Monday, December 21, 2015

Used Car Review - Hyundai Tucson (2010-2015)

Did this vehicle changed a brand forever? Let Myk Belmonte delve more here.

2010-2015 Hyundai Tucson

There was a point in time Korean vehicles were considered inferior and third rate, much like Japanese cars during the early years. However, things had changed especially when these manufacturers invested heavily in quality improvement, design, manufacturing process, and long term research and had reaped the rewards. While these brands no longer offer a 10 year/100,000 mile (whichever comes first) warranty, these vehicles are on par with other competitors especially accolades and awards left and right are being given.

Quoting Toyota engineer Saeki Yoshikazu, who primarily developed the RAV4 who said "I test drove Tucson ix. Even I think Tucson ix is a very good vehicle. It is very stylish too." Developed under project LM, it took three years and 280 billion won for this vehicle to come to fruition. This vehicle is a recipient of Hyundai's fluidic sculpture design, which also saw usage in other Hyundais.

While the first generation Tucson sold well (due to low pricing and the availability of a diesel powerplant), the second generation brought Hyundai in a lot of factors to new heights. This vehicle saw a long waiting list and overtaken rivals in sales charts but saw the decline of service which owners had complained, the last one is better checked on Philippine automotive forums and you'll get what I mean. While other models in their stable experienced falling sales, this one stayed afloat. It was discontinued in the middle of the year and replaced by the third generation model. Numerous models were available throughout the years which were: basic GL, uplevel GLS, R for diesels, Premium as top end for early versions, and Limited (only few were brought in 2013, carrying amenities reserved for Premium models but carrying a 2.0 engine).

Value and Costs
With the launch of the third generation model, expect prices to plummet down further which means the cheapest unit you can find for a 2010 model would cost you P550,000 while recently purchased models in the P1,100,000 range. Scout for a 2011 and later purchased unit to utilize the five year warranty set by the distributor. There are a bevy of models available for each buyer's requirement, so do your research carefully.

Although the previous generation model is reliable, this doesn't mean the second generation model will. Common problems among second generation Tucsons involve the inhibitor switch, which viewing in the gauge area on where the transmission is slotted disappears and the thermistor coil in the air-conditioning unit in which the compressor is shut off the air-con does not turn on. Since the Tucson is a volume seller, parts are available in your suking Korean parts specialist shop.

Exterior and Interior
This is where Hyundai did their homework well, the exterior styling. Based from the Fluidic Sculpture in which the design was heavily inspired from nature, Bold styling that makes the car flawless in execution without going overboard is one feature that comes standard. A 2014 update gave the Tucson gunmetal wheels, rear LED tail lights, front daytime running lights, and some models have a revised grille later on. Limited and Premium models obtain a panoramic sunroof and larger wheels (the 2.4 4x4 model sold in 2010 to 2013 has this also) but was discontinued later on. GL gasoline units don't get side mirror signal repeaters, while others have it.

Going inside reveals an interior which is a mixed bag: build quality is top notch and design looked like it was designed professionally, some materials feel cheap which is a step back. Ergonomics inside is fine, though some front seat occupants may bang their knees at the dashboard. GLS models and above gain fabric/leather or leather seating, while GL gasoline units only have a driver's airbag as standard. Limited, Premium, and 2.4 GLS gets cruise control, push button start (latter does not have the two items, though), stability control, and hill brake control. 2014 and above models get a touchscreen monitor with DVD and GPS ready capability which is for GLS and GL diesel units only.

Three gasoline and a sole diesel engine were available for Filipino consumers back when the Tucson is available. First on the list is the Theta II 2.0 carrying 165hp at 6,200rpm and 197Nm at 4,600rpm which was standard for 2010 to 2013 models. An update in 2014 got an upgrade to the NU 2.0 that has 156hp at 6,200rpm and 192Nm at 4,600rpm, which seems odd as it got less but let's deal with it later. Another petrol powerplant offered is from the Theta II engine family which disposes 2.4 liters that comes with 176hp at 6,000rpm and 226Nm at 4,000rpm. Lastly, a diesel in the name of the R 2.0 which possess 174hp at 4,000rpm and 392Nm at 1,800-2,500rpm which is only paired with 4WD. Let us deal on how these perform: the Theta 2.0 gasoline is decent enough to carry the bulk of the body while the NU which replaced it is far better in terms of performance and fuel consumption. The 2.4 gasoline is fast but with just a few units available on sale, we wouldn't bother with this one. Getting the diesel will reward you with gobs of power and smooth acceleration at the expense of fuel consumption (only the 2.0 gasoline is less fuel friendly by some kilometer per liter). In detail, we would be choosing the 2.0 NU for all around purpose but our pick goes to the diesel, despite the standard 4WD and the difference in fuel consumption between the petrol is only small.

Driving Impressions
You are not going to buy this car to go on drag races, you better look elsewhere. The Tucson comes with electric power steering which makes steering on tight turns easy and increase fuel consumption though it acts somewhat numb in certain situations. Going to the driving experience: body roll is less pronounced but the suspension is choppy, making the ride experience a bit firm for some people. Another annoyance is the limited visibility of the vehicle, no thanks to a design which favored fuel consumption over practicality.

Everyone knows the first generation Tucson is a dependable appliance, it sparkles at several aspects but known brands overshadow it. The second generation model upped the ante in a lot of factors but with some faults that come with it. We all know there is no perfect car, but the Tucson made Hyundai recognized more.

The Good:
  • Looks good
  • Improved engines
  • Fuel friendly than before
The Bad:
  • Poor rear visibility
  • Choppy ride
  • Some cheap touches
The Pick: It's the 2.0 diesel

Engines: 1,998cc Theta II (2010-2013), 1,999cc NU (2014-2015), 2,359cc Theta II (2010-2013) I4 gasoline, 1,995cc R I4 diesel (2010-2015)
Power: 165hp @ 6,200rpm (2.0 gas, 2010-2013), 156hp @ 6,200rpm (2.0 gas, 2014-2015), 176hp @ 6,000rpm (2.4 gas), 174hp @ 4,000rpm (2.0 diesel)
Torque: 197Nm @ 4,600rpm (2.0 gas 2010-2013), 192Nm @ 4,600rpm (2.0 gas, 2014-2015), 226Nm @ 4,000rpm (2.4 gas), 392Nm @ 1,800-2,500rpm (2.0 diesel)
Fuel Consumption: 7-10km/L (city), 9-13km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed manual (GL gas, 2010-2013), 6-speed manual (GL gas, 2014-2015), 6-speed automatic
Suspension: Front McPherson strut, rear multi-link

Price (New): P998.000-P1,700,000
Price (Now): P550,000-P1,100,000
Rivals: Chevrolet Captiva, Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-5, Mazda CX-7, Mitsubishi ASX, Nissan X-Trail, Subaru Forester, Suzuki Grand Vitara, Toyota RAV4
On Sale: 2010-2015

Hyundai E. Rodriguez - (02) 416-5767


1 comment:

  1. I'm seriously considering buying a 2010 Hyundai Tucson GLS with less than 40k km on the odometer and complete service records. While the unit itself seems perfect and the dealer has a good reputation in Facebook, my main concern is whether that particular model year should be avoided regardless of its condition. I've been reading a lot in the internet forums, both from local (tsikot, autoindustriya) and international sources, about software problems, aircon issues (to the point the compressor somehow causes the engine to stall), transmission problems, etc., hence why I'm so paranoid. I am hoping to get your opinion whether this model year still something that I should consider? Thank you so much!