Hyundai Tucson Hybrid review

Hyundai Tucson Hybrid review

The striking all-new fourth-generation Tucson is one of the new car revelations of 2021. Hyundai dares to be different and few SUVs can match the Tucson’s kerb appeal.

Featuring unique “hidden lights” and “jewel-like” running lights, plus an athletic profile and pert rear, it’s equally impressive inside.

Available with a conventional petrol engine, or as a self-charging hybrid, plug-in hybrid or mild hybrid, the Tucson is priced from £28,100 to £41,975.

Hyundai Tucson Hybrid review

We tested the self-charging hybrid (listed as the Hyundai Tucson 1.6 T-GDi 230ps Hybrid) in top spec Ultimate trim. Priced at £37,135, it came with a six-speed automatic gearbox and a Tech Pack, including Electronic Control Suspension, Around View Monitor, Blind Spot View Monitor and Remote Smart Park Assist.

The beauty of the hybrid power unit is that it gives increased performance and reduced emissions without the need to plug in.

Combining the instant torque of a 44.2kW electric motor with the output of a four-cylinder 1.6-litre turbo, the 1.49kWh lithium-ion polymer battery can be charged on the move via regenerative braking during downhill stretches of road and braking.

Hyundai Tucson Hybrid review

Most impressively of all, the hybrid powertrain switches seamlessly between the petrol engine and electric motor – sometimes utilising both at the same time.

Take a glance at the dashboard and the little ‘EV’ light flashes up for significant amounts of time, especially when cruising, which is particularly satisfying.

Like all self-charging hybrids, the battery is big enough for short bursts of fully electric driving in stop-start traffic, along with silent parking manoeuvres.

Hyundai Tucson Hybrid review

You can also select drive modes. The default Eco is fine for everyday driving, while Sport adds an extra level of response and control for more challenging country roads.

The total petrol/electric power output of 227bhp, with 195lb ft of torque, is ample, resulting in a 0-62mph time of 8.0 seconds and a top speed of 120mph.

CO2 emissions are as low as 131g/km, while fuel economy is officially up to 49.6mpg. You can get close to that figure when cruising, but 40-45mpg is a more realistic figure in everyday driving.

Hyundai Tucson Hybrid review

The self-charging hybrid is front-wheel drive (you’ll have to opt for the plug-in hybrid if you want 4×4) and doesn’t feel any the less for it.

There’s a surprising amount of grip up front, decent traction and it feels agile when pushed, even if the engine is slightly more vocal. Add light, accurate steering and decent body control, and it’s a great all-rounder.

So, the Tucson is the business on the road, and the good news is that it’s no less impressive inside the cabin.

Hyundai Tucson Hybrid review

Generously equipped, just about all physical knobs and buttons have been eliminated in the cool interior which is dominated by a 10.25-inch infotainment screen in the sleek centre console and a driver’s digital instrument cluster the same size.

There’s plenty of space in the rear for tall adults to travel comfortably, while the boot capacity is a healthy 616 litres, expanding to 1,795 litres with the rear seats folded.

Hyundai Tucson Hybrid review

Build quality is superb and goodies such as electrically operated, heated and ventilated front seats, plus a KRELL premium audio give it an upmarket feel.

The Tucson scored a maximum five stars in Euro NCAP testing and is packed with safety kit, including a Blind Spot View Monitor. Simply activate the indicator and you can see a live camera view of the left or right-hand side of the car on a screen in the digital cluster.

There’s also Highway Drive Assist – a semi-autonomous system which combines lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, map data and sensors to deliver speed and steering adjustments when driving on the motorway.

Hyundai Tucson Hybrid Sounds of Nature app

For novelty value, go to Media on the infotainment screen, activate the ‘Sounds of Nature’ and choose a relaxing ambient background soundtrack. Options include Calm Sea Waves, Lively Forest, Warm Fireplace, Rainy Day and Open-Air Cafe.

Verdict: Hyundai is knocking on the door of some premium rivals with the dramatic all-new Tucson Hybrid. Safe, spacious, well equipped, refined and engaging to drive, it’s a superb SUV package and a real step-up from its predecessor. Add Hyundai’s generous five-year warranty and it’s a tempting proposition.

Hyundai UK

Hyundai Kona tops Driver Power Car Ownership Survey

Gareth Herincx

1 day ago
Auto News

Hyundai Kona Electric

The Hyundai Kona has been crowned Car of the Year in the annual Auto Express Driver Power new-car survey.

The Kia Rio supermini finished second in the UK’s most comprehensive and respected car-ownership satisfaction survey, with the Mazda CX-5 SUV in third.

Each year, thousands of motorists rate their cars in dozens of areas, providing Auto Express with valuable quotes, all of which help to build an accurate picture of what new cars are really like to live with.

Owners graded each of the 75 cars in the survey across 10 categories, assessing areas such as reliability, practicality, handling, performance, and infotainment, over a series of 35 questions, generating tens of thousands of data points from thousands of respondents.

