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New Hyundai 4WD Terracan Takes Seven to Adventure Heaven

November 20 2001

Hyundai has joined the urban adventurers' club with its new, medium-large seven-seat Terracan 4WD wagon, offering smooth yet surging 3.5 litre V6 performance, an elegantly purposeful style and real 4WD credentials.

The name 'Terracan', pronounced "Terra-karn", is a fusion of 'terra', Latin for land, earth or terrain and 'khan', Turkish or central Asian for ruler or king as in Genghis Khan, literally means 'king of the earth' or 'land ruler'.

As such, Terracan projects a strong masculine identity that evokes Hyundai's strategic goal to challenge other entrants in the medium-heavy 4WD market with a vehicle that weds compelling performance with comfort, refinement and fresh styling.

Unlike Santa Fe, which is a lighter duty 'crossover' all-wheel-drive vehicle between passenger wagon and a serious off-roader, Terracan is definitely the latter, a pure-bred off-road wagon built on a heavy-duty, separate full-length chassis and dual range transmission with 4WD full-time on-demand or part-time.

"Terracan is a fully-fledged family off-roader, its spacious seating for seven and big cargo room, torquey V6 drivetrain and supple suspension all add up to genuine ability off the beaten track," Hyundai Automotive Distributors Australia managing director Doug Croker said.

"Our comparison testing outback showed that Terracan is right up there with the other big 4WD names, excelling in wheel articulation and traction transfer in tough conditions.

"However, recognizing the reality of its competitors' usage patterns, most Terracans will probably seldom venture very far or very often off-road. Therefore, Terracan's on-road ride comfort, refinement and ease of driving have been honed as major Terracan strengths.

"It should not surprise that Terracan's other major strength is its class-leading value for money. Starting at just $36,990, with its size, specification, equipment level, industry best five-year /130,000 km warranty and three year roadside assistance, Terracan is at least $6000 less than the base models of Pajero, Jackaroo and Prado V6 and still more affordable than the generally smaller five-seat Challenger and Pathfinder," Mr Croker added.


Two models are offered, Terracan and Terracan Highlander, both powered by Hyundai's latest 3.5 litre V6 quad cam petrol engine and either five speed manual or four speed automatic transmissions, driving through a dual-range transfer case with a low range reduction gear ratio of 2.48:1.

Both models come well equipped with pollen filtering air-conditioning, driver and passenger airbags, cruise control, CD player, remote central locking with alarm and immobilizer, power windows and mirrors, 16" alloy wheels shod with meaty 255/65 tyres, variable ratio power steering and ventilated disc brakes all round.

Terracan has part-time 4WD with EST (Electric Shift Transfer) shift from 2WD to 4WD High at up to 80kph.

Terracan Highlander features full-time on-demand 4WD with ATT (Active Torque Transfer), ABS anti-skid brakes with EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution), climate control, leather and woodgrain trim and a chrome grille and door handles.

Terracan was designed and developed by Hyundai Motor Co at its Namyang, Korea, research complex. Development testing took place in locations around the world including the Australian outback. Total development took just 34 months, an efficiently short time considering the complexity and role of the vehicle.


Recommended retail pricing of Terracan manual is $36,990, Terracan Highlander manual is $42,990, automatic on both is an extra $2990 and all include three year, 24 hour roadside assistance. A small number of Highlanders without ABS and EBD have arrived in the first shipment and will be offered from $41,990.

The only other options are metallic paint at $165 and mica paint at $198.

A range of custom accessories are also available including the first available cargo barrier with an emergency access door, tow bar kit, grill guard, side steps, transfer case skid plate (until fitted as standard around February), moulded cargo floor liner, driving lights, roof rack storage box, roof holders for skis or snowboards or surfboards, a tow bar-integrated bike rack and floor mats.

Exterior design

Elegance, strength and functionality were the guiding principles for Terracan's exterior styling.

The overall look is one of a simple, elegantly straight-edged body lines, personalized by several highly styled elements such as the distinctive multi-projector head and tail lights, hood-into-grille sculpturing and prominent wheel arch flares integrated into the front and rear bumpers and side cladding.

The wheel arch flares and side cladding are available in three shades of silver-grey, matched appropriately to ten body colour finishes to create a two-tone look. Further streamlining the side profile is a fairly steeply raked windscreen for this class at 49 degrees, the front-to-rear upper crease line and the low side window sills.

Chunky tri-double spoke 16" x 7" alloy wheels shod with wide and relatively low profile 255/65 tyres fill the wheel arches. The spare is a full size alloy wheel and tyre as well.

Terracan's rear appearance is particularly neat and clean for this vehicle class, with no tailgate-mounted spare wheel blocking vision or compromising rear access. The spare is tucked up under the rear end and the top-hinged tailgate offers ready access and weather protection when opened. The rear window sill is scalloped low to further aid rear vision.

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