Hyundai Tucson review - MPG, running costs & CO2
The focus shifts away from diesel and towards petrol hybrids, which offer great fuel economy
When this generation of Tucson's predecessor arrived in 2015, it wasn't particularly economical when fitted with a petrol engine or a 2.0-litre diesel, but Hyundai gradually improved the efficiency of its engine range. Over the years, a cleaner 1.6-litre diesel arrived, along with mild-hybrid assistance to recoup energy and take some strain off the motor, as well as improving its stop-and-start capabilities in traffic.
For the latest Tucson, Hyundai has taken things a step further. It’s the first generation to be offered without a diesel engine and more of the petrol range benefits from mild-hybrid tech. There’s also a full hybrid petrol for the first time in the car's history - this recharges a small battery using kinetic energy. Above this, sits the plug-in hybrid, which is more expensive to buy, but boasts even lower running costs thanks to its pure-electric range of around 30 miles.
Hyundai Tucson MPG & CO2
The big news, at least for now, is the arrival of a petrol-hybrid Tucson to rival the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 hybrids. This uses a 1.6-litre 'Smartstream' petrol engine and a 59bhp electric motor powered by a 1.49kWh battery. It's available with two-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission, while non-hybrid models will also be offered with a manual gearbox. It can manage fuel economy of up to 49.6mpg, while CO2 emissions of 127g/km place it in a middling Benefit-in-Kind group for company-car drivers. During our test of the N-Line S trim level, we managed around 39.9mpg overall - slightly less than the official figure of 43mpg.
Stepping away from the full hybrid, there's also a range of 48-volt mild-hybrid petrol engines based on the same 1.6-litre. These all return economy figures of around 40mpg depending on specification, while CO2 emissions range from 146 to 162g/km, so they’re squarely aimed at private buyers with a fairly low mileage, who don’t have to worry about company-car tax.
While it's the most expensive version to buy, the plug-in hybrid certainly will appeal to company-car drivers, thanks to its CO2 emissions of 31g/km. Its 13.8kWh battery pack has a much larger capacity than the hybrid version, giving the Tucson a pure-electric range of around 31 miles and an official fuel economy figure of up to 201.8mpg. Using a 7.2kW home wallbox, the battery should be fully charged in just a few hours.
The basic petrol Tucson incurs the standard annual rate of VED (road tax). Opting for the mild-hybrid, hybrid and plug-in hybrid models will incur the discounted rate. While most of the models in the regular Tucson range cost less than £40,000, the PHEV can end up costing more than this, meaning buyers will also be liable for the additional surcharge from years two to six of ownership.
If you’re looking to finance your next car purchase yourself, then the Hyundai is very tempting. After three years or 36,000 miles of driving, the Tucson holds on to an impressive 60% of its original price, placing it just ahead of the Renault Austral.
Insurance groups for the latest Tucson are similar to the outgoing model, starting at group 12 for the entry-level petrol engine, rising to group 13 for the mild-hybrid manual and group 14 for the automatic. The fully hybrid Tucson starts from group 18 upwards, depending on the trim level. We expect the more powerful plug-in hybrid version to occupy a higher group when it goes on sale later this year.
While it may not match the seven-year warranty of Kia or SsangYong, Hyundai's five-year and unlimited-mileage warranty isn't to be sniffed at. This is one of the most generous standard warranties in the business, beating rival offerings from Ford, SEAT, Vauxhall and Volkswagen hands down.
Buyers can choose a 'Hyundai Sense' fixed-price servicing scheme, with either a fixed price upfront payment or monthly charge covering all maintenance. This way there should be no surprise bills, and prices during the period of cover won't go up with inflation.
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