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Hyundai Tucson

TAKE ME TO TUCSON (some text hidden)

June Neary gets to grips with the Tucson, Hyundai's Crossover model

Will It Suit Me?word count: 247

I don't necessarily approve of off-road vehicles being used by owners who only ever drive them on the road. However, I was forced to revise this view slightly last time we had a dusting of snow round our way. The beautiful rear-wheel-drive executive estate car I was driving started behaving as though it was on an ice rink fitted with Teflon tyres. Given the UK's usual climate though, the costs of all-wheel-drive tend to out-weight the benefits for the kind of driving most of us do. You might think that this bodes badly for the Hyundai Tucson we're taking a look at here - but don't jump the gun. Yes, this vehicle is one of those SUV-like Crossover models but, like the majority of small to mid-sized models around today, it's designed to excel in the kind of tarmac-based usage that the majority of buyers will put it through. The Tucson's positioning as a Crossover means you get this kind of car's tall driving position, easy access and bold off-roader styling. Most will buy this model in front wheel drive form, but I tried it in 4WD guise with Hyundai's quite efficient 1.6-litre T-GDI petrol turbo engine. Across the range, you get a refined, car-like driving experience and lower running costs than would be obtainable in a proper fully-fledged go-anywhere SUV; you know, the kind of Land Rover-style thing with the differentials, ground clearance and low range gearbox you'd need for driving up a dried-out river bed.

Practicalitiesword count: 141

There's a large and roomy cabin beneath the Tucson's appealing exterior lines. Efforts to bring a sportier feel to the exterior by tapering the windows off towards the rear of the car and shrinking the rear screen don't help visibility though. The vehicle also fails to come up with many of the clever MPV-style features that would add versatility to the cabin. The rear-seats don't slide, but they do recline and feature conventional 60:40 split backs that fold down nearly flat to the floor to increase luggage space. Rear leg room is very good for a vehicle of this size and entries and exits are made easier by the elevated ride-height. It's easy to see why SUV-style vehicles have become so popular with families, as the taller design makes it so simple to strap kids in or fit a car seat.

Behind the Wheelword count: 226

As mentioned previously, not all Tucson models offer four-wheel-drive. As has increasingly become the case with crossovers and compact SUVs designed mainly for road use, the entry-level variants of this car are front-wheel-drive only. This means the extra traction to help you out in slippery conditions is lost but all Tucsons still have the extended ground clearance to stop them coming to grief on speed humps and high kerbs. The 2WD versions also bring fuel efficiency benefits. The engine range available with this Hyundai is usefully diverse. When it comes to this issue, it's well worth finding the price premium to progress from the rather feeble 132PS entry-level 1.6-litre GDi petrol unit to the 115PS 1.6-litre CRDi diesel that most will want. Buyers wanting the 4WD option though, will need to trade up to the pokier 2.0-litre CRDi diesel variant, which now comes with clever 'mild hybrid' electrified technology, 7DCT auto transmission, 4WD and a high price tag. You can also have 4WD and an auto 'box if you choose the top 1.6 T-GDI petrol derivative I tried, though a front-driven manual version's also available. Features such as Downhill Brake Control (which stops the vehicle running away with you when heading down steep gradients) and Hill-Start Assist Control (which ensures a smooth getaway when driving back up) will help should you decide to venture off road.

Value For Moneyword count: 107

Equipment levels are strong. Even the base 'S Connect' variants get quite a lot. Expect a 7" display audio including a DAB tuner along with 'Apple Car Play' and 'Android Auto' smartphone-mirroring. Plus a rear view camera, climate control, Bluetooth connectivity with steering wheel controls and a leather steering wheel and gear knob. Exterior enhancements include 16" alloy wheels, front fog lamps and automatic headlamps. Across the range, this improved Tucson gets an increased number of safety features, with Autonomous Emergency Braking and Lane Keep Assist standardised across all trim levels, as well as Driver Attention Alert - which is standard on 'SE Nav' trim and upwards.

To see the full road test text contact us on 0330 0020 227

Pictures (high res disabled)

Statistics (subset of data only)

Min

Max

0-62 mph (s):

8.9

13.7

Combined mpg:

37.7

61.4

CO2 (g/km):

119

173

Extra urban mpg:

43.5

67.3

Height (mm):

1645

1650

Insurance group 1-50:

12

25

... and 6 other stats available

Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: Crossover or SUV 4x4s

Performance
70%
Handling
70%
Comfort
70%
Space
70%
Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

This is an excerpt from our full review.
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