IF you want to know why Hyundai have made such great strides in the UK car market in recent years then just take a look at the latest Tucson.
Loaded with equipment and the latest tech, good looking and priced below most of its competitors this large-ish SUV has lots to commend it – not least of which is a starting price of a shade below £19,000 for the non-hybrid versions.
We got our hands on the Premium 48v ‘Mild Hybrid’ which has a 2-litre diesel engine and all-wheel drive linked to an eight speed auto gearbox. It also has a 16bhp hybrid system which helps the diesel engine to boost claimed fuel economy and improve emissions and is priced from a little over £32,000.
Hyundai’s five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty beats most of its rivals, which typically feature three-year, 60,000-mile warranties and the revised for 2019 car comes in six core trim levels from the entry-level S which has as standard 16in alloy wheels, auto headlights and wipers, electrically adjustable and heated wing mirrors, hill start assist and trailer stability assistance as standard plus reclining rear seats, USB and Bluetooth connectivity and air conditioning.
Upgrade to SE and the Tucson gains 17in alloys, cruise control, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, parking sensors, roof rails and a full sized spare wheel while SE Nav adds an 8in touchscreen infotainment system complete with sat nav, speed limit notification and a reversing camera.
For those after a sportier SUV there is the Sport Edition, which has 19in alloys, electrically adjustable front seats, heated rear seats, front parking sensors and tinted rear windows.
Topping the range is the Premium (our test car) and Premium SE models. The former gets numerous safety systems – including autonomous emergency braking, blind spot detection and rear cross traffic alert, while the latter boasts LED headlights, keyless entry, electric tailgate, heated steering wheel, a panoramic sunroof, ventilated front seats and numerous chrome details.
The mild hybrid system is well integrated and easy to forget as it cuts in and out seamlessly meaning a claimed mpg of up to a shade below 50mpg – something which would have seemed impossible in this size of vehicle until now.
There is a Sport mode which makes things a bit quicker but the Tucson is fast enough in normal setting if a little sluggish when you select eco mode. However, with a £3,000 price hike over the standard Tucson the hybrid will only appeal to those doing higher mileages.
Inside that 2019 model makeover has brought things up to date especially in the tech department as both the DAB radio and sat nav are straightforward and easy to set up and use. There is also a greater use of soft-touch plastics higher up the interior and across the dashboard.
Hyundai says that it’s the first diesel-electric hybrid in the segment and produces a total of just under 200bhp which is linked to their well proved all-wheel drive system.
On non-hybrid models there are three other engines to choose from, all which drive the front wheels only, a 130bhp 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol and two 1.7-litre diesel units – 114bhp and 139bhp respectively. However, Hyundai sees itself as a leader in hybrid technology and has 16 electrified cars planned by 2025.
I used the Tucson to take my much better half on a birthday weekend to Kirkby Lonsdale and she gave the car top marks for comfort and style. I gave it top marks for great fuel economy, interior space and a pleasant driving experience.
More information at www.hyundai.co.uk
By Motoring Editor Steve Howarth