Hyundai Tucson Hybrid review
The Hyundai Tucson Hybrid is a stylish, well built and practical hybrid family SUV that's up there with the best contenders in its class
- Striking looks
- Great to drive
- Impressive build quality
- Not the most fun-to-drive SUV
- Plug-in version will be more efficient
- More expensive then previous models
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Concept-car styling certainly helps the Hyundai Tucson Hybrid get noticed, but there's a lot more to this SUV than the way it looks. It's an excellent SUV for families, and should be one of the front-runners on your shortlist despite sitting in a busy field of worthy rivals like the Vauxhall Grandland, Peugeot 3008, Kia Niro, Ford Kuga and Toyota RAV4.
Hybrid SUVs are certainly in fashion, and buyers could save cash by opting for the Tucson instead of more upmarket models like the Lexus NX, Audi Q3 and Volkswagen Tiguan. Alternatively, there's the reliable Honda CR-V and quirky Citroen C5 Aircross.
The Tucson's standout design feature is a series of LED lights that look like part of the grille when turned off, but transform its nose when illuminated. Hyundai used to have a reputation for building dull cars, but things have truly been turned around, and now the South Korean manufacturer sells some of the most distinctive models available. There are more interesting design aspects further around, with sharp body creases, chrome detailing and claw-like tail-lights.
Petrol and mild-hybrid versions are available, but this review is focused on the full hybrid Tucson, fitted with a 1.6-litre petrol engine, electric motor and a compact (1.49kWh) battery. Together, these produce 227bhp and while a six-speed automatic gearbox is standard, buyers can pick front or four-wheel drive versions.
There’s also a plug-in hybrid Tucson, which could present the option for even lower running costs if you have somewhere to charge it overnight. If not, this hybrid model is the best option for low running costs, since it returns around 50mpg and emits from 127g/km of CO2.
The Tucson is a great all-rounder. It’s comfortable and composed, and while it’s not as much fun as a Ford Kuga on a twisty road, it’s decent to drive as well. It has a high-quality interior that feels upmarket and well-built, plus its hybrid powertrain works very well – it’s efficient and switches seamlessly between electric and engine power while on the move.
Overall, the latest Tucson is one of the finest mid-sized SUVs on the market. There’s a powertrain to suit all needs (apart from a pure-electric option) and every important aspect has been carefully considered and well executed – including some genuine showroom appeal. Throw in Hyundai's excellent warranty and strong reliability record and things start to look even more promising for the South Korean brand's latest effort. For a more detailed look at the latest Tucson, read on for the rest of our in-depth review...
In This Review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe Hyundai Tucson Hybrid is a stylish, well built and practical hybrid family SUV that's up there with the best contenders in its class
- 2MPG & CO2 emissionsThe hybrid Tucson does reasonably well here, but for the best figures (and lowest company-car tax) you're better off with the plug-in version
- 3Running costs & insuranceThe cheapest Tucson to run is the plug-in hybrid, but the hybrid is pretty affordable to keep on the road, too
- 4Performance, engine & driveThe Tucson's hybrid drivetrain works well and the SUV is a satisfying and capable performer in town, country or on the motorway
- 5Interior, dashboard & comfortPremium-quality materials and cutting-edge on-board technology combine to make the Tucson's interior one of the best in its class
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityThere's no seven-seater version, but in all other respects the Tucson is a very practical and versatile vehicle that's ideal for family duties
- 7Reliability & safety ratingA top crash-safety rating and Hyundai's strong record for reliability and customer service should inspire confidence in Tucson owners