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October 31, 2017

Review: 2017 Hyundai Tucson 2.0 GLS CRDI 2WD

It’s hard to make out what’s going with the Hyundai Tucson. After being mostly impressed with their just-below-the-range-topper model, the 2.0 S CRDI 2WD last year, it’s time to sample what’s supposed to be their mid-tier model, the 2.0 GLS CRDI 2WD to see if the magic rubs onto the lower models as well. In a twist of fate however, Hyundai has re-shuffled its variants for beginning in September which means this particular Tucson now sits just below the top-of-the-line model: the available-by-indent-order 4WD variant. With far less equipment than before and a higher price tag, can the Tucson 2.0 GLS CRDI 2WD still be considered as a good value compact crossover?

The answer to that question largely depends what one considers as “value.” If it’s all about balance of performance and economy, the Tucson’s still pretty hard to beat. Its R-Line 2.0-liter CRDI may be largely carried over from its predecessor, but it still manages to trump almost all compact crossovers in the market. The 185 horsepower, 402 Nm of torque figures are nothing to complain about and in reality, they deliver a wonderful surge of urgency in just about any situation. Like any boosted engine, there’s a momentary lapse in power before the turbo kicks in but once it does, it runs like a locomotive. Plus, it’s largely quiet and refined with just a hint of vibration at higher speed.

Connected to the engine is an equally smooth and responsive 6-speed automatic. Its downshifts aren’t as quick as the upshifts, but it’ll nonetheless keep the diesel engine singing in its sweet spot. Paddle shifters aren’t available, but it’s not needed in this case. A great bonus is how this potent drivetrain can still return good fuel economy. Even during insane levels of traffic (average speed 5 km/h), the Tucson still returned 4.54 km/L—close to a very popular turbocharged crossover during heavy traffic. As the traffic situation eased, the average went up to 9.8 km/L (17 km/h) all the way to 20.83 km/L (71 km/h).

Without a doubt, the Tucson rides and drives like a crossover half a size bigger. Through rough surfaces, it’s refined and comfortable, absorbing even heavy ruts and bumps. There’s some minor rear chassis hop when going over undulating surfaces (like those road corrugations), but none that causes discomfort to the passengers. It’s also quiet and muted, minimizing all sorts of noise before it reaches the cabin. Handling-wise, it’s obedient and actually enjoyable around the bends. That said, the steering needs some work. It’s initially slow only to get quicker as the wheel’s turned more. This means drivers would have to constantly correct the steering angle mid-corner repeatedly during more spirited drives. Oh, and immediate heavy throttle applications will usually cause the front wheels to screech for grip before the stability control cuts the power. The brakes are also too grabby for comfort.

If “value” is dictated by style, then the Tucson manages to get that right as well. Outside, the trademark Hyundai design cues from the large, upright hexagonal grille, slimmed down headlights, squat stance, and thinner taillights all work excellently. However, if there’s one thing that mars the lines, it’s the pole-type antenna. A shark’s fin antenna would have done wonders in this case.

Inside, the Tucson equally impresses with crisp, luxurious-feeling buttons and stalks. The controls are also intuitively arranged and labeled making them easy to decipher and use. That said, there’s still a large expanse of hard plastic inside. Though the touch points have been swanked up, move an inch or two from there and it becomes as luxurious as an appliance. The consistent graining helps mask it, but it’s a downer given its price tag.

Thankfully, the Tucson makes up some ground with its practicality. The horizontal layout of the dashboard itself promotes a feeling of space, but couple that with wide, supportive seats and it makes for a great way to spend daily traffic in. Those seated in the back will love the sense of equality too since there’s just as much space at the back as those in the front. Oddly enough though, visibility is pretty impaired. The thick A-pillars and small greenhouse means numerous blind spots. Caution must be exercised to avoid potential crashes with sudden-turning motorcycles and jaywalking pedestrians.

With such a solid foundation in place, the Tucson is well on its way to becoming a standout crossover. However, it’s now let down by its lack of equipment. Consider the facts: when the 2.0 S CRDI 2WD launched in 2016, it was pegged at P 1,538,000 and it came with features commonly reserved for more expensive crossovers: LED headlights, a gigantic moon roof, ventilated leather seats with power adjustment, a passive entry system with push-button start/stop, rear back-up camera, and a power tailgate. Now, Hyundai hiked the price up by P 60,000 on the 2.0 GLS CRDI 2WD (P 1,598,000) and all these stuff’s lost with the exception of the passive entry system; even the airbag count has gone down to two from six!

Sure, one can counter that the drivetrain is already worth the price premium given it’s a great performer, but in this day and age what’s essentially a premium-priced compact crossover should have at least leather seats and perhaps a backup camera to go with the push-button start/stop. One doesn’t have to look far and see that even the Tucson’s competition, even those priced lower, all offer a longer list of standard equipment.

