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Driven: Hyundai Terracan 2.9 CRDi

Hyundai

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Review

Credit is due to Hyundai dealers, because they must have a hard time getting the Terracan past car-hunters’ first impressions. On seeing it, my initial thought is: “My God it’s ugly.” That is quickly followed by: “My God it’s huge.”

Not the strongest start then. Yet let’s pretend the sales executive’s friendly banter succeeds in persuading me to climb inside. Well it’s actually okay in here. The switches are a bit all over the place, but there’s plenty of kit to keep me happy, and the fully adjustable driver’s seat is quite comfortable.

By now, we’ve established that the Terracan is no supermodel. I’d say it’s more of a faithful shire horse, happy to do everything asked of it at its own pace.

Its driving manners are average, with quite a wallowy ride and vagueness at the steering wheel, but it will cover distance without fuss once up to speed and has plenty of torque for towing and low-ratio off-roading. Parking requires practice, however, as visibility isn’t good and it turns like a bus.

Finally, it’s time to talk money, preferably as little as possible. I’m about £3,000 short of an Isuzu Trooper’s asking price, and the Toyota LandCruiser is way beyond budget too. Now I’ve found the Terracan’s real strength, because the choice of sub-£20k new off-roaders is not exactly vast. And I have the assurance of knowing there’s the support of Hyundai’s 5-year warranty if anything goes wrong.

Strengths: Good value, well equipped, 5-year warranty
Weaknesses: It’s no looker
Opportunity: Increase your sales to frugal farmers
Threat : Style-seekers will look elsewhere
USP: The budget alternative to a Discovery
Price: £18,495
Engine: 2902cc, DOHC, 16v, common rail turbodiesel
Transmission: 4sp auto, switchable 4wd
Performance: 0-62mph 13.7sec, top speed 103.8mph
Efficiency: 31mpg combined, 222g/km CO2
Rivals: Kia Sorento, Isuzu Trooper, SsangYong Rexton, second-hand Discovery

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