This Hyundai’s flexible diesel engine and supple locally tuned suspension make for relaxed touring. Its compact size, agility and gutsy low-rev response mean it settles sweetly into urban duties.
It’s smartly presented, usefully practical and ticks the big safety boxes, including modern technology such as auto emergency braking (AEB).
The South Korean brand’s five-year warranty translates to coverage until 2020 for even the oldest examples and it’s backed up by a competitively priced lifetime fixed-price servicing deal.
2015-on Kia Sportage diesel
This Kia is closely related to the Hyundai and has the same core practicality, diesel engine and safety dot points, including similar AEB restrictions.
It, too, has locally tuned suspension that eats up the rough stuff.
But there are differences beyond their unique exteriors and cabins. The Sportage is better tied down through the bends and fractionally roomier in the back. Kia’s warranty coverage runs to seven years.
The suspension’s sportier flavour means less comfort on bumpy roads and it has a smaller boot (466-litres).
2015-on Toyota RAV4 diesel
This Toyota asks for this group’s most frequent servicing (six-monthly/10,000km versus yearly/15,000km for its rivals) and its warranty/fixed-price-servicing deal expires after three years.
Its ride can be terse on poor roads and its diesel engine is this group’s weakest, noisiest and not remarkably frugal (6.7L/100km).
Where its Korean foes have full-sized spares, it has a standard space-saver and leaves a full-sizer as an option, adding complication on the used-car lot.
The Toyota scores too low as a whole to win this contest but its low-cost servicing, potential safety-tech advantages and other assets make it a compelling package.
The Hyundai and Kia both offer a pile product and ownership advantages.
Which one? Either would be fit for the task but the Tucson’s more comfort-orientated character and more far-reaching, affordable fixed-price servicing deal make it just that bit more on-point for particular needs.
* Values are estimates provided by Redbook based on an example averaging up to 20,000km per annum and in a well-maintained condition relevant to its age.
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