AM Online

Hyundai Tucson CRTD GSI auto - launched August 2004



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Mileage at start: 99

Current Mileage: 6,390

Let’s take a different approach. Yes, the 2.0-litre CRTD diesel engine is a slow, thirsty relic of the last century; yes the automatic gearbox is, shall we say, a little tardy. But we’ve already pointed out all that. What we possibly haven’t stressed is that, all things considered, the Tucson is not a bad car.

First, ignore our model with the bells and whistles coming in at £18,645: the Tucson starts at just £15,995. Its main competitors, Nissan X-Trail, Toyota Rav4 and Jeep Cherokee (and, arguably subsidiary Kia’s £19k Sorento) all begin at £18,000-plus. Even the Suzuki Grand Vitara is £17k.

You get what you pay for – and in the Hyundai, that’s solid build, reasonable ride and raised seat position. Even the auto ’box isn’t too bad if you use the semi-auto option.

During the three months that AM has been driving the Tucson we’ve had no faults to report – and clocked up 6,390 miles. We’d expect customer satisfaction in the next JD Power survey to be fairly good.

The one problem the Tucson does have comes from within its own flanks: the Santa Fe. Similarly priced (it’s £1k more), it’s better looking, slightly more spacious, better on the road and gunning for a similar customer. Clear model differentiation is necessary to avoid confusing potential buyers.

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