Hyundai Tucson Review
The Hyundai Tucson ticks all of the family car boxes, with practicality and a good interior its strongest points. It doesn’t do enough to stand out, though.
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The Hyundai Tucson is a mid-size SUV that competes in an ever-more popular segment, against alternatives such as the Nissan Qashqai, Seat Ateca and Volkswagen Tiguan.
Take a look at the Hyundai Tucson and it might remind you a little bit of an 1990s rock variety tribute band, probably named along the lines of Green Mild Chili Pipers or Craze Against the Spleen. It takes the greatest hit design elements of pretty much everything else on the market, and brings them into one package.
At the front, the huge cascading grille makes it look a bit like a Mercedes EQC, with front quarter panel strakes either side that seem to have been lifted straight from a Bentley Flying Spur.
The rear lights seem to be a combination of the straked elements from a Peugeot 3008 and a thin full-width bar as seen on a Seat Leon. As a result, the Hyundai Tucson is a little incohesive, and rather jarring to look at.
Fortunately, things improve for the Hyundai Tucson inside. It feels a lot nicer and posher than the old car, largely thanks to an abundance of soft-touch and good-quality materials throughout. It’s easy to find a comfy seating position, too, thanks to plenty of adjustment in both the seat and steering wheel.
Smack in the middle of the centre console is a new infotainment system, displayed on a 10.3-inch touchscreen. It’s sharp and bright, but it can be a bit sluggish to use. Fortunately, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come as standard across the range if you’d prefer to mirror your smartphone.
Also standard on all versions of the Hyundai Tucson is a digital driver’s display that replaces dials and gauges with a crisp screen. It looks great, and there’s plenty of customisation options as well.
Premium trim brings plenty of equipment to the table, and is the best option for a well-valued Hyundai Tucson.
Space in the back row of the Tucson is decent, with good legroom and excellent headroom — even with the optional glass sunroof in place. The rear seats themselves have an odd dip to them though, and it means stretching your legs out is a bit more difficult than it needs to be, plus you have bolsters pressing into the sides of your thighs. Isofix points are a fuss to get to as well.
Boot space is seriously impressive in the Hyundai Tucson. Standard petrol versions of the car and the hybrid have a remarkable 620 litres on offer, which is about enough space for seven carry-on suitcases.
That puts it just ahead of the Volkswagen Tiguan’s 615 litres while leaving the Skoda Karoq and its 521 litre boot for dust. The mild-hybrid version of the car only has 577 litres on offer as a result of its battery placement, though.
Speaking of engines, there’s a reasonable choice for the Tucson. Kicking off the range is a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol producing 150hp, coming with a manual, with a mild-hybrid (effectively using a larger starter motor to improve efficiency and help when pulling away) version of this available with an identical power output. The latter can be had with an automatic, with a manual as standard on both. Then there’s an all-wheel-drive version of the mild-hybrid Hyundai Tucson, producing 180hp, with a full hybrid, 230hp option topping the range.
The Hyundai Tucson is good for running around town. Visibility is excellent thanks to large side windows and a decent view out of the back, with a pretty adequate turning circle as well. The suspension is somewhat on the firm side for this kind of car, but it’s not overly harsh.
At speed it does settle down a bit though, so you’re not going to feel crashes and bumps while travelling along the motorway. Just don’t expect it to be much fun on a back road — the steering is overly-light and feels disconnected, and you’d be better served by a Seat Ateca if you’re after a more engaging driving SUV.
Much like that tribute rock band you’ve decided to go see for a bit of a fun evening, the Hyundai Tucson will just about tick all the boxes to keep you satisfied. It doesn’t do anything unique to stand out, though.
The Hyundai Tucson knocks it out for the park for boot space. Mild-hybrid versions have a strange drop in capacity, though.
You’ll be able to seat three in the back of the Hyundai Tucson pretty comfortably. There’s a good amount of legroom, and plenty of headroom — even with the optional glass panoramic roof fitted. The rear seats have an awkward dip shape to them though which makes it difficult to stretch your legs out properly. Isofix mounting points are also fussy to get to — far from ideal if you’re regularly swapping out a car seat.
There are plenty of cubbyholes dotted throughout the cabin of the Tucson. Door bins are well-sized, and the glovebox is reasonably large. There’s a big storage area underneath the armrest as well as, plus a decent-sized tray for your smartphone in the centre console.
Boot space is impressive in the Hyundai Tucson. Standard petrol versions of the car and the hybrid have 620 litres on offer, about enough space for seven carry-on suitcases.
That puts it just ahead of the Volkswagen Tiguan’s 615 litres while leaving the Skoda Karoq and its 521 litre boot for dust. Weirdly, though, the mild-hybrid version of the car only has 577 litres on offer.
Getting luggage in and out is easy thanks to the absence of a boot lip, while there’s a small area underneath the floor that’s perfectly-sized for storing the parcel shelf when you need to take it out for larger loads.
The Hyundai Tucson does the town runaround basics well and is fine on a motorway, just don’t expect it to be much fun.
Kicking off the range of engines is a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol producing 150hp, coming with a manual, with a mild-hybrid version of this available with an identical power output. This effectively uses a larger starter motor to cut the engine off sooner when coming to a stop in an effort to improve efficiency.
The latter can be had with an automatic, too, though it’s not the sharpest gearbox around. Equip it with a manual and it’s the one to have for a great blend of performance and cost.
Then there’s an all-wheel-drive version of the mild-hybrid Hyundai Tucson, producing 180hp, while topping the range is a full hybrid option that links the 1.6-litre engine to a battery pack. It’s good for 230 miles in total, and is the one to have if sheer efficiency is on your mind.
If you’re after something to run around town in, the Hyundai Tucson ticks the boxes. It’s reasonably easy to manoeuvre and visibility is excellent both out of the front and the back. Its suspension is set on the firm side though, so you’re likely to feel crashes and bumps more often than you would in alternatives such as the Skoda Karoq or Volkswagen Tiguan.
The suspension smoothes out at speed though, so it’s a pretty relaxing experience at motorway speeds. Just don’t expect the Tucson to be much fun on a back road — steering is overly light and just doesn’t feel connected to the front wheels. You should take a look at a Seat Ateca or Ford Kuga if you want something a little more involving.
The Tucson is loaded with high-quality plastics and squidgy surfaces, plus it’s easy to get comfy. The rear seats are a little awkward though.
Hyundai Tucson colours
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