Hyundai has given it popular Tucson SUV more than a makeover with a new base model, a new transmission for the diesels, better looks — and a price reshuffle.

There’s a new model called the Go, which, from $28,150, is a bit cheaper than the former base Active was, while the Active gets new status and a $200 price hike to $31,350 for the six-speed manual with petrol power and front-wheel drive.

In all, there are now 11 different Tucsons to choose from in Go, Active, Elite and Highlander trim and in front or all-wheel drive, petrol or diesel, manual or automatic.

It takes some head scratching because there are other equations to be factored in, such as an eight-speed auto for the diesels, a six-speeder for the Go and Active petrol models and a seven-speeder for the turbo-petrol Elites and Highlanders with AWD.

Manual six-cog gearboxes are available for Go and Active, but Elite and Highlander are auto-only.

Most models have 2.0-litre engines, but there are also a couple of 1.6-litre petrol motors in the latter two grades.

A couple of prices are down by $200, but others are up by between $200 and $1900, depending on model and trim.

Standard across the range is a new front end with a chromed grille in line with the so-called hexagonal ‘cascade’ look of the latest i30 and Kona, a high-mounted infotainment tablet with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, as standard across the range and the FWD Active X has goodies including leather trim, an 8.0-inch satnav system with live traffic and lifetime map updates, premium audio, rear park assist and a tyre pressure monitoring system.

The Elite gains forward collision warning, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert and people who buy Go or Active X models can get those features, plus lane keep assist and driver attention warning in the optional $2200 SmartSense safety pack.

The top-spec Highlander’s features have been boosted by a heated steering wheel and wireless smartphone charging, and there are sexy new alloy wheels for the whole range, 17s for the Go and Active X and 19s for the Highlander.

What does Hyundai boss Scott Grant say about all this?

“With a crisp new look, greater safety and technology, and a chassis tuned on Australian roads to deliver superb comfort and refinement, 2019 Tucson is an appealing upgrade of Hyundai’s best-selling SUV.”

Hyundai Tucson 2019 pricing:

  • Go 2.0-litre petrol six-speed manual FWD – $28,150
  • Go 2.0-litre petrol six-speed automatic FWD – $30,650
  • Go 2.0-litre diesel eight-speed automatic AWD – $35,950
  • Active X 2.0-litre petrol six-speed manual FWD – $31,350
  • Active X 2.0-litre petrol six-speed automatic FWD – $33,850
  • Active 2.0-litre diesel eight-speed automatic AWD – $39,150
  • Elite 2.0-litre petrol six-speed automatic FWD – $37,850
  • Elite 1.6-litre turbo-petrol seven-speed DCT AWD – $40,850
  • Elite 2.0-litre diesel eight-speed automatic AWD – $43,150
  • Highlander 1.6-litre turbo-petrol seven-speed DCT AWD – $46,500
  • Highlander 2.0-litre diesel eight-speed automatic AWD – $48,800

 

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Buys

Bill Buys, probably Australia’s longest-serving motoring writer, has been at his craft for more than five decades. Athough motoring has always been in his DNA, he was also night crime reporter, foreign page editor and later chief reporter of the famed Rand Daily Mail. He’s twice been shot at, attacked by a rhinoceros and had several chilling experiences in aircraft. His experience includes stints in traffic law enforcement, motor racing and rallying and writing for a variety of local and international publications. He has covered countless events, ranging from world motor shows and Formula 1 Grands Prix to Targa tarmac and round-the-houses meetings. A motoring tragic, he has owned more than 90 cars. Somewhat of a nostalgic, he has a special interest in classic cars. He is the father of Targa star Robert Buys, who often adds his expertise to Bill’s reviews.