The Hyundai Tucson has been a favourite SUV for 12 years. Now the third generation has landed on local shores – and it looks like a great option for people with mobility impairments

SUVs have grown in prominence among South African consumers due to their soft-road ability; versatility and practicality; and the feeling of safety that the raised ride height imparts. The medium-sized SUV, such as this Hyundai Tucson, is among the most popular of the SUV genre.

It’s probably the practicality aspect that will appeal most to people with disabilities. Take the Tucson’s
488 litres of cargo capacity, which expands to a commodious 1 478 litres when the rear seats are folded flat. It’s also rated to carry 100 kg when fitted with a roof rack, making it an ideal vehicle for a roof-mounted wheelchair rack.

The Tucson holds another ace up its sleeve: while it may not look it, it is among the shortest (4 475 mm length and 1 655 mm height) of its direct rivals. More importantly, it has a ground clearance of only 182 mm; meaning entry and egress is eased while not losing the ride-height sought by SUV buyers.

Once aboard occupants are greeted by a luxurious and ergonomic interior environment. The seats are large, comfy and electrically adjustable* (the rears can be manually adjusted, too). All switchgear falls easily to hand and operates with a solid, premium feel. Hyundai has paid significant attention to the quality of build and materials used in the Tucson, and has included a wide array of interior stowage options.

It’s safe, too, with six airbags, anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and up to five other electronic safety systems*. Other luxuries include cruise control*, a reversing camera and – on top-spec Elite models – Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Change Assist, Blind Spot Detection and a panoramic sun roof.

Two petrol engines are available, one of which is a two-litre. However, Hyundai’s turbocharged 1,6-litre TGDI Gamma engine is the star of the range. It sips fuel at a mere 8,3 l/100 km and, when paired to the company’s seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, provides smooth, refined and punchy performance.

The Hyundai Tucson is priced between R369 900 and R519 900. Hyundai’s five-year/150 000 km manufacturer’s warranty, enhanced by the additional new groundbreaking seven-year/200 000 km drivetrain warranty, comes standard with the all-new Hyundai Tucson package, as well as roadside assistance for five-years or 150 000 km. All derivatives come with a five-year/90 000 km service plan; service intervals are spaced at 15 000 km.

*Elite and Executive spec

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