Make / Model Search

Car reviews - Hyundai - Terracan - CRDi 5-dr wagon range

Our Opinion

We like
Performance, driveability, smoothness, engine noise levels, fuel consumption, ride quality, on-road bodyroll levels with tow pack, low range availability, cabin quietness, lightness of controls, auto and manual transmission shift quality, value for money, full chassis durability
Room for improvement
Remote steering feel, remote feel of full chassis, excessive overhangs, lack of wheel articulation for heavy-duty off-road situations, cabin presentation

14 Jan 2005

To can or not to Terracan!

If this is the question, then Hyundai’s new turbo-diesel version, fitted with the optional tow pack, should provide an answer steeped deep inside the affirmative.

Unfortunately HMCA only provided CRDi examples fitted with the "Trek’n’Tow" suspension, so back-to-back comparisons with the current and continuing standard suspension tune was unavailable.

Nevertheless, over a very rugged mountainous coarse encapsulating some of the most scenic and challenging 4WD tracks deep in the Victorian Highlands, the Terracan CRDi tow-pack press cars performed extremely admirably.

The engine is an up-to-date 2.9-litre common-rail direct-injection intercooled turbo-diesel, and sure enough it seems like the most modern thing about the Terracan.

Power delivery is smooth and relatively quiet, as well as strong and linear, from quite low revs.

Mated to the four-speed automatic transmission, it provides plenty of punch from the word go, with decent mid-range oomph for overtaking manoeuvres.

Remembering that this is a 2.2-tonne machine, the four-cylinder unit never seemed undernourished or overstressed, and was smooth at all times.

On bitumen the steering definitely betrayed the separate chassis construction and its resulting relatively flexible body structure by being slightly slower than expected, with a slight delay to inputs.

That was easy to work around though, and you’d never describe it as sloppy or overly vague.

As the roads became rougher, the steering seemed more at ease with its environment, working with the driver to negotiate surface anomalies and obstacles in a competent and confident manner.

The ride quality, meanwhile, remained agreeably composed except for in the very deepest ridges and ruts. The trick dampers fitted to the tow kit really showed the ability and articulation of the suspension.

Meanwhile, even when going up a very steep mountain pass punctuated by rocks, ridges and sharp crests, the CRDi in low range first gear had the goods to pull up and out of any situation.

The gearing ratios seemed to fit the scenarios, and it was a simple thing to select through the ranges available (rear-driven 2H, and four-wheel drive 4H and 4L).

Ultimate go-anywhere off-roadability is still probably hampered by not-enough wheel articulation, excessive body overhang and the Terracan’s need to accommodate seven souls, but I am sure a novice to this model will be shocked at how capable it really is.

Remarkably, there were hardly any squeaks, creaks or groans from inside any of the cabins tested (which were nicely appointed and featured a smartly presented dash), pointing to a high level of quality control.

Noise levels too were contained well within reason, with none of the clattering diesel din of old 4WDs.

About the only criticism is that there needs to be more sound deadening in the wheelarches to stop flying rocks and stones pummelling passenger’s ears.

A brief drive in the five-speed manual Terracan on rough roads and (beautifully made) bitumen surprised with its car-like lightness and shifting ease, while the performance, like in the automatic, was more than adequate.

And even more shocking was how fun it was to hustle this Hyundai along manually. While it is in no means a sports car, the lightness of the controls, combined with the firmness and control of the suspension modifications, led to an SUV that is quite a lot of fun – for an SUV – to drive along.

It’s one of those big cars that shrinks around you the further you drive it.

But all the sharpening of the chassis and massaging of the motor can’t hid the packaging that betrays the Terracan’s advancing years.

In these days of vast dashboards, wide bodies and almost acceptable third-row seating for adults, the Hyundai is clearly at least one generation behind the leading Toyota Prado.

And while the deep windows and relatively narrow pillars provide a car that can be placed easily and confidently, everything around you is a reminder that the high value comes at a price.

If you’re after a tough, extremely capable, economical and enjoyable seven-seat tow-vehicle – and you don’t give a hoot about how old it looks – then the Terracan CRDi with the optional $2000 tow pack is a very good thing.

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

GoAuto can help you buy a new Terracan

Customer Terms and Conditions – New Car Lead enquires


This is an agreement between GoAutoMedia Pty Limited ACN 094 732 457 of PO Box 18, Beach Road, Sandringham, VIC, 3191 (“we/us”), the owner and operator of the GoAuto.com.au website (“the website”) and the person wanting GoAuto.com.au to provide them with a lead for the purchase of a new car (“you”).

By completing a New Car Lead Enquiry, you agree to the terms and conditions and disclaimers and acknowledge the policies set out below.

Terms and Conditions

  • In order for us to effect a lead you must you must complete a New Car Lead Enquiry (“Enquiry”).
  • We will call you as soon as possible after you complete the Enquiry and certainly no later than the next business day. When we call, we will discuss with you your new car requirements.
  • You consent to our passing on the Enquiry and your requirements to an appropriate authorised motor car dealer as a lead.
  • We will contact you again in approximately eight days following your initial enquiry to check on the progress of the Enquiry.
  • While we will provide the dealer with the Enquiry and details of your new car requirements, we take no responsibility for what happens after passing on that material as a lead.
  • You acknowledge that we are a new car information service providing new car editorial information, pictures and prices to our customers as a guide only. Any new car prices published on the website are the manufacturers’ recommended retail prices and do not include delivery charges and on-road costs. Any authorized motor car dealer to which we pass on your Enquiry as a lead will provide you with full details of the price at which the vehicle will be sold to you.
  • You acknowledge that we do not sell motor vehicles. Any sale of a new car to you by a dealer after we have passed on your Enquiry to that dealer as a lead, is a sale by that dealer not by us.

Privacy Policy– New Car Lead Enquires

  • We take privacy very seriously. We understand that you will only complete an Enquiry if you can trust us to protect your personal information and use it appropriately. Our policy is to ensure that the personal information collected when you make an Enquiry is only used for the purposes of connecting you with an authorised motor car dealer.
  • We do not on-sell information collected from you or any other customer.
  • From time to time, we may email you with information or promotions that may be relevant for car buyers. You will continue to receive communications from us unless you tell us that you do not want to receive any advertising or promotional information in the future by unsubscribing from these communications.
* Denotes required field
** Australian inquiries only

Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here