Hyundai Tucson Sport a miss-match

Hyundai is making some really good cars of late. Not something I thought I’d be saying but it is true. One of the products that I do like a lot is the Hyundai Tucson.

This mid-sized SUV looks good and it offers customers high levels of quality as well as features. It was then to my surprise when a sporty version of the car arrived at the Autodealer office a few weeks ago, adorned with a rather aggressive body kit and large black wheels. A Hyundai Tucson Sport?

Eye of the beholder 

Hyundai seems to think that there is a want for a sporty Tucson and, if I’m honest, I won’t complain because I secretly like the addition of the sports body kit albeit, I told Sean and Ryno that I don’t, fearing instant judgement. Additions feature a front splitter, side skirts and a bolt-on diffuser at the rear which houses 2 pairs of tailpipes. The car also sits on unique 19-inch black wheels.

Overall the Tucson is an already good looking car, the Sport just adds a bit of flair which makes the overall design eye-catching although some believe that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and many who I have encountered didn’t share my sentiments on the styling.

Business as usual inside

Unlike the exterior, the interior remains pretty much standard. The Tucson Sport is based on the Elite model which means that it features leather seats of which the front ones are electronically controlled, a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system that features both Apple Carplay and Android Auto as well as a panoramic sunroof. The facia is neatly designed with little clutter and there are quality materials used throughout the cabin. The Tucson also features impressive safety features in the form of cross-traffic alert, blind-spot assist, vehicle stability control and six airbags.

Sporty intentions

Up until now the overall view on Tucson has been good. It is good looking, it features a quality interior and impressive tech. The big thing about a car with a Sport badge is that it must be sporty and athletic. The Tucson Sport which I sampled featured a 2.0-litre turbo diesel motor which has been fitted with a plug and play software upgrade as well as a pedal booster which provides a sharper throttle response. The problem is this, with the power being boosted from 131 kW/ 400 N.m to 150 kW and 460 N.m. and the pedal booster being too aggressive, results in wheel spin off the line just about every time you pull away, especially on an incline and that’s without engaging the Sport mode function.

Once it gets going, however, it doesn’t disappoint and the torque is noticeable as it shifts through the gears using an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Unfortunately, the suspension remains the same as on the standard car which means that once the road gets twisty it becomes a bit of a mission to exploit the car’s performance, which leads me to believe that the upgrades from a performance point of view are for those who want extra power in traffic, while the visual enhancements are purely for looks.


The Tucson Sport is a locally commissioned product and unfortunately, that can be felt in its development. There are a few niggles such as the fact that the traction control doesn’t seem to know how to handle the extra torque which comes in much quicker thanks to that pedal booster. It is a good laugh though and despite the somewhat underdeveloped performance upgrades the Tucson Sport remains a nice car, however, I’d drop the Sport and settle for a standard Elite option which will cost you around R57 000 less than the Sport which carries a price tag of R674 900.

Related Articles

Back to top button