2019 Hyundai Tucson II CRDI - Tucson II Go


For its midlife upgrade, Tucson, now with the Series II suffix, adds some new styling features either side of the glasshouse, along with an update to safety, and with some extra tech on board. Herein, we drive the range topper, the Limited 2.0R CRDI which sells for a lofty $63,990.

Words: Peter Louisson
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For comparison, the top diesel CX-5 goes for $57,995 and gets more power and torque, if not so many gears, so the Tucson is up against it from the get-go. Or is it?

Well the Tucson Series II gets all the improvements we’re about to mention at no extra cost over its forebear. And the top Limited models really are chocker with gear, down to ventilated seats and glove compartment, smart key and Qi phone charging, heated wheel and mirrors, Infinity sound system with separate subwoofer, power operated seats and tailgate, surround view camera, and full LED lighting. Oh and there’s on-demand AWD with hill descent control. Plus a new eight-speed automatic transmission.

It’s rather quiet on the go too, even the motor which, having a variable geometry turbo attached, doesn’t suffer unduly from lag.

The spec list is expanded further with safety items like active cruise with stop and go, lane keeping, blind spot monitoring with RCTA, and driver fatigue warning. For those wondering, there are actually three different spec levels and three separate powertrains for Tucson II. Seeing as we’re counting there are three different transmissions too.

But it’s the two-litre turbodiesel we got to drive. The oiler outputs 136kW and offers 400Nm from 1750rpm so it’s a bit of a grunter, working effectively in Normal mode round town, and clearly boosted in Sport mode for rural running. It’s perhaps a little less racey than you might imagine in terms of acceleration, carrying a fair old chunk of weight at 1800kg, but then it’s quite sizeable too. There’s no sliding rear seat but with the amount of standard legroom available that’s really not necessary.

Despite standard fitment of a panoramic tilt and slide sunroof there’s still pretty decent headroom in the back. And after raising the fifth door we were a bit surprised to learn the load bay only holds 488L of gear. However, if you activate the levers at the base of the second row seats, the expanded space offers a genuinely flat floor, useful for loading awkward items like MTBs and the like.

The Tucson has suspension that’s optimised for our neck of the woods, or Australia at any rate, road conditions being relatively similar. And the tune is distinctly tilted towards ride refinement, no bad thing for this type of vehicle.

It’s rather quiet on the go too, even the motor which, having a variable geometry turbo attached, doesn’t suffer unduly from lag. That said, off the mark acceleration is a bit ponderous and we’d lay the blame for that at the feet of the new transmission.

Had it raced away we reckon it might have produced a quite reasonable sprint time, given as how on the overtake it needed 6.8seconds in fourth gear alone.

But we couldn’t persuade it to run in single figures, eventually ending on 10.1sec. The CX-5 we mentioned earlier managed 8.7 and 6.4sec, respectively, as some sort of indication of how this takes its sweet time to get up and running.

Peugeot 508 GT

We wish we could tell you how much these times differ from the original’s but unfortunately we only have figures on petrol Tucsons. Never mind though because this vehicle is not so much about fire and brimstone as about pampering, the suspension set-up almost going a bit far in the ride department to the point where handling is a tad rolly, though there’s not too much in the way of push thanks to its generous footprint and AWD status.

Moreover, it’s hard to get the wheels spinning up even if you try by disabling the TC and getting underway with full gas applied on a metal surface. Try as we might, there’s almost nothing you might describe as even momentary loss of traction, officer. Some who drove it felt the seats a bit firm in the cushion, but they’re highly adjustable, even with power lumbar support. And while some overseas groups mentioned odd brake behaviour, we’d report differently (34.05m was quite impressive), other than a bit of fade with successive stops, nothing out of the ordinary for Korean machinery.

The elephant in the room is really the pricing. We’ve an Acadia in the car park that offers seven seats, at least as much gear, and a lot more performance for not a lot more cost. It also has free servicing for three years.

So it’s also a size up but just saying the Hyundai’s at the pointy end of the class for cost. Course if you just want something sizeable and don’t care for diesel power or AWD, the range kicks off with a base 2.0L petrol driving the front wheels through a six-speed auto at $39,990.

The Stats

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Model Hyundai Tucson II 2.0R CRDi  Price $63,990

Engine 1995cc, IL4, T/DI, 136kW/400Nm

Transmission 8-speed auto, on-demand AWD

Vitals 10.09sec 0-100km/h, 6.4L/100km, 149g/km, 1799kg

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