Hyundai Tucson 1.7 CRDiHyundai Tucson 1.7 Litre CRDi

I should probably say right at the start, I’m not a fan of SUVs. They just seem unnecessarily big and I don’t see their purpose, especially a 2WD model such as the Hyundai Tucson. I’m going to try and keep this review objective though.

I’d travelled down to Sussex for the weekend and on arrival at Heathrow Terminal 5, went straight to the Avis desk on the fourth floor of the short stay car park. I’d booked an Astra and so was pleasantly surprised to find I’d been upgraded a couple of classes.

First impressions

My first impression of the Hyundai Tucson was that this car is big, especially when I was expecting to get in an Astra! I’m used to driving a seven-seater Volkswagen Touran but this car felt so much bigger. Boot space certainly looked good and from a quick glance over the dashboard and centre console, it appeared to be of a high specification too.

The drive

It didn’t take long to get out of the car park, onto the M25 and into a slow moving traffic jam. It was a Friday afternoon and so not the best time to be driving around London’s orbital motorway.

It was a good opportunity to check out some of the car’s features though. Phone controls were easy to find and navigate and pairing with the built-in Bluetooth control was quick, although for safety reasons could only be done once the car was stationary. There’s a DAB radio and this model benefits from dual zone climate control too. I didn’t feel that the steering wheel controls where the most intuitive, particularly when changing radio station. However, most things could be controlled from the steering wheel rather than having to reach around and find buttons on the indicator and wiper stalks.

One great addition on the Hyundai Tucson was lane guidance. Above around 50mph, this detects the white lines on the road and helps prevent you accidentally drifting out of your lane. There’s an audible warning as well as slight resistance felt through the steering. If you indicate when changing lanes, there’s no alert when crossing the white line.

My main complaint about this car is that it feels massively underpowered. The 1.7 diesel engine just doesn’t seem up to the job. Admittedly I’m used to a 2.0 litre turbodiesel in a slightly smaller car but the 1.7 really did feel like it was struggling at times. Checking the spec confirms a max power of 85kw (115 BHP) @ 4000 RPM with a 0-62 MPH time of a somewhat slow 13.7 seconds. By comparison, our Touran is 138 BHP with a 0-60 time of 9.6 seconds. The Tucson was fine around town but when accelerating away from A-road roundabouts and overtaking on the motorway, it just felt like there was nothing there, particularly in lower gears.


Whilst the upgrade from the Astra was welcomed, I certainly wouldn’t rush out to buy a Hyundai Tucson and it hasn’t changed my view on SUVs in any way either. It’s an underpowered, two-wheel drive, five-seater that’s just big for the sake of being big. If you want boot space, get an estate, if you want a ‘sports’ vehicle, at least get something with four-wheel drive. There’s a great set of features and driver aids in this car, but you’d get the same in a mid-range Focus estate too.