1 Nov 2001
By CHRIS HARRIS
HYUNDAI’S second SUV to be sold in Australia arrived in late 2001.
Sold here as a seven seater, the Terracan was a new in-house design built on a much-modified version of the preceding Hyundai Galloper platform, which was based on the first-generation Mitsubishi Pajero of the 1980s.
So while the Terracan was hardly new underneath, its DNA was pedigree SUV. Which made it a traditional off-roader with a separate full-length chassis, a live rear axle for extra wheel articulation and a dual range gearbox.
Its part-time 4WD system could shift "on the fly" from rear-wheel drive to 4WD at up to 80km/h, while the up-spec Highlander apportioned power to the front or rear axles as conditions dictated automatically.
The "Hill Descent" feature in the automatic model also helped keep things moving slowly but surely, working in first-gear low-range and reverse.
Initially only petrol powered models arrived – in this case using a 145kW/302Nm 3.5-litre V6 mated to a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic gearbox.
The 2.9-litre CRDi twin-cam 16-valve turbo-diesel that joined it from January 2005 produced 120kW of power and 345Nm of torque.
The CRDi was released three months after the facelift Terracan was launched. It featured a new nose and tail-lights, and minor trim and mechanical modifications underneath.
HYUNDAI has increased to 12 the number of variants available within a revised mid-sized Terracan SUV range, via a mid-range offering dubbed SLX introduced 1st Quarter 2007.
Joining the heavy-duty off-roader range between the base Terracan (now known as the GL) and the top-shelf Highlander (now called the GLS), the Terracan SLX is available with both petrol V6 and turbo-diesel (CRDi) power.
Based on the basic Terracan GL, the SLX adds a new body-colour roof spoiler and matt black side steps with alloy chequerplate inserts for an extra $1000. The SLX is also fitted with the GL’s cloth interior trim and features the same part-time, dual-range 4WD system.
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