Tucson Sport impresses

Hyundai Tucson Sport
New Tucson Sport

Hyundai’s bold and beautiful Tucson Sport ticks the right boxes

More than 7 500 third-generation Hyundai Tucsons were sold here in 13 months since its South African launch last year – claiming a 16,5% share in its segment. That is one of several good reasons to put a body kit on this popular SUV model, as well as four big and very good-looking black alloy wheels and a pair of exhaust pipes to create the bold and beautiful Tucson Sport.

Officially, on the specification sheet, this seventh derivative of Hyundai’s popular SUV model is known as the Hyundai Tucson 1.6 TGDI Executive Sport, which means it is powered by a turbocharged 1,6-litre petrol engine that delivers 150 kW peak power and 295 Nm torque, and that it boasts the comprehensive Executive level of features found in other derivatives in the range.

The other big reason to create the Tucson Sport, is that this compact SUV is already a very good looker in its standard guise, and that its 150 kW 1.6 turbocharged petrol engine delivers more than enough power to suit the sporty looks.

Hyundai Automotive South Africa is confident that the Tucson Sport will find many buyers who wants some extra “presence” on the road. “It was not really market research, but more of a gut feeling that comes from many years in the automotive business,” says Stanley Anderson, sales and operations director of Hyundai Automotive SA, when asked why the decision was taken to dress up the Tucson.

“We knew we already had a most attractive SUV – the sales figures prove that – and we were able to create a Tucson Sport that is bold in a classy way, without being overly arrogant, but certainly with the looks that draw a lot of attention. The 1.6 turbocharged engine also delivers more than enough power to suit the sporty looks.” And at a price of R499 900 the Tucson Sport is also very competitive when you have to open the purse strings.

“We import the body kit – front, rear and side skirts – from Korea, and the alloy wheels were chosen with the help of Tiger Wheel & Tyre, exclusively for the Tucson Sport. Then we fitted a different exhaust system with four chrome pipes at the rear that audibly announces the sporty nature of this Tucson, and the result was a winner in terms of looks and performance.”

The 19-inch black alloy wheels with its low-profile tyres also took the outstanding handling dynamics of the Tucson to an even higher level. They are also exclusive to the Tucson Sport – nobody can buy them off the shelf to fit to their own car.

The 1,6-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol engine is linked to a slick 6-speed manual gearbox with well-spaced ratios to get the power and torque to the road effectively through the front-wheel drive system.

Standard features of the Tucson Sport include an 8-inch screen infotainment system with satellite navigation, Bluetooth telephone linking and music streaming, as well as a CD player, USB and AUX music input and a several settings for FM and AM radio reception. It also displays a rear view from the park assist camera when reversing the vehicle.

Additional convenience features include cruise control, rain sensors for the automatic windscreen wipers, an automatic air-conditioning system, electrically adjusted leather seats and multifunction controls on the steering wheel.

Among the safety features in the Tucson Sport are an Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), an Advanced Brake System (ABS) to prevent the brakes from locking up in an emergency stop, Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and a full set of driver, front passenger, side and curtain airbags. The Tucson was awarded a full 5-star safety rating in the European New Car Assessment Programme (EuroNCAP).

The Tucson Sport’s recommended retail price of R499 900 include Hyundai’s industry-leading 7-year/200 000 km warranty, roadside assistance for 5 years or 150 000 km, and a 5-year/90 000 km service plan. Its service interval is 15 000 km.