ukHCS Tuscani / GK review
Its been a long wait since the Korean release of the Coupe back in September,
but Monday 28th January saw the UK release of the 'Tuscani'.
I went along to the local dealer on the following Saturday for a test drive (in the 2.7l V6, of course!).
Typically it was raining, but the weather didn't distract from the experience.
I wasn't expecting a lot, however I was pleasantly surprised to find that the
Coupe looked far better in real life, the pictures just didn't do the car
The sculpted body and sleek lines were surprisingly striking and more attractive than I had imagined. Unfortunately the overall appearance was flawed somewhat by the awful orange lenses in the front indicators.
Black plastic forms the majority of the interior, which for most will not be a problem, although others may find it cheap looking. However the blackness was lifted slightly by the aluminium surround on the centre console, which looked a good deal better than the painted silver accents of the 2000 model coupe. Rotary heater dials are featured in the S (1.6l) and SE (2.0l) models, but are replaced by buttons and an information panel in the V6 as this has climate control.
In the front the leg room is about the same as previous models, and the front passenger now has the added benefit of an air bag.
According to other reviews and Hyundai's own press release the new Coupe offers more room to back seat passengers, which I found hard to believe. The leg room was less (seats positioned for an average height person) and the ceiling seemed lower. This was also a problem in the driving seat and at around 5' 4" it is not a problem I expect (and not something that I experience in my 98 Coupe). Unfortunately this 'feature' gives the cabin a very claustrophobic feel.
The previously mentioned black plastic has also been used on the back of the seats, whereas previously the back of the leather sest was visible. Personally I prefer the leather, particularly as the type of plastic used look like it will scratch easily - especially if the rear seats are to be used frequently. I would image though, that the plastic covers could be removed.
In the rear, on the passenger side, Hyundai have thoughtfully provided a neat cubby hole, which to me looked about the right size for a CD multichanger, or VCR.
The front seats are very comfy and their sporty wrap-around style gives a
feeling of security, although the leather upholstery didn't look as nice as
that found in the 1st generation model.
Unfortunately the 2.7 litre V6 was only available in automatic (which features the H-tronic system). The gear knob is a nice shape, with the selector positioned on the top for easy use with the thumb. The hear lever is also positioned well and for me was less of stretch than in the previous models.
A good job had been done on reducing the road noise and the car felt smooth and quiet - although there was still the claustrophobic feel. The wing mirrors featured a 'wide-angle' section to help eliminate the blind spot and are self-heating, which will be a bonus on those frosty mornings. The mirrors are mounted to the door, which is supposed to be sportier - I found that they reduced visibility when looking through the windows (when pulling out of junctions etc.). Generally visibility was less than that of the previous mdoels, which was mainly attributable to the the smaller windows and the large expanse plastic where the c-pillar and boot (this was a significant problem when reversing, where'd that car go?).
Although only having the automatic 'box at my disposal the car was responsive and pulled strongly with the V6 delivered the power very smoothly. The automatic 'box is a 4 speed and would allow kick-back at 80mph for those fast overtaking moments.
What we get and what we miss out on
Interestingly the figures for the UK spec differ from those of the Korean
model, with 165bhp compared 175bhp, although the torque remains at 245nm.
Items missing from the UK model are factory fitted front tower strut bar, chrome kick plates, subwoofer, yellow and white paint options, ally-look petrol cap and the tasty red 'Hyundai' calipers.
The Coupe will not be badged as the Tuscani here, which in my opinion would have been a nice move and would have helped to distinguish the Hyundai Coupe any other manufacturers' Coupe model.
Features included in the Coupe are auto-turn-on headlights, traction control (this can be switched off) and a self dimming rear view mirror. Full specification and equipment option is now available.
The Coupe, as a package was better than I had anticipated. The styling is good,
particularly the twin exit tail pipes and sunburst brake lights.
Internally the car is true to its roots with the use of black plastic, although this is lifted by the aluminium centre console. The nm, mpg and volt meters are a good attempt at providing a sporty feel, although the fitment makes them look as if they are an after thought, plus they don't really provide any useful information.
The drive was excellent and the 245nm of torque was quite apparent. It was comfy, if a little cramped, but there was enough oomph and stability to make it enjoyable for motorway and country road driving.
In honesty I can say that although the coupe was better than expected, it didn't have that instant appeal that the 1st generation did, but even so I would say that Hyundai have done a good job - even if it is very claustrophobic.