Driving test Hyundai Tucson PHEV: travel without a variety of worries

Driving test Hyundai Tucson PHEV: travel without a variety of worries

The Hyundai Tucson is a South Korean SUV, named after a city in the United States, built in the Czech Republic. We felt like Mr. Worldwide and he drove Tucson from Hyundai Netherlands to southern Germany, to find out how it would fit as a tourist car. In this driving test we report on it.

power Weaknesses
+ Creativity – (Pull) weight
+ Internal space – Warning signs
+ Type of electricity – Go abroad

What is the Hyundai Tucson PHEV?

Hyundai Tucson has been on the big screen since last year, in the most recent film Spider-Man† But that is not the only relationship with Hollywood. The front of Tucson reminds us of The Mandalorian hat. It looks very attractive at night, with its T-split daytime running lights.

The two sharp lines of the slant give a sharp appearance to the Tucson edges. The matte chrome strip runs over the side windows from the door mirrors to the back door, the line continues to the bottom of the rear window. The rear lights are reminiscent of the claws of a straight hunter; Like most modern cars, the rear lighting units are connected to a light bar that covers the entire width of the back gate. Tucson’s overall appearance has a good mix of organic and geometric shapes; that makes it difficult and accessible at the same time.

Profile, side, Teal Blue Hyundai Tucson

Hyundai Tucson domestic

The Tucson interior is different from that of the other Hyundai, but it has a number of style features that we also know from other models. The beauty of Tucson’s interior is that there are so many lines going on in the structure. The design of the dashboard and door panels makes it feel as if the driver and passenger are each in his or her ‘bathroom’. Adding to that effect is the fact that the front seats are separated by a large center console.

Hyundai Tucson domestic

We do not get a gear lever on the center cone, but drive direction buttons, as we are accustomed from Hyundai. There are also two cup holders and physical buttons that you use for a seat and steering wheel, among other things. Multimedia screens and weather settings are operated by touch buttons, but in some interiors you will find “normal” buttons. Key functions such as trip control, radio, media sound, phone and voice control can all be controlled from the steering wheel. The lower half of the handle has a metal trim; something we have not seen often in other Hyundais.

Hyundai station console, transmission selection buttons, cup holders

You can put together Tucson with different versions and hardware packages, more about this under the heading ‘versions’. All of Tucson have a 1.6-liter turbo engine and poor hybrid technology, but Hyundai has also added a few for more power support. There is also a hybrid version (HEV) and hybrid plugin (PHEV) on the list. In this test drive, we chose a hybrid version of the Hyundai Tucson plug-in, because in Daily Auto we like to focus on electrical mobility.

How does the Hyundai Tucson PHEV run?

Sitting behind the Tucson wheel, you feel like you’re in an SUV. It’s a very big car, but not very big. From the closet you have a good summary of traffic around you. If you are still unsure if there is anything in your blind area, you can check it through invisible camera cameras. When you turn on your flashlight, a picture from your counter screen shows if the street is clear.

Another funny thing about that counter screen is that the theme changes with the driving environment you activate; in the context of comfort and comfort you see an indicator that shows how you are driving with environmental awareness, in game mode you get a tachometer in front of your nose instead. Tucson also has a number of ways to climb the worst local area; snow, mud and sand. This also changes the display of the counter screen. We did not try to differentiate between these species very broadly, but in Germany we looked for muddy forest paths for photography and Tucson went through it easily. This is of course due to the permanent 4WD system of our test model; I don’t think the version with the front wheel drive alone would have turned off so easily.

The main difference of the Tucson PHEV, compared to the HEV, is that it has a larger battery pack (13.8 kWh), which you can charge with a charging cable. The 1.6 T-GDI is good for 180 hp itself, but the electric motor increases power up to 265 hp in a hybrid version of the plug. For the PHEV version, power (via six-speed automatic transmission) goes on all four wheels, so there is no shortage of grip. The Tucson PHEV has the most horsepower of all the Tucsons, but its weight of about two tons makes it slow. Accelerating from 0 to 100 km / h takes 8.2 seconds.

Thanks to the large, comfortable seats, you can cover many miles before your back hurts. In addition, our test drive has seat temperature and cooling; very nice! During the trip, Tucson takes a lot of work out of your hands. Departure Assistant Assistant ensures that you stay on the same route and travel controls can be changed. Hyundai also uses traffic signal recognition, where the travel speed corresponds to the speed limit. These things make Tucson a lovely car for long journeys.


Tucson is uniquely designed; in an equally controlled street area, you immediately recognize this Hyundai. From the outside in, Tucson looks impressive. Some products blindly copy each other’s designs, so that each model looks straightforward. But Hyundai goes its own way and knows how to give each model its own shape, which is great.

Tucson has plenty of space inside. On the trunk, but also in the back seat, you will not miss anything even as a fully grown Dutchman. Although the PHEV version has the smallest cargo space of all versions, the figures are still not bad. Back you can store 558 liters of luggage: more than enough if you go on vacation with four of you. If you fold the back seats, you can fit 1,737 liters of items behind the front seats.

We had saved the address via AirBnB which stated that you can charge electric vehicles there. In Germany we met a very friendly host; he even left us a free payment. Two nights of sleep means two nights on the plug. The Tucson PHEV can run up to 56 miles in pure electric mode with a single battery charge. Let’s go a few miles across hilly Germany to be sure. With two days of charging you have traveled about 100 miles ‘free’ when browsing the area.

Weak points

Hyundai Tucson PHEV weighs 1,893 kg; which is more than 250 kg heavier than the HEV version and not less than 355 kg more than the hybrid version. This weight gain is due to the large battery pack and 4WD technology. The latter are important on muddy roads, but are also slightly lower in the lowlands of the Netherlands. Thanks to the 13.8 kWh battery, you can make daily trips perfectly electrically, but for longer trips it means the car should carry more weight. Another disadvantage is that extra kilos are removed from the weight of the draw. The Tucson PHEV can pull 1,350 kg, which is much lower than 1,650 kg in some versions.

Tucson has a variety of auxiliary devices that make driving easier and safer. But the annoying thing about this is that you often hear warning sounds, for example, if you are approaching a traffic light or if you turn on your flashlight while another car is moving behind you. Hyundai puts a big aside for safety, which is nice in itself. But the alarm-related signals enter the arteries.

If you want to explore remote horizons, it is important to use a navigation system for that. But in our experience, there was something strange about it. We could not select an overseas address as a travel destination. Now we can not imagine that this is completely impossible, but the option of choosing ‘Germany’ as a destination country was not easy to find. That could be easier for users. In the Netherlands, navigation worked well.


The standard version of i-Motion already has trip control, route, high beam and emergency brake auxiliary, traffic signal recognