The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
The Hyundai Tucson’s driver’s seat isn’t as high up as the Volvo XC40’s – something to think about if you’re after that lofty SUV driving position. It is supportive through corners and comfortable on long journeys, and electrically operated, including the lumbar adjustment, on the upper trim we tried. It’s likely that the seat on lower trims will be manually adjustable.
There’s a superbly placed armrest either side of the seat – one atop the centre console and the other, matching it, on the driver’s door.
We understand that the 10.3in digital instrument cluster fitted to our car will be standard throughout the range and it’s certainly easy to read. All the buttons on the dashboard are positioned closely around you, too, although some are touch sensitive rather than proper physical buttons; you do need to take your eyes off the road to use them effectively.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
The front pillars aren’t thick but because they’re set at quite an angle they get in your way a little through tighter corners or at T-junctions. The rear pillars are huge, so if you’re a nervous parker, do try manoeuvring the Tucson to see how you get on.
You’ll almost certainly end up relying on the parking aids. We think rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera will be standard – they are on most Hyundais – while the upper trims are likely to add front sensors and LED headlights.
The top trim we’ve driven had an unusual feature: when you flick the indicator on, a camera feed shows you an image of what’s in your blind spot in the digital instrument display. Fair play, that’s a potentially handy addition, although looking down at the instruments while swapping lanes on the motorway isn’t necessarily advisable, so perhaps some bigger door mirrors would’ve been a simpler and more practical solution.
Sat nav and infotainment
On the upper trim we’ve driven, the infotainment system comprised a 10.3in touchscreen that’s as crisp as the best flatscreens and comes with smart graphics to boot. The menus are also straightforward and the software is generally more responsive than the Peugeot 3008’s or XC40’s. There is a little delay on some of the functions (this was an early car), so it’s not as snappy as the best touchscreens, including the Skoda Karoq’s and Volkswagen Tiguan’s.
Again, Hyundai’s penchant for giving you lots of kit means we’re expecting Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring to come as standard, with in-built sat-nav, wireless phone charging and an upgraded stereo added on the higher trims.
The materials feel good to touch – soft and sensual where it counts – and the buttons come with a well-damped action. It’s nicer overall than the Tiguan’s interior, which has more hard plastics throughout.
That last dollop of premium panache that cars like the XC40 provide is missing, though: the plastic sheen to the Tucson’s leather seats and the faint flex when you lean against its centre console see to that.
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