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Hyundai Tucson big on quality and value

16:53 04 September 2015

All-new Hyundai Tucson is a huge step up for Hyundai which, coupled with strong value and kit, makes it very tempting.

All-new Hyundai Tucson is a huge step up for Hyundai which, coupled with strong value and kit, makes it very tempting.

Hyundai

One of the UK’s most popular sport utility vehicles is back, new from the ground up and as good value as ever, says Matt Joy.

What’s new?

It’s rare for a car to be completely new, but the Tucson has a new exterior, new chassis, new engines and transmissions and a new cabin, as well as some new options and features inside and out.

More importantly, a substantial proportion of the development was carried out in Europe, which should make it a better prospect on the more challenging roads in this country.

Hyundai Tucson

Price: Hyundai Tucson Premium 2.0 CRDi, £28,945 (range £18,695 to £30,345)

ENGINE: 2.0-litre, 185PS, four-cylinder turbo diesel

transmission: Six-speed manual gearbox driving all four wheels

PERFORMANCE: 0-62mph 9.9 seconds; top speed 125mph

MPG: 47.9 combined

C02 emissions: 154g/km

Looks and image

You only need to compare the new Tucson with the old ix35 to see where progress has been made. The Tucson is big but sits confidently on the road with smart detailing and a quality feel – Hyundai is aspiring for premium car status and the Tucson has the looks to pull it off.

Where the Hyundai badge majors on good value, the Tucson is sufficiently smart and stylish to look more expensive than it really is – a clever trick if you can pull it off.

Space and practicality

The Tucson is a sizeable machine and makes the most of its space. In the front there’s more legroom than most people will need and headroom is good. It’s a similar story in the back with sufficient head and legroom for full-size adults. The boot is large and well-shaped, with the option of an electric tailgate and a false floor to give a little more space. In the cabin there are plenty of useful storage areas including a generous centre console box.

Behind the wheel

With lots of new bits underneath you’d expect the Tucson’s road behaviour to be improved but the step forward from the old car is huge. The ride quality is very impressive, soaking up bumps with ease and delivering excellent comfort but this doesn’t come at the expense of handling. Steering is accurate and more responsive and, although it’s no sports car, it is much easier to place on the road and more relaxed to drive.

The 2.0-litre diesel engine is pleasingly quiet, only really making its presence felt when revved hard, but the slick gearbox and healthy torque means you can make good progress without working it hard.

Value for money

The fact the cheapest Tucson is under £19,000 is impressive, especially given the standard kit list. All models get alloy wheels, air conditioning, Bluetooth and DAB radio among others, while moving up to the SE model for an additional £1,500 adds bigger alloys, heated seats, climate control, LED brake lights, cruise control and rear parking sensors.

Who would buy one?

The Tucson is a modern Hyundai that appeals on more than price. It’s smart, good to drive and well equipped, and delivers a package strong enough to tempt people out of rival products that might have shinier badges. It’s the kind of car that would suit families, big and small, with its space and utility but could cut a dash in the company car park. The price also means it’s a realistic alternative for anyone considering a mid-specification medium hatchback, which is a very tempting prospect.

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Andy Russell

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