It’s hard to understand what Hyundai’s trying to achieve with the Tucson. While its rivals have all been offering more equipment for the same price (or at least same price range), this crossover’s done the opposite. And that’s a shame since the Tucson’s got the solid foundations: great engine, comfy ride, spacious interior to rally up a large customer base. Unfortunately, it’s hampered by a higher price tag along with lesser equipment. As it stands, it’s hard to recommend the Tucson 2.0 GLS CRDI except for those who’re in the market for a Korean crossover and nothing else.

2017 Hyundai Tucson 2.0 GLS VGT 2WD
Ownership 2017 Hyundai Tucson 2.0 GLS VGT 2WD
Year Introduced 2016
Vehicle Classification Compact Crossover
The Basics
Body Type 5-door SUV
Seating 5
Engine / Drive F/F
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 2.0
Aspiration Turbocharged
Fuel Delivery Common Rail
Layout / # of Cylinders I4
BHP @ rpm 185 @ 4,000
Nm @ rpm 402 @ 1,750-2,750
Fuel / Min. Octane Diesel
Transmission 6 AT
Cruise Control No
Fuel Economy @ Ave. Speed 4.54 km/L (5 km/h),
9.80 km/L (17 km/h),
20.83 km/L (71 km/h)
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 4,475
Width (mm) 1,850
Height (mm) 1,660
Wheelbase (mm) 2,670
Curb Weight (kg) 1,593
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, MacPherson Strut
Rear Suspension Independent, Multi-link
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Disc
Tires Kumho Crugen Premium 225/55 R 18 H (f & r)
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 2
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes, with EBD
Traction / Stability Control Yes
Parking Sensors Yes
Other Safety Features Hill Start Assist,
Hill Descent Control
Exterior Features
Headlights Halogen
Fog Lamps Yes
Auto Lights No
Rain-sensing Wipers No
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjust Tilt/Telescopic
Steering Wheel Material Leather
Seating Adjustment Electric (driver)
Seating Surface Fabric
Folding Rear Seat Yes, 60/40
On-Board Computer Yes
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes, with Fold
Climate Control Manual, with Rear Vents
Audio System Stereo
# of Speakers 6
Steering Controls Yes


  1. Can't agree more sir Uly, hyundai phils perhaps is trying to psych the market here making people think that the brand is already "up there". I've seen the build but didn't strike me as a 1.5+m car. Their gasoline variant was somewhat reasonably priced though.

    1. If you're buying Korean, it's definitely a must to get their diesel models. Worth the price over their gas models. Drive a Korean diesel once and you'll know it's superior to any competing diesels Japanese brands are offering locally. Even a tad more refined than VW's diesels from experience.

    2. ^As an added note, the price for this models sucks. I think the GL CRDi Tucson at under 1.4M is much better value.

    3. Yes there's no contest when it comes to the quality of their diesel engines, but i wouldn't agree that it's more advanced/superior to their jap counterparts given its 4.54km/L consumption as reported in this article. Given that i wouldn't shell out that kind of amount for an almost bare-spec'd vehicle.. i can skip on the infatuating looks, designs do lose their steam after a couple of years anyway. While some would argue they're catching up fast, as far as value and attention to refinement is concerned i believe they're not yet there, and their pricing (at least for this model) reflects otherwise. More keen to believe HARI may throw a couple of hundred K discount on this sooner or later..

    4. ^ HARI is actually giving out a 100k discount for the Tucson.

    5. yes that has been running for a while, but still not worth it at 1.498M

  2. This is what im talking about. The Tucson and majority of Hyundai vehicles sold here in PH are barebones. Not even a pretty good discount can sway intelligent buyers into their marketing stunts.

  3. I would've picked this over the CX5 mainly due to its diesel engine, but when I saw the equipment I was so disappointed. Same gripes with the author. The Sportage seems to be a better buy if you want a diesel crossover.

  4. ^on the previous version, Hyundai lost money by giving lots of goodies for cheap... now that they got market share for this model, they want to get back the lost revenue by skimping on those goodies thinking they already have loyal customers... well, that's their business model I guess...

    1. it is obvious they previously made a "sacrifice" by lowering their price while loading up their models. competitors see hyundai lost money on that. but now after people bite the bait, they take back a lot of features. now a lot of you are whining about it.

    2. ^its a business... one either win or lose... previously consumers win... now its their turn to lose...

  5. I also wonder why Hyundai is doing this. They are silently pulling out some features on their car. The Santa Fe for example, has the push button start eliminated. I guess so they can increase their so-called discount which is normally 100k for Tucson. The GL has a SINGLE SRS AIRBAG! for this day and age that is unacceptable. even a base model mirage has dual airbags.

    These are the spec cuts you would notice from 2015 GLS to 2018 GLS

    - Dual Tail Pipe Finisher
    - Dual Zone Auto Climate Control
    - Leather Seats
    - Cruise Control
    - Alarm (4 Button remote for 2015, 3 for 2018)
    - Rear LED Park/Brake Lights

    They used to be competetive spec wise. its disappointing

  6. In my opinion this is definitely the best looking compact SUV in the market right now. It's just so sad that HARI skimped many specs and features :/

  7. I really wish it is the mother companies that distribute their products here in PH, but alas, foreign ownership is not possible in our constitution.

