No, it is no longer just a body kit, Hyundai has now introduced the real deal – meet the new Hyundai Tucson Sport and it’s a stunner.
With the basis being the 2017 Tucson Sport model that gained some exciting sporty bits, this new model not only offers improved styling, but also comes with two dedicated powertrains and transmissions as well. “After the midlife upgrade of the Tucson, the time was ripe to create another Sport derivative, with mainly the same treatment as before, but with the attractive looks that came with the upgrade to the Tucson,” says Stanley Anderson, sales & operations director at Hyundai Automotive South Africa.
Styling-wise, the new Hyundai Tucson Sport adds a new front end spoiler, new side skirts, bespoke rims as well as a rear spoiler with a color-coded diffuser separating the dual exhaust tips. Although the new model bares the same kit as the 2017 model, newly added trim bits have afforded it with a much more sporty, sophisticated and premium look.
No changes have been granted to the interior design, which means you are welcomed by a rather dull and conventional interior finishing as opposed to a rather sporty look and feel that should compliment the exterior design language. This drawback has however been remedied by a more intuitive approach to the infotainment, safety and convenience features. The new Hyundai Tucson Sport comes standard with cruise control, an infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, LED daytime running lights, whilst driver, passenger, side and curtain airbags keep occupants safe in the cabin.
The new Tucson Sport is only available in two specification levels; Executive and the range topping Elite model. Standard features on both models include Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) and Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), leather seats, Blind Spot Detection for side mirrors, Cross Traffic Alert detectors at the rear, electric seat adjustment for the driver and a full auto air conditioner with climate control. The range topping Elite model adds a panoramic sun roof, electric seat adjustment for the front passenger as well, a push-button to start the engine and keyless entry to its standard feature list.
Two powertrains are on offer, a petrol powered 150kW/300Nm 1.6litre TGDi engine that feeds power to the front wheels via a standard 7-speed DCT transmission and a 150kW/460Nm 2.0litre turbodiesel engine that is mated to a standard 8-speed auto transmission.
We managed to experience both derivatives on different road surfaces and road dynamics. Under enthusiastic driving, the petrol-powered model was exceptionally capable on twisty roads with the only drawback being the indecisive DCT transmission that kept swapping cogs excessively throughout the rev range. Besides the alarmingly slow first gear acceleration from the diesel variant, it provides decent power and handling credentials whilst the 8-speed auto also delivered good power throughout the gears and rev range.
Tucson 1.6 TGDI Sport (Dual Clutch Transmission): R654 900
Tucson R2.0 Sport Turbodiesel (Automatic): R664 900
The new Hyundai Tucson Sport comes standard with a 5yr/90 000km service plan, a 7yr/200 000km warranty and road assistance for 7 years or 150 000km. All service intervals are 15 000 km, with a mandatory initial 5 000 km service for the Tucson 1.6 TGDI Elite and Sport derivatives.