The Hyundai Tucson’s smart dashboard comes with a big infotainment screen and loads of equipment as standard but only top-spec models get leather seats
The Hyundai Tucson comes with a much more stylish interior than the old car. Gone are the blocky silver air vent surrounds and the cluttered infotainment shortcut buttons, replaced by a slick, swooping dashboard design with neat metal-effect trims and a free-standing infotainment display – just like you’ll find in a Mercedes.
The dashboard and doors also come with more soft-touch materials than you got in the old car which helps make it feel more upmarket than ever. You can even choose between a range of grey, black, beige and even dark red upholstery for the seats and central armrest.
It certainly feels more modern inside than the ageing Nissan Qashqai, but can’t quite match the build quality you’ll find in the VW Tiguan or Skoda Karoq. That isn’t to say the Hyundai Tucson feels cheap, just that some plastics on the doors and lower dashboard – such as the glove box lid – feel decidedly brittle and scratchy.
If you want partial leather trim, you’ll have to fork out for a Premium or Premium SE car. These also come with some extra leather bolstering to stop your knee knocking on the centre console and Premium SE cars get a panoramic glass roof to make the Tucson feel especially airy inside.
The Tucson’s interior is leaps and bounds ahead of the old car’s drab, dull design, but it doesn’t have quite the panache of some other upmarket SUVs
As standard, the Tucson comes with a 7.0-inch infotainment display mounted up on the dashboard. The screen’s reasonably bright and it comes with a set of handy shortcut buttons that make it a doddle to switch between features as you drive along.
If you want sat nav, you’ll have to pay extra for an SE Nav model. These come with a slightly wider 8.0-inch display, but it’s not quite as crisp as the screens you get in the Karoq or Tiguan. That said, it’s pretty intuitive to use and the larger screen makes it easy to input a postcode using the on-screen keyboard. It calculates routes much faster than the lethargic system you get in a Qashqai, too, and delivers clear directions.
If you don’t like Hyundai’s own navigation system you can use the standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring to beam your phone’s navigation apps onto the Tucson’s built-in screen. These also let you play music from apps such as Spotify through the car’s stereo.
Speaking of stereos, you the Tucson’s standard stereo is replaced by an improved Krell unit in Premium and Premium SE cars – something definitely worth considering if you’re serious about sound quality.