New Hyundai Tucson vs Ford Kuga: costs

Versatile and potentially cheap to run, plug-in hybrid SUVs are tempting for families and company car drivers alike. Let’s see if the new Tucson has what it takes to beat the class-leading Kuga...

Hyundai Tucson Plug-in Hybrid 2022 side

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety and security

Current company car tax rules make plug-in hybrids tempting if you’re paying benefit-in-kind tax, but there’s almost nothing in it between our contenders; the Hyundai Tucson, with its slightly higher purchase price, will cost you a fiver more per month if you’re in the 40% bracket. You’ll pay much less for either car than you would for an equivalent petrol or diesel SUV, although fully electric alternatives are even cheaper.

The big difference in running costs comes when the batteries are depleted and the petrol engines kick in. The Ford Kuga returned an exceptional 52.8mpg in our test, while the Tucson managed a very average 36.4mpg. Those lower petrol bills, combined with cheaper servicing and insurance, mean the Kuga will cost private cash buyers about £3000 less to run over three years of ownership.

Ford Kuga PHEV 2022 side

The Kuga is also far cheaper to buy on PCP finance, coming out at £460 per month to the Tucson’s eye-watering £596 – assuming a £4000 deposit, a 36-month contract and a limit of 12,000 miles per year. The Kuga’s optional balloon payment at the end is much higher, though.

Equipment levels are close, with both cars coming with roof rails, keyless entry, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control and heated, power-folding door mirrors. Bear in mind that you can’t add many options to the Tucson; you have to step up to a pricier trim to get more kit.

When it comes to charging their batteries, the Tucson is quicker. A 0-100% charge from a typical 7kW home wallbox takes less than two hours, whereas the Kuga’s slower charging rate means it will take three and a half hours, despite having a similar-sized battery.

Hyundai Tucson Plug-in Hybrid vs Ford Kuga PHEV costs

Driver and safety aids on both cars include lane assist and automatic emergency braking with cyclist and pedestrian detection, but the Tucson also gets blindspot monitors, traffic sign recognition and adaptive cruise control. You have to add the £1100 Driver Assistance Pack to get these items on the Kuga.

Euro NCAP hasn’t released crash test results for the Tucson yet, while the Kuga earned a five star Euro NCAP rating in 2019, although it’s not a match for the best in class (such as the Volvo XC40 Recharge) in areas such as adult chest protection.

These versions of the Kuga and Tucson were too new to be included in the 2021 What Car? Reliability Survey, but Hyundai fared admirably, coming third equal out of 30 brands. Ford, though, was a disappointing 27th.