THE LATEST Tucson model, which will replace the popular ix-35, is seen by its maker, Hyundai, as a significant player in its expansion plans.

With more than 1m of its SUVs sold in Europe, including almost 120,000 in the UK, since it started selling SUVs via the Santa Fe in the UK in 2001, this is a 'big thing' for the business.

Engine choice will range from 113 bhp to 181 bhp and all models for Europe will be built in the Czech Republic. Two petrol power plants and three diesel options will be available - the latter type will have an entry-level 1.7-litre, with two high and low powered takes on the 2.0-litre diesel.

It is expected in the UK later this year and buyers can expect a high level of spec' and much improved boot space for more than 500-litres. Inside the cabin, the seating has been re-mapped to be more comfortable, with heated and ventilated front seats available.

Expect, too, the latest in gearbox design, with a seven-speed auto-box with dual-clutch capability looking like a juicy new addition.