The Tucson was launched in India by ambitious Hyundai hoping to get Indians addicted to SUVs.
However due to its basic equipment levels, lack of 4WD and sky high price tag, Hyundai managed to sell just 2 or 3 in a month. It was Hyundai’s ‘a bit too soon’ moment.
Well the Tucson (also known as ix35 in some markets) is ready for its mid-life facelift three years after it was launched (that’s almost a whole lifetime in Hyundai’s books). The facelifted model has just been shown here in Geneva. This comes on the back of the ix35 managing to clock 87,000 units last year in Europe.
The visual upgrades include:
- New Bi-Xenon headlamps with LED DRLs
- TFT supervision instrument cluster
- Redesigned front grill
- New alloy wheels
In its cabin, the facelifted Tucson features a new touchscreen center console and updates to the material quality and trim levels. It also gains ‘FLEX STEER’ technology which can make changes to the steering feedback. ‘FLEX STEER’ is available with three modes: Comfort, Normal and Sport.
The biggest update is a new engine. The ‘Nu’ 2.0-litre GDI replaces the old ‘Theta-II’ 2.0-litre petrol engine. Rated at 166 hp, the new engine may be just 3 ponies better than the old one but it runs a lot more efficiently. The 2.0L CRDI continues to head the diesel lineup. It receives a technological update of LP-EGR (low-pressure exhaust gas recirculation).
Hyundai has no plans to introduce the Tucson in India anytime soon. The Korean automaker is currently focusing on launching the all new Santa Fe in India.
Hyundai has always been a bit unlucky in the SUV segment. Previous products such as the Terracan and Tuscon bombed quite badly. The new Santa Fe is gaining some traction in India but is far behind the market leader Toyota Fortuner. The status quo may change with the all new Santa Fe’s launch which has been lauded by the international press for being a complete package.
Perhaps if the new Santa Fe could establish Hyundai as an SUV maker in India, we could see future generations of the Tucson heading India very soon.