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.
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.