Hyundai Tucson

Premium 2.0 CRDi

Hyundai Tucson 2015, side, action
Hyundai Tucson 2015, side
Hyundai Tucson 2015, rear
Hyundai Tucson 2015, interior
Hyundai Tucson 2015, rear seats
Hyundai Tucson 2015, sat nav

A MEASURE of just how attractive and capable a car the new Hyundai Tucson is proving can be gauged over just a few short months.

Since its market launch last autumn the Tucson has become the fastest-selling Hyundai model both in the UK and across Europe, eclipsing the popular i10 supermini in the process.

The model it replaced, the ix35, was a multi-award winner in its own right and with a refreshing blend of style, space, value and economy, the Tucson is on track to land a few gongs of its own.

Hyundai sees the Tucson as a vehicle of immense importance to the brand and it certainly looks the part, its rugged front dominated by the Korean company's hexagonal grille connecting to the LED headlamps, while a ‘Z' character line above the rear wheel arches adds a totem of strength.

Built on a completely new platform, the Tucson offers plenty of cabin space - really good head and leg room in the back plus the treat of a comfortable centre rear position.

The rear seats also split and fold 60/40 and there's a large boot, though the spare wheel takes up any lower space.

Opting for the more upmarket Premium trim grade brings luxury touches like perforated leather seats. On the down side the dash and panelling feels both brittle and plasticky - a surprise given the quality of everything else.

The Tucson's engine line-up comprises a 132ps 1.6-litre GDi petrol unit with six-speed manual transmission and three diesels - 116ps 1.7-litre, 136ps 2.0-litre or 185ps 2.0-litre.

Bang in the middle of the oil-burning trio was the tested variant, a car boasting just enough punch to give the Hyundai a feeling of authority.

It's strong, quiet and fairly economical, though 300 miles of mixed urban and motorway driving saw us a good 10 miles per gallon shy of the official 54.3mpg figure.

Comfortable and well insulated, the Tucson rides extremely well on the 19-inch alloy wheels that come as standard on higher grade models and can tackle most of what Mother Nature can chuck at it courtesy of its four-wheel drive set-up.

But then the chassis has been developed for European drivers, the focus on ride comfort without compromising driving dynamics.

Safety features include active electronic driving aids like an autonomous emergency braking system, lane keeping assist, rear traffic cross alert, blind spot detection and speed limit info.

There's no doubt the Tucson is a serious rival to the likes of class leader the Nissan Qashqai, Renault Kadjar, Mazda CX-3 and its own stablemate the Kia Sportage in that it looks the part - and carries an air of distinction.

Prices start at £18,995 for the entry level S trim, which includes features like DAB digital radio with MP3, Bluetooth, 16-inch alloys, air-con and auto headlights with dusk sensor.

Opt for the tested Premium grade and the kit list is extensive, a few of the highlights being leather upholstery, front parking sensors, heated rear seats and blind spot detection, though pearl paint is a £585 extra cost option.

FAST FACTS

Hyundai Tucson Premium 2.0 CRDi

Price: £28,425

Mechanical: 136ps, 1,995cc 4-cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via six-speed manual transmission

Max Speed: 114mph

0-62mph: 10.9 seconds

Combined MPG: 54.3

Insurance Group: 139g/km

C02 emissions: 27%

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