Should I Buy the Diesel or Turbo Petrol Hyundai Tucson?


I'm torn between the 1.6 turbo petrol dual-clutch transmission (DCT) Hyundai Tucson Highlander versus the 2.0-litre diesel six-speed auto: I’ve watched reviews on the seven-speed DCT that have not liked it at all. I know it’s a matter of opinion but heard complaints of it being "jerky" and a little embarrassing in low speed situations such as maneuvering around car parks etc. Stories of shifting gears at low speed when there was no reason to etc.

Your thoughts on this would be appreciated. 


I reported on this in my Hyundai Tucson review video >> It’s a question of degree. The standard auto is better at low-speed manoeuvering, and the turbo petrol DCT is better at driving engagement when you’re pressing on.

That’s really not the same thing as the DCT being completely uncivilised at low speeds and the auto being lousy to drive when you’re having a go. Best advice there is drive the DCT for yourself, and test both the positive engagement at speed and the poorer low-speed performance.

At low speeds the initial take-up on the DCT is non-linear - and that can lead to some jerkiness until you accommodate how it responds to throttle inputs initially. (Initially you might over- or under-react, and then under- or over-compensate - it's a learning curve.) My personal preference is the diesel, but for really having a crack I can see the appeal of the 1.6 turbo.

The other thing to consider is the engine itself - the turbo petrol is a great performer with plenty of mid-range and top-end performance. The diesel is very strong at low-to-mid revs. And diesel is more fuel efficient than petrol. Of course, the diesel has a particle filter in the exhaust, which needs a regular highway run in order to regenerate. (Say, once a fortnight for 45 minutes at highway speeds, just to be safe.) This means if you're bound to the 'burbs, with typically long periods separating highway running, it might be better/safer to go with the petrol.

Hyundai Tucson 1.6 Turbo Petrol

1.6-litre turbocharged & intercooled four-cylinder
91 RON minimum
Direct injection
130kW @ 5500rpm
265Nm @ 1500-4500rpm
7.7 L/100km (combined cycle)
Euro 5 emissions standard
Dual-clutch transmission with seven speeds
Tucson Elite 1.6 DCT $38,240 rrp

Hyundai Tucson 2.0 Turbo Diesel

2.0-litre turbocharged & intercooled four-cylinder
Direct injection
136kW @ 4000rpm
400Nm @ 1750-2750rpm
6.4 L/100km (combined cycle)
uro 5 emissions standard
Conventional auto transmission with six speeds
Tucson Elite 2.0 CRDI $40,240 rrp

More on petrol Vs diesel >>

To me, this decision is a bit like being married: it’s easy to love the things you love about your partner. (Or your vehicle.) But you have to make friends with - or at least come to terms with, or accept - the aspects of that special someone’s character you really don’t like. So, with the Tucson, make sure you do a bunch of three-point turns, hill starts and reverse-parks in the DCT petrol. Because they’re the things you’re going to have to learn to tolerate.

Need more space? Consider the new Series II Hyundai Santa Fe >>

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