2019 Hyundai Tucson N Line review: prices, specs and release date

With sportier looks and tweaks to enhance the handling, can the Hyundai Tucson N Line tempt you away from similarly sporty looking rivals?...

2019 Hyundai Tucson N Line Red front

Priced from £25,995 (est) On sale Now

Not too long ago hearing the words ‘sporty family SUV’ might have been met with raised eyebrows and a few giggles, but nowadays everyone seems to want something that’s practical but that also looks sufficiently aggressive. The Hyundai Tucson N Line is the Korean firm's answer to sporty versions of popular family SUVs such as the Seat Ateca FR and Skoda Karoq Sportline.

The Tucson is the second Hyundai to get the racy N Line treatment after the i30. As you’ve probably guessed, N Line is mostly a cosmetic upgrade inspired by the i30N hot hatchback. However, there are some technical tweaks such as stiffened suspension and recalibrated steering in order to differentiate the N Line from other Tucson models on the road.

Looking at the Tucson N Line from the front, you’ll spot that it has a more aggressive front bumper with black accents and boomerang-shaped daytime running lights, both unique to this trim. Around the side there are some not-so-discreet N Line badges as well as large 19-inch wheels painted in black. That, coupled with the black window surrounds and body-coloured door handles gives the Tucson a more aggressive look. 

Move to the rear and there are twin exhaust pipes and a bigger rear spoiler, which is painted in black. These black accents contrast with the bright optional colours available for the Tucson N Line which include the same shade of primer grey that you might have seen on the i30N Fastback. Mmmm, distinctive.

2019 Hyundai Tucson N Line driving rear cornering

2019 Hyundai Tucson N Line on the road

While the Tucson N Line looks more aggressive than a regular model, the way it drives isn’t all that different. That isn’t to say there’s anything wrong – it strikes a decent balance between being comfortable on a long journey and remaining composed in a series of fast corners. Hyundai says the suspension is stiffer, but you’d struggle to notice a difference unless you had scientific equipment. The firmer suspension, combined with the large 19-inch wheels (standard on the N Line trim), make the Hyundai Tucson quite bumpy over poor roads – a Nissan Qashqai remains our choice for the comfiest family SUV.

What’s also different on the N Line compared to a regular Tucson is that it has a steering system that’s a tad quicker and more direct which is something you do notice and it allows you to position the SUV accurately enough in the bends, although there it does still feel slightly vague around the straight ahead. This is something you really notice on the motorway. We prefer the more precise steering you get in a Skoda Karoq.

2019 Hyundai Tucson N Line driving side profile

You might be thinking that alongside the exterior, interior and handling tweaks, the N Line’s engines would have got a slight boost in power, but they’re no more potent that those in regular Tucsons. You have a choice between a turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol with 174bhp and a 1.6-litre diesel with 136hp. The petrol is our pick here because it strikes a great balance between performance and palatable running costs. Its healthy power output means overtakes are dealt with quickly and stress free so you can blast past tractors on your favourite B road with ease. The petrol is fitted as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox, but you can also opt for a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. The auto is quite responsive and smooth when shuffling through the gears, but can be a bit jerky when manoeuvring, especially on a hill.

2019 Hyundai Tucson N Line interior dashboard

2019 Hyundai Tucson N Line interior

Inside, there are more N Line additions – the first thing you’ll notice is the steering wheel which is wrapped in perforated leather and sculpted to feel more sporty. The thing is, however, that the leather used is so hard that you might even confuse it for some fancy plastic. It’s a similar story with the rest of the interior materials – you get a pleasingly soft slab of leatherette with contrasting stitching in the middle of the dashboard but the plastics below it are disappointingly scratchy, just like much of the inner doors. If you want to know more about how spacious the Tucson is and how much luggage it can hold, make sure to check out our in-depth 16-point review.

Even though the N Line sits in the middle of the Tucson range, it comes with a good amount of equipment over the trim below. Alongside the aforementioned sporty upgrades you also get climate control, auto headlights and wipers, cruise control and an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with sat-nav plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. You’re pretty spoiled by safety systems too – there’s auto emergency braking, an active bonnet system, hill start assist and a trailer stability assist which takes away a lot of the stress associated with towing. However, it’s still not cheap, so the entry level SE trim makes the most financial sense.