This second generation Hyundai Tucson is the latest in a long line of crossovers to go up against the class-leading Seat Ateca and still firm favourite the Nissan Qashqai, with its existence coming about as a slightly larger replacement for the now-superseded ix35, which ironically replaced the first gen Tucson in 2009.
Even before turning a wheel, the Tucson has much in its favour. For example, it comes with a five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty. That eclipses the vast majority of its rivals, which typically feature three-year, 60,000-mile warranties.
Understanding the Hyundai Tucson USPs
There’s a sense from the outset that the Tucson has been designed to be painless to live with. From its simple push-to-open fuel filler door to the easily dropped rear seats, every aspect appears pleasingly straightforward.
Even with six core trim levels the Tucson caters well for most driver's need with its entry-level S trim, which equips the crossover with 16in alloy wheels, auto headlights and wipers, electrically adjustable and heated wing mirrors, hill start assist and trailer stability assistance as standard. Inside there is reclining rear seats, USB and Bluetooth connectivity and air conditioning.
Upgrade to SE and the Tucson gains 17in alloys, cruise control, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, parking sensors, roof rails and a full sized spare wheel, while the opting for SE Nav adds an 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system complete with sat nav, speed limit notification and a reversing camera. For those after a sportier version of the SUV, there is the Sport Edition, which equips the Hyundai with 19in alloys, electrically adjustable front seats, heated rear seats, front parking sensors and tinted rear windows.
Topping the range is the Premium and Premium SE models. The former gets numerous safety systems - including autonomous emergency braking, blind spot detection and rear cross traffic alert, while the latter indulges itself with LED headlights, keyless entry, electric tailgate, heated steering wheel, a panoramic sunroof, ventilated front seats and numerous chrome details.
Hit the road and this theme continues. Urban and country roads are tackled with ease, rarely troubling the driver and passengers. The 2.0-litre diesel engine doesn’t feel particularly muscular, despite producing 275lb ft, but it rarely frustrates, isn’t overly intrusive and grants adequate acceleration. For those seeking a bit more power there is an uprated version of the engine producing 181bhp and comes only with all four wheels driven.