Tucson smacks the gym

The Tucson follows the Kardashian-trend by adding 19 inches and a little bit more grunt. Gusheshe loves it.

The Tucson has come a long way since its dorky SUV-wannabe days and, as is reported in Car Magazine, the sales and operations director of Hyundai SA - Stanley Anderson - might be right when he says that he "Knew [they] already had a most attractive SUV [in the Tucson and that] the sales figures prove that".

It's certainly hard to argue with the facts, nor its great looks, but the success of it is arguably down to the preferred pedigree of the Hyundai brand, which in Hyundai's case has had a bit more time to solidify itself over the past decade in South Africa compared to its closest rival - Kia. Expect the new Kia Sportage to dent those sales over the next two years. As such, Hyundai are absolutely right to release a sexier, sportier version of the Tucson while they are still ahead to distract the buying public from the threat of Kia and its own fantastic SUV offering.

"Dubbed the Hyundai Tucson 1,6 Turbo Executive Sport, the newcomer is fitted with a daring body-kit, black alloy wheels and bold quad-pipes round back. It is priced at R499 900, which represents a R50 000 premium over the model on which it is based." It gets a few more kilowatts too - nothing spectacular - but importantly, for the market who will buy it, 19 inch mags and aggressive skirting that suits the urban jungle for which the Tucson was designed.

Gusheshe expects to see many of these over the coming year because for R500K, there is a huge amount of car for sale here, and a huge amount of value on offer. Kia perhaps didn't anticipate this move and so Gusheshe looks forward to its response when it inevitably comes. The war brewing between the two brands is perhaps the most exciting this side of a million Rand and we expect exceptional models from them both over the next ten years, which will always and inevitably peak in the SUV range, at least here in South Africa.

But, truth be told it's all an illusion though, a "war" made real only by news written just like this; car reports unnecessarily give us the anxiety of choice in this instance and the facade of it. Kia, after all, is partly owned by Hyundai anyway and none will ever truly leave the other behind in terms of quality and offering. By competing against itself, essentially it fools you into thinking you have choice. In the end its all the same really. Just like Coke and Sprite, filled with the same amount of sugar and owned by the same old CEO.

With Kia and Hyundai, it all comes down to the flavour you prefer then, and until Kia releases a new flavour to tickle your fancy and make you forget about this here sporty Tucson, it will remain the flavour of the week.

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