December 28, 2018 By Kevin C. Limjoco Photos by Nicolas Calanoc

2019 Hyundai Tucson 2.0 GLS

The mighty but modest compact crossover

Just recently launched locally is the newly facelifted Hyundai Tucson which we test here in its current top-range GLS model in Pepper Grey. The facelift brings the Tucson to the new updated corporate design language applied across the model range for 2019 which we first saw with the all-new Santa Fe launched a few months ago. Aside from the aesthetic upgrades inside and out, the biggest addition to the very potent 2.0-liter turbodiesel compact crossover is the mechanical transmission upgrade to 8-speed from the previous model’s 6-speed. However, the 8-speed gearbox is only applied to the diesel variants, the lower-spec gasoline variants will still use the 6-speed.

The design treatment is not as profound as the application to the Santa Fe, it is more of a linear evolution with the only clear tether to the new corporate identity being the front grille. The new alloys are fabulous, they look like they were inspired by units found on a BMW 7-series. The new 18 x 7J alloys use 225/55R18 98H Nexen NPriz RH7 tires. The new dashboard definitely looks better and it is highlighted by the new 7-inch central floating-type infotainment control display with a rear camera that uses dynamic guidelines to support the rear parking sonar. The driver seat is powered like before and I’m relieved to see that the rear passengers get air vents in the GLS model.  The smart key with ignition feature is also carried over.

The Tucson thankfully is still packaged with a healthy dose of standard safety measures like ESC (Electronic Stability Control) with DBC (Downhill Brake Control) and HAC (Hill-Start Assist Control) together with ABS but with airbags only for the driver and front passenger. The GLS model also comes with standard front fog lamps but I am very disappointed that the new projector lights are still halogen instead of LED.

It all comes down to packaging. My frustration hits squarely on that once again. Hyundai is famously world-renowned for high-value products which makes them so successful. It is a real pity that Hyundai Philippines did not package the updated Tucson with more standard equipment that are found in considerably more affordable vehicles now. This is not the time to hold back from consumers who are fully aware of what their desired vehicles should come standard with especially with all the new competition in the market.

I am confident though that Hyundai Philippines will get their groove back on very soon. The Tucson, especially with the new gearbox applied to their overachieving 2.0-liter turbodiesel, could easily be a commercial success with the correct packaging. It is still a very strong and fuel-efficient everyday road warrior with good handling, strong brakes, combined with a potent mid-range punch.  But at this price it should come with considerably more standard equipment.



Engine Inline-4
Displacement 1995 cc
Cylinder Head dohc 16V
Fuel Injector Direct Injection Intercooled Turbodiesel
Max Power (bhp @ rpm) 182 bhp @ 4000 rpm
Max Torque (lb/ft @ rpm) 295 lb ft @ 1750-2750 rpm
Transmission 8-speed AT


Top Speed 210 km/h (130 mph)
0-100 km/h | 0-62 mph 9.1 sec.

Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions

Fuel Milage (km/l) 22 km/L overall


Price as Tested (PHP) Php 1,835,000.00
What's Great Excellent powerplant and new 8-speed gearbox, comfortable, lovely alloys.
What's Not So Halogen headlights, heady sticker price, too abridged standard trim, no cruise control.
C! Editors Rating 9.5/10
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