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What Car? says

2 out of 5 stars

For For a little money, you get an awful lot of car, with real off-road ability

Against Its off-road ability is not matched on Tarmac, and the whole thing felt dated even when it was new, let alone now

Verdict It’s one of the cheapest big 4x4s, but not one of the most complete packages

Go for… 2.9 CRTD

Avoid… Pre-late 2004 cars

Hyundai Terracan 4x4
  • 1. Get a car from late 2004 onwards because these have a more powerful version of the engine
  • 2. The car is excellent off-road thanks to high- and low-ratio gearboxes and good ground clearance
  • 3. Terracan is longer than a BMW X5, almost as long as a Jeep Grand Cherokee, but considerably cheaper than both
  • 4. Rear accommodation is spacious enough, but the centre rear seat can be uncomfortable
  • 5. The boot is huge, with up to almost 2000 litres of space. Access to the boot is easy, and the rear seat splits 60/40
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Hyundai Terracan 4x4 full review with expert trade views

Size is everything with the Terracan. It’s longer than a BMW X5, almost as long as a Jeep Grand Cherokee, but considerably cheaper than either.

Other than the centre rear seat being a little uncomfortable, there’s little to complain about in terms of accommodation. The dash is simple and clear, the driving position basically sound (although reach adjustment on the steering wheel would help) and there’s more than enough head- and legroom front and rear. Likewise, the boot is huge, with almost 2000 litres of space. Access to the boot is easy and the rear seat splits 60/40.

The car is also excellent off-road thanks to high- and low-ratio gearboxes and good ground clearance. However, it’s not so good on-road, with loads of body roll in bends and slow steering that’s short on feel. The car’s shape also kicks up a lot of wind noise at speed, while the engine is noisy under hard acceleration.

Trade view

Kurtis Williams

Hardly any around. Decent spec but looks old inside and out. Harsh diesel engine

Kurtis Williams
Buyer,
Lex Vehicle Leasing

You don’t really have a choice. The Terracan only ever came with one engine – a 2.9-litre turbodiesel – and one trim. However, it’s worth getting a car from late 2004 onwards, because these have a more powerful version of the engine.

The 2.9-litre engine isn’t exactly quick, but it does a very good job of hauling around such a big car. However, the optional four-speed automatic 'box does rather take the edge off the performance.

Otherwise, if you want a Terracan, your most major choice is what colour you want. Mind you, it’s no great hardship choosing the basic trim, because it comes with a generous helping of standard equipment, such as climate control, alloy wheels, a CD player and all-round electric windows.

There were never that many options, but among those you might think about looking out for are an automatic gearbox, leather upholstery and sat-nav.

Trade view

John Owen

If you want to tow a small village this is for you. Top reliability, questionable looks

John Owen
Buyer,
Fords of Winsford

The Terracan may be a bargain next to cars of a similar size, but it’s not cheap, and it will have bills to match.

Just take fuel economy, for example: even with a manual gearbox, the car only returns 32.4mpg, and the automatic model isn’t even as good as that. That may be acceptable for a car of this size, but a diesel Nissan X-Trail returns nearer 40mpg, and is not much smaller inside.

Insurance, on the other hand, is pretty good. A diesel X5 is in group 17 and a diesel Grand Cherokee just one group lower, but the Terracan is in group 12.

Likewise, you should have nothing to fear from routine running costs, and even if you need some unscheduled work, it shouldn’t be too dear. Figures from Warranty Direct show that Hyundai dealers have among the lowest labour rates, and that average repair costs for Hyundais are also pretty cheap.

Trade view

Kurtis Williams

Hardly any around. Decent spec but looks old inside and out. Harsh diesel engine

Kurtis Williams
Buyer,
Lex Vehicle Leasing

The Terracan is a rough and tough off-roader, which seems able to withstand anything. We have heard of no major problems, and it has had no recalls.

Owners are almost all positive. They like the towing ability, the low prices and most seem very happy with the mpg they’re getting from such a large car. The Terracan has also found favour with those who use it off-road.

Even in the future, we expect few problems from the Terracan, and thanks to the five-year new-car warranty, even the earliest vehicles still have some cover left on them.

To cap it all, figures from Warranty Direct show that claim rates on Hyundais are only a little worse than those of Mazdas and Toyotas, and the performance of other Hyundai 4x4s in JD Power surveys has always been good – the Santa Fe finished in the top 20 in 2005, and the top 40 a year later.

Trade view

John Owen

If you want to tow a small village this is for you. Top reliability, questionable looks

John Owen
Buyer,
Fords of Winsford
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