It seems as if the Global Economic Crisis has somehow made the world go mad. Interest rates are bouncing around like a Masai cattleblessing ceremony; corporations are shutting down everywhere and supermarket no-name brands are more popular than ever. If you were shopping in the car market right now, you might think that buying a small or secondhand car would be a wise decision in this volatile market. But you'd be wrong...and here's why!
Welcome everyone to the cheapest 2 litre, 5 seater new car in the country. The Hyundai Tucson City SX is currently selling for a staggeringly low $22,990 drive away! Let's put that into perspective shall we. That's about the same price as a Toyota Yaris, Suzuki Swift, Ford Fiesta or Mazda 2. It's also less than half the price of a German hatchback and for the price of an Audi A8 or BMW 7 Series; you could buy 10 Tucsons.
Not only could you get 10 Tucsons for the cost of a luxury German saloon, but you also get more rear leg room, more boot space and more head room as well. Granted the Tucson is not as luxurious as its prestigious German comparatives but don't think that it only comes with one tenth of the equipment. The Tucson has an impressive list of gadgetry for the modest price.
Standard features include a full size alloy spare wheel, all-round electric windows, cruise control, MP3 front loading CD player, bluetooth, central locking, immobiliser, cup holders, storage pockets and the list goes on. Safety features include ABS, airbags, EBD, ESP and traction control. Another great feature is the split rear tailgate which gives you the option of opening just the window to quickly pack something or opening the whole tailgate for easy loading.
The rear seats fold down with relative ease. One quick pull of the lever and the 60/40 rear seats fold flat instantly. This can easily be accomplished with one hand. The front seats also fully recline to form a make-shift bed. The Tucson's interior is pleasant and neat. The interior finish seems better than normal for a Korean manufacturer and all the levers, switches and dials have a certain quality feel about them. The instrument panel is stylish with an oversized speedometer in the middle flanked by a rev counter on one side and a fuel and temperature gauge on the other.
The ride is as soft as you would expect in an SUV, yet it also manages to keep its' composure in the bends with only a hint of body roll. At motorway speeds there is a fair bit of road noise and the cabin could have better sound insulation. The steering is light with a decent amount of feedback through the steering wheel. The seats are comfortable and the driving position is perfect.
Under the bonnet, the Tucson has a 2 litre, 4-cylinder engine sending 104kW of power and 184Nm of torque to the front wheels though a 5-speed manual transmission. This gives the Tucson a combined consumption of 8.0l/100km, very respectable for a 2.2 tonne SUV. The Tucson also has a 5 year, unlimited kilometre warranty and requires servicing every 15,000kms.
On the downside the range of colours available is both limited and dull but it's hardly enough to deter me. And even though it looks like a constipated hippo and would probably get stuck driving through a child's sand-pit, it's still a brilliant little SUV for the $22,990 price tag. I would however spend an additional $2,000 and go for the automatic. The fuel consumption will be slightly higher with the auto being a 4x4 but it gives you an extra bit of recreational ability for a small price. It seems then that the Hyundai Tucson shapes up to be a truly great SUV, offering pretty much the same as its rivals for the price of a supermini.