Hyundai Tucson TGDi

180 N Line

Hyundai Tucson, 2021, side
Hyundai Tucson, 2021, front
Hyundai Tucson, 2021, rear, action
Hyundai Tucson, 2021, interior
Hyundai Tucson, 2021, boot

NO question about it - Hyundai makes good cars.

But until recently the evergreen Tucson has played second fiddle to its sister car, the Kia Sportage.

Not only have sales been lower but the old Tucson never quite caught Joe Public's imagination.

Now, with the introduction of an all new version, it's a very different story and the clearly the premium new Tucson is right up there doing battle not only with the Sportage but against the successful Peugeot 3008, Nissan Qashqai, Ford Kuga and VW Tiguan.

With its sharp looks, elegant angles and huge grille that overlays its headlights, it makes a serious impact.

There's a wide choice of trims and engine options, notably several with degrees of electrification. No diesel model is offered this time however. Having already sampled the 227bhp full hybrid model, we opted for its cheaper family member, with 178bhp which boasts a 1.49kWh battery and in N-Line trim.

Blending decent performance in terms of torque and acceleration - 62mph comes up nine seconds - with reasonable economy and ample passenger and luggage space, it's likely to be high on the ‘best buy' list for many mid-size SUV buyers.

The cabin is smart and classy and in sporty N-Line guise it is treated to sports seats, electric tailgate, adaptive cruise control and large touchscreen. Outside you get twin exhausts and a rear spoiler.

A criticism of the cabin design is the use of shiny black plastic finishes which, at first, looks stylish and appropriately premium. The trouble is they show every fingerprint and speck of dust that settles.

Another minor grouse is that most of the controls are operated via the large touchscreen or are touch-sensitive which makes it difficult to use over poor surfaces when the car inevitably rocks around a bit. This particularly applies particularly to the heating/climate controls and the sound system.

When it comes to space, there's enough headroom front and rear for six-footers and the rear boot can hold 577 litres of baggage which puts it towards to top of the class. The rear seats flip down quickly and easily for more room.

Just as the latest car looks sharper, so it handles more dynamically with a quick turn-in during cornering, very little body roll and a general feeling of athleticism.

The turbo engine is generally pretty quiet unless you hang on to the revs too long, when a bit of harshness creeps in.

While it handles neatly, the ride can be a tad jittery over poor surfaces, particularly at slower speeds. Of course, it gets four wheel drive so when the going gets tough there's another axle to help out. A twin clutch automatic gearbox is standard issue on this version.

Clearly, the battery plays its part in aiding economy. Even so we were unable to improve on 40mpg during normal everyday running. Over a fast cross country route economy dipped to 33mpg.

It won't pass by private buyers' that Hyundai include a five year comprehensive warranty on their vehicles - a serious vote of confidence in their products and a feature that makes the latest Tucson even more appealing.

£37,465

1.6-itre, 178bhp, turbo petrol electric engine driving 4 wheels via automatic gearbox

125mph

9 secs

41.5

19

160g/km

37%

5yrs/100,000 miles

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