In-depth reviews

Hyundai Tucson review

The new Hyundai Tucson has all the essential qualities to mix it with the mid-size SUV class leaders

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

Price
£20,816 to £38,691
  • Hybrid power
  • Great on-board tech
  • Premium feel
  • Expensive plug-in hybrid model
  • Engine thrashy at higher revs
  • Not especially fun to drive

Hyundai has decided that now is the right time to move the Tucson into serious premium territory. Is it a good call by the Korean manufacturer? Well, with a much improved interior, striking looks and plenty of useful on-board tech, it’s clear that the Tucson means business.

Efficiency-boosting hybrid powertrains are to be found throughout the range, while levels of standard equipment are high. Yes, you’ll find the Tucson a little more expensive to buy, but we think it offers sufficient quality to justify its positioning, and we’ve made it our 2021 Mid-size SUV of the Year in the Auto Express New Car Awards.

About the Hyundai Tucson

Let’s cut straight to the chase - the previous Tucson model was a car that primarily sold itself on practicality, modest pricing and family usability, while decent levels of kit went some way towards making up for its distinct lack of flair. 

Hyundai’s fourth-generation mid-size SUV is a slightly different proposition, keen to establish itself as a premium offering for families that value style and refinement, as well as the more prosaic qualities of overall load space and day-to-day functionality.

Competition is fierce in this market sector and many of the Tucson’s rivals have established USPs that help them stand out from the pack. The Volkswagen Tiguan has an unmistakable air of quality and a solid reputation, while the Ford Kuga is highly rated and brings a sense of driving fun to family SUV life. The Skoda Karoq and SEAT Ateca offer different blends of the tried and trusted Volkswagen Group formula, with Peugeot’s 3008 delivering a classy cabin and typical Gallic charm. 

Also worth a mention in the myriad choices are the Japanese trio of the Mazda CX-5, Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V, followed by yet further options in the form of the evergreen Nissan Qashqai, Kia Sportage, Renault Kadjar and Vauxhall Grandland X.

That’s all just for starters, as the Tucson also has designs on buyers looking at the premium end of the market. It would appear to be in with a chance too, as when we pitched the Tucson against the more luxurious Lexus NX in a head-to-head test, the Korean SUV walked away with the crown. So, be in no doubt that Hyundai has a clear focus for not only taking on the best of the mainstream, but also nipping at the heels of the more upmarket brands like Audi and BMW.

With prices starting from around £28,500, buying into the Tucson range is more expensive when compared to the Tiguan and Kuga, although Hyundai doesn’t really offer a typical entry-level trim, so you’ll be well catered for in terms of equipment even with the ‘base’ car.

The range lineup is pretty straightforward, starting with SE Connect, N Line and N Line S, then Premium and top-of-the range Ultimate specifications. Standard kit includes dual-zone air-con, cruise control, a rear camera, a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen with sat-nav and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. 

The N Line models feature sporty tweaks both outside and inside, and is Hyundai’s riposte to cars like the VW Tiguan R-Line. You get 19-inch alloys, more aggressive bumpers and twin tailpipes, as well as tailgate spoiler and sports seats. Top-spec cars feature luxuries such as adaptive cruise control, an electric tailgate, a panoramic glass sunroof, heated and ventilated front seats and wireless mobile phone charging.

Power options centre around a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine in various states of tune and with varying degrees of hybrid assistance. You can have a 148bhp petrol-only model with a regular six-speed manual gearbox or, for around an extra £700, trade-up to a slightly more efficient version with 48-volt mild-hybrid tech and either 148bhp or 178bhp.

A full-hybrid model is also available, using a 1.49kWh battery and a 59bhp electric motor that works with the petrol engine to produce a 227bhp total output. The engine options are rounded off with a 261bhp four-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid version. 

The full- and plug-in hybrid cars are available with a six-speed auto transmission, while the 148bhp and 178bhp mild-hybrid variants employ a seven-speed dual-clutch auto. The lower-powered version is also available with Hyundai’s six-speed Intelligent Manual Transmission (IMT) which uses clever electronics to assist with changing gear, rather than operating a conventional clutch pedal.

If you're thinking of buying a Hyundai Tucson, why not visit our sister site buyacar.co.uk for the latest deals...

More on Tucson

Show me:
Nissan Qashqai vs Peugeot 3008 vs Hyundai Tucson
Nissan Qashqai vs Peugeot 3008 vs Hyundai Tucson
Nissan Qashqai
31 Jul 2021

Nissan Qashqai vs Peugeot 3008 vs Hyundai Tucson

The original Nissan Qashqai was ahead of the game when it was launched but has the latest version already been left behind by the Peugeot 3008 and Hyu…
Mid-size SUV of the Year 2021: Hyundai Tucson
Hyundai Tucson - header
Hyundai Tucson SUV
7 Jul 2021

Mid-size SUV of the Year 2021: Hyundai Tucson

The Hyundai Tucson is the Auto Express 2021 Mid-size SUV of the Year with the Skoda Enyaq iV and the Nissan Qashqai commended
New 2021 Hyundai Tucson N-Line hybrid and PHEV on sale now
Hyundai Tuscon N Line - front
Hyundai Tucson
18 Jun 2021

New 2021 Hyundai Tucson N-Line hybrid and PHEV on sale now

Hyundai names price for new Tucson N-Line hybrid duo with plug-in offering 38 miles of electric running
New Hyundai Tucson MHEV 2021 review
Hyundai Tucson MHEV - front
Hyundai Tucson
3 Jun 2021

