Big sporty SUV’s seem to be the norm these days. Each is trying to outperform one another whether it’s in outright performance or curb appeal. There is one new kid on the block that I think looks incredibly aggressive, especially with its red paint and black wheels and it wouldn’t look out of place parked next to SRT8 Grand Cherokees and much larger X5M or even GLE AMG’s
The Hyundai Tucson Nsport on the surface is really a standard Tucson with a few extra trim pieces on the front, side sills and a rear diffuser with a revised ECU (which bumps power by 20kw) and a quad tip exhaust system, which most of my found a little droney.
The interior is still very much Tucson and features leather seats, a big screen multimedia setup with all the bells and whistles you would want. The interior is roomy and the leather seats are comfortable, although the ride can be a little hard and tiresome over longer durations. The steering is electrically adjustable and features two modes, normal and sport. Since this is really a Tucson Executive with a costume, it also has dual zone climate, electrically adjustable seats, lumbar support for the driver and a steering wheel 4 way adjustable.
With the Nsport being front wheel drive and making a decent 150w and 295nm from its 1.6Turbo engine, which does duty in the other Tucsons too (with fewer ponies), torque steer can be noticed with hard acceleration off the line. Wheel spin is also not uncommon in both wet and dry conditions. The 19” wheels do their best to cope with the added torque.
Fuel economy has never been a strong point of any turbo vehicle and the Tucson Nsport is no different. With sedate driving you can probably get near to claimed 9l/100km figures, but expect it to creep to mid 10’s or even 12’s in peak hour or city driving. The added sporty exhaust burble sounds good and will always discourage you to drive economically.
Its such a pity there was nothing done to the interior as I feel, that something that looks this radical on the outside, deserve a more sporty looking interior to match that of the rest of the car. At least it’s still practical as every with a 60;40 split rear seats and a large boot of 488l, with jumps to 1478l with the seats down.
The Tucson Nsport certainly has its own bit of spice in the range and only a few will deem it practical from a crossover type of view. It’s still perfectly capable and comfortable on gravel roads, but you will definitely have to keep those lovely 19’s in mind on the rough roads.
The Tucson Nsport is priced at R499 000 and has a 7 year / 200 000km warranty.