, gently curved lines, and sleek, impeccably sculpted splendor, the Tucson's fluid design language evokes a confident expression of breathtaking elegance and power. This flowing and graceful design starts at the front with the sexy hood character line, followed by a "z" form side character line that exhibits a strong artistic three-dimensional embellishment for a fluid sports coupe theme that makes for a striking side profile. This ambitious theme is continued at the rear, with organic swooping rear combination lamps, an oversized two-tone rear bumper with reflector, and a sloping tailgate glass, further emphasizing the Tucson's aggressive low slung sports car stance. A rear spoiler further enhances the clean, sweeping motion of the exterior design, as it contributes to better fuel efficiency and a more aerodynamic drive. A panorama sunroof available in the premium variant also blends harmoniously to the Tucson's graceful exterior and evokes a feeling of openness in the cabin.
Putting even more attitude to the all-new Tucson's style is Hyundai's new design identity-a hexagonal grille in chrome and high gloss black. Tracing its roots to the Hyundai ix-onic concept previewed at the 2009 Geneva Auto Show, this hexagonal design is the new defining face of Hyundai's family of future automobiles, beginning with the all-new Tucson. The bold front styling is further complemented by MFR-type headlamps that radiate a sharp, aggressive look, and foglamps neatly fitted into the muscular front bumper. 18-inch alloy wheels add an even more athletic touch to the Tucson's exterior design.
Inside the all-new Tucson, one can look forward to premium accommodation with a host of conveniences and the utmost in comfort. Full leather seats and other fine finishes reinforce the cabin's projected sophistication. Hyundai's utilized advanced body NVH (noise, vibration, and harshness) lowers external and engine noise, done by includes strengthening major stress points such as the engine housing and rear wheel housing, as well as applying soundproofing to specific parts like the rear quarter panel to efficiently shut out road noise while on the move.
Housed in the cabin's unique center fascia is a six-CD changer sound system with multimedia capabilities. One can play one's favorite MP3 or CD, or play music files from one's PC by using an external MP3 player via a built-in aux input or USB port. Whichever way you like your music, the Tucson's optimum tuning via four-door speakers, two tweeters, and subwoofer will transport you in your very own comfort zone in no time. And to set the ambience right, the dual full-auto airconditioner automatically adjusts to maintain appropriate indoor temperature.
The all-new Tucson's cabin offers more headroom and legroom. The driver's seat has sliding, reclining, and manual height adjustment functions for more flexibility. At the rear, the luggage area's dimensions have dramatically increased, thanks to a significant change in the rear wheel suspension design. The rear row seats have split-fold and full flat folding capabilities for travel extras that require more space than usual.
The all-new Tucson commands power with a choice of two cutting-edge Hyundai engines: the Theta II 2.4-liter (4WD) and the Theta II 2.0-liter (2WD). Equipped with dual CVVT (continuously variable valve timing) at both intake and exhaust phases, the Tucson's 2.4L gasoline engine churns out maximum power output of 177 ps @ 6,000rpm, and maximum torque of 227 NM @ 4,000rpm, which, if compared with the 2.4L Theta engine of a Hyundai Sonata model, are evidently impressive, considering that both engines have the same displacement. The 2.0L gasoline engine also totes dual CVVT, with a maximum power output of 166 ps @ 6,200rpm, and maximum torque of 197 NM @ 4,600rpm. Compared with the Beta engine of the previous Tucson with the same engine displacement, the 2.0L Theta II engine delivers a claimed 24.6% increase in power, reinforcing the all-new Tucson's exhilarating drive. Performance is upgraded in both engine variants with the application of a two-stage variable intake system (VIS) that allows switching between long and short-intake manifold resulting in optimized "engine breathing" to provide you consistently supple power. Lastly, since the all-new Tucson is timing chain-driven, the engines are more durable and easier to maintain, contributing to better serviceability resulting in lower maintenance costs.
Confidence is immediately felt while you ride in the all-new Tucson, as it moves smoothly and effortlessly like a top-rate sedan. A Macpherson strut front suspension helps enhance steering wheel feel, maneuverability, and stability, while a multi-link type rear suspension optimizes impeccable ride and handling.
Fitted with either a six-speed automatic transmission (with H-Matic manual mode) or a five-speed manual transmission, the all-new Tucson delivers strong acceleration, yet underscores a better balance of performance and fuel economy with a wide overall gear ratio. Developed over a four-year period, the new six-speed automatic transmission is 12 kg lighter than the five-speed automatic transmission it replaces, which is the key to increased durability and more efficient fuel consumption.
When it comes to safety, the all-new Tucson is class-leading inside and out. Body rigidity is reinforced with the extensive application of ultra high tensile strength steel. In crash safety tests conducted in-house, the Tucson scored a five-star rating in Euro NCAP testing for both frontal and side impacts. An electronic stability program (ESP) with ABS actively controls engine torque and applies optimum brake-force distribution under critical situations. Other functions added to the ESP include downhill brake control (DBC) and hill-start assist control (HAC), which helps the driver maintain vehicle cntrol and speed on downhill descents and minimize backward rolling on steep ascents, respectively, for better vehicle control.
Available variants for the Tucson gasoline model include: 2.0L GL 2WD five-speed M/T (P988,000); 2.0L GL 2WD six-speed A/T (P1.038 million); 2.0L GLS 2WD six-speed A/T (P1.158 million); 2.4L GLS 4WD six-speed A/T (P1.458 million), and the by-order-basis 2.4L 4WD six-speed A/T Premium Variant. The All-New Tucson is available in the following colors: vanilla white, sleek silver, gray titanium, phantom black and silky bronze.