Driving

Hyundai Tucson review

Manufacturer price from:£20,160
What Car? Target Price:£18,518
Search new deals
Hyundai Tucson main
Review continues below...
8 Jan 2016 11:36 | Last updated: 18 Sep 2018 17:34

In this review

Driving

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Hyundai Tucson 4x4 performance

There are three diesel and two petrol engines to choose from, with the majority of buyers expected to opt for a diesel.

There’s an entry-level 114bhp 1.6-litre diesel unit, followed by a 134bhp version of the same engine, which has a 0-62mph time that’s around half a second quicker than its less powerful sibling (but it’s no quicker if you opt for an automatic gearbox).

Above those, there’s a 182bhp 2.0-litre engine, which is actually classed as a mild hybrid because it is paired with a small 48V lithium ion battery, and it’s the only one we’ve driven so far in the facelifted Tucson. It’s the quickest diesel engine on offer and provides decent performance that feels quick around town and strong enough for regular motorway use, with a useful amount of low-end shove to help with towing.

As for the petrols, you’re likely to have to thrash the 1.6-litre naturally aspirated unit quite hard to make quick progress. There’s also a 1.6-litre turbocharged unit with a lot more power and is the quickest engine in the line-up. We have yet to drive either of these, though.

Hyundai Tucson 4x4 ride

 

Relatively stiff suspension keeps the Tucson’s body neatly tied down over dips and crests, so your passengers aren’t likely to feel nauseous along undulating country roads. However, the trade-off is a fairly firm ride at low speeds; the Tucson is less forgiving over sharp-edged bumps than, say, a Nissan Qashqai and fidgets around a bit too much, whatever your speed.

You can choose from a variety of alloy wheel sizes. The biggest 19in wheels lead to an even rougher ride on poorly surfaced roads, though, so are best avoided.

Hyundai Tucson rear

Hyundai Tucson 4x4 handling

The Tucson doesn't roll much through corners – certainly less than a Qashqai – and there's plenty of grip, even in poor weather conditions. There's little in the way of fun to be had, though, in part due to the steering's slightly vague feel around the straight-ahead position and a shortage of feedback from the front wheels.

The steering is light enough to make parking a breeze, however, and weights up enough on the motorway to prevent the Tucson from feeling nervous or twitchy. If you go for the 2.0 diesel model, the handling doesn’t feel quite so sharp, because the extra weight of the hybrid system makes the Tucson feel slightly more laboured in its cornering ability, even though it’s quicker in outright acceleration than the other diesels. We suspect the lesser-powered engines will prove marginally better dynamically.

Hyundai Tucson 4x4 refinement

We’ve driven only the 2.0 diesel so far in the latest Tucson and it’s nicely hushed at idle and when cruising; however, it does sound very coarse when accelerating and there’s a bit of vibration felt through the steering wheel and pedals.

The Tucson’s manual gearbox is light and fairly precise, if a little notchy, while the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic – offered only with the 1.6 T-GDi – shifts quickly but can hang onto gears for too long.

You can now get an eight-speed automatic gearbox with the 2.0 diesel that is smooth and slick. That engine also offers an exceptionally smooth stop-start system – a benefit of mild hybrid technology – but the brake pedal, which uses energy from braking to recharge the battery, has a very spongy feel and grabby effect, meaning smooth stops are difficult to judge.

 

open the gallery13 Images
There are 11 trims available for the Tucson 4x4. Click to see details.See all versions
OUR PICK
S
Entry-level trim comes with a 7.0in touchscreen with DAB radio, Bluetooth Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as a reversing view camera, climate control and automatic headlights. It doesn’t fe...View trim
Fuel Petrol, Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£18,518
Average Saving £1,642
View Trim
SE
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Petrol, Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£20,211
Average Saving £1,799
View Trim
SE Nav
Bigger 17in alloy wheels, privacy glass, roof rails, rear parking sensors, automatic wipers and an 8.0in infotainemnt touchscreen with sat-nav and cruise control. It’s a fair bit pricier than S Con...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£20,943
Average Saving £1,867
View Trim
S Connect
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£20,948
Average Saving £1,097
View Trim
SE Nav
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Petrol, Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£22,369
Average Saving £1,176
View Trim
Go SE
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£22,621
Average Saving £1,994
View Trim
Sport Edition
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Petrol, Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£23,266
Average Saving £2,054
View Trim
Premium
You get 18in alloy wheels, keyless entry and start, an electronic parking brake, wireless phone charging and an upgraded audio system. There’s also a full leather interior with electrically adjusta...View trim
Fuel Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£24,411
Average Saving £2,189
View Trim
Premium
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£24,738
Average Saving £1,307
View Trim
Premium SE
Flagship versions of the Tucson benefit from advanced features, including ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a panoramic sunroof and LED headlights. It’s all getting a bit expensive b...View trim
Fuel Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£27,430
Average Saving £2,470
View Trim
Premium SE
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Petrol, Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£28,450
Average Saving £1,495
View Trim