I’m into my second month with the Hyundai Tucson and, generally speaking, everything is going well.
It probably helps that the car has had an easy introduction to the swing of things, with a lot of to-ing and fro-ing between home and airport parking — although later this month I’ve got a trip to the Isle of Skye planned that ought to be a proper test of its practicality and comfort.
The early word on that is good; the last (or first) two people to experience travel time in the rear seats seemed satisfied. But that was for 15 minutes; after seven hours of back-agitating motorway furrowing, we’ll know for sure.
I should also have a clearer picture of fuel economy. At the moment, it’s hovering around 38mpg, which isn’t exactly spectacular for a 1.7-litre engine with a claimed combined figure beyond 60mpg.
Admittedly, that’s off the back of chugging repeatedly between home and Heathrow, so I’m going to hold off on my disappointed face until the results come in from some longer motorway cruises.
Otherwise, as with so many other things in modern life, I’ve been mostly preoccupied with the stuff that appears on the Tucson’s infotainment screen. Here, of course, is where the niggles ruck up like a bed sheet on Sunday morning.
By and large, happily, it’s fine. Being fast and responsive in the processor makes it easy to forgive underlying faults in the software — and so far my cringes have been modest.
The worst — and bear with me here — is rather modest. It involves the ringtone that plays through the speakers when you receive a phone call while attached via Bluetooth.
Most cars will simply relay whatever the phone does through the speakers. But the Hyundai suddenly comes over all clever and plays from its own selection of ringtones instead.
Which would be fine, but said selection appears to have been cut from a child’s nightmare involving clowns and circuses and the torturing of keyboards. It may be only a minor issue, but it’s a teeth-grinding one.
My gripe with the sat-nav is on a similar scale. It, too, is very user-friendly, and it’s appreciably quicker than that of my previous car (a Ford Mondeo) in accepting an address.
However, once it’s programmed and you’re on the move, the Tucson blots its copybook by continually suggesting alternative routes — whether you want them or not.
“Well, that’s helpful, Luc,” I can hear you all saying. And you’d be right if the alternatives actually came with an advantage attached.
But like a drunk friend directing you home from a nightclub, the Tucson has a brilliant way of offering you a new route that even it admits will take longer than the way it’s already plotted.