Published on August 14th, 2017 | by Subhash Nair


Hyundai Tucson’s New Variants Tested

The Hyundai Tucson has been updated in Malaysia with a couple of new powertrain options. It was first introduced in Malaysia with a 2-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine and a 6-speed conventional automatic transmission.

The two new variants of the Tucson feature either a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine with a 7-speed dual clutch transmission or a 2-litre turbocharged diesel with the same 6-speed automatic found on the standard model.

This brings the number of Tucson variants to three, namely the 2.0L Elegance (RM126,188), the 1.6L Turbo GDI (RM145,688) and the 2.0L CRDI diesel (RM155,788). All variants have been granted the Energy Efficient Vehicle (EEV) status from the Malaysia government.

This table should more clearly show you what’s going on:

We test drove both of these models, taking them to Ipoh and back to see how they performed in KL traffic, on twisty B-roads and on the open highway.

1.6 T-GDI Model

The 1.6-litre petrol is our new favourite without a doubt, but the 2-litre diesel is a close 2nd. The new, smaller petrol engine is actually a lot more modern, refined, efficient and powerful than the original. The 7-speed dual clutch is noticeably quicker in up-and-downshifts, but we feel its presence in the Tucson is justified more for its fuel saving qualities than all-out performance.

2.0 CRDI Model

With the diesel, you do get a lot more torque – 400Nm to be exact. It’s enough to convince you that you’re operating a freight train. But while the acceleration and fuel efficiency is impressive, there are several compromises that most owners may not be prepared to make.

For one, the vibration and harshness of the diesel is immediately apparent. Hyundai have done a lot to dampen this, but the difference in cabin quietness is vast when jumping from the petrol into the diesel. The diesel also feels a little more front-heavy, and there’s really nothing in the pedal and steering feel that encourages sporty driving.

It would be easy to recommend the diesel if these are aspects that you can overlook. After all, the fuel savings are a lot more important to most owners. Acceleration is rapid and just doesn’t seem to stop. These engines easily compete against and outperform the 2.5-litre SUVs in the marketplace in terms of pure power.

New for Both Variants

Besides what you get under the hood, the updated Tucsons also give you a few new toys to play with. There’s a new large Android-powered head unit. This infotainment unit gives you access to apps like Waze and Spotify without having to connect your phone.

You also get a powered tailgate. This allows you to get the boot door open with ease.


It has hands-free activation that doesn’t require kicking to engage a sensor. Just stand behind the car and wait a few seconds with the key fob in your pocket.

The Tucson’s headlights are now modern twin LEDs. In addition, you’ll find both a reverse camera and a front-facing camera.


All variants of the Tucson are available in 3 interior colour options: the standard model is black with red stitching, white or red Nappa leather. Whichever you get, the centre console is still finished in black with black stitching.

There are also two new rim options. The standard rim follows the same pattern as the previous model’s, but is finished in a darker shade. A new two-tone 19” rim is also available for those who prefer its larger look.

The suspension setup in the Tucson has always been great with the Tucson. Multi-links and MacPherson Struts are no-compromise combo and give both great comfort and handling characteristics.

There’s also a bodykit that adds a tinge of sportiness. Here’s what it looks like without the bodykit.

Should You Buy One?

There are plenty of reasons to consider the Tucson’s new variants. They’re all still competitively priced and these new models bring interesting features. Plus, you get some very respectable power and efficiency to go with a lower-than-average road tax rate.

To top it off, the warranty package is pretty substantial. 3 years of coverage along with free parts and service.

About the Author

Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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