IF you’re a car brand, how do you mark your 30th birthday? By creating special editions of your most popular models of course, and Hyundai has done just that, with the Tucson 30 – a tweaked up version of the Active X variant.
It’s an impressive special edition that features an upgrade from 2WD to AWD, pitching the low cost Active X against some much more expensive AWD competitors, and we’ve got to say, it’s thrown down the challenge.
Externally the car is dressed in Ash Blue paint with matte grey sidesteps, twin exhausts, a rear diffuser and 19-inch matte black Rays alloy wheels. It’s a very nice looking and well finished off car.
Just 300 special edition Tucson 30 examples will be available at a special price of $37,750 plus on-roads, which makes the go anywhere 5-seater an attractive option.
Performance is handled by Hyundai’s sporty little 130kW 1.6-litre turbo engine that produces 265Nm or torque and is mated to a 7-speed dual clutch auto gearbox. Fuel economy tests at 7.7-litres/100km, which is pretty good too.
The combination provides not only great power when you want it, but a little bit of get up and go as well, and when coupled with the AWD drive train, this about as good as it gets in this class.
The Tucson 30 has hill descent control and a central diff lock, with the usual drive modes also on offer. For our money, it’s a safe bet to leave it in normal drive mode for city traffic, but sport is also available if you want to take on some winding country roads.
Handling is great as well and better than one would expect from a mid-sized SUV. Drive this car along some of our less than perfect country roads and you will notice that it feels like it’s just stuck to the road. It just feels very sure of itself.
Road noise is still noticeable but it’s not intrusive, while highway driving is a breeze and the car sits comfortably at highway speeds and doesn’t feel wallowing or unsure. The steering is direct but there’s not a great amount of feedback from the steering wheel.
The driving position is comfortable. Everything just feels like its in the right place. We put a group of female and taller male drivers in the Tucson to see what they thought, and the response was positive as both a driver and passenger, an impressive feat.
Interior space is excellent. Cargo space is a generous 466-litres and there is plenty of head and leg room in the rear of the car. Both rear seats will fold down if you require extra room for a long load like surf boards, snow boards or skis.
The interior finish is also top quality and feels a lot like those expensive rivals we alluded to. It does look a little sparse though, but that doesn’t take away from the feel of the car at all.
The infotainment system supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and features an excellent 7.0-inch touchscreen. There’s SatNav on board and dual zone climate control as well.
Probably the biggest bonus though is that the front seats are heated and vented (that means they’re cooled as well). It’s unusual in any vehicle in this price range, so we were excited to find it in our 2016 Hyundai Tucson 30.
It’s a special edition and numbers are limited, so we recommend you go and check it out.
Our 2016 Hyundai Tucson 30 Special Edition was supplied by Hyundai Australia. To find out more, visit your local Hyundai dealer.
Road Test: 2016 Hyundai Tucson 30 Special Edition
Pros – great styling; solid performance; comfortable.
Cons – special edition only comes in one colour.