CM – Family values: Hyundai’s brand new SUV tested

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If you’re looking for a razor-sharp deal on a family-sized SUV, the Hyundai Tucson is no longer for you.

While drive-away deals for the previous model sometimes fell below $ 30,000, the new Tucson starts at just over $ 38,000 on the road.

Price increases have been a common theme in the auto industry in recent years as brands abandon the low margins and cutthroat competition at the lower end of the market and prefer to sell more cars for more money.

The new Tucson starts at $ 34,500 plus road traffic, $ 2,360 more than the official price of the old model.

In return, you get a more spacious cab, more equipment and a comprehensive suite of driver aids.

Hard, scratchy plastics have been replaced by softer surfaces and interesting fabric highlights on the dashboard and doors.

The middle touchscreen looks more modern and the high-end Highlander model has a digital display in front of the driver instead of the traditional dials and needles.

Hyundai ditched the Active X model in favor of an N-Line option, which includes larger alloy wheels, sporty leather and suede seats, a digital driver display, LED front and rear lights, and sportier exterior styling cues.

It costs $ 3500 extra for the Active model, $ 2000 for the Mid-Level Elite, and $ 1000 for the Highlander.

The company’s chief operating officer, John Kett, says the amount of additional equipment justifies the price hike.

« I think if you look at the content and its specifics compared to the main competitors, we feel comfortable with it, » he says.

The Tucson can detect when you’ve missed a car in your blind spot and pull you back into your lane to avoid a collision.

It will also hit the brakes if you try to turn into oncoming traffic or reverse out of your driveway if it’s unsafe.

Unlike most of its competitors, it can detect pedestrians behind you when reversing and brake if necessary.

You can also mute the volume in the back seats if the kids are nodding off while driving and there are four USB ports for charging devices.

The Elite model, which starts at $ 39,000 on the street, has a larger center screen, heated leather seats, AC with air conditioning, and a wider range of engines.

First available with front-wheel drive, the Highlander starts at $ 46,000 and has a digital driver display, Bose sound system, sunroof, blind spot camera, electric tailgate, and ambient lighting.

The rear leg and headroom are generous, the cargo area is long and wide, and the full-size under-floor replacement part is a welcome addition for rural buyers.

While the Tucson’s cabin is a big step forward, the same cannot be said of the range of engines.

Initially, it will only be available with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, which has less power and torque than its predecessor (from 122 kW / 205 Nm to 115 kW / 192 Nm), although it has to shift around 60 kg more weight.

1.6-liter turbo gasoline and 2.0-liter diesel engines will be available for all-wheel drive versions of the Elite and Highlander over the next few months.

The 132 kW turbo gasoline version is tuned to a seven-speed dual clutch car and costs $ 4,000 more, while the 137 kW diesel has an eight-speed dual clutch car and costs $ 6,000 more.

It’s a shame the better engines aren’t available on cheaper front-wheel drive models as the standard 2.0 liter engine is just barely performing.

It has to be turned hard and loud uphill, and the six-speed car tends to be eager to find the best gear, resulting in less-than-quiet progress.

The Tucson picks up bumps and bumps on the road well at low speeds and stays calm around corners, though the steering lacks feedback from some competitors.

Safety: seven airbags, automatic emergency braking, assistant for blind spots and lane keeping, radar cruise, rear cross traffic warning

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