In-depth reviews

Hyundai Tucson - Interior, design and technology

Cabin quality for the Tucson is a huge step forward and a match for some premium SUVs

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

Interior, design and technology Rating

4.1 out of 5

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In such a competitive class, a stylish design can be a make-or-break quality to help a car stand out from the crowd. The Tucson’s dramatic nose, with its segmented LED headlights, certainly grabs more attention than most, while the sharp creases along the side emulate those of the electric Ioniq 5.

Manufacturers across the board are raising their game when it comes to interior design and levels of on-board tech. The Tucson is no exception and the latest model feels truly premium, with plastics and material finishes pretty much on a par with what you’ll find in Volkswagen and Audi products.

There’s a solid, reassuring feel to the Tucson’s cabin, although one possible criticism is that Hyundai could have used some more colour in the cabin. There are strips of fabric across the dash, which break up the swathes of black and grey, particularly in the front, but the cabin is dominated by the piano black monolith that houses the central display and controls.

Once you’re sitting in the driver’s seat, you’re faced with a smart 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and a clean, simple layout with only a few physical buttons and switches. Rather than having a regular manual gear selector, the Tucson features four buttons on the centre console.

Standard equipment is generous, with the entry-level SE Connect trim including 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, a rear-view camera, heated and folding door mirrors and the usual Bluetooth, smartphone connectivity and DAB audio set-up.

Mid-spec Premium adds adaptive cruise control, keyless entry, front parking sensors, an upgraded Krell audio system and a wireless mobile phone charging pad, along with extra active safety features, such as a Blind Spot Collision Warning. If you can make do without the glass sunroof and electric tailgate included with the top Ultimate trim, then Premium might be the most sensible choice.

N Line and N Line S models introduce a few sporty touches to the fourth-generation Tucson, both inside and out. The standard N Line variant adds 19-inch alloy wheels, a reprofiled front bumper with larger intakes and a more aggressive rear diffuser with twin-exit exhausts. Buyers also get a new tailgate spoiler and a fresh radiator grille, plus an N-branded steering wheel, black headlining, aluminium pedals and a pair of sports seats trimmed in black suede and leather for the cabin.

N Line S trim gets the same styling tweaks, but extends the kit list to include three-zone climate control, a heated steering wheel, the eight-speaker Krell sound system and an electric panoramic sunroof.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

The Tucson has a very impressive infotainment system that’s intuitive and straightforward to operate. Every model features a pair of 10.25-inch screens that offer fast loading times and clear graphics, plus built-in sat-nav (which works well), along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto if you would prefer to link up your smartphone.

The central touchscreen might not match the display sharpness or loading times of the Renault Austral’s Google-powered set-up, nor is it as big as the one in the Kia Sportage, but it’s still clear and easy to read. The main menu displays all of the key features in two rows of shortcut icons, and most of the sub-menus are fairly well thought out.

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Small potential for improvement comes in areas such as the driver-assist menu (which is a little on the convoluted side when it comes to changing settings) and the nav page, which takes a few too many button presses to confirm a route. 

A second 10.25-inch display sits ahead of the driver. The stats are easy to select via steering wheel-mounted buttons, and the colours and graphics adjust based on the chosen driving mode.

We like that the climate controls are separate from the main screen, and the upgraded Krell stereo, available with the N Line S, Premium and Ultimate trim, is a feature worth considering.

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