Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0
  • Petrol and diesel 1.6s with or without mild hybrid
  • A full hybrid petrol model is also available
  • As is a plug-in hybrid that follows later

In terms of size, the engine range is very simple - they're all 1.6-litres. Kicking off the range is a T-GDI petrol producing 150hp (with optional four wheel drive available), and a 115hp diesel – both of these come with a six speed manual

If you want a 48v mild hybrid system (MHEV), you can choose from a 150hp petrol with two-wheel drive, or a more powerful 180hp with optional four-wheel drive. Both are available with a six-speed manual gearbox or seven-speed DCT automatic.

If you want a diesel MHEV, then there’s the 136hp version strictly with a seven-speed DCT and optional four-wheel drive. Three drive modes named Eco, Normal and Sport are available, but the four-wheel drive models also come with Mud, Sand and Snow.

A hybrid with 230hp and 350Nm will be available with either two- or four-wheel drive - Hyundai UK is yet to decide whether to import the latter, however, and if so, it will be an expensive model. The system is mated to a six-speed auto along with a 44.2kW electric motor and 1.49kWh battery. It's quick when it needs to be with a 0-62mph time of 8.0 seconds, but it rather misses the point.

A plug-in hybrid will be available at the beginning of 2021, along with the sportier-looking N-Line trim.

Handling

  • This is a relaxing car to drive
  • Sport mode makes it heavier, not sharper
  • There's plenty of grip but less fun

There are two suspension set-ups to choose from. There's a standard set-up with conventional springs and dampers in most models. High-spec Tucsons will be available with electronically controlled adaptive dampers with two settings – Normal and Eco drive modes get a comfort-biased softer ride, while Sport mode gets a firmer set-up, which also alters the weight of the steering.

We drove the range-topping hybrid version and found it a relaxing companion around town. Its electric drive and petrol engine combine harmoniously, in a way that reminds us of Toyota’s highly evolved hybrids. You’ll see plenty of the EV-only mode light from the commanding driving position. Steering is light but accurate, the rolling refinement good on 19-inch wheels beneath a body that bobs and rolls as you'd expect in an SUV of this size.

The default driving mode is Eco, which resists a heavy right foot: cross the line and you’ll get a groan of revs for minimal return. On twistier roads, select the alternative Sport mode (using an awkwardly positioned switch ahead of the cupholder), which frees up the accelerator for more responsive power delivery, and heavier steering.

In the bends, it has plenty of grip, plenty enough to question the need for four-wheel drive (which this car has): that only makes sense for the snow-bound or the outward bound, further supported by those mud, sand and snow drivetrain settings.