The Hyundai Tucson enters its fourth round with new design elements. The name is based on the city in the USA. A test report by FOCUS online explains how the SUV is received by European customers.

According to car sales figures, the Hyundai Motor Company was number four worldwide in 2021 – with 6.8 million units. For comparison: class leader Toyota came to 10.5 million. Did you know? In addition, the Koreans are the largest conglomerate in their own country after Samsung. And if you’re not such a car expert: Hyundai also owns Kia. It’s amazing what the Asians have accomplished over the years.

Anyone who is currently thinking of a particularly impressive Hyundai car will probably mention the name Ioniq. But in addition to the extravagant and futuristic electric car, there are a number of other vehicles that are also visually impressive. This includes the fourth-generation Tucson, which has been available since last spring. Anyone daring to make a comparison to the first generation in 2005 knows what is meant.

But back to the current model, but again to the optics. The neighbors approach me and comment directly on the vehicle: “Nice car, but the color looks kind of old-fashioned. Reminds me of an old Opel Kadett.” That’s right, back then colors like this red or ocher yellow were in fashion. What is currently the most important thing for the neighbors when it comes to a car? Surprising answer: “Meanwhile the software. On my… (censored, don’t want to bash other brands here) they’ve been looking for a bug for a year and a half. A catastrophe!” Times are changing, software is very important in a car. The ocher-colored Kadett driver could not have come up with this idea a few decades ago.

Hyundai describes its new design philosophy as “Sensuous Sportiness”, something like sensually sporty. I would describe him more as a guy with rough edges. Hyundai speaks of the Z line. As long as you don’t cause graze damage with it, it all looks fine. Otherwise, the dent doctor has an extremely difficult task ahead of him. The radiator grille with integrated daytime running lights and indicator lights is impressive. This is beautifully done and currently still rare. At the rear, the wide taillights are particularly striking. Also nice to look at, but not as impressive as the front, but rather pleasing. For the statisticians: The car is 4.50 meters long, 1.865 meters wide and 1.65 meters high. Compared to its predecessor, it has grown in all areas between 5 and 20 millimeters.

The Hyundai Tucson 1.6 T-GDI HEV 4WD has a 4-cylinder petrol engine with turbocharging and direct fuel injection. 180 hp drive the compact SUV with a maximum torque of 265 Nm. There is also an electric motor with a 13.8 kWh battery and 60 hp, which leads to a system output of 230 hp and limits the sprint to 100 km/h to eight seconds. The hybrid model is only available with a six-speed automatic. The consumption is combined with 4.9 liters of petrol, which can also be achieved depending on the driving style. The Tucson can travel up to 55 km purely electrically. This is normally enough for the daily commute to work and back. The charging time with a remaining range of 15 percent is around three hours with an 11 kW wall box. The spiral cable, which is very light and flexible, is a practical solution.

The price list starts at 26,800 euros with the 150 PS manual car and front-wheel drive as a pure petrol engine called “Pure”. The test car with all-wheel drive, plug-in hybrid and automatic starts at a whopping 45,400 euros, which is almost 20,000 euros more. In addition to 19-inch alloy wheels, the Prime version has amenities such as leather seats, ventilated front seats, rear seat heating, three-zone automatic climate control or a blind spot warning system.

Before answering this question: the driver feels at the controls like in an airplane. The center console is tilted forward, which looks spacey. The disadvantage: the buttons for the steering wheel heating or the seat heating are not really easy to see. The automatic selection levels P, D, N and R are also arranged in an interesting way as push buttons.

The two switches in the passenger seat are good and practical. The chauffeur can adjust the seat angle or push it forwards/backwards. That is practical. Of course, that doesn’t work for the driver’s seat, it might be funny from a child’s point of view, but it’s too dangerous.

The vote is rather commod, the Tucson wants to educate its driver to travel, not to race. This also makes sense, because almost all plugins have the problem of a relatively small tank. This holds 42 liters, which means that on the highway and “used” battery the range is limited to around 400. So always plan a refueling stop for long-distance journeys.

The Tucson drives very quietly up to a speed of 180 km/h, which feels very valuable. Only then does it get loud(er). But one little thing is annoying: the bonnet flaps. Not an unknown problem with the model, the sheet metal seems to have gotten a little too thin.

The seating position is comfortable and is variably adjustable, the material quality is high quality, as is usual with the sister Kia. The space is plentiful, even two-meter-long drivers have no problem. And there are also two more than full seats in the back, only the space in the middle is somewhat limited. Storage space is also plentiful, and there is a 10.25-inch screen. Compared to its predecessor, this has been intelligently integrated and fits in with the valuable overall concept.

The trunk of the Tucson is surprisingly large, considering that the batteries for the electric motor still have to be accommodated. 558 to 1721 liters are available, which is remarkable. Only the loading sill is relatively high at 74 cm.

The Tucson is a driver-pleasing compact SUV with a bold look that has to be liked. Because it shouldn’t be so timeless. But Hyundai dares something, you have to let the Koreans do that. However, it is doubtful whether the plug-in is still the best choice with the expiring funding from 2023. Buyers will be looking to see if a pure electric car like the Ioniq or Kona, or a Tucson mild hybrid (with two diesel engines) might be a better choice. However, if you look at the car as it stands today, you have to say: 4th place in sales figures does not have to be the end of the road.

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