Smart looks, spacious interiors, punchy engine and frugal nature – these have always been the Tucson’s strengths. They are also the reasons that have made me hold on to this particular long-termer for a while now. Since it joined our fleet in February last year, the Tucson has undertaken plenty of long-distance drives and has even been driven across the border to Nepal! It has definitely earned a reputation for being a great highway cruiser and tops my list in our long-term fleet for whenever I plan a drive out of town. It’s travelled frequently to Nashik, Mahabaleshwar and Goa, and apart from these long drives, I also clock about 60-odd kilometres on my daily commute.
Our Tucson is a top-of-the-line GLS variant loaded with features that have really spoilt me. The keyless entry-and-go, for example, is very useful to get into the Tucson and drive off without having to pull out the key from the pocket. What I really find very convenient, though, is that the tailgate opens automatically when it senses the key in close proximity to the boot – quite useful for when my hands are full of bags. I also like the dual-zone climate control which lets me select different temperatures for the driver’s and the passenger’s side. Another feature I have really become used to is Apple CarPlay; it mirrors some of my phone’s applications onto the Tucson’s infotainment screen, from where I can use them without having to fiddle with the phone. The infotainment system has also been integrated with the Amazon Music app, allowing me to use it directly.
The Tucson’s headlamps light up automatically while I drive out of my building’s dark basement parking and the automatic wipers take care of the water leaking from the roof of the tunnel that I pass through on my way to office. A small, but very useful feature of the Tucson are its puddle lamps that light-up as I approach to unlock the Tucson. The door handles too have lights that highlight them, making it easy to place them in the dark.
I like the large front seats – they are wide and well-shaped – but the cushioning is on the firm side. There is also a grouse that is common amongst the people riding shotgun – the seat height is positioned too low. Unlike the driver’s seat, it cannot be adjusted and almost feels a floor lower. But these are the faults I see only if I need to point at some. On the whole, the Tucson has always managed to keep long drives comfortable and hassle-free. It did have its share of small niggles here and there; but to be fair, our Tucson has done some serious long-distance travelling, causing premature wear and tear. It is now nearing the 30,000km-mark and will soon need a routine service. The good thing is that the service will be covered under Hyundai’s 3-years/30,000km free maintenance program. Another long drive needs to be planned soon after it comes back from service. Any suggestions?