Hyundai Tucson SUV - 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.
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. The quality of materials is also striking, with finishes very close to more upmarket rivals like the Audi Q3.
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 new four-spoke 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. Traditional centre console buttons have been replaced with illuminated touch-sensitive items. These are flush with the surface of the console, which makes them slightly difficult to differentiate when driving, meaning you occasionally have to take your eyes off the road to find the right one.
The traditional gearstick has been replaced by push buttons for the automatic gearbox freeing up more space for cupholders and a large lidded storage bin. Materials impress too, with the inside of the Tucson feeling more upmarket.
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.