For 2021, the Driver Power survey saw a raft of improvements, including the introduction of new questions regarding the effectiveness of in-car safety systems and the ease with which these systems can be switched on and off.

A question asking owners how happy they are with the balance between touchscreen inputs and physical controls is also new for this year, while a new value for money category has also been introduced.

Top 10 cars in the 2021 Driver Power new-car survey

  1. Hyundai Kona
  2. Kia Rio
  3. Mazda CX-5
  4. Toyota C-HR
  5. Skoda Karoq
  6. Skoda Kodiaq
  7. Vauxhall Grandland X
  8. Volvo XC40
  9. Kia Sportage
  10. SEAT Ateca

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Road trips: everything you need to know

The typical road trip lasts just under four hours, covers 150 miles and includes 41 songs to sing-along to, according to a new study by Esso.

More than a third of the of 2,000 adults questioned believe one of the most important aspects of a road trip is who they’re travelling with, while three passengers and the driver was found to be the preferred number.

It also emerged the average year sees Brits go on eight road trips – with 61 per cent currently having one lined up.

Of those, 43 per cent plan to travel with their partner, 20 per cent with their children and 10 per cent with their parents.

Other important aspects for a road trip were good weather (36 per cent), the scenery (31 per cent) and the final destination (31 per cent).

Abba’s ‘Dancing Queen’, Bon Jovi’s ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’ and Pharrell William’s ‘Happy’ were revealed as the go-to songs to singalong to in the car that transcend the generation gap, while The Killers ‘Mr Brightside’ is a firm favourite among millennials.

Esso, which is the technical partner of the Red Bull Racing Honda Formula 1 team, asked drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, about their road trip memories as children.

“The long rides I remember, were back in the day with my dad,” said Max. “So, we’d be listening to like, 70s, 80s, 90s – it would go from like Elvis Presley, to Michael Jackson, to Barry White, you know all this kind of stuff.”

The research also revealed that one in six Brits also believe regular scheduled stops are vital, with the typical ‘pit stop’ lasting 17 minutes, which usually involves stopping off at a service station (40 per cent), visiting a viewpoint (33 per cent) and enjoying a picnic (25 per cent).

Favourite in-car games were ‘I Spy’ (20 per cent), spotting unusual number plates (10 per cent) and ’20 questions’ (10 per cent). Other popular games are ‘Guess the tune’, ‘Spot the Animal’ and ‘Yellow Car’.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 crowned ‘Car of the Year’

Gareth Herincx

2 days ago
Auto News

Hyundai Ioniq 5

The stunning all-new Hyundai Ioniq 5 has scooped a remarkable four wins at the prestigious Auto Express New Car Awards 2021, including the coveted Car of the Year title.

Hyundai’s acclaimed electric vehicle (EV) also picked up trophies for Premium Electric Car and Mid-size Company Car, as well as the Design Award, as voted for by Auto Express readers.

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 wowed the Auto Express judges with its blend of style, comfort, engaging driving experience and cutting-edge technology.

“When we first saw the Concept 45 that previewed the Ioniq 5, we knew it would be something special,” said Steve Fowler, Auto Express editor-in-chief and chair of the judging team.

“We’ve watched the story unfold with huge interest, culminating in a memorable first drive of the car in the UK. It delivers on styling, driver appeal and quality.

“When it comes to the tech, Hyundai has already proven to be a leader in the EV space – and the Ioniq 5 takes it one step further. It’s a brilliant car.”

Remarkably, the Korean brand also won two other categories, taking the Hot Hatch of the Year award for its i20 N, while the Tucson was named Mid-size SUV of the Year.

Ashley Andrew, Managing Director of Hyundai Motor UK, added: “We are absolutely delighted with the six awards bestowed by Auto Express. For the Ioniq 5 to be named Car of the Year alongside three other category wins shows just how far Hyundai has come on its pioneering sustainable mobility journey.

“With the Ioniq 5, we set out to create one of the world’s best electric cars – nothing less. The reaction from our customers, and now from the uncompromising critics at Auto Express, shows we have delivered a industry-beating product.”

Auto Express New Car Awards Winners 2021

  • City Car of the Year – Fiat 500 Electric
  • Supermini of the Year – Renault Clio
  • Family Car of the Year – Skoda Octavia
  • Estate Car of the Year – Skoda Octavia Estate
  • Small Company Car of the Year – Volkswagen ID.3
  • Mid-size Company Car of the Year – Hyundai Ioniq 5
  • Large Company Car of the Year – Mercedes-Benz E-Class
  • Small SUV of the Year – Renault Captur
  • Mid-size SUV of the Year – Hyundai Tucson
  • Large SUV of the Year – SEAT Tarraco
  • Small Premium SUV of the Year – Mercedes-Benz GLA
  • Mid-size Premium SUV of the Year – Land Rover Defender
  • Large Premium SUV of the Year – BMW X5
  • Luxury Car of the Year – Bentley Flying Spur
  • Hot Hatch of the Year – Hyundai i20 N
  • Coupé of the Year – Alpine A110
  • Convertible of the Year – MINI Convertible
  • Performance Car of the Year – Toyota GR Yaris
  • Affordable Electric Car of the Year – Renault Zoe
  • Premium Electric Car of the Year – Hyundai Ioniq 5
  • Affordable Hybrid Car of the Year – Toyota Yaris
  • Premium Hybrid Car of the Year – Mercedes-Benz E-Class
  • Pick-up of the Year – Ford Ranger
  • Electric Van of the Year – Vauxhall Vivaro-e
  • Van of the Year – Ford Transit Custom
  • Design Award – Hyundai Ioniq 5
  • Technology Award – Citroen Ami
  • Hall of Fame – Adrian Hallmark & Richard Parry-Jones
  • Car of the Year – Hyundai Ioniq 5

