Hyundai Tucson Hybrid review: performance, engine & drive
The Tucson's hybrid drivetrain works well and the SUV is a satisfying and capable performer in town, country or on the motorway
The hybrid drivetrain in the Tucson is very well executed; there's a good amount of performance available, with enough torque to make it feel faster than the eight-second 0-62mph time would suggest. Driven sensibly, the Tucson is smooth, quiet and refined – most of the time you won't be able to tell which power source you're using.
Unlike some competitors, the Tucson Hybrid doesn't overdo it with the driving modes: there are just two to choose from. The first is Eco, which works well in everyday driving and returns the best efficiency, while the second is Sport, which gives greater assistance from the electric motor to provide stronger acceleration and will appeal to everyone’s inner seven-year-old with its racier graphics in the gauge cluster.
Hyundai Tucson Hybrid 0-62mph, top speed and acceleration
A 1.6-litre petrol engine combined with a 59bhp electric motor that sits between the engine and six-speed automatic gearbox gives the Tucson Hybrid a total power output of 227bhp. That's enough for 0-62mph in eight seconds exactly and a top speed of 120mph. The plug-in hybrid version makes 261bhp and so is even faster – although not by much, because it’s also heavier.
While the Tucson is pretty swift on paper, it can feel a little sluggish to respond whenever you floor the accelerator; the gearbox tends to fumble around for a split second while it figures out how to juggle the petrol engine and electric motor. There’s plenty of punch when you do start making progress, however, the petrol engine can be a little thrashy at higher revs.
Most family SUVs are set up for comfort and while the Tucson is no different, it can be pleasing to drive, too. Its steering is accurate, weighty and precise, while there’s also a noticeable lack of body lean in the corners. The ride is firm-ish but still very comfortable – even with the larger 19-inch wheels of top-spec cars. That being said, if you’re after a sportier drive from your hybrid SUV, a Ford Kuga or even the plug-in hybrid Alfa Romeo Tonale will be much more rewarding down a country lane.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe 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 & drive - currently readingThe 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