Advantages Budget Korean version of a practical utility vehicle
Disadvantages Pain to park, not particularly good fuel consumption
I have no intention to drive off a proper metalled road (at least not deliberately), nor do I indulge in the daily school run with hordes of kids, bags, PE kit and the like. However when we changed the car last May we did decide to buy a 4x4 Hyundai Tucson (pronounced Toooson) 2.0 CRTD CDX.Curiously the manufacturer describes this as a Sports Utility Vehicle or SUV. Now my image of a sports vehicle is low slung, cramped, goes like mad, makes heads turn; so certainly not like this chunky beast.
Best described as large 5 doorhatchback, it is a budget offering from Korea. Indeed the Kia Sportage shares the same Corporate ownership, running gear, many panels and fundamental designs as this one. However the Sportage retails approx £1000 cheaper than this model so the devil is in the detail of the specifications. Also Kia don't heavily discount for Internet buyers which makes them less attractive.As you will by now have guessed, using the power of the Internet we were able to source our new Hyundai, albeit pre-registered with just 25 miles on the clock for some £4500 less than the recommended retail price of £19500. This was significantly cheaper than a comparable Kia offering from a warm glossy showroom. Yes, we lost 3 months warranty on the deal, but since Hyundai provide a full 5 years warranty in any case, this did not seem any risk.
The car was pristine on collection from a dealer who had clearly registered it, then failed to make a sale. The fact that Vehicle Excise Duty was suddenly whacked up to £240 per annum for the emission band for this vehicle, and the recent fuel price hikes must indeed have contributed!Hyundai do not offer a particularly inspiring range of colours. But there is saying that a good horse cannot be a bad colour and that's exactly what our car is, a work-horse. It's a sort of nondescript fawn, which has the benefit of making it appear a little smaller, but best of all it's a super disguise for all the road dirt and grime which inevitably collects. A small snag for me is that not being over 6 foot tall, I actually cannot reach the roof to clean it without steps, so a good dirt colour is a must!
There are alloy wheels all round, including the spare, which means that the tyres can be rotated to extend their lives. Also, in the horrid event of a puncture (after the breakdown services have changed the wheel, since I would not attempt to lift it!), the journey could be continued at a sensible speed and not limited to the 50 mph imposed by the modern idiom of a space saving wheel. The tyre pressures are the same all round too, and helpfully for the non technically minded a prominent reminder of the correct pressure is clearly displayed inside the drivers door post.The car is diesel powered , has a 6 speed gearbox, and is frankly more comfortable to ride in than many other cars that I have driven. Having said this, fuel economy is not a feature. Around the town you can expect to get 29 to 30mpg, but at motorway speeds, 42mpg is achievable.
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