The Hollywood star - Hyundai Tucson


Hyundai and Kia are closely related, as Hyundai owns around a third of the latter. That means that while their cars aren’t clones of each other, they do share mechanicals. That in turn means that the two companies often produce direct rivals, such as the Tucson and the Sportage.


It played a supporting role in Spider-Man: No Way Home. We rest our case… But if that doesn’t win you over, the all-round package of good looks, torquey engines and practicality should.


It may be a mid-size SUV but it’s at the top end of the category in terms of size, 150mm longer and 15mm wider than the model it replaces. That equates to a fair bit more space inside, especially in terms of boot space and legroom.

Aesthetically, Hyundai is also pushing the boat out these days, much like Kia, and the Tucson is striking from just about every angle. If you want even more attitude, opt for the N Line model where the features are exaggerated – the grille, the air intake, the spoiler are all bigger, and it sits on sportier 19-inch alloy wheels. One exterior feature of the Tucson that strikes me as particularly clever is the positioning of the headlights, which are hidden in the grille – it’s cool.


Where the Sportage is modern and curvy, the Tucson is almost minimalist and doesn’t have the wow factor of the Kia or its own exterior. The N Line treatment tries its best to jazz things up, as my mother would say, with splashes of red and embroidered Ns on the beautiful bucket seats.

An eight-inch touchscreen ties everything together, while a bigger 10-inch screen does duty as the instrument cluster, which means it can be changed up a bit to suit your mood.

Here’s a weird feature for you – the audio system offers an ambient noise source where you can listen to, for example, the sound of a fire crackling or rain or a "snowy village" while you drive. What sort of life do you live that you need a crackling fire as the soundtrack to your commute?


The N Line comes with a two-litre turbodiesel engine with a power output of 137kW and torque of 416Nm, mated to an eight-speed auto gearbox. It’s brilliant to drive with loads of oomph, despite using in the region of just 6.5 litres of the dark fuel per 100km. The AWD system has Normal, Eco, Sport and Smart modes for the road as well as a Terrain mode with Snow, Mud and Sand settings for low-traction situations.

If you prefer petrol power, it’s naturally aspirated power only from the two-litre option, with 115kW of power and 192Nm of torque, and a six-speed gearbox. This is adequate for the size of the car, but the extra torque of the diesel makes a huge difference.


The Tucson, particularly in N Line form, is a winner in every regard, but the price premium of the N Line over the other models is substantial. The sweet spot in the range is the Elite Turbodiesel model.


While the Tucson starts at R584 500, the N Line is a lofty R815 000, thanks in part to the AWD drive system and the extensive features list. All new Tucsons are sold with a seven-year/200 000km warranty and a six-year/90 000km service plan.



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