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Hyundai Tucson Test Drive Review

Date: 24 July 2015   |   Author: John Mahoney

Category: Crossover
P11D price: £30,845
Key rival: Ford Kuga
On sale: September 2015
Equipment: 6 airbags, cruise control, climate control, LED running lights, Bluetooth, satnav, 8in infotainment system, satnav, reversing camera, climate control, heated seats, 19in alloys, power tailgate, heated/ventilated leather seats, parking sensors, autonomous braking, panoramic sunroof
Engines: Petrol: 132hp 1.6, 177hp 1.6 Diesel: 116hp 1.7, 136hp 2.0, 185hp 2.0
Trims: SE, SE Nav, Premium, Premium SE
Transmissions: 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic, 7-speed dual-clutch auto

Readers of this publication are an enlightened bunch, so when you all voted Hyundai's small SUV as your favourite crossover in this year's BusinessCar awards, it was for good reason - although it must have been crushing for its competition, especially since the car you voted for, the ix35, has been on sale since 2010, beating far newer opposition from Nissan and Skoda.

That makes its replacement, the Tucson, something to be really feared.

Described as "all-new" by its makers, the Tucson adopts the American looks of its bigger brother the Santa Fe. It also grows in size and is 6.5cm longer and 3cm wider.

Inside, it's more spacious than before, and the small SUV's cabin is now dominated by a large, eight-inch infotainment system. Both the design and materials used have significantly improved.

Under the bonnet, there are two petrols: a 132hp 1.6-litre and a 177hp 1.6-litre turbo that comes with the option of a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. Three diesels are also offered, the most popular 116hp
1.7-litre engine carried over from the ix35, and a 2.0-litre with either 136hp or 185hp, with the option of a six-speed automatic.

Most will be two-wheel, not four-wheel drive, and the best for business is the 2WD 1.7-litre that can average almost 62mpg and emit 119g/km of CO2.

Unfortunately, for our drive the most popular engine choice wasn't available. Instead, we drove both the new petrol turbo and the more fleet-relevant 2.0-litre diesel.

Said to be developed in Europe (but not the UK), Hyundai also claims to have moved the game on when it comes to handling and ride comfort - it hasn't. It's not quite as agile and engaging as the class best, but resists roll, rides well, and is enough of an all-rounder to be near the top of the class.

What isn't quite so good is the numb steering and a lane-keep assist system that jolts the steering violently to keep you on course at speed. It's best turned off.

What's best left on is Hyundai's new autonomous braking system that also detects pedestrians - shame it's only standard on the high-spec Premium models.

We preferred the petrol turbo to the diesel for its eagerness and response, and liked its quick-to-react dual-clutch auto. We expect, loaded with more passengers, the advantage will swing back to the diesel, but avoid the six-speed auto - it takes the edge off the powerful 185hp performance to such an extent you begin to wonder if you're driving the lower-powered version.

The manual six-speed is a far better option, but we can't help thinking the sweet spot in the range for business users will prove to still be the 1.7-litre, especially since the 2.0-litre can only manage 47.9mpg, a figure beaten by both the Ford Kuga and, albeit significantly less powerful, Nissan Qashqai.

It's too early for costs to be available, but when they are revealed expect yet more shockwaves within the class and the Tucson to win favour with our discerning readers.

Hyundai Tucson 2.0 CRDi Premium SE 185PS

Model price range £18,695-£32,345
Fuel consumption 47.9mpg
CO2 (BIK band) 154/km (25%)
BIK 20/40% per month £129/£257
Warranty 5yrs/unlimited miles
Boot space (min/max) 513/1503 litres
Engine size/power 1995cc/185hp


The Tuscon is a good all-rounder that has grown in appeal
  • Efficient
  • Spacious
  • Quiet
  • Satnav standard
  • Most powerful diesel not cheap to run