Parkers overall rating: 3.8 out of 5 3.8

Hyundai Tucson - interior

  • Impressive cabin design and quality
  • Twin screens are sharp and clear
  • Excellent usability with simple interfaces

How is the quality and layout?

Hyundai has really pushed the boat out with the interior design of the new Tucson. It’s far more stylish than almost any Hyundai interior we’ve seen before, with genuine design flair in places but little compromise in usability.

There’s a band of silver trim running around the top of the dash that feels a little like the Riva Hoop design from a Jaguar XJ – a good start. This hides the outer air vents for front passengers and sits below a dash surface that’s totally flat, and lower than before to make the cabin feel more airy.

This has the added effect of lowering the instrument panel and removing the cluster hood. Despite this, the panel is bright enough that even direct sunlight doesn’t impact its usability too badly.

The layout is perfectly conventional, with the infotainment screen set lower on the dash than the previous model’s tablet-style display. Beneath it sits a climate control panel, which is nice to have – though it’s a shame it uses touch-sensitive switches instead of proper buttons. These don’t have the same level of feedback as a physical control and are harder to use on the move.

Another quirk is the presence of buttons to switch between Drive, Reverse etc. in the hybrid models. These are neat but they don’t really save any space over a conventional automatic shifter.

The cabin does come across as rather monochrome, however. You can choose from black or light grey leather, but even the latter doesn’t lift the cabin all that much.

Infotainment and tech

Though the Tucson’s dashboard looks very high-tech, it’s based around a reassuringly simple interface that’s very easy to use.

It’s driven by big, easy-to-hit icons and clear onscreen controls, and while you can become somewhat buried in the menu system the path to the function you’re looking for is usually clear. The screen’s ultra-landscape orientation does give it plenty of real estate for menus and means it can use a splitscreen system to make some tasks easier – however, this has the secondary effect of making the sat-nav map less useful than a taller one, with more view ahead.

It also means that when you’re making the most of the Tucson’s standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone capability, the systems run in an offset window in a portion of the screen rather than filling it. This is disappointing, especially when the interfaces should have no problems scaling to a screen of any size or shape.

The digital dash is Hyundai’s latest system and the brand’s resisted the temptation to stuff it full of gimmicky features – you simply get two easy-to-read dials and other functions are temporarily overlaid on top.

Hyundai also offers a service called Bluelink, which combines live services such as traffic, weather and parking with a companion smartphone app that allows you to remotely monitor the car and pair certain aspects of your phone through to the infotainment.

Is it comfortable?

  • Wide seats are adjustable and comfy
  • Ride suffers on larger wheels
  • Tucson’s body control isn’t the finest

The Tucson’s ride quality is fairly soft, and generous front and rear legroom mean that most passengers of all shapes and sizes ought to be able to get comfortable.

However, models on larger wheels do transmit more road imperfections through to the interior than we’d like – a Peugeot 3008 isolates its occupants better.

Rear passengers benefit from their own USB charging ports, and can even have their seats heated on higher trim levels – this combined with the reclining backrests and Hyundai’s so-called ‘Sleep Mode’ (which turns off the rear speakers) makes the Tucson a good bet for trying to catch up on some sleep through longer journeys.

Refinement is good, too, with little wind or road noise except for a bit of buffeting around the door mirrors.