- Striking looks
- Impressive practicality
- Generous equipment
- Not much fun to drive
- Interior quality not a match for class-leaders
- Slow-witted automatic gearbox
Practical family SUV with distinctive styling
The Hyundai Tucson is the Korean manufacturer’s entry into the ever-growing crossover SUV market. First introduced in 2005, and now in its third generation, the latest Tucson is the best ever. It’s distinctive looks will appeal to a lot of family buyers as it really does stand out from the crowd. It’s also incredibly practical, with a large airy interior, and impressive storage capacity. Hyundai still doesn’t have the badge prestige of more recognisable manufacturers, but the Tucson is a genuine competitor to the Nissan Qashqai and the Skoda Yeti, and it’s low purchase price, and unbeatable warranty, make it a great option for family buyers.
The latest update in 2015 featured new distinctive styling, more efficient engines, and improved interior quality.
Spacious, practical, and solidly built
Family SUVs should be practical cars built for the rigours of family life, and the Tucson certainly ticks both boxes. The interior design isn’t the most inspiring, but it’s solid build quality, generous equipment, and impressive load capacity are a winning combination.
Stepping into a Hyundai Tucson is more or less the same as stepping into any modern Hyundai. The Korean manufacturer keeps the design clear and and simple, whilst controls are well-placed and easy to use. Material quality isn’t as plush as it is in a Nissan Qashqai, or a Volkswagen Tiguan, but the Tucson does feel well screwed together, and whilst the hard grey plastics aren’t the most attractive, reliability should be exemplary.
Storage space is one area in which the Tuscon really excels. The 513 litre boot capacity is one of the biggest in its class, and offers loads more room than the Nissan Qashqai (430 litres) and the Skoda Yeti (416 litres). That means there’s more room for luggage, shopping, and the usual family clutter. Cabin space is also impressive, with more than enough room for five full-sized adults.
Equipment levels in the Tucson are pretty generous no matter which spec you go for. Even the entry-level S trim comes with plenty of kit, with air-con, electric windows, DAB radio, Bluetooth, electric mirrors, and USB connectivity all featuring. The slightly more expensive SE trim offers the best value however, as it adds climate control, cruise control, parking sensors, and heated seats, additions which most families would appreciate. SE Nav trim is more expensive still, but it does add sat-nav, ideal if you’re transporting your kids to away football fixtures.
Overall the inside of the Tucson is an impressive package. OK, it doesn’t possess the quality of some rivals, but it more than makes up for it with solid build quality, a spacious interior, a class-leading boot space, and generous equipment.
Comfortable and simple to drive
The crossover SUV market isn’t flooded with driver-focused cars, and the Santa Fe isn’t either. Nevertheless, it’s an easy car to drive, so it will appeal to most drivers. The steering is light enough to make the Tucson an effective car about town, though its vagueness doesn’t lend itself to fast flowing B-roads. Body roll is kept well in check however, so the Tucson won’t leave your passengers grabbing for sick bags, and there’s plenty of grip through the corners.
Suspension and Chassis
The Tucson isn’t thrilling to drive, but it is comfortable. For most family buyers this is of primary importance, and the Tucson delivers. The suspension system irons out all but the worst of lousy British roads, potholes, and speed bumps, so you won’t be jolted about too much. At low speeds the Tucson isn’t quite as impressive, but it’s still decent. Road noise is pronounced on motorways however, so the Tucson isn’t the most refined long-distance cruiser.
Gearbox options in the Tucson come in three guises. The standard throughout the range is a six-speed manual transmission that’s universal across the Hyundai range, and it’s pretty decent, though the gearshift is a little vague. There’s also a six-speed automatic available, which is smooth and refined, but is slow to react when you need a burst of acceleration. A dual-clutch semi-automatic is the pick of the bunch, but it only comes with range-topping models.
A good solid range of diesel engines
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your Tucson, you’ve got the usual two options: petrol, or diesel. Diesels make the most sense in a car of this class, and the petrol engines in the Tucson range won’t suit most buyers needs.
Family-oriented SUVs aren’t engineered to appeal to petrolheads, and the Tucson is no different. Power hungry drivers should however consider the diesel-powered 2.0 CRDi 185 model, as it produces 182bhp, and will accelerate from 0-62mph in 9.5 seconds. Hardly headline figures, but it feels pretty powerful for a car in this class. It is however more expensive to buy and to run than the other diesels in the range, which should be considered.
Eco-friendly buyers will be relatively happy with the Tucson range, though it’s not the greenest car for the planet. The best engine on offer is the 1.7 CRDi Blue Drive, which produces 119g/km of CO2 emissions. Nissan offers greener engines in its Qashqai range, but the Tucson is still reasonable for its class. Money-savers will also be impressed with this engine, as it can achieve up to 61mpg, which will save you plenty of money at the fuel pumps each week.
Whichever engine you choose to go for in your Tucson, you’re going to get an engine capable of day-to-day family needs, as well as offering decent fuel efficiency. Avoid the petrol engine if you can though.
Full marks in NCAP safety tests, decent standard safety kit
Like nearly every car in its class, the Hyundai Tucson easily achieved the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. With scores of 86% in adult safety, 85% in child safety, and 71% in pedestrian safety, the Tucson is amongst the safest cars in its class. Unfortunately, only top-spec models come with modern electronic safety systems, though entry-level models still come with six airbags, tyre-pressure monitoring, and hill-start assist as standard.
Excellent value for money, if you avoid the cost of new-car depreciation
The Hyundai Tucson is one of the best value cars in its class. This does vary from model to model, but generally speaking emissions are average for the class, so tax bands are reasonable, whilst fuel efficiency is impressive. It’s worth considering that Hyundai’s class-leading unlimited mileage 5-year warranty will save you plenty of money at the garage, and the brand’s excellent reliability record will see breakdowns become a thing of the past.
Insurance groups for the Tucson again depend on which model you choose to go for. The range starts in group 13 for the 1.7 CRDi Blue Drive Premium, and climbs up towards group 23 if you’re tempted by the range-topping 2.0 CRDi (185) Premium SE Auto. Whichever spec you plunge for, you won’t be paying any more than you would for an equivalent rival.
Depreciation is a large factor with the Tucson, but only if you choose to buy from new. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Hyundai Tucson is one of the most impressive family SUVs currently on sale. It might not have the badge prestige of some of its rivals, but it more than makes up for it with its exceptional practicality, efficient diesel engines, and comfortable ride. The Tucson is also one of the most reliable cars in its class, and with a class-leading 5-year warranty, it’s not only cheap to buy in the first place, it’ll also save you money in the long run.
Buying a used Hyundai Tucson online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Hyundai Tucson for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used Tucson. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Hyundai Tucson online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Hyundai? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Hyundai Tucson, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used Tucson, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Carspring Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Hyundai to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.