Hyundai Tucson Hybrid
Written by Justin Delaney, an Independent Reviewer, Journalist, and Motor expert.
Hyundai appear to have done it again with the launch of the fourth generation Tucson as the vehicle leads the way in Irish sales so far in 2021. Believe it or not more than 7 million units have been sold around the world since it’s launch in 2004. Some 1.4 million of these have been sold in Europe and that easily makes it the company’s bestselling SUV globally. So what do you get with the new variant? Well rather than simply an evolution of the previous generation, this new Tucson has been redesigned from the ground up. It is now bigger and wider than its predecessor and it has a completely new face with Parametric Hidden Lights providing a unique look. When the lights are off, the front of the vehicle appears covered in LED Daytime Running Lights, which are seamlessly integrated into the grille. The side of the vehicle is sleek in keeping with the nose and the rear features wide tail lamps with parametric hidden light details continuing the design theme. I think its safe to say Hyundai were thinking outside of the box with this one following no competitors or their design traits. It looks different to not only anything that has come from Hyundai in the past but also to everything else on the market particularly in this compact SUV segment.
Inside the revolutionary design continues with a sophisticated and spacious cabin. The seamless integration of technology provides Tucson buyers with an advanced digital experience that can be totally customised. The large 10.25-inch screen fills the centre of the vehicle doing away with physical knobs and buttons. Everything including the ventilation and air conditioning functions are controlled via the touch, screen. Looking around you get high-quality soft-touch materials throughout the interior, lifting the look and feel to a more premium level. Customers can choose from three interior trims, including one-tone Black in fabric or leather, two-tone Black and Beige in fabric or leather and the Teal colour pack. The Teal pack offers a black textile or leather seat with teal stitching on the seats, armrest and gearshift. Teal textile inserts also feature on the cloth door trim and look fantastic. Another nice touch is the pleasant ambient mood lighting, which is positioned in the two side pockets of the centre fascia, in the wireless charging pad and door pocket. You can choose from 64 configurable colours and 10 levels of brightness to suit every mood.
Hyundai didn’t scrimp on engine choices either and this new Tucson was developed to reduce emissions but also remain engaging to drive. By offering three electrified powertrain options and two internal combustion engines with four transmission choices there should certainly be an engine to suit your needs. With petrol and diesel 48-volt mild hybrid, full hybrid and plug-in hybrid available to consumers, the Tucson offers the widest range of electrified powertrains in the segment. Our test vehicle was powered by the 1.6-litre T-GDI Smartstream engine with the 44.2 kW electric motor. It was paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and can be purchased as a two or four-wheel drive SUV. When you combine the petrol and electric motors in Sports Mode the Tucson makes 227bhp, which is by no means slow. Naturally when you are in this mode you will be hard on both petrol and battery power! The lovely thing about this engine to drive is the newly developed Intelligent Manual Transmission or ‘iMT’. iMT operates purely electronically, and decouples the engine from the transmission after you release the accelerator while driving at constant speed. This allows the Tucson to enter into coasting mode using the electric motor. It can re-engage the engine and correct gear as it sees fit. Very clever stuff!
Hyundai have really upped their game in the safety department compared to the Tucson of old. Now you get Highway Drive Assist, which is semi-autonomous driving for the first time. This feature can brake, accelerate and gently steer the SUV within its lane, with one button on the steering wheel to turn it on and off. Autonomous emergency braking and Junction Turning, which monitors cars approaching from the opposite side as you indicate to turn out of a junction, activate the brakes if an unseen car approaches. It now also has an enhanced seven-airbag system, which features a new first row center side airbag, a feature unique to this segment. Parking has also been made more convenient and safer with features like Remote Smart Parking Assist, that can 'summon' a car from its parking spot via a button on the key. You will not be left wanting in the safety department with the all-new Tucson.
The diesel Tucson range uses a 1.6-litre engine and is available from €32,845 rising to €38,245. The new Tucson petrol hybrid kicks off at €36,345 rising to €41,745. It uses a 1.6-litre petrol engine, electric motor, and 1.49 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery to reduce fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions. Our test vehicle was the Executive Plus model which comes in at €42,095.
Our time with the new Tucson was enjoyable to say the least. It certainly turns heads and is very pleasant to live with. At 20mm longer, 15mm wider, and a wheelbase that has been increased by 10mm compared to the previous generation, you really feel the spacious interior. We had the Tucson fully loaded at one point and the passengers in the rear complimented the 26mm of additional legroom. Boot space for that all-important staycation has been increased to 620 litres for overall luggage with the seats up and 1,799 litres with the seats folded. This makes it very practical indeed for families of any age. Reliability shouldn’t be questioned either with Hyundai having an excellent track record and offering a 5-year unlimited mileage warranty. If you are in the market for a compact SUV that’s no longer all that compact, then look no further than the generous Tucson. We now know the reason they don’t last long on the showroom floor!
Our test car was a little pricey!
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