Hyundai Tucson Review
The Hyundai Tucson is a family car that’s available in petrol, hybrid and plug-in hybrid forms
Strengths & weaknesses
The Tucson is powered by a range of 1.6-litre petrol engines. Some are joined with electric motors and become hybrid-powered, so it’s efficient and cheap to run. There’s even a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model that you can plug in and drive on electric power alone for short distances.
The hybrid versions are also joined by a plain petrol version and a mild hybrid. It’s important to know the difference between the hybrid and mild hybrid version - the full hybrid uses an electric motor capable of driving the wheels and moving the car on its own, while the mild hybrid simply has a more powerful starter motor that helps the petrol engine along.
Whichever engine you choose, the Tucson is a top choice if you are looking for your next family SUV. It has a very pleasant cabin that’s full of tech, plus it’s comfortable and easy to drive. It’s roomy enough for families, cheap to run and looks smart as well.
The Tucson is a little more expensive than some of its rivals, such as the Ford Kuga or Peugeot 3008, as the car maker is trying to move upmarket and target buyers of the BMW X1 or Audi Q3 instead. Whether it’s able to match the appeal of a premium car maker’s badge is for you to decide, but it certainly has the build quality and technology to do so.
Read on to find out more about the Hyundai Tucson and see if it’s right for you.
Should I get a Hyundai Tucson?
✔ Hybrid engines are efficient
✔ Upmarket and high-quality cabin
✔ Lots of equipment
✘ Not very exciting to drive
✘ Quite expensive
✘ Engines can be noisy
The Hyundai Tucson is one of the best family SUVs around. It’s not for everyone, as it’s on the expensive side and so value for money isn’t the strong point it once was with the Tucson, but it’s still really well equipped, comfortable, well-built and easy to drive.
The hybrid versions are cheap to run and all models have a pleasant, upmarket cabin that has lots of modern kit included. The Tucson is also smart-looking and practical, so it has plenty of appeal for all kinds of buyers.
- Models explained
- Trim levels
- Batteries and range
- Best Tucson for
- Boot space
- Should I buy used?
The Hyundai Tucson is a family SUV about the same size and shape as a Nissan Qashqai, Peugeot 3008 or Ford Kuga. It has five doors, the rear being a hatchback boot, and it’s raised up like all SUVs to distinguish it from a normal hatchback car.
The Tucson has a 1.6-litre petrol engine with 150hp and a manual gearbox. There are also mild hybrid versions that we’ll include here, because they aren’t really hybrids but more of an assisted petrol.
If you choose a mild hybrid model you can have a dual-clutch gearbox (Hyundai calls this DCT). It drives the same as an automatic model - there’s no clutch pedal and it changes gear for you - and is available with four-wheel drive.
Hyundai Tucson Hybrid
The Hyundai Tucson Hybrid comes in two forms. The first is a full hybrid, which uses the engine to charge the battery but can still drive on electric power alone, unlike the mild hybrid versions. This model has 230hp and uses the 1.6-litre engine, just like the normal petrol version - the extra power comes from the electric motor.
The PHEV (plug-in) model also uses this engine and has even more power, at 265hp, plus it is four-wheel drive as standard. This model can be plugged in and charged up, allowing up to 38 miles of driving on electric power alone.
|SE Connect||Limited stock: The entry-level SE Connect version model comes with 17-inch alloys, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, a reversing camera, a 10.3-inch media screen, sat-nav and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.|
|N Line||From £18,450: N Line trim mainly adds cosmetic touches to make it look sportier, such as a body kit, 19-inch alloys and twin exhaust pipes.|
|N Line S||Limited stock: This is almost the same as N Line but gets blind spot warning, an upgraded stereo, an electric tailgate and adaptive cruise control.|
|Premium||From £11,700: This version is based on the SE Connect model - it’s less eye-catching than N Line - but adds adaptive cruise control, keyless entry, front parking sensors, a bigger stereo, wireless phone charging and blind spot assist.|
|Ultimate||From £22,000: The top-spec model has everything on lower trims, plus a large sunroof and an automatic tailgate. It’s quite expensive and probably not worth going for.|
There’s only one version of the Tucson that is petrol-only, so the best petrol engine is the 1.6-litre model by default. With a manual gearbox it returns around 41.5mpg, and with an automatic DCT gearbox, it returns 43.5mpg. That’s not too bad but it’s not as impressive as the hybrid engines (see below), which are capable of closer to 50mpg in normal driving.
There are three hybrid versions of the Tucson - the regular hybrid, plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid.
The marketing of the mild hybrid version can be confusing but think of it like this - it’s a normal petrol model that’s a tiny bit more efficient because of modern tech, and the marketing department wants you to think it’s more eco-friendly than it really is. That’s not to say it’s a bad choice, you just need to be aware of what you’re buying.
The full hybrid has an electric motor that’s capable of driving the wheels and a small battery pack, but it cannot be recharged with a plug. The engine simply tops up the battery as you go. It’s a great option if you can’t charge up at home, for example if you don’t have a driveway.
The plug-in hybrid model has the potential to be the most efficient version in the range, as you can charge up every day and use electric power only for the trip to work. However, it’s not a good idea if you don’t charge up every day.
The plug-in hybrid version of the Tucson has a 13.8kWh battery pack and a 1.6-litre petrol engine. The battery allows for a decent 38 miles of driving on a single charge, which is a little more than the 30-ish miles that many rivals offer. In the real world, expect around 30 miles of driving in the Tucson PHEV, which should be enough for the daily commute.
