Hyundai SA unveiled two derivatives of its large SUV, the Terracan, at the Durban Show at the weekend. The models, which both retail for R299 500, will be available from mid-November.

Hyundai SA unveiled two derivatives of its large SUV, the Terracan, at the Durban Show at the weekend. The models, which both retail for R299 500, will be available from mid-November.

The Terracan is built in true old-school off-roader style. It has a separate ladder-frame chassis, solid rear axle, limited slip differential and independent front suspension consisting of double wishbones and torsion bars.

Its front view is dominated by a large, body-colour radiator grille with rugged vertical slats and the oval "H" medallion at its centre. The bonnet's lines curve inward before plunging steeply to meet the lower line of the curved radiator grille and integrates all the main front-end components - bonnet, radiator grille, headlamps and elaborate front bumper.

South Africa will get a manual 2,9-litre CRDi turbodiesel and a automatic 3,5-litre V6. The turbodiesel powerplant develops 112 kW at 3 800 r/min and 330 N.m of torque at 2 000. The V6 engine's figures are 145 kW at 5 500 r/min and 300 N.m of torque is available at 3 000.

South African journalists were exposed to the 2,9-litre CRDi in Europe recently, and came away with slightly mixed feelings. Our European spec vehicles were equipped with the automatic gearbox, a unit that, although smooth and quick shifting, seems unable to make up its mind, resulting in a lot of hunting.

They were equipped with attractive 19-inch wheels that improved the appearance of the vehicle greatly, but perhaps did the opposite for ride quality. The Terracan proved fidgety at cruising speeds, and required constant steering corrections. South African models will come standard with either 16-inch wheels.

Buyers can choose between two transfer boxes: Hyundai's Electric Shift Transfer (EST) part-time four-wheel drive system with shift-on-the-fly is standard on all models, but an electronic full-time four-wheel drive system is available as an option.

Ground clearance is 211 mm, while the 30 degree approach and 25 degree departure angles are on target for this type of vehicle. In a short off-road stint, the Terracan was untroubled, save for grounding on one or two big bumps.

South African vehicles come with all the bells and most of the whistles - leather upholstery, power windows, automatic climate control, electrically-operated heated mirrors, tape/CD player etc. The V6 model will also get cruise control.

Rear seats come with a 60:40 split folding feature to accommodate over-size cargo and can also be double folded to maximize the cargo area. As for storage space, there are door map pockets, seatback pockets and centre armrest consoles.

The Terracan offers the following safety features: driver-side and passenger side airbags, seatbelt pre-tensioner with load limiter, ABS, side impact protection beams, impact-absorbing steering column, childproof safety locks and electro-chromic rear view mirror.

The primary target audience for the Terracan is male buyers between 35 and 50. According to Hyundai SA corporate communications manager Elisma Delport "the spaciousness, engine size and comfort offered by the Terracan puts it in competition with the Toyota Land Cruiser, Land Rover Discovery, Mitsubishi Pajero and the Jeep Grand Cherokee. But if you only use price as a factor, the Terracan is highly competitive with the Honda CRV, Land Rover Freelander, Nissan X-Trail, and the KIA Sorento".

Service intervals have been pegged at 10 000 km for the turbodiesel, compared with 15 000 in Europe. All Terracans will come with Hyundai's 3 year/60 000 km maintenance plan.

Original article from Car