The arrival of the fourth-generation Tucson feels like a significant milestone in the Hyundai story. Its bold, unapologetically dashing exterior is a vivid departure from those of its handsome but bland predecessors. Meanwhile, the firm’s typically sturdy, functional approach to interior layout now finds itself complemented by a heightened focus on material richness and design flair. Hyundai has long been pushing itself upmarket, and if this car is any guide, it may finally have arrived.

The Tucson’s appeal is developed further by a hybrid powertrain that’s both powerful and potentially very frugal in city running, a mature ride and handling balance that feels well matched to British roads, and competitive interior space.

New Tucson shows that Hyundai can do both style and substance

Of course, it isn’t perfect. The gearbox can be slow-witted and driver engagement isn’t the order of the day. Its styling might be a bit too jazzy for some, too. Ultimately, though, these are small complaints about what is otherwise a very sensible and recommendable family SUV. It seems that strong equipment, attractive pricing and a cast-iron warranty may no longer be the primary reasons you’d pick a Tucson over one of its European rivals.

What Car? New car buyer marketplace - Hyundai Tucson