    Hence, we are left with the likes of HARI who is a sucker for profit and would compromise driver safety (1 airbag!) just for their pockets. If you see how Hyundai is competitive in AU and the US (even in India), you'd throw up on what HARI is offering in PH.

  8. Uly, correct me if I'm wrong. The 2wd version never had pano roof. There was a time there were two AWD versions, one with and another without pano roof. The one with pano roof is the one you need to order on indent basis.

    1. When it first came out, in 2015-2016, 2.0 S had a panoramic sunroof too.

      At least that was the model spec that HARI had me test before. It was the 2WD model because it didn't have the torque-split lock that the 4WD model had (we drove this during the first drive event in Boracay):

    2. I think the one in your article is just a one-off brought in for assessment. (judging by the privacy glass which PDM tucsons never had)

    3. so hyundai philippines never released locally the 2.0 s you reviewed?

  9. Hyundai got spoiled by the Tucson's success. Its the best selling small SUV in out country and they're trying to milk every inch of profit from that gravy train

  10. Not really. I'm seeing more on the street CRV, CX5 and Forester than Tucson.

    1. Hell even the Juke outsells CRV, CX5 and Forester. Only the Forester made it to the top five best selling small SUVs according to data from the Association of Vehicle Importers and Manufacturers

  11. I so totally agree. Hyundai has been far less generous with equipment aspect of their product lines. At that price range you can already get an Isuzu Mu X (Blue Power Engine) 3.0 AT, Ford Everest Trend AT, Mitsubishi Montero GLS 4x2 AT, all of which are better equipped, IMO. Shame on you Hyundai

    1. Please don't compare PPVs with unibody SUVs. Comparing them to unbody SUVs is like comparing PPVs to Crosswind. On the second thought, PPVs and AUVs have similar ride and handling

    2. I bet to disagree, EPAS steering wheel in Ford Everest is way way more better compare to any AUV or SUV out there.

    3. Everest ride is good but handling in curves is bad. That's why nobody sells ladder on frames in more developed countries.

  12. Please do a review of the 2017 Wigo MT and AT soon. More power carguide! :)

    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  13. The front lower bumper design of the Tucson is copied from the Trailblazer. It is called "Boat Paddle" used by fishermen for boating in the river.

    However, this design is way better than Mazda's universal design which looks like a Chicken Ass. In local language "Puwet ng Manok"! Hope no one gets hurt cause what im saying is true.

  14. i dont know if HARI mgt. understand the word customer satisfaction( plus reactions)...they are now a talk of the town about negatives,,, thinking they have the biggest heads in the market,, ill go somewhere else where theres better options and value for my money vehicles like the japanese brands

    1. ultra bighead, yes business is business, but just look at what they're trying to exude with the brand.. akala nila toyota sila? na kahit barebones bibilhin parin? go HARI taasan niyo pa price and tanggal pa ng features! marami bibili maganda naman porma and malakas pa makina!

  15. hyundai tucson 17 gas owner here. i'm giving a two thumbs down for this variant. 1 out of 10. our worst problem with this is the knocking sound that emanates from the tires or hard to tell. even till now, we are living in this nightmare until we can get rid of this poor vehicle.

    HARI expert ruled, that this knocking sound is from the tires. they couldn't even have a cross-haired diagnostic and they came out with so many findngs. like from korea to philippines, logistic aspect, they loaded the tires with around 50psi or more of air. Hari reason out, since it's coming from the main mfg plant in korea and has to traverse thousands of distance thru land and sea. but problem is, as the unit arrives and are disposed here to the customers, they never adjusted the pressure. so the result, when we drove the car just seconds away from dasma cavite hyundai, it was a very uncomfortable bumpy ride. it was fixed however but the knocking sound is haunting is forever.

    comparing to our previous predecessor which we also owned, this all new tucson is a far cry. i have to disagree about the value since they have denuded so many accessories from the predecessor of the same entry level with the new model to still be within the fans' expectation, but the truth is, you are not saving money at all.

    the power of the engine, i should say too that it is very very hideous. comparing again to its predecessor, it is way too far. you can literally feel the laggard and sluggish thrust when u pressed on the pedal when accelerating.

    due to its predecessor performance, and still thinking that this could still live up all its hyped, i insisted to my wife to choose tucson again over all makes of the same category. but i was so embarrassed and aghast. o

    Overall, again, this all-new tucson is so much a failure!

    sorry, but we will never recommend this all-new and might not buy again for now any hyundai make. caveat!

    sad owner of all tucson

    ps: hope hyundai korea headquarters can read this. not only hari phils. but this must get the attn of their directors. hari phils. after their last findings, did not even updated us or give any consolation or whatsoever to assuage the feelings of a totally disappointed patron.

  16. Thank you so much for such article that is full of interesting Used Honda Civic Ferio Cars For Sale


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