Hyundai’s new mid-sized SUV the Tucson goes head to head with the likes of the Nissan Qashqai and Kia Sportage writes Hannah Gordon
What is it? Replacing the outgoing Hyundai ix35, the new and improved Hyundai Tucson looks to go head to head with the likes of the Nissan Qashqai and Kia Sportage.
Who is it aimed at? Would make an ideal family car especially as it boasts the biggest boot space in its class, the huge interior will definitely make it a superb choice for a growing family. The 4×4 capabilities higher up the range also lend itself perfectly to towing and mild off-roading.
What about the styling? The Hyundai Tucson has been styled by an ex Audi designer and its clear to see what a transformation they have made, the Hyundai Tucson will definitely appeal to the wider audience now. The large grille at the front is flanked by sleek LED headlights and daytime running lights feature at the bottom of the bumper. The unmistakable SUV type styling carries on through the whole body and rugged looks are teamed with sharp lines that add a touch of class. The Tucson incorporates small windows, that aren’t particularly practical but do make it a good looking car. With higher spec models the wheel sizes do go up to 19” and I have to admit do look better than the smaller 17”.
Under the bonnet?There are a few engine options to chose from, a 1.6 litre petrol that I suspect won’t be that popular, the 1.7 and 2.0 litres diesel are definitely the better pick. The 1.7 litre diesel only comes with front wheel drive and is also the more economical, it does sound a little loud under heavy acceleration and comes with just one option of the six-speed manual gearbox. The 2.0 litre diesel is available as a 2wd or 4wd option and can be chosen with either the manual or automatic gearbox. If you want a vehicle for towing then the 2.0 litre diesel 4×4 is the best option, otherwise the 1.7 litre diesel will be the most popular combining decent economy and a cheaper tax band.
What about inside? Hyundai still love the plastic interior we’ve come to get used to from them, the Tucson is well set out and does include an 8” infotainment screen which has DAB radio, Bluetooth and Sat Nav (Available SE Nav models and up) but the technology feels a bit slow. The seating position is comfortable and commanding whilst the passenger seat is set far too low and with no adjustment. Premium models do come with a leather interior and a panoramic roof. What makes the Tucson is the space available, everyone sitting in the Tucson will benefit from huge amounts of legroom and the ability to load plenty into the boot with a huge 488 litres available.
On the road? The Tucson drives well over most road surfaces and the suspension soaks up plenty of bumps, the higher spec models which come with the larger 19” alloys will sacrifice a bit of comfort but are better looking. I found the steering particularly vague and light with constant correction needed on the motorway. The Tucson feels well made and dependable, although the drivability and fun factor are very low. If you require a bit more acceleration then the 2.0 litre diesel with 185 bhp should satisfy that craving.
What about Safety? Awarded a full 5 star Euro NCap safety rating the Hyundai Tucson is right at the top of the table, it comes with 6 airbags as standard, Hill start assist control and a lane keeping warning system. For the other safety features such as Blind spot monitoring and Emergency braking you will have to purchase the higher spec models.
What are my Options? The Tucson does come with plenty of standard kit especially from the SE trim level upwards. The SE Nav comes with the added option of a built in Satellite Navigation system and the Premium models come with the larger 19” alloys, leather interior, electric tailgate and front parking sensors. These premium trim levels will set you back a starting price of over £25,000.
Will it break the bank? The petrol engine isn’t very economical at all and has a CO2 output of 147. The most economical combination you can have is the 1.7 diesel two wheel drive mated with the six speed manual gearbox, this returns figures of 119 g/km of CO2 (£30 tax per year) and 61.7 mpg. With the addition of a 2.0 litre diesel, an automatic gearbox and a four wheel drive system economy will plummet to 170 g/km of CO2 and 43.5 mpg. Hyundai do give their cars a 5 year unlimited mileage warranty which is a lot better than its rivals and is only beaten by Kia’s 7 year warranty.
So the Verdict? Its great to see another competitive SUV enter the market and the new Tucson will be a huge success for Hyundai. The diesel engines are economical and refined, the cabin has mountains of space and the exterior looks have massively improved thanks to sleeker styling. The added extra of the 5 year warranty adds piece of mind to a purchase. The pick of the bunch is the 1.7 litre diesel in SE Nav trim level which gives a good amount of equipment at a decent price.
Why you’ll buy one? Economical, Spacious, Styling
Why you won’t? Petrol efficiency, pricey trims
Hyundai Tucson 1.7 SE Nav
Max speed: 109 mph
0-62 mph: 11.9 seconds
Emissions: 119 g/km
Model price range: from £23,145 (SE Nav 1.7 Diesel)
No of Doors: 5
Euro NCAP : 5
Fuel type: Diesel
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 61.7 mpg
Boot Capacity Seats up: 488 litres
Length: 4475 mm
Width: 1850 mm
Height: 1645 mm
16th August, 2016