Hyundai Tucson Elite a great SUV with strong road manners and performance, but a strange equipment list
Motoringuru has previously sampled the Hyundai Tucson Active X, which like the Hyundai i30 Active X, Hyundai adds alloy wheels and lashings of leather to base Active package to make models more attractive to customers. And priced from $32,990 for the six-speed auto as tested, the Tucson Active X proved itself to be an enticing value for money package.
This time around we’re sampling the Hyundai Tucson Elite, which is priced from $35,240 for and sits between the Active X and the flagship Highlander in the Tucson line-up. We sampled the Hyundai Tucson Elite with the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and 1.6 litre turbo petrol engine which can drive all four wheels through a part-time all-wheel drive system.
The Hyundai Tucson Elite turbo is priced from $38,240 plus on road costs.
What we like:
- Turbo engine’s power and refinement
- Comfortable cabin
- Handling and ride quality
- All-wheel drive grip
Not so much:
- Misses out on leather trim and shares the same wheels as the entry level Active
- Slight delay from dual-clutch box
- No front parking sensors
- Czech build quality not quite a match for Korean (Active X) versions
The Hyundai Tucson Elite’s cabin is much the same as its Active X sister – clean lines, good quality plastics and surprisingly comfortable seats, and an impressive driving position. Another surprise – and perhaps not such a positive one – is the omission of leather trim. It seems strange that leather is only available on the second cheapest and most expensive versions of the Tucson. Still, the cloth is more than pleasant enough, and the contrasting blue stitching matched the Ara Blue paint work on our test car.
The Tucson Elite is fitted with Hyundai’s rather good satellite navigation system as standard and an electronically operated tailgate and push starter button are included for added convenience.
Interestingly, all Tucson models bar the Active X models are sourced from Hyundai’s factory in the Czech Republic and noticed the odd squeak and groan around the cabin, something that wouldn’t occur in a Korean built Hyundai.
Under the Bonnet
The turbo petrol version of the Tucson Elite is powered by Hyundai’s 1.6 litre turbo engine that produces 130kW @ 5500rpm and 265Nm @ 1500-4500rpm power is 20kW down on the Veloster sportscar, but the Tucson develops the same amount of torque over a broader power band.
The Tucson’s engine tune allows for quick and easy overtaking with the power always at the ready when required.
Hyundai’s dual-clutch transmission seems to have a bit of a split personality: gears are selected quickly but some shifts felt a little clunky and there seemed to be a minor delay when moving off from a stand still.
As a duo, the engine and transmission are remarkably quiet and generally refined, giving the Tucson a polished and sophisticated feel.
The all-wheel drive system has a “Lock” facility, which could be handy in getting your Tucson to your favourite ski resort.
Fuel consumption on the combined cycle is quoted as 7.7 litres per 100 kilometres, we averaged around 8.5 litres.
On the Road
The Tucson’s ride comfort and handling – by SUV standards anyway – are excellent. The suspension does an excellent job of preventing road shocks and imperfections from making their way into the cabin.
The steering is light and makes negotiating city traffic a breeze. The Tucson Elite is also fitted with LED headlamps which are a great assistance when driving along dimly lit roads at night.
A reversing camera and rear parking sensors are standard, but you’ll have to stump up the extra cash for the Highlander version for the safety net that is front parking sensors.
The Hyundai Tucson Elite is covered by Hyundai’s five-year unlimited kilometre warranty.
Hyundai Tucson Elite Specs
Name: Hyundai Tucson Elite
Engine: 1.6 litre turbo petrol engine 130kW @ 5500rpm and 265Nm @ 1500-4500rpm
Options: Ara Blue metallic paint ($595)
Country of Origin: Czech Republic