Tried and tested by Robin Roberts (and Miles Better News Agency).
It’s not one of the first of the modern SUVs, but the Hyundai Tucson Premium 48v Mild Hybrid is one of the better models.
There’s a modest 18-strong range of petrol, diesel or hybrid powered models in five-trim levels with manual or automatic transmission, two or four-wheel drive. Prices run from about £22,000 to £35,000.
Now over three years old, it does everything well and nothing badly and delivers a very comfortable, easy drive with good economy ability thanks to its electric motor assistance.
That and the beefy 2.0 turbodiesel engine matched with an eight-speed automatic transmission give it respectable acceleration and effortless motorway performance.
It fairly gobbles up the miles without stress or strain while driver and passengers can relax in big, enveloping seats for up to five. Luggage space may be an issue if all seats are occupied but the desirable rear-seats’ recline and offset split folding seatbacks mean it’s versatile and practical. The boot-floor is about mid-thigh, flat and wide with another compartment beneath for small items.
Access through the rear doors is good and once inside the room is plentiful for two, a squeeze for three, but the front pair of seats has good adjustment over a wide range, with supporting cushions and backrests.
Visibility is good all round save for the usual rear three-quarter blindspot when pulling into traffic or reversing, the waistline is low, lights powerful and wipers front and back clear a big area of glass.
All the controls are well laid out on the console, fascia and wheel spokes, but some may consider the dials small either side of the selectable display for various pieces of information. The over-whelming black fascia finish does conceal some switches.
The straightforward heating and ventilation has knobs and push buttons, a multitude of vents and it works very well, with those in the back having their own distribution outlets.
Oddments room is better than many in this class with big door bins, a decent sized cubby on the console along with cup and key recesses and a phone-charging pad, while in the back are more door bins and seat-nets. The loadbed quickly increases in capacity with drop down seats.
For the driver the 2.0 turbodiesel engine is a good starter, pulls well and quietly and the gearchanges are swift and silent with normal or sporting modes available. I would have liked greater feel through the steering and the turning circle could have been tighter, but the brakes felt good underfoot and the parking brake held it well on our test slope. It grips well and the handling is safe if not sporting, with a nice balance and no real vices, smoothing out most bumps without complaint or coming into the cabin.
All noise sources are low which adds to the refinement. I liked the two-tone seats and they help lift the interior’s drabness above the waistline. One of the comforting features is the Hyundai Tucson’s five-year and unlimited mileage warranty. Just as well if you fork out close to £900 for the initial year’s VED excise duty and high Benefit-in-Kind tax costs for the company car driver, despite the fact this vehicle has a mild hybrid support system.
Its economical fuel consumption, long life engine and warranty mean this is probably a car for those who tend to hang onto their wheels past the common three-years mark. So it mayn’t have been the first but it possibly will outlast rivals.
For: Engine and gearbox smooth and quiet, comfortable ride and seating with adjustable-tilt back seats, well equipped and economical.
Mini Milestones and Wheels-Alive Tech. Spec. in Brief:
Hyundai Tucson Premium 48v Mild Hybrid SUV
Mechanical: 185 hp 2.0TD with 48V Mild Hybrid motor, eight speed auto with 4WD. Max Speed: 125 mph, 0–62 mph 9.5 seconds.
Fuel consumption: 44.4 mpg on test.
Emissions and taxation: CO2 emissions 151 g/km, diesel rate VED road tax £855 then £145 Standard rate, BiK company car tax 37% (max rate payable).
Insurance Group: 24.
Warranty: Five years/unlimited mileage.
Sizes: L 4.48 m (14.70 ft), W 1.85 m (6.07 ft), H 1.65 m (5.41 ft).
Boot space: 459 – 1,449 litres (16.21 – 51.17 cu.ft).