New Hyundai Tucson MHEV 2021 review

Mild-hybrid tech adds an efficiency boost to the well equipped mid-size Hyundai Tucson SUV
New Hyundai Tucson PHEV on sale now priced from £39,330
Hyundai Tucson PHEV
Hyundai Tucson
10 Mar 2021

New Hyundai Tucson PHEV on sale now priced from £39,330

Hyundai has expanded the Tucson line-up with a new 261bhp PHEV variant offering a 31-mile electric only range
Hyundai Tucson vs Lexus NX
Hyundai Tucson vs Lexus NX
Car group tests
6 Mar 2021

Hyundai Tucson vs Lexus NX

Can the new Hyundai Tucson compete against the Lexus NX in the premium SUV sector?
New Hyundai Tucson 2021 review
Hyundai Tucson main
Hyundai Tucson
13 Jan 2021

New Hyundai Tucson 2021 review

The head-turning and hi-tech Hyundai Tucson SUV is set to challenge its premium rivals
Hyundai Tucson review
Hyundai Tucson - front
Hyundai Tucson SUV
6 Aug 2020

Hyundai Tucson review

The Hyundai Tucson comes with a long kit list, family-friendly practicality and good looks
New Hyundai Tucson N Line 2019 review
Hyundai Tucson N Line - front cornering
Hyundai Tucson SUV
16 May 2019

New Hyundai Tucson N Line 2019 review

We test the new Hyundai Tucson N Line to see if it can compete in the increasingly competitive warm SUV segment
Hyundai Tucson SUV gets sporty N Line treatment
Hyundai Tucson N Line - front tracking
Hyundai Tucson SUV
20 Mar 2019

Hyundai Tucson SUV gets sporty N Line treatment

Hyundai Tucson gets the brands sporty N Line treatment, while a second diesel unit becomes equipped with a 48 volt mild hybrid setup
New Hyundai Tucson N to arrive with 340bhp
Hyundai Tucson N - front (watermarked)
Hyundai Tucson
31 Jan 2019

New Hyundai Tucson N to arrive with 340bhp

Our exclusive image previews the look of the new Hyundai Tucson N, which is set to rival the Cupra Ateca, Audi SQ5 and VW T-Roc R
New Hyundai Tucson 48v 2018 review
Hyundai Tucson 48v - front tracking
Hyundai Tucson SUV
30 Oct 2018

New Hyundai Tucson 48v 2018 review

The mild hybrid assistance is unique but the Tucson can't overcome its hefty price tag
Used Hyundai Tucson review
Used Hyundai Tucson - front static
Hyundai Tucson SUV
4 Oct 2018

Used Hyundai Tucson review

A full used buyer’s guide on the Hyundai Tucson covering the Tucson Mk2 (2015-date)
Hyundai Tucson vs Peugeot 3008 vs Skoda Karoq
Hyundai Tucson vs Peugeot 3008 vs Skoda Karoq
Hyundai Tucson
9 Sep 2018

Hyundai Tucson vs Peugeot 3008 vs Skoda Karoq

Can the new Hyundai Tucson take on top diesel SUVs such as the Peugeot 3008 and Skoda Karoq?
New Hyundai Tucson to get 48v mild hybrid tech
Hyundai Tucson - New York front
Hyundai Tucson SUV
5 Jun 2018

New Hyundai Tucson to get 48v mild hybrid tech

The updated Hyundai Tucson is to be offered as a 48v mild hybrid diesel – a first for the Korean manufacturer
Hyundai Tucson - best crossovers
Hyundai Tucson 2016 - front quarter
Hyundai Tucson
29 Jun 2017

Hyundai Tucson - best crossovers

The Tucson name is back with a classy looking crossover that's practical, too
Hyundai Tucson - best small 4x4s
Hyundai Tucson 2016 - front quarter
Hyundai Tucson
29 Jun 2017

Hyundai Tucson - best small 4x4s

The Tucson is an upmarket and dependable crossover backed by a five-year warranty
Hyundai Tucson vs Renault Kadjar
Hyundai Tucson vs Renault Kadjar - group test front
Hyundai Tucson
22 Dec 2015

Hyundai Tucson vs Renault Kadjar

Can Hyundai’s new Tucson knock classy Renault off top spot in crossover class?
New Hyundai Tucson 2015 review
Hyundai Tucson - front action
Hyundai Tucson SUV
27 Aug 2015

New Hyundai Tucson 2015 review

We drive the new Hyundai Tucson 1.7-litre diesel - the expected best-seller - for the first time in the UK
2016 Hyundai Tucson to start at £18,695
New Hyundai Tucson 2015 front
Hyundai Tucson
29 Jun 2015

2016 Hyundai Tucson to start at £18,695

Hyundai announces prices for all-new Tucson SUV, on sale in September 2015, with range rising up to £32,345
Hyundai Tucson (2004-2008) review
Hyundai Tucson
Hyundai Tucson SUV
29 Dec 2006

Hyundai Tucson (2004-2008) review

Hyundai's second 4x4 seems almost unnecessary. It's not much smaller than the popular Santa Fe, and prices aren't significantly cheaper either.
Hyundai Tucson
Front view of Hyundai Tucson FCEV
Hyundai Tucson SUV
17 May 2006

Hyundai Tucson

An environmentalist's dream, we get behind the wheel of Hyundai's latest prototype the Tucson FCEV
Hyundai Tucson
Hyundai Tucson SUV
4 Aug 2004

Hyundai Tucson

If the latest ad campaign is to be believed, then a Hyundai is a car first and a badge second. Exactly what that means is open to debate, but a much l…