The 2016 Hyundai Tucson will launch August 1, 2015, priced from $30,490. The small SUV enters a tightly-fought market, with the segment-leading Mazda CX-5 already fending off the popular Ford Kuga and Volkswagen Tiguan.
The Tucson replaces the Hyundai ix35, but is actually the second car to wear the Tucson name in Australia. The first Tucson was a somewhat-forgettable SUV from the earlier 2000s. Hyundai are aiming for this iteration to be anything but forgettable: the Tucson aims for the very top of this class.
Three grades of the Tucson will arrive from launch. The price-leading Active base model won’t be available for Australian buyers until late in the year: for now, the $30k ActiveX manual trim is the cheapest Tucson you can step into, with a number of special inclusions beyond what we will see on the Active—and even some features beyond the Tucson Elite mid-spec trim. The Tucson range is capped off by the $45,490 Highlander diesel, which battles directly with the Mazda CX-5 Akera on features and pricing.
Under the bonnet, three petrol configurations and one turbodiesel will feature. Only the mid-spec, normally aspirated GDi petrol will be sourced from South Korea: all other Tucson configurations will be built in the Czech Republic, meaning the Tucson is, for the most part, a European-built car.
Arriving in late 2015, the Active base model will be available only with the last-generation version of Hyundai’s ‘Nu’ engine: a two-litre normally aspirated four-cylinder. We’ll find out its figures later. That engine is also the base Elite motor.
The current base model, the ActiveX, has the updated GDi ‘Nu’ engine making 121kW and 203Nm.
Aside from the Elite’s default two-litre petrol, both the Elite and Highlander are available with one of two engine choices. The first is the shared Hyundai-Kia 1.6-litre turbocharged T-GDi petrol, making 130kW and 265Nm. The turbo petrol is paired only to a seven-speed double-clutch automatic and all-wheel-drive. Our money, though, is on the all-wheel-drive diesel as the best motor, with the R-series diesel making 136kW and 400Nm, paired to a six-speed torque convertor automatic.
In terms of features, the ActiveX in some areas actually outpaces the mid-spec Elite for features. The ActiveX gets part-leather trim, larger 18-inch wheels, and Apple’s CarPlay and Android Auto systems above and beyond the more expensive Elite.
Also standard on the ActiveX ($30,490 to $32,990) are a reversing camera, rear parking sensors, automatic projector headlamps, and a seven-inch touchscreen.
In contrast, the mid-spec Elite ($35,240 to $40,240) makes do with 17-inch alloys and cloth trim. However, it gets a larger 8-inch touchscreen, a smart tailgate, LED headlights, and a smart tailgate.
The flagship Tucson Highlander ($43,490 to $45,490) is lavishly equipped. Above 19-inch wheels, there are front parking sensors, a tyre pressure monitor, LED taillights, heating and ventilation for the two electrically-adjustable front seats, and a panoramic roof. Advanced safety technology is also standard on the Highlander: there’s blind spot assistance, rear cross traffic alert, autonomous emergency braking, and lane-keeping assistance.
2016 Hyundai Tucson: Australian price
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