Hyundai Tucson review 2019

Find out more about the Hyundai Tucson in the latest MOTORS Review

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Out of 5


  • Spacious cabin and boot
  • Economical engines
  • Nice styling and driving dynamics


  • Not particularly quick
  • Bland interior
  • Not much point going for any of the petrol engines
Model review

The original Hyundai Tucson began production in 2004, entering the South Korean manufacturer’s line-up as its mid-size SUV. It shares a platform with the Kia Sportage of the same year.

Engine choices with the first-generation car consist mainly of 2.0-litre units, however, the model was also offered with a fruitier 2.6-litre V6. Two- or four-wheel-drive drivetrains could be opted for.

For the second-generation car, which arrived in 2010, Hyundai decided to drop the Tucson name in most markets (including the UK), and replace it with ix35. Retaining the spirit of the Tucson, now just with a different calling card, the ix35 furthered the original’s appeal.

It’s much improved over the first-gen and naturally a lot more modern. Overall, it feels as if Hyundai focused on refining and polishing the model – this included its range of engines, which now featured units under 2.0 litres that provided better economy.

In 2015, Hyundai revived the Tucson nameplate for the third-generation version, which was then given a refresh in 2019.

Current model

As mentioned before, the current model arrived in 2015, sporting an aggressive, sharp new look. It’s not necessarily beautiful, but it’s clean and muscular.

Inside the cabin, it’s more function over form, as it’s pretty basic from a design standpoint – especially compared to the exterior that is. It was much improved thanks to the 2019 refresh, but the cabin’s still not a particularly exciting place to be in.

That said, the Tucson does what it says on the tin and is a very capable car inside and out. Everything is well thought out and easy to get acquainted with, making the Tucson a very approachable SUV.

Out on the open road, the Tucson behaves nicely – about average for an SUV. The car performs as you’d expect from such a vehicle. It’s no sports car though, so don’t expect it to entertain in the corners and straights. The Tucson’s strength is comfortably transporting passengers from A to B.


Value for money

New Tucsons start at £22,060 – a reasonable price for such a car. That’ll buy the base-spec S Connect trim. But considering its desirable shape and the practicality that comes with it, the model is good value for money straight off the bat.

Though, if you want an even better deal, look to the used market, because you can find first-gen’s for as little as £950. Step up to the second-gen (ix35), and they still go for a bargain – the cheapest can be had for around £3,500.

Last but not least, in terms of the latest, third-generation Tucson, they can still be picked up for a fair £9,000 – in good condition with under 75,000 miles-on-the-clock too – on the used market.


Looks and image

The latest and facelifted Tucson does have a certain presence, with its sleek yet aggressive lines and rugged stance. Sure, it’s not the greatest looking SUV in the world, but the model manages to stand out without looking too over the top.

Spring for the sporty N-Line trim, and that’ll add some styling upgrades sure to improve the car’s look. A few of these additions include black detailing, black 19-inch alloy wheels and bespoke bumpers.

Space and practicality

The model is larger than its closest rival, the Nissan Qashqai, meaning it’s naturally more spacious. Cabin space is plentiful, with no shortage of room for passengers and their belongings. Even three people can fit comfortably in the back.

Boot capacity is also good at 513 litres – that’s 83 litres more than the Qashqai. Although, it should be said that this number relates to petrol two-wheel-drive models. Planning to go for a diesel and/or four-wheel-drive version? Just beware that you’re boot space will be eaten into as a result.



For 2019, Hyundai introduced mild-hybridisation to the range. The system uses a 48-volt lithium-ion battery in order to aid fuel economy. It’s currently utilized with two engine options – a 1.6 and 2.0-litre diesel – but doesn’t make too much of a difference to running costs as you may think.

Seven engine choices are offered on the newest Tucson at the time of writing. Most are 1.6-litres, available in either petrol or diesel form, and come with different power output, ranging from 113bhp to 174bhp.

The range-topping 2.0-litre diesel is only available with four-wheel-drive and solely accessible through opting for one of the two top trim levels – Premium and Premium SE. It comes with a healthy 182bhp.


Running costs

Overall, thanks to the Tucson’s range of modern and economical engines, it’s reasonably affordable to run. It’s best to avoid the petrols, however, as the diesels suit the model better and provide better figures.

For example, the 113bhp 1.6-litre diesel, when mated to a manual transmission, can achieve 57.4mpg while emitting just 129g/km of CO2. It certainly won’t break the bank when it comes to running costs.

Things to look out for

The latest car is generally known as a reliable vehicle that should serve buyers no trouble at all. Owners report little faults, although no car is perfect and there are some things you’ll need to look out for if you’re in the market for a Tucson.

One particular issue relates to excessive wear of the clutch and/or flywheel. Check the clutch pedal operates freely and shows no signs of slippage.

The second-generation (ix35) tends to develop slightly more problems than its newer counterparts, such as fuel leakages and seat belt pretensioner failures. The Tucson is fairly reliable, but just look out for wear and tear.



The Tucson is up against some stiff competition, mainly from the immensely popular Nissan Qashqai – a car which pretty much began Europe’s crossover craze. The model has been consistently updated, polished and refined over the years, therefore poses a real threat to the Tucson. Other alternatives include the Ford Kuga and Kia Sportage.



The Tucson fairs about the same as its competition when it comes to depreciation – meaning it’s neither the worst, nor best at holding its value. Due to the desirable body shape, practicality and other features, resale prices won’t shoot straight to the floor. On the other hand, because of its mainstream badge and commonality, it won’t retain dosh as well as, for instance, a Porsche or Maserati.

Trims explained

The Tucson is offered in five trim levels – S Connect, SE Nav, N Line, Premium and Premium SE.

S Connect

S Connect is the entry-level trim and starts at £22,060. It gets LED daytime running lights, automatic headlights, dual zone climate control and cloth seats.

Starts at £22,060.

SE Nav

Step up to the £23,560 SE Nav trim and additions include LED rear lights, electric driver’s seat lumbar support, a leather steering wheel and gear stick, and 17-inch alloy wheels.

From £23,560.


Premium, from £26,060, benefits from 18-inch alloy wheels, a chrome effect radiator grille, electrically adjustable driver and front passenger seat adjustments, along with heated rear outer seats.

From £26,060.

Premium SE

Premium SE tops the range, and offers a front windscreen wiper de-icer, panoramic sunroof, heated steering wheel, a smart electric tailgate and 19-inch alloy wheels.

This trim costs from £29,970.


  1. The Tucson is better and more well-rounded than ever before
  2. It’s practical, with great cabin and boot space
  3. Engines aren’t potent, but rather economical instead
  4. This allows for fairly cheap running costs
  5. Drives and looks decent – a sensible but respectable mid-size SUV
  6. Although the interior is rather uninspiring
  7. Good value for money, whether new or used
  8. It was renamed ix35 in the UK for the second-generation car, even though it’s still essentially a Tucson
  9. 2019 facelift introduced mild-hybrid tech, meaning best look new for the best selection of engines
  10. New Tucsons start at £22,060