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Genesis GV80 review

Genesis GV80 SUV

It’s always a pleasure to welcome a new name to the UK car market, so let’s hear it for plush South Korean brand, Genesis.

Already successful in the US and South Korea (with 130,000 sales in 2020 alone), the luxury division of Hyundai (think Lexus/Toyota) initially launches in Europe with two cars – the GV80 SUV and G80 saloon.

Both face a tough task, especially when it comes to stealing sales from the German big three – BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz.

Genesis GV80 SUV

Apart from competitive pricing, Genesis has another couple of tricks up its sleeve to entice buyers, most notably a unique buying experience, generous warranty and VIP aftercare package (of which more later).

The epic BMW X5-sized GV80 is likely to be the best-seller for Genesis until smaller, electrified models appear over the next few years.

Weirdly, when most new launches are either hybrids or fully electric, the GV80 is only initially available with a choice of 2.5-litre petrol or straight-six 3.0-litre diesel engines.

Genesis GV80 SUV

Starting at £56,815, both versions have four-wheel-drive as standard and you can choose between seven or five seats.

The GV80 certainly has road presence and its Korean origins and American appeal are obvious. The enormous chrome grille, bold winged badge and twin horizontal LED headlights are attention grabbers, while the general shape is classic SUV.

There’s even a hint of the Bentley Bentayga there, which is no surprise given that Genesis’s chief designer is Luc Donckerwolke used to have a drawing board at the luxury marque.

Genesis GV80 SUV

The beautifully finished interior is just as impressive with its blend of high-quality materials, comfortable seats and modern technology, including a panoramic 14.5-inch infotainment touchscreen, a 13.3-inch digital driver’s cluster and head-up display.

We tested the 274bhp diesel mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox, configured as a spacious five-seater.

There’s lounge-like space up front and space for three adults in the back, while the boot can swallow 735 litres of luggage, or an enormous 2,152 litres of kit with the rear seats folded.

Genesis GV80 SUV

Naturally, there’s a commanding view of the road and let’s just say it’s swift rather than fast.

For the record, it can sprint from 0-60mph in 7.3 seconds, fuel economy is 33.1mpg and CO2 emissions are 231g/km.

You’re aware of its size, especially on narrower country roads, where it feels a bit of a handful.

The cabin is light, airy and refined, and it soon becomes clear that it’s been engineered as an effortless long-distance cruiser, perhaps more with the American market in mind.

Genesis GV80 SUV

The ride on motorways and A roads is pleasantly smooth, but it doesn’t feel quite so sophisticated on smaller, rougher routes.

Thanks to all-wheel drive, grip and traction are impressive, while the engine is suitably responsive, the steering is light and precise, and the brakes provide ample stopping power.

More spirited drivers can switch to Sport mode and try their luck on more challenging roads, but the combination of a large girth and moderate body control soon bring you back to your senses.

That said, if you live in the country or you want to stay in control during extreme weather, you’ll be pleased to know there’s a Terrain mode which can switch between Mud, Sand, or Snow conditions.

Genesis GV80 SUV

As you’d expect, the GV80 is generously equipped, not least in the safety department where it gained a maximum five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests (a claimed first-in-class central front airbag is fitted as standard) and goodies include active cruise control and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection.

So, the GV80 is a classy, distinctive, all-round package, but it’s the ownership experience that might swing sales. Not only is it likely to be as dependable as its sister brands, Hyundai and Kia, but the five-year/unlimited mileage warranty is tempting too.

Then there’s the transparent buying process. There are no dealerships. Instead, you visit a studio where you can interact with a Genesis Personal Assistant (GPA), who’s under no pressure to make a sale and is employed on a commission-free basis.

Genesis GV80 SUV

It’s hoped the GPA will remain a direct point of contact throughout your ownership experience, delivering cars for test drives and purchases, and collecting your car for servicing (providing a like-for-like Genesis while your car is away).

The Five-Year Care Plan also includes servicing, roadside assistance, courtesy car, mapping and over-the-air software updates.

Verdict: If you’re looking for a big, plush new SUV that stands out from the crowd, plus peace of mind and excellent customer service, then consider the all-new Genesis GV80. Spacious, safe, comfortable and generously equipped, it’s an effortless cruiser.

Genesis UK