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Andy Harris
Motoring and Property Editor
@ytimesmotoring
4:00 AM 19th June 2021
cars

It’s Tucson Time! Hyundai’s New SUV On Test

Sales of SUVs show no signs of abating. It is therefore unsurprising that manufacturers are regularly updating or replacing their offerings, all in the hope of a slice of the action.

Hyundai has done just that with its popular mid-size Tucson, the all-new model having gone on sale in January.

Three trim levels are available, SE Connect, Premium and Ultimate. Prices have increased, with the range opening model now costing £28,710. You will get you a 150PS petrol engine, a six-speed manual gearbox and lots of standard equipment including smart alloy wheels, privacy glass, cruise control, dual-zone air conditioning and a rear-view camera.

A comprehensive range of safety kit is included too – Forward Collision Assist, Speed Limit Assist, Lane Keep Assist…. I could go on, but safe to say this should be a very secure environment in which to carry your loved ones.

Expect to find lots of the latest tech in every Tucson. The large central screen controls the connectivity and there are lots of menus. Safest bet is to configure the car whilst stationary, otherwise eyes are off the road for too long.

I am pleased to report that the heating controls are separated on a smaller screen.

Premium models up the ante with LED headlamps, heated front seats, adaptive cruise control and keyless entry.

Ultimate variants spoil with leather seats, electrically adjustable upfront, 19-inch alloy wheels, three-zone climate control, panoramic sunroof and an electric tailgate. I have probably missed something, but you get the idea.

There is also the option of a ‘Tech Pack’ which endows the Tucson with Electronic Control Suspension and an Around View Monitor.

My test car for the week was a fully loaded Ultimate model, with a 1.6-litre 230PS hybrid powertrain and six speed automatic gearbox.

It’s a spritely performer, though full bore starts do result in rather an unseemly amount of engine noise – well you have to try these things. In more relaxed everyday driving, it is all much more civilised.

Low speed manoeuvring and gentle running is often done just on battery power, and when called upon, the engine seamlessly fires up to provide propulsion.

My week took me on a long trek south and on the motorway the Tucson proved to be a relaxed and refined companion. Wind and road noise are well suppressed and 45mpg at a steady 70mph cruise seems quite reasonable.

The adaptive cruise control took the strain out of the M6 madness and the return journey of 240 miles was undertaken in one five-hour stint. I arrived home reasonably relaxed, though in need of a pee!

Despite having the trick suspension, low speed ride was a tad disappointing. The blame most likely lies with the large alloy wheels. More compliance is needed especially in a car that is unlikely to be driven in a spirited manner. Oh, and if you do, safe and secure is probably the most that one can say about the Tucson’s handling.

Interior space is plentiful front and back and the boot a decent size. The panoramic roof is worth having, bathing the interior in natural light. It opens too, for that wind in the hair experience.

Interior quality is first rate, with plenty of soft touch materials in evidence.

As tested, the Tucson Ultimate lists at £37,135 and once the Tech Pack is added the price gets rather too close to £40,000 for my liking. At this level, the competition is fierce and whilst the Hyundai can compete on equipment levels and quality, there are rivals that are more rewarding to drive. Jaguar E-Pace, BMW X3, new Cupra Formentor…. the list goes on.

Hyundai will counter with a comprehensive five-year warranty and a reliability record that is hard to beat. That will be enough for many, and the bold new look certainly looks far more premium.

Fast Facts

Hyundai Tucson Ultimate
1.6-litre T-GDi 230 PS Hybrid Engine
6-speed automatic transmission
265Nm torque
0-62mph in 8.9 seconds
Combined economy 40.4mpg
Test economy 43.5mpg