Okay. Greatness might be a little overstated here, but given the unique position (and proposition) the new Hyundai Tucson finds itself in, in the Indian car market, it is bound to be a sales success. But, before we dig deeper, here’s a little brief about the SUV itself.
The new Hyundai Tucson is a five-seater, road-biased SUV, which is currently only available in a front-wheel drive configuration. It is a monocoque; comes with both a petrol and a diesel engine; and both these engines can be had with either a manual or an automatic gearbox. It is also packed to the brim in the top of the line GLS trim. And then there’s the pricing. Priced between Rs 18.99 lakh and Rs 24.99 lakh ex-showroom in Delhi, it is neither well priced nor really expensive. A typical fence sitter in that sense.
But, here’s why the new Hyundai Tucson will still sell even though it isn’t exactly great value.
Lack of options
At exactly this price point, there’s not a single car that takes the new Tucson head-on in India. And by car, we mean SUV. The Skoda Yeti is too expensive and the Mahindra XUV500, even in the W10 version, isn’t just significantly cheaper, but it can’t match the Tucson for finesse either.
But, if we were to expand the ‘car’ gambit a bit and throw in sedans and MPVs into the mix, some options do emerge. There’s the Skoda Octavia and the Toyota Innova Crysta. But, here again, if we were to consider the top of the line, fully specced out versions of the three cars, the Tucson is still over Rs 2 lakh more expensive and in a class of its own.
What this means is, since there’s no real benchmark to compare the Tucson against, no matter what sales story Hyundai or its dealers weave, the unsuspecting car buyer will swallow it hook, line and sinker. Result? Handsome sales.
The perfect upgrade
The new Hyundai Tucson is also beautifully positioned to make the best of upgrade purchases.
So far, many buyers moving up from premium hatchbacks and even C-segment sedans have been settling for the Hyundai Creta because they didn’t fancy a D-Segment sedan; you know the likes of the Toyota Corolla and Hyundai’s own Elantra. And though they wanted SUVs, the XUVs and the Arias were either too big or ‘desi’ for their tastes. These buyers now have the perfect upgrade in the new Tucson; stylish, feature-rich, well built and car-like to drive.
The new Tucson is also a great upgrade for Creta owners. It promises similar ownership experience but with more power, features, space and snob value. But that’s not all. All those high-ranking executives who have been spending years battling low seating in their D-saloons, finally have an equally presentable and measured choice in the Tucson. And one that would complement their age with more upright ingress as well.
No competition in sight…
However, what truly guarantees the new Hyundai Tucson’s sales success is the lack of competition. And not just here and now, but even in the foreseeable future. Internationally, the Tucson goes up against the likes of the Nissan Qashqai, the Seat Ateca and the Renault Kadjar; models that haven’t even registered on the Indian car buying public’s radar. What’s more, none of these currently make business sense for their makers in India.
There’s however the Skoda Kodiaq to consider. It will be launched late next year and when launched it will be packed with new technologies, and an upmarket and spacious interior. And, it will have two extra seats compared to the Tucson. However, with the Kodiaq based on the Superb platform and its pricing expected to be in the Rs 25 lakh to Rs 30 lakh range, like most others, it won’t exactly be competition to the new Hyundai Tucson either.
So as they say, with so much lined up in the new Tucson’s favour, the game is now Hyundai’s to lose.