2015 Hyundai Tucson Review and First Drive

by under Review, family, SUV on 31 Jul 2015 11:49:37 AM31 Jul 2015
FROM $27,490
Fuel Consumption
FROM 6.4L/100km

Locally tuned, Introduction of Apple and Android tech


Best engines not available on the Active X model.

Hyundai Australia invited CarShowroom.com.au to the NSW ski fields to the test the all-new 2015 Hyundai Tucson, which is the slightly larger replacement for the out going Hyundai iX35.


The bold and athletic looking Hyundai Tucson is the third generation of the Tucson/ix35 SUV nameplate and bares more than a passing resemblance to the larger and equally as good-looking Santa Fe.

With great styling, more room, better technology, improved fuel economy and keen pricing, the Hyundai Tucson looks to offer and all round better experience than the model it replaces.

Hyundai Tucson Overview

The Hyundai Tucson is an important follow-up to the top selling Hyundai ix35 which was Hyundai’s second best selling car behind the i30.  The Hyundai Tucson has grown in to a medium sized SUV and now offers a more premium interior and exterior.

The Hyundai Tucson is offered in four model grades and with a choice of naturally aspirated, turbo and diesel engines there is a model for everyone.


From entry-level Active through to the range topping Highlander models Hyundai have delivered there usual slick line-up.

Standard features across the range include Touchscreen infotainment, reversing camera, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, multi function steering wheel and 6 airbags.

2015 Hyundai Tucson Line up:

Active 2WD  2.0 MPi (6-speed manual) $27,990
Active 2WD  2.0 MPi (6-speed auto) $30,490
Elite 2WD 2.0 MPi (6-speed auto)  $35,240
ActiveX 2WD  2.0 GDi (6-speed manual)  $30,490
ActiveX 2WD  2.0 GDi (6-speed auto)  $32,990
Elite AWD  1.6 T-GDi (7-speed DCT) $38,240
Elite AWD 2.0 CRDi (6-speed auto) $40,240
Highlander AWD 1.6 T-GDi (7-speed DCT)  $43,490
Highlander AWD 2.0 CRDi (6-speed auto)  $45,490

Key features by variant can be found here - Key Features Hyundai Tucson 

Hyundai Tucson Engine

Hyundai have tried to cover all the bases when it comes to engines choices.  There are three petrol engines and one diesel power plant to choose from.

The first engine is the 2.0 MPi unit which wont arrive in Australia until at least October 2015.  When it does launch it will matched to the entry-level FWD Active and Elite models and paired to 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission.

Next up we have the 2.0 GDi that produces 121kW/203Nm and is available in the ActiveX, 2WD,with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. Fuel consumption is quoted at 7.8L/100km (manual)/7.9L/100km (automatic).


The next two engines are sourced from Hyundai’s European plant in the Czech Republic.  The 1.6T GDi produces 130kW/265Nm and is available in the AWD Elite and Highlander variants and is matched to a 7-speed Double Clutch Transmission.  Fuel consumption is a respectable 7.7/100km.

The final engine is the 2.0 R-Series CRDi produces 136kW/400Nm and is available on the AWD Elite and Highlander models matched to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Depending on wheel size fuel consumption is 6.4L/100km (17-inch wheels)/6.8L/100km (19-inch wheels)

Hyundai Tucson Interior

Across the range the first impression is that the cabin has a great layout and the fit and finish across all models is top notch.

Hyundai has stepped up its interiors of late and the Tucson is no different from the entry-level Active through to the Highlander grade. Jumping in to the front seats you immediately notice the major step-up in layout and materials used in the new Tucson over the ix35.


Active X and Highlander models receive leather interior, with Active and Elite using cloth materials – a strange choice but we expect most buyers to favour the Active X models.

Apple Car Play and Google Android Auto is available from September in the Active and Active X grades.  Elite and Highlander models are expected to receive the Apple Car Play and Google Android Auto in 2016. According to Hyundai if your car ships without the tech a simple upgrade will be required for those cars.


