New Hyundai Tucson vs Ford Kuga: interiors

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...

New Hyundai Tucson dashboard

Behind the wheel

Driving position, visibility, build quality

You sit nice and high in both of our contenders, with a good view of the road ahead, although their chunky windscreen pillars can obscure oncoming traffic at junctions. There’s plenty of steering wheel movement, but finding a comfortable driving position is easier in the Ford Kuga, because it comes with full electric seat adjustment, including for lumbar support. It's more heavily bolstered seat supports you better through corners, too.

The Hyundai Tucson’s driver’s seat feels flatter and harder, while most of the adjustment is done manually. There’s electric lumbar adjustment, though, and it’s not too difficult to get comfy.

Ford Kuga Dashboard

Both cars come with front and rear parking sensors as well as a reversing camera, so squeezing into a tight spot isn’t difficult in either, although the boxier Kuga has better visibility to the rear three-quarters. Both also get bright LED headlights, and the Kuga offers an upgrade that lets you keep high beam lights on without dazzling oncoming traffic as part of a £550 Tech Pack – a very reasonable price, given that it also includes a head-up display (which puts crucial information directly in your line of sight).

The Kuga’s interior is dominated by rather cheap-feeling plastics, and the faux carbonfibre trim that you get with this ST Line X Edition trim has a whiff of tackiness about it, although you could argue that it adds some visual interest.

Slide into the Tucson and there’s instantly a higher-quality feel, with a more interesting and tactile blend of materials. Mind you, its seats are upholstered in a slippery, cheap-feeling fabric that takes the ambience down a notch.

Hyundai Tucson Plug-in Hybrid 2022 centre console

Adding to the Tucson’s clean-looking interior is the huge panel of touch-sensitive switches for its air-con controls. This and the infotainment screen are angled towards the driver to help make them easier to view, but they still require you to look away from the road to make simple adjustments.

The Kuga’s rotary temperature controls and push-button switches don’t deliver the same modern vibe, but you can operate them by feel when you’re driving.

Infotainment systems

Hyundai Tucson 

New Hyundai Tucson Infotainment

The Tucson’s 10.3in touchscreen betters the Kuga’s both in size and quality. The graphics and colour contrast are sharp, while it bene ts from having shortcut icons to help hop quickly between functions – something the Kuga misses out on. Sometimes the screen response is a bit delayed and – as with the Kuga – it’s a shame not to have wireless connectivity for Apple CarPlay, but the Tucson’s system is still one of the best available among its non-premium rivals.

Ford Kuga

Ford Kuga Infotainment

The Kuga comes with most of the features you’d expect, including sat-nav and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay phone integration, while the 8.0in touchscreen’s menus are fairly logical. However, the graphics are a bit grainy, the screen can be slow to respond and we’d like to see wireless CarPlay, in keeping with most rivals. The standard Bang & Olufsen 10-speaker sound system is excellent, with noticeably better depth of sound quality than you get in the Tucson.

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