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Hyundai Tucson

I suppose I shouldn’t be saying this but I’m going to anyway …

I really, really, liked the new 2019 Hyundai Tucson I drove last week, even if it was a diesel.

Now I know what you’re going to say but save your thoughts.

You want to know: “Why is he allowed to like a planet destroying diesel car?”

Well, it’s a fact: I loved a diesel turbo.

Yes, yes, I know what you’re thinking now, as well as what you want to say. I’m a proper mind-reader, me.

You’re thinking: “He should be strung me up for liking a diesel. Let’s tie a rope around his neck and drop him from the highest spot we can find for driving a car that can only speed up the death of the world.”

You’ll hate me even more when I tell you that, out of a choice of a 1.6 or 2.0-litre car I loved the 2.0-litre.

Look, stop shouting. You don’t know me at all. I always stand up for non polluting electric cars.

And anyway, this Hyundai Tucson was a hybrid, with a semi electric engine and it was far cleaner than most cars.

I detest big gas guzzlers that exist purely because the show-offs who drive them need to be superior to everyone else around them and don’t give a you know what about anything else but their precious image.

Well let’s get a grip on the facts first before you all turn into a giant lynch mob.

NOX emissions (that’s the really dangerous stuff) for the 1.6-litre petrol Tucson range from 12 to 34 mg/km. The 2.0-litre mild hybrid diesel, helped by a 48V battery, produces 11mg/km.

CO2 emissions from the equivalent 1.6 petrol engine are 173g/km. The figure for the diesel is 151g/km.

Overall, the website Next Green Car gives the equivalent 1.6-litre petrol car an NGC rating of 58/100.

The Tucson, a 2.0 CRDi, 48v, Mild Hybrid, 8-Speed Auto with 4WD, does even better, at 49/100. The lower figure reflects the fact that it’s less polluting.

Fair enough, all these figures are far too high. One day they’ll all read zero, but they don’t damn the diesel as much as Government taxes do.

So, having changed from being Bad Boy to Good Boy (hopefully) what else did I like about the Tucson?

First off has to be its incredible economy. Here’s a 14ft 8in long car that weighs 1643kg, yet averages a claimed 49.6mpg.

Even I, not known for being Mr Gentle as far as accelerators are concerned, got 42mpg, and there were times when I didn’t hang back, if you get my drift.

It’s got four-wheel-drive because its capable of towing caravans weighing up to 1900kg. That’s around the same weight as a World war Two gun emplacement.

Try dragging that out of a muddy field with a front-wheel-drive car. You won’t.

Next up is performance. With official figures of 0-62mph in 9.5s and a top speed of 125mph the Mild Hybrid 2.0-litre Tucson diesel falls into my newly invented category of being a ‘dangerous’ car.

That’s because it’s so smooth and quiet you’d only know you were speeding two weeks after the event … when you opened the post to find an invitation to send your hard-earned to the cops.

On the luxury side this most expensive car in the Tucson range doesn’t disappoint.

You open the door to a farmer’s field of cream and black leather, some real, some faux, but telling the difference is a job for an expert.

The dashboard is dominated by a silver-lined eight-inch MMI touchscreen with sat nav.

Even the switches, the climate control and radio dials are all finished with silver.

Okay, some of it is surrounded with hard-faced, scratchy trim, but it’s still impressive.

And that brings me to one of the Tucson’s most impressive features, its loading space.

The boot is an excellent 80cm (33in) deep with a floor that folds up to leave more shopping holders above its standard space saver spare wheel.

Folding flat its rear seats is a clumsy affair because it can’t be done from the back of the car (the release switches are in the middle), but results in a 180cm (6ft 3in) loading area big enough for a bicycle (I took two to my daughter’s house in separate trips).

Maybe that’s me being picky, because the overall story of the Hyundai Tucson is one of a hugely efficient, environmentaly friendly, spacious, reasonably luxurious, powerful and quiet machine.

There’s only one major problem with it, and it’s not because of anything to do with its South Korean history.

It’s because the Americans can’t spell.

Be it tires (tyres), gray (grey), ax (axe), busses (buses) or even center (centre), they get it wrong.

Why do they have to spell the name Tucson like Tuckson?

The time I’ve spent correcting Tucson to Tuscon, then back again, is ridiculous.

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IMAGE RATING

Hyundai Tucson 2.0 CRDi Premium, 48V, Mild Hybrid, 8-Speed Auto.

REAR MIRROR MONSTER: If sheer size is seen as a threat, then the Tucson falls into that category. Add a stack of bright silver, including a four-bar grille and a couple of acres of dazzling glass and that completes the job.

BACKSIDE BEAUTY: Forget glitz, glamour or even fancy eye-catching rear lights. The Tucson tailgate is there to do a job, which it does very well. And that’s it.

PLAYTIME PLEASER: Touchscreen 8-inch sat nav with speed limit display, twin zone climate control, adaptive cruise control with speed limiter, front and rear parking sensors with rear view camera, trip computer (above centre), leather seats, electric and heated at front, reclining at rear, keyless start and entry (left), auto folding heated door mirrors with blind spot warning, auto wipers and lights, phone charging tray, right, 18-inch alloys, DAB stereo with USB, Bluetooth, and aux.

NAUGHTY NIGGLES: Stop/start engine automatically starts again when you select park mode, which is really annoying for a car that majors on its fuel-saving characteristics.

TASTY TOUCHES: Air conditioned glove box is a great place to store an ice cold bottle of white wine. Pull out sun visor extension fills that extra bit at the side where the sun dazzles you.

FAST OR LAST: Surprisingly powerful and quick motorway cruiser, but you need to keep your eye on the speedo.

WONGA WONDA: Lots of kit, plus a super efficient engine, make it an extremely tempting motor.

WOULD CHANTELLE LIKE IT? Ha ha. Look at chic and smart Chantelle driving her van, or is it a bus?

Fact File here: