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Long-term test: Hyundai Tucson CRTD GSI auto - launched August 2004



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Mileage at start: 99

Current Mileage: 5,100

There are two problems with the Hyundai Tucson. First: looks. Everything forward of the front wheel arch leaves a lot to be desired.

That’s a shame because against its generally over-bodied competition, the rest of the car appears compact and well proportioned. It looks best from the back: the simple lines and the twin exhaust pipes give it a grown-up/M-class feel.

The second offence is caused by the Tucson’s diabetic-like thirst. A 70-mile round trip cost me £25 in diesel. Admittedly I was in a rush to meet an appointment, but fuel consumption was alarming.

I thought using the Tucson would be cheaper than hiring a van to move house. In the end there was very little in it.

It is much nicer to drive than most vans – easy and vice-free. Apart from the steering wheel. Its rough plastic is uncomfortable and lets the interior down.

Nose and steering wheel apart, good design is a feature of the rest of the car. The split tailgate means, rear seats down, worldy goods can be thrown in the back window, the rear of the car acting like a giant box. Just three journeys to move a huge load of stuff including a double bed and more than 5,000 magazines.

If it was in my showroom, I would park it nose to the wall with a stack of aftermarket steering wheels in easy reach.

Price: £18,645 (as tested)
Test period: Nov 04-Feb 05
Engine :2.0 CRTD, 111bhp, 181lb-ft torque
Transmission: 4sp automatic
Current mileage: 3,861
Performance: 0-62mph 16.1sec; top speed 101mph
Efficiency: (comb) 35.3mpg (official), actual 21.4mpg 210g/km CO2
CAP RV (3yr/30k): £5,375 (32%)
Servicing: 10,000 miles

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