25 March 2019

Hyundai Tucson 2019 Car Review

Hyundai’s Tucson SUV has had a revamp, including a new front grille, updated headlights and fresh alloy wheels for looks more reminiscent of the Santa Fe, plus a bit more kit for no extra money over the outgoing version.

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Hyundai Tucson 2019
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Hyundai Tucson 2019
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Hyundai Tucson 2019
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Hyundai Tucson 2019
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Hyundai Tucson 2019

The line-up now includes three specification levels, three engines, and three transmission choices, with 2WD or 4WD depending on the model you choose – and the depth of your wallet, for 24K separates the entry car from the top-spec 2.0 CRDI Limited we tested.

This 2.0-litre turbo-diesel delivers 136kW and 400Nm of torque, enough to give you nothing to complain about round town, or while cruising. However this model tips the scales at 1800kg, and even in sport you can’t expect brisk acceleration. The variable geometry turbo cuts lag, but the gearbox seems to take a too-relaxed approach even with one’s foot down, and we resorted to flicking down a gear manually to get the response we were after.

The weight payoff comes with a ‘never mind the heft, feel the size’ ethos which delivers plenty of cabin space and leg room for passengers, enough headroom despite a standard sun roof, plus the 488 litres of boot. Fold the second row of seats and you get a flat load floor.

The target market for this car is clearly busy families, and so though the suspension has been tuned for downunder conditions, it’s aimed at comfort rather than incisive corner carving – indeed it’s almost a little soft for this tester’s tastes, but undeniably comfortable, predictable, and well set up for Tucson’s flavour and likely target market.

The interior upgrade includes a new eight-inch ‘floating’ touch screen, updates to the dashboard, and Apple CarPlay or Android Auto compatibility.

As for specification, the Limited gets 19-inch alloy wheels in place of the entry-level 17s, plus a sunroof and smart power tailgate as standard kit. Those headlights get washers, and the side mirrors are heated. Occupants nestle into leather-clad seats to match the trim, with 10-way electric adjust – including lumbar – for the driver and eight-way for the passenger. All the seats are heated, and the driver’s is ventilated, too. There’s even a cooled glovebox, to keep the kids’ sandwiches chilly.

Safety kit includes the standard suite of stability, braking and traction aids, the usual barrage of airbags, and adds forward collision assist, blind spot and rear cross-traffic warning, auto headlights, lane keep assist and now also driver attention warning plus smart cruise control with stop-go.

There’s a reversing camera and front and rear park distance warnings, satnav and Bluetooth handsfree, plus Apple Carplay and Android Auto compatibility, plus now a wireless charging pad for those with a phone sufficiently modern to use it.

Out back, the boot floor lifts to reveal the spare tyre, inside which is a luggage net, plus the first aid kit and high-vis vest which come standard with every Hyundai sold here. There is also an under-floor cubby, great if you want to hide valuables while you’re on the beach. The boot itself has a power socket and light, the doors have roomy cupholders, and the kids in row two have their own USB, and seat heaters for the two-stage reclining seats.

Hyundai claims a 6.4l/100km thirst, we suspect in Kiwi conditions it’ll be higher. Our test car had just 675km on the clock – much of it doubtless driven by lead-footed press writers, at an average of 8.7l/100km. We zeroed the trip for a very unscientific journey from one of Auckland’s black sand west-coast beaches, across the Waitakere ranges in busy sight-seeing traffic, through the suburbs, then a quick squirt on H1 and into the city, averaging 7.2l/100 for the 53km trip. Not the claim, but more than acceptable for a vehicle this size.

The Tucson Limited’s Achilles heel has to be its price. Look at the larger seven-seat Holden Acadia’s top-spec 2WD at $67,990, or Mazda’s similarly-focused top-spec diesel CX-5, with more power and torque – albeit fewer gears – at 6K further down the price scale.

That said, few folk buy simply on the basis of matching spec for spec and dollar for dollar, and the majority of Kiwi families purchase not just for looks, or power, but because a vehicle will get from A to B or A to Z in comfort, with enough space, features and tech to keep them safe and entertained. If the looks don’t frighten grandma, the thirst doesn’t scare the accountant and the thing’s reliable too, that’s a bonus.

At a glance


Hyundai Tucson 2.0 CRDi Limited


2.0-litre R Series diesel with variable geometry turbo



ANCAP safety rating


Power and Torque

136kW at 4000rpm, 400Nm at 1750-2750rpm


Eight-speed auto

Fuel economy


Towing capacity




Seating capacity


Luggage capacity/payload

488 litres, 1478 litres (with row 2 folded)

Safety systems

  • Forward Collision Avoidance Assist
  • Blind spot warning
  • Rear cross traffic warning
  • Lane keep assist
  • Driver Attention warning
  • Auto headlights
  • Reversing camera with surround view monitor
  • Front and rear park assist
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