A weekend in Adelaide with nothing to do!
Of course, it is not possible.
But, after a frightfully busy month (a long month at that) with all things Fringe, Festival and Clipsal 500, the pedal had been taken off the metal slightly when I jumped into the seat of the 2016 Hyundai Tucson Active X SUV over the weekend wedged between Adelaide Cup and Easter.
Local tennis and cricket finals were played and won and the buzz of lawnmowers sounded through the suburbs – between Grand Prix highlights – as footy fans across Adelaide got their houses in order in readiness for the likely total abandonment of domestic duties when the season kicks off.
Life was calm. Life had structure. Life still meant school drop-offs and pick-ups, swimming lessons, gym visits and sports runs for this average family.
Luckily, life also meant getting out of town for a country drive.
While the Hyundai Tucson won’t win any (perhaps many) awards in the attention-grabbing and elegance stakes, it certainly doesn’t drop the ball as a capable family option.
It’s not a sports car. It’s not a luxury saloon. It IS a family SUV. And a pretty tidy one at that.
At a starting price of $32,990, the Tucson gets a big tick straight off the bat.
There was a time when you would almost certainly hear, in this city at least, “you get what you pay for” if you purchased a Hyundai. There was only one car brand starting with ‘H’ you should be buying, it was thought.
You can kick ‘you get what you pay for’ to the kerb when it comes to Hyundai. At least that is the case with the Tucson.
You get a lot more than what you pay for, in my opinion.
The SUV segment is rapidly growing and is on track to become the biggest selling segment in the passenger car market this year.
Increasingly, buyers are ditching the four-wheel-drives but retaining the body shape. Mums and dads dropping kids off at school, sports and going to the gym like the high-ride and safer feeling SUVs offer…. who would have thought?!
The Tucson sits in the medium SUV segment, having grown up when it was reworked from the popular Hyundai ix35. It comes in four-tiers, offering front-wheel drive (the Active X as tested) or all wheel drive and has four engine choices and three different transmissions.
As a result, there are price-points to suit a wide range of buyers.
As is the case with any car design, individual tastes determine if you like the design or not. The Tucson grew on me. I liked it more when out of the hustle and bustle of the city and on the open road.
A trip to Strathalbyn and on to Langhorne Creek’s Lake Breeze Wines for a spot of lunch had me almost admiring it from the cafe balcony and determining that it did not look out of place in the country.
Handling was respectable, without being exceptional. I would have liked more power than the 121kW produced by the 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine but, then again, I was being family man, and not Fernando Alonso (thankfully).
There’s plenty of luggage space in this 5-seater. It features Apple CarPlay, has a more rigid body than its predecessor and – total technical term in use now – is “tougher”. Dust-sealing tests were performed in the Aussie outback and the re-engineered doors shut with a more solid tone (less tinny).
Priced from $32,990
Where We Went
Lake Breeze Wines, Langhorne Creek – Wholesome country whether you are a wine fan or not and the Follett family of Lake Breeze know their wine… and their footy for that matter.
High Street, Strathalbyn – You can try, but you can’t keep me away from an antique shop.
Cafe Palazzo, O’Connell St – A day spent doing the family thing from dawn to dusk deserves cake and coffee.