From £23,1758
Steering, suspension and comfort

By family SUV standards, the Tucson has its head on straight when it comes to handling balance.

The steering is accurate, light in its set-up and suitably swift in its responses without feeling overtly athletic or rewarding. Resistance builds in a readable fashion as you wind on lock and load up the chassis, allowing you to gently guide the Tucson through corners confidently. This lighter-touch approach seems to be a key point of difference between Hyundai and Kia: the Tucson lacks the cloying, false-feeling sense of weight you so often find in cars from Hyundai’s sibling brand, where it is arguably employed to achieve a more sporting sense of feel.

Good steering helps engender confidence in the Tucson’s ability to corner in a nimble, stable and competent manner, with decent grip and controlled transfer of weight.

Vertical body control is perhaps slightly more tightly controlled than is the norm for the class, but a small degree of easy-going body roll is still evident through faster, tighter bends. This marginally firmer set-up can occasionally lead to a bit of side-to- side jostling over rougher surfaces, but there’s almost always enough give in the suspension to see off mid-corner impacts with little fuss. Meanwhile, outright mechanical grip is easily abundant enough for the vast majority of driving environments that typical Tucson buyers might be exposed to, but you don’t have to try too hard to unearth an unsporting amount of understeer.

In short, then, while it’s usefully nimble and dynamically trustworthy, there isn’t too much here for keener drivers to really get excited about. That’s not to say the Tucson is a completely unenjoyable car to point down a challenging stretch of B-road, but secure, stable and sensible ease of use is higher up its list of priorities than outright driver engagement. And given the tasks and duties cars such as this are primarily required to fulfil, that’s as it should be really.

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Being a taller, heavier SUV, the Tucson is never going to be the sort of car you’d relish piloting around a fast, technical track such as Millbrook’s Hill Route. And yet, for the most part, it composes itself very tidily indeed.

Body roll is present, and while you can feel its weight shifting around through successive directional changes, the rate of transfer never feels alarming. Grip is largely good, and its electronic stability systems don’t feel overly intrusive when you do start testing the Tucson’s adhesive limits. Of course, push too hard through particularly tight corners and the Hyundai’s nose will plough on in a straight line – and it will do so quite suddenly if you’re really not careful – but such transgressions are easily corrected.

Although the gearbox can be a bit slow to kick down, the torque fill provided by the electric motor helps to mask any accelerative lull that results. There’s plenty of punch on tap here to push the car up even the steepest inclines at a reasonable lick.

Comfort and isolation

Credit to Hyundai: it has near as dammit nailed the Tucson’s driving position. The front chairs err on the firmer side of things but provide good support for your thighs and torso, while excellent adjustability in the seat base and steering column allows you to position yourself close to the wheel without leaving you hunched over the pedals. With a taller hip point, visibility is good enough for trundling around town or sitting on the motorway, although the fairly steeply raked A-pillars that lend the Tucson its swept-back looks can slightly obscure your line of sight during cornering.

At a cruise, the cabin is generally pretty isolated, save for some wind whistle around the large door mirrors, and although road roar is present, it’s far from grating. We recorded 67dB of cabin noise at 70mph, a figure that stacks up well against 68dB readings taken in 2.0 TDI versions of the Audi Q5 and Volkswagen Tiguan a few years back.

Ride comfort is generally good, save for the aforementioned jostling on more lumpen, unevenly surfaced stretches of asphalt. At town speeds, the Tucson can come across as a touch firm by family SUV standards, but it still manages to smooth over most secondary impacts with little fuss. With greater pace, that sense of low-speed tension morphs into a welcome level of pliancy on more uniformly undulating roads. This makes the Tucson a comfortable car to pedal over distance, if not one that’s quite as accomplished as Honda’s CR-V.

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