Hyundai Tucson Review
The Hyundai Tucson has transformed from unremarkable to unbelievable.
This latest version of Hyundai’s mid-size SUV is one of the very best you can buy.
- High-quality, high-tech interior
- Hugely practical
- Several hybrid engines
- Some annoying driver assistance tech
- Kia Sportage has longer warranty
- Bold styling may not appeal to everyone
Should I buy a Hyundai Tucson?
Not long ago, you might have bought a Hyundai Tucson because you got a great deal or because you liked the sound of its five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty. The last Tucson certainly appealed to the head, but perhaps wouldn’t be the car to pull at your heart strings. That’s certainly changed with the latest Tucson.
Introduced in 2021, the current Hyundai Tucson does all the sensible stuff better than before. It has one of the biggest boots of any mid-size SUV and palatial rear-seat space, and there are several new hybrid options that could reduce your running costs. It still has the same generous warranty, but it now offers a premium interior and styling like nothing else on the road.
Hyundai’s boldness has paid off. The Tucson isn’t merely a good SUV any more, it’s a class-leading one – a mean feat when the mid-size SUV class includes the Skoda Karoq, Peugeot 3008, Ford Kuga and Kia Sportage.
The Sportage is the Tucson’s closest rival, largely because the two cars share engines and many other parts. It also has eye-catching styling and a longer seven-year/100,000-mile warranty, but it doesn’t get the impressive tech as standard. Read our full comparison of the Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage.
Interior and technology
Just like the exterior, Hyundai has favoured revolution over evolution inside the Tucson. Out goes the old car’s media screen perched on top of the dash, in comes a lower but larger screen that’s embedded into a centre console that flows all the way into the doors. There’s a second touchscreen beneath that controls the climate and ventilation, while traditional dials have been replaced with a digital alternative. What’s more, all this screen real estate is present in the entry-level SE Connect trim.
So all cars get enough tech to flummox a NASA engineer, but the build quality is also as good as a space rocket. There are supposedly more premium SUVs that don’t match the Hyundai’s quality inside.
We’ll just continue the astronomical metaphor for a little longer, because the Tucson has plenty of space of its own. Even if you’re heading to another planet for several years, the Tucson has a boot big enough to accommodate all your luggage. With the seats up, you get up to 620 litres of boot space – a world away from what you get in a Nissan Qashqai, and more than any other rival.
And that big boot doesn’t mean you need to squash your passengers, because rear-seat legroom is noticeably spacious. Headroom is good, too, so even tall adults should be comfortable on long journeys. Two rear USB sockets make charging kids’ devices easy.
Engines and performance
None of the Tucson’s engines feel like they’re powered by rocket fuel, but this is a family SUV, after all. Performance is perfectly strong across the range – you’ll never feel like you have to work the car hard even at motorway speeds – and a full complement of hybrid options make for low running costs.
A diesel engine was very briefly offered in the Tucson, but you’ll be better off looking at the old Tucson if you must have a diesel. For most drivers, the mild-hybrid, hybrid and plug-in hybrid engines will be suitably efficient. The hybrid engine offers up to 50mpg, while the plug-in hybrid can drive for nearly 40 miles on silent, zero-emission battery power.
Driving and comfort
It’s obviously no sports car, but the Tucson drives surprisingly well. It majors on sophistication and refinement, and is a great long-distance cruiser. And yet it doesn’t feel out of its depth on twisty or tight roads. In fact, keen drivers might even find a lot to like, with a rare amount of steering feel for a modern car and a pleasing directness to the steering. Much like the rest of the Tucson experience, it has a polished feel.