Hyundai has gone back to the roots of its SUV family by rechristening the ix35 the Tucson to align it more closely with its bigger brother the Santa Fe. The new Tucson – the third-generation – will be unveiled at the Geneva motor show next month and go on sale in New Zealand later this year. Hyundai describes it as a “step change, a completely new vehicle, not a direct replacement for the ix35.” One of its European executives said: ““We want this car to make you think a little bit differently about Hyundai.”
Tucson gets a sharper front end design
The South Korean carmaker launched the Tucson on to the world market in 2004. Five years later it ditched the moniker in favour of ix35. Why it did so had much to do with the vehicle’s badge in South Korea, where it was called the ‘ix Tucson.’ Now Tucson is back and the new SUV will be all the better for the change. Not that the ix35 handle has handicapped sales; indeed it is has been a best selling mid-size SUV in NZ for some time. But the Roman numeral ‘9’ with ‘35’ tagged on to it sounds more like a code name than generic cialis reviews
a car. It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue like ‘Tucson.’ The name is said to mean ‘at the base of the hill’, an ancient Indian/Spanish language reference to a volcano near the city. Santa Fe means ‘holy faith’ in Spanish. Hyundai might have tossed that translation around when it decided to restore the faith and bring back Tucson. Santa Fe and Tucson … the two go hand in hand, carrying names from America’s storied south-west, of wagon trains, gunfights, and cattle rustlers. Santa Fe and ix35 … oh dear.
Tucson is longer and wider than the ix35
Anyway, the new Tucson shares its platform with the new Kia Sportage, also pictured here wrapped in disguise while testing in the snow of Sweden. Both vehicles were penned by Hyundai Kai Automotive Group’s German design chief Peter Scheyer. The group was formed in 1998 after Hyundai bought a controlling interest in Kia, then South Korea’s second largest carmaker. As of a year ago Hyundai owned just under 34 per cent of Kia. The Tucson is 65mm longer and 30mm wider than the outgoing ix35, with 30mm added to the wheelbase. Passenger space is said to be improved all-round, but bootspace has been reduced from 591 litres to 516 litres. The design is more athletic than before, with a ‘shark nose’ front, sharper lines, shorter overhangs and a sleeker A-pillar angle. Inside, there’s more space and a marked jump in quality, with higher-grade materials plus extra comfort and connectivity features.
Kia Sportage shares its platform with the Tucson
Optional equipment includes autonomous braking and a rear-cross traffic alert system. This scans 180 degrees behind the Tucson to alert the driver to traffic approaching from the flanks. Hyundai has confirmed five engines will be available for world markets, three diesels and two petrol. Buyers in NZ are likely to have the choice of two: a turbocharged EU6-compliant 1.6-litre petrol generating 130kW, and a 2.0-litre diesel putting out 135kW. The petrol unit gets a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, the diesel a conventional six-speed automatic.
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