Hyundai Tucson SUV review
“The Hyundai Tucson offers families a functional and desirable SUV at a sensible price”
- Impressive practicality
- Great value for money
- Distinctive styling
- Poor rear visibility
- Limited standard safety kit
- Automatic gearbox slow to react
Hyundai has been selling SUVs since 2000, when it launched the large Hyundai Santa Fe. The Tucson name was applied to its smallest SUV at launch in 2004 - there was a six-year period since in which it was known in Europe as the ix35 but now it’s the Tuscson again. A look back at the three generations of the car exemplifies Hyundai’s move from budget brand to respected mainstream manufacturer.
The third-generation Tucson was popular from launch and a mid-2018 facelift ensured it remained smartly styled, well equipped and reasonably priced. More importantly however, it still serves as a real alternative to the Ford Kuga, Renault Kadjar, Nissan Qashqai, SEAT Ateca or Peugeot 3008.
Standard equipment includes DAB radio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, Bluetooth, dual zone air-conditioning and autonomous emergency braking (AEB) on all models.
As with the Hyundai i30, the Tucson is now also available in a sporty N Line trim, with more aggressive bumpers, a dark mesh grille and other styling features that add attitude to Hyundai's SUV.
The Tucson holds a five-star Euro NCAP crash safety rating, which should reassure the families which it's intended for. Its spacious interior will take five occupants comfortably and the boot is bigger than a Nissan Qashqai can offer.
Two petrol engines are offered: a 130bhp 1.6-litre and a turbocharged 175bhp 1.6-litre 'T-GDi'. Both will suit those who make a lot of short, urban journeys. The improved diesel mild hybrids are more economical, though, particularly the 113bhp 1.6-litre, which can manage a combined WLTP figure of up to 54.3mpg. If you need an automatic gearbox, the 134bhp version will oblige, and still returns up to 52.3mpg.
There's a range-topping 48v mild hybrid 2.0-litre diesel with 182bhp that's only available with four-wheel-drive and an automatic gearbox, too. It offers lots of pulling power at the cost of fuel economy which falls to 42.8mpg.
Owners seem to be impressed by the Tucson: it finished 53rd out of the 75 cars ranked in our 2020 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey – a commendable result. If you do run into any problems, Hyundai’s unlimited-mileage/five-year warranty is also longer than most rivals offer, too.
Thanks to its well considered design, the Hyundai Tucson should appeal to exactly the customers who want an SUV that looks classy but can still cope with the rough and tumble of family life.