Our long-term Tucson has been on its toes since it joined our fleet in March this year. Apart from the regular trips to Nashik , Lonavla and Mahabaleshwar, it’s been to the far north of our country and across the international border into Nepal! Well, it’s no surprise then that the Tucson has become one of our favourites.
It may not be the most fun-to-drive car but, practicality-wise, it does impress. Last month, I had a family trip to Goa and the Tucson was put to the task once again. Travelling with family meant there were bags of varying sizes to be accommodated and the Tucson’s huge boot swallowed all of it comfortably. The most useful feature on the SUV is the automatic boot. When my hands were full carrying bags, all I had to do was stand near the tailgate with the key in my pocket, and the boot lid would just pop open.
With the luggage safely secured and the tank topped up with 62 litres of fuel, we set out in the wee hours of a Saturday to skip the traffic, making our way out of the city. The range of over 700km on the trip computer meant that the Tucson would do the 600km run to Goa, via NH 4, on just one tank of diesel. And to my joy, it did, saving us precious time which would have otherwise been wasted in refuelling.
The engine found a comfortable rhythm on the highway, cruising at around 70kph at a lazy 1,500rpm. In almost no time, my passengers were fast asleep, and I had to rely on the factory-fitted music system to keep me entertained; the audio is crisp and clear even at low volumes. A mix of Coldplay and Metallica got us past Kolhapur, and my now-awake passengers seemed well-rested as they spoke highly of the rear seat’s comfort. The passenger beside me, however, found the seat a bit too low for visibility. I had no such problem as the driver seat gets a 10-way power adjust which allowed me to set a comfortable height. Surprisingly, this top-of-the-line variant doesn’t get the cooled seats which are offered on the more affordable Hyundai Elantra and Verna.
The Tucson did a commendable job getting us to Goa. However, on the drive back to Mumbai, there was an electronic glitch that set off most of the warning lights. What’s more, the power steering and the air conditioner stopped working. However, we had a more serious problem at hand. Once the gear lever was slotted into ‘P’, it wouldn’t move out of it. Thankfully, fixing this was rather simple; I used the shift lock release by popping a small lid at the base of the gear lever and slotting the car’s key into it to unlock it.
While these were unexpected inconveniences, the Tucson got us back to Mumbai safely. Back in the city, we sent the SUV to a Hyundai workshop to get the issue fixed and the experts diagnosed it as corrosion in the connectors of the ECU. We expect the work to be done soon and have the Tucson back in our fleet in no time.