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Hyundai Tucson

Mk1 Tucson

1 Aug 2004

IN the beginning the Tucson’s arrival seemed to make no sense as it was only very slightly smaller than its older Santa Fe brother.

But it wasn’t until the much-larger, seven-seater Mk2 Santa Fe debuted in 2006 that the Tucson’s place became clear.

Aimed straight at the Toyota RAV4, Subaru Forester and Honda CR-V set, Hyundai’s second compact SUV was a far-more car-like affair than its original big brother.

Powered by Hyundai’s venerable Delta V6, the 2.7 offered 129kW of power and 241Nm of torque, via a four-speed sequential-shift automatic gearbox driving the front wheels until a loss of traction activated the rear ones.

Three well-equipped models arrived – the base, Elite and Elite S. All included anti-lock brakes with EBD, dual front airbags, remote central locking, air-conditioning and power windows, as well as an alarm, cruise control, traction control and a limited slip differential.

In October ’05 the Tucson City was released.

This car featured a 104kW/184Nm 2.0-litre twin-cam 16-valve variable-valve timing four-cylinder engine mated to a four-speed automatic gearbox and driving the front wheels.

The resulting disappearance of the Tucson’s rear-drive gear meant a 158kg weight loss, partly addressing the power deficit against the City’s V6 siblings.

For 2007 HYUNDAI has added a five-speed manual variant of its Tucson City SUV, lowering the entry price for the front-wheel drive, five-door wagon to $24,990. This is $2000 below the four-speed automatic version, which along with the manual now carries the SX moniker to differentiate from a new Elite model variant.

Priced from $29,990, the City Elite adds stability and traction control, side and curtain airbags, a sunroof, trip computer, six-speaker stereo, part-leather seats and automatic headlights. All Tucson City models are combined with a 104kW/184Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine.

Other changes to the Tucson range include the deletion of the AWD Elite model.

The $30,990 V6 AWD automatic continues, now as an SX but with traction control retained. As well as the bigger engine, this model is differentiated from City variants by its double-spoke alloy wheels, low-profile 235/60 tyres, dual chrome exhaust outlets and body-coloured bumpers and side cladding.

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