Hyundai Tucson review - Interior & comfort
While Hyundai used to be a budget brand, its interior is now a real highlight
Slide into the driver's seat and, apart from the accommodating height of the car and Hyundai badge on the steering wheel, there's little to tell you this is a Tucson. A complete redesign has replaced a somewhat bulbous fascia with a sweeping, vertical dashboard that's very Audi-esque, while its front seats are comfortable and supportive.
The most striking feature is the absence of any plastic cowling for the instruments. This has a surprisingly transformative effect, opening up the front of the car and making it at once feel airy and modern. It's a trend we've seen in Mercedes and BMW models, as well as more mainstream cars like the Peugeot 308. The quality of materials is also striking, with finishes very close to more upmarket rivals like the Audi Q3. The Tucson’s four steering-wheel spokes look unconventional, but the wheel is fully round – unlike the Renault’s ‘quartic’ design
Hyundai Tucson dashboard
The riot of sharp lines found on the Tucson's exterior also continues inside. Thin slivers of chrome trim arch upwards from the centre console, crest the dash and continue neatly along the top of the doors. Not only does this add a hint of sophistication, there's a touch of the nautical to it as well. You'll need to remember to park your Tucson in the car park, not the local marina. A strip of fabric across the top of the fascia also helps inject some personality.
A flat, tablet-style 10.25-inch display perches behind the steering wheel, while a sharp, high-resolution touchscreen measuring the same size sits below the central air vents, instead of sitting above them like before. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, and top trims feature a sound system by high-end American stereo specialists Krell. While it can’t compete with its rival when it comes to display sharpness or loading times, the system is very straightforward to operate. The main menu displays all of the key features in two rows of shortcut icons, and most of the sub-menus are fairly well thought out. Small potential for improvement comes in areas such as the driver-assist menu (which is a little on the convoluted side when it comes to changing settings) and the nav page, which takes a few too many button presses to confirm a route.
The digital instrument display looks sharp and is easy to read, while graphics change with driving mode; Sport setting turns them red, for instance.
Five trim levels are available: SE Connect, Premium, N Line, N Line S and the range-topping Ultimate. When compared to the old Tucson, this latest model has received an upgraded array of features including three-zone climate control, ventilated front seats and heated rear seats. There's also a new Multi-Air Mode that uses a combination of direct and indirect air vents to cool the interior with a more gentle airflow than a traditional system.
A Rear Sleeping Mode turns down the speakers in the rear compartment to avoid disturbing passengers in the back, while Rear Occupant Alert reminds you not to leave a passenger in the car when you get out. Also fitted is a Safe Exit Warning, to alert occupants to oncoming traffic as they go to get out of the car.
Even SE Connect trim comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, rear parking sensors, a rear-view camera, folding door mirrors, cruise control, and both digital instruments and a 10.25-inch infotainment setup with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Premium ups kit to include 18-inch wheels (19-inch alloys for the Hybrid), Krell premium sound system, LED headlights and a heated steering wheel and front seats.
The N Line trim is the sporty option and gets several styling tweaks, including a redesigned front bumper, a rear diffuser and chrome exhaust pipes. It also gets a new front grille, a rear spoiler and bi-colour 19-inch alloy wheels. Leather and suede-trimmed seats are fitted, along with front and rear parking sensors, keyless entry and a wireless smartphone charging pad.
Opt for the N Line S model and luxuries such as heated front seats and steering wheel, a panoramic sunroof, an electric tailgate and a premium Krell stereo system are added to the standard kit list. It also gets more safety features as well, adding blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and a forward collision avoidance warning system.
The range-topping Ultimate has a generous equipment list including 19-inch alloy wheels, leather seat facings, heated rear seats that can fold remotely, window blinds and a powered tailgate.
Which Is Best?
- Name1.6 TGDi SE Connect 5dr 2WD
- Gearbox typeManual
- Name1.6 TGDi Plug-in Hybrid N Line 5dr 4WD Auto
- Gearbox typeSemi-auto
- Name1.6 TGDi Hybrid 230 SE Connect 5dr 2WD Auto
- Gearbox typeSemi-auto