Luggage space is 488 litres minimum with the 60/40 rear seats in place, that jumps up to 1478 litres with the seats folded.

Hyundai Tucson Exterior and Styling


Hyundai has delivered a classic and elegantly looking modern SUV.  This is the first Hyundai that has been styled by the former Audi designer Peter Schreyer.


He and the team at Hyundai have produced a car that has clean and simple lines that help the Tucson resemble the larger Santa Fe. 

The Tucson is instantly recognisable as a Hyundai thanks to the family hexagonal grille and front light design.  At the rear of the car the rear lights do have a touch of Jeep Cherokee about them.

Hyundai Tucson Issues

The Hyundai Tucson is a major step-up from the model it replaces, however sourcing the car from two different countries obviously creates some issues.

These issues are mainly interior focused which sees the Active X model (Sourced from South Korea) deliver a more superior feeling interior than the higher spec’d and more expensive Elite model (sourced form Czech Republic).

Hyundai Tucson On the Road

We had the opportunity to sample three models on the launch: Active X 2.0 GDi, Elite 1.6T and Highlander 2.0 CRDi.

As with all Hyundai sold in Australia the local tuning team have done a terrific job in tuning the suspension for local conditions.  To set the car up for local condition the team tested 104 separate suspension combinations, 3 front spring options, 3 rear spring options and 65 front & 97 rear dampers options, plus a host of other components. The end result is a SUV that handles Australian conditions perfectly from highway driving to dirt roads the Tucson performed beyond expectation.

It was only when we hit the deepest of potholes or encountered some icy conditions did we feel the harshness of our Aussie roads.


Our first taste of the new Hyundai Tucson was driving from Canberra airport to Thredbo in the Elite AWD 1.6T. On mainly open roads the Tucson was a pleasure to drive, quiet cabin and minimal road noise. 

The new turbo 1.6T GDi  is the  standout performer when it comes to the Hyundai Tucson.  The same 1.6-litre petrol engine is used in the Veloster SR Turbo. The new 1.6T performs effortlessly and always felt to be in the right gear. Overtaking was a breeze and on the drive from Canberra to Thredbo the engine never skipped a beat. When we hit the hills the transmission had no trouble selecting the correct gear and the engine felt it always had plenty of power in reserve.

The next morning we jumped in the Active X 2.0litre petrol front wheel drive Tucson.   Ride and handling felt very similar to the Elite we had driven the day before but we had the added bonus of heated seats.


In and around Thredbo village the transmission worked flawless at lower speeds.  When we hit the high-speed open roads we felt that the transmission struggled in finding the right gear.  In and around town the 2.0litre petrol engine matched the 6-speed transmission showed none of these problems.

Finally we sampled the Tucson Highlander AWD with 2.0litre diesel engine.  Like the 1.6t this is the choice for those who spend the majority of their time on high-speed roads.  The transmission is smooth, engine noise barely and the fuel economy is up there with the best.

Hyundai Tucson Competition

Mazda leads the pack here with updated Mazda CX-5 and pricing matches the Tucson within a few dollars.

The Toyota RAV4 is a cracking SUV and the pricing is pin-sharp. You can also add the Kia Sportage is in the mix.

Also consider the updated Ford Kuga and new Nissan X-TRAIL both of which are great SUVs in there own right.

Hyundai Tucson Verdict

With a step up in size the all-new Hyundai Tucson will face a new host of challengers but with its extensive line-up and keen pricing the Tucson looks set to pick-up where the ix35 ended.

Ideally we would like to be able to buy the Active X with either the 2.0litre diesel or 1.6litre turbo engine but we doubt that is going to happen.

So if you will spend most of your time in an urban environment then the Active X is the pick of the bunch.

However if most of your time is spent out on the open road then the Elite or Highlander with the 1.6T or Diesel engine should best suit your needs.

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