The much anticipated Hyundai Tucson was launched last August, and our friends from Hyundai Asia Resources Inc. (HARI) the local distributors decided they wanted to let us test their new vehicle on a long drive. They flew us to Roxas City and let us drive the All New Hyundai all the way to Caticlan, where we would spend a day in Boracay and take part in their CSR, which was to plant corals on the legendary white beach.
Launched were three variants of the Tucson, the AWD diesel (top of the line) equipped with a 2.0L CRDI engine that puts out 178HP @ 4000rpm that puts out 402Nm @1,750-2,750rpm of torque, the same engine in the 4×2 diesel(mid trim) and the base variant 4×2 with a 2.0L gasoline that puts out a pretty decent 157HP at 6,200rpm and 196Nm of torque at 4,000rpm all mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission.
Once we got to Roxas City, we had lunch at Coco Veranda along Baybay Beach and soon after proceeded to Events Gazebo where we were assigned the first vehicle we were to drive and ours was the 4×2 diesel. Along the way to Caticlan, we stopped at designated places and swapped vehicles. We also got to drive the AWD diesel and 4×2 gas variant. The All New Tucson is styled with Hyundai’s newest design philosophy, the Fluidic Sculpture 2.0, its looks are definitely different from the previous generation, yet unmistakably “Hyundai”.
The road to Caticlan had some stretches, and nice curves you can take at speed and some twisties, this was where the differences between the gas and diesel variants became apparent, although the gas engine, had lesser torque than the diesel, it still put out when you want power, it just took a little longer to get there.
My driving partner, Bam Olivares of the Tribune, and I agreed that the 4×2 was definitely the most fun to drive over the top of the line AWD and the base gasoline model. This is probably due to a more powerful engine (than the gas) and lighter since it was 4×2. It Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) gave it lots of rigidity and this contributed to its handling on the way to Caticlan.
Once there, we made our way to our hotel for a well deserved rest and the following day went about planting coral with members of the Philippine Coast Guard. Hopefully, the corals will propagate and provide a sanctuary for sea life for future generations to appreciate, and hopefully our name tags will still be attached to the corals we planted.
The ride of this new Tucson has also been improved, making easy work of leveling out the bumps and ruts found on the roughly 152 kilometers to Caticlan from Roxas City. We got quite a few looks as went on our way, but then a twenty car convoy is pretty hard to ignore. This All New Tucson is more buff than its predecessor, a wider stance, slimmer headlights, streamlined taillights, actually taller and wider and it looks pretty good at any angle.
Prices for the different variants are as follows:
Tucson 2.0 GL 6 M/T 2WD PhP1,098,000
Tucson 2.0 GL 6 A/T 2WD PhP1,188,000
Tucson 2.0 CRDi GL 6 AT 2WD PhP1,348,000
Tucson 2.0 CRDi GLS 6AT 2WD 1,518,000
The Tucson gets better with every generation, and just so you know, the top of the line variant has all the creature comforts you’d want. Push button ignition, powered driver’s seat, LED headlights, panoramic sunroof, Smart Powered Tailgate, Auto Cruise Control, Blind Spot Detection, Advanced Traction Cornering Control (ATCC), Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) and Hillstart Assist Control. On the whole, it was a fun drive, as got to put the Tucson through its paces, fast on a long country road, a traffic jam, then there was a portion where it rained and it got dark as we finally arrived at Caticlan, the drive all allowed us to experience the Tucson pretty much in different driving situations and it performed as well as can be expected for a cross over SUV.
Words and photos by Neil Pagulayan