Hyundai Tucson 2.0

Premium SE

Hyundai Tucson, front
Hyundai Tucson, side
Hyundai Tucson, rear
Hyundai Tucson, front
Hyundai Tucson, rear
Hyundai Tucson, rear
Hyundai Tucson, interior
Hyundai Tucson, boot
Hyundai Tucson, boot
Hyundai Tucson, rear
Hyundai Tucson, interior
Hyundai Tucson, front

THE Hyundai Tucson is a family SUV that's very big on style, handling and technology - and it needs to be when competing against the likes of the Nissan Qashqai and SEAT Ateca.

The latest model is much sharper in appearance than its predecessor with dynamic styling, and for anyone with an eye on economy, there is a new mild hybrid version that features a 48-volt electric battery.

We opted for the top-of-the-range Premium SE model powered by a 1.6 T-GDi petrol engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission. This turbocharged powertrain pumps out 177ps with 265Nm of torque, so it's not lacking when it comes to performance.

In fact, the Tucson can sprint to 62mph from a standstill in a very respectable 9.2 seconds and on to a top speed of 126mph while delivering combined fuel efficiency of 37.7mpg with carbon emissions of 168g/km.

The new Tucson looks more athletic in its styling thanks to the introduction of Hyundai's trademark Cascading grille. There are also improved full LED headlights, new bumpers, rear lights and tail pipes.

Move inside and the cabin is deceptively spacious with room for all the family. The designers have also given the interior quite a make-over with a redesigned dashboard, a floating touchscreen and plenty of technology to explore.

Creature comforts on our car, which was priced at £29,970, included a pitch perfect Krell sound system with eight speakers and a subwoofer, full smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, an eight-inch touchscreen navigation system with traffic messaging channel and live services, Bluetooth, a wireless phone charging pad, air conditioning, powered seats, a sunroof, parking sensors and a surround view monitor.

The car has a modern, upmarket feel to it with leather upholstery and plenty of soft touch surfaces, and all the dials and controls are ideally positioned for ease of use.

When it comes to performance, the Tucson offers plenty of power from the punchy petrol engine. The acceleration is sharp and the six-speed gearbox nice and responsive as the car makes easy work of overtaking slower moving vehicles. It cruises effortlessly on motorways and is comfortable even after several hours behind the wheel.

Out on the country lanes, the Tucson's road holding is assured and the car is nicely balanced. It is not as high as some family SUVs so any body sway into tight bends is kept to a minimum.

The latest Tucson is also fitted with Hyundai's Flex Steer power steering system that allows you to select between Normal or Sport. In the Normal setting, little steering effort is required, but in the Sport mode the wheel feels far heavier which is better suited to faster driving.

The driver benefits from a slightly elevated seating position which is good for visibility, although the Tucson has quite wide door pillars which hinder the over-the-shoulder view a little.

That was my only slight gripe really, apart from the fuel economy - I was struggling to get close to the official 37.7mpg even when I followed all the on-screen gear shift prompts and was eventually achieving around 32.0 to 33.0mpg - on a good day.

Being a family SUV you would expect storage options to be impressive inside the Tucson and they are. The boot has a capacity ranging from 513 litres to 1,503 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat.

There is a powered tailgate, along with lots of convenient storage compartments scattered throughout the car, such as an illuminated glovebox with cooling function, front and rear cup holders, door bins, a central cubby box and a sunglasses holder.

The vehicle was awarded the maximum five stars when it was tested for its Euro NCAP safety rating and boasts autonomous emergency braking, brake assist, lane keep assist, blind spot detection, downhill brake control, hill-start assist, high beam assist, rear cross traffic alert, vehicle stability management and a number of airbags. There is also trailer stability assist to help prevent or reduce any swaying when pulling a trailer or caravan.

FAST FACTS

Hyundai Tucson 2.0 Premium SE

Price: £29,970

Mechanical: 177ps, 1,591cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manualgearbox

Max Speed: 126mph

0-62mph: 9.2 seconds

Combined MPG: 37.7

Insurance Group: 21

C02 emissions: 168g/km

Bik rating: 37%

Warranty: 5yrs/unlimited miles

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