The Hyundai Tucson is a family SUV and it’s clear that people who need a practical, efficient and comfortable car are going to be the core customer base. However, we’ve picked out a handful of buying situations where you might want to choose a certain model. It should help you to decide which model is right for you.
|Hyundai Tucson 1.6 T-GDi SE Connect: Don’t shy away from the entry-level model for value for money. It has all the kit you really need, including smartphone connectivity and sat-nav, plus it’s comfy and easy to drive with the manual gearbox.|
|Hyundai Tucson 1.6 Hybrid Premium: The hybrid model is great for families who don’t have a driveway, as you don’t need to plug it in, yet it’s still really efficient. It’s easy to drive, cheap to run and in Premium trim, you get lots of equipment as standard.|
|Hyundai Tucson 1.6 Hybrid N Line: Although the PHEV model has the most power, at 265hp, it’s the 230hp Hybrid model that’s the fastest because it’s lighter (it doesn’t have four-wheel drive and a larger battery, which add a lot of weight). It goes from 0-62mph in eight seconds, and N Line trim brings some sporty-looking kit.|
|Hyundai Tucson 1.6 T-GDi MHEV 180hp DCT 4WD: There’s a top-spec version of the petrol model with four-wheel drive, an auto gearbox and mild hybrid tech. It’s expensive, is the least efficient model in the range and isn’t even very fast or fun. It’s not really good for anyone.|
The Hyundai Tucson is a family SUV, so there are loads and loads of rivals. It’s one of the most popular - and profitable - types of car at the moment so virtually every mainstream car maker has a family SUV in their range.
Models that are also available as a hybrid include the Nissan Qashqai, Ford Kuga, Peugeot 3008, Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR–V. Then there’s the Kia Sportage, which is really similar to the Hyundai and another top choice.
Other rivals include the Renault Kadjar, Vauxhall Grandland, Skoda Karoq, Seat Ateca, Mazda CX-5, and Volkswagen Tiguan. That’s a long list but there are still dozens more to consider if you are buying second-hand.
Hyundai Tucson practicality: dimensions and boot space
The Hyundai Tucson is 4.5m long, 1.65m tall and 1.9m wide (excluding the door mirrors), which is about the same as a Nissan Qashqai or Peugeot 3008. It’s bigger than the previous Hyundai ix35, so if you’re moving up from an older model, you’ll find it’s a slightly more spacious car.
There’s plenty of space inside, even in the rear seats for adults. Most will have plenty of legroom and headroom in the back, although the middle seat is a bit compromised because there’s a lump in the floor and a chunky centre console that takes up foot room.
|Length 4,500mm||Width 1,865mm|
|Height 1,651mm||Weight 1,425kg - 1,924kg|
The Tucson has between 558 and 620 litres of space in the boot, as the batteries in the hybrid models take up space inside. Even the mild hybrids have a big battery in the boot that reduces the amount of space inside, so the most spacious models are the plain petrol versions.
With the seats down there’s up to 1,799 litres of space available, which is very good and means the Tucson is one of the roomiest cars of its type. There are more practical options but the Tucson is excellent in this area and has loads of space for everyday use as well as for family trips.
|Seats up 558-620 litres||Seats down 1,737-1,799 litres|
The Tucson should be a really reliable car overall. Hyundai has a reputation for building very dependable cars and although this new model is still so young we don’t have any long-term data yet, the old car is generally trouble-free and the brand came in 13th overall in the 2021 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey. The long warranty (see below) shows how confident the car maker is in the reliability of its cars, too.
The Hyundai Tucson comes with a five-year warranty as standard, just like all other Hyundai models. This warranty covers it for an unlimited number of miles in that time, so it’s one of the best warranties around for those who drive a lot of miles - even Kia’s long seven-year warranty is limited to 100,000 miles. The battery in the hybrid models is covered for eight years or 125,000 miles in the Tucson.
|5 years||Unlimited miles|
AVERAGE REPAIR COST PAID BY WARRANTYWISE: £577
The Hyundai Tucson is one of the best all-round family SUVs around at the moment, and a used example makes a lot of sense. The five-year warranty means that even a two-year-old example has the same warranty time left on it as a brand-new Ford Kuga, and the Hyundai is also more upmarket, has more equipment and is more practical too.
However, the Tucson isn’t as enjoyable to drive or as comfortable as the Ford, nor is it as good value as some other rivals. Where the Hyundai really shines is as a hybrid, where it’s efficient, quiet, reliable and easy to drive. If you are looking for a used family SUV then the new Tucson should be on your list - if you can afford it.
BuyaCar prices Limited stock
The entry-level Tucson 1.6 petrol is a good choice for value, since even the basic SE Connect trim comes with an excellent media system and everything else you might need, such as air-con. It’s quite efficient for a petrol, too.
We prefer the hybrid model overall, though. It’s really easy to drive and stays smooth and quiet at low speeds, so it’s great for commuting. It’s great if you can’t charge up at home, plus it has plenty of performance and is decently practical.
Choose the plug-in hybrid model if your lifestyle allows daily charging. If you have a driveway with a home wallbox charger, you can keep the battery topped up and drive to work and back on electric power alone, which could save you hundreds of pounds in fuel each year.
*Representative PCP finance - 2018 Ford Fiesta 1.0 ST-Line Hatchback:
|PCP representative example||APR rates available|
|Cash price £12,000||APR 7.90%||Value of loan||From|
|Fixed monthly payment £218.12||Annual mileage of 8,000pa||£25,000+||6.9%|
|Total cost of credit £2,755.55||Term 48 months||£12,000-£24,999||7.9%|
|Optional final payment £4,285.79||Loan value £12,000||£8,000-£11,999||8.9%|
|Total amount payable £14,755.55||Deposit £0||<8,000||9.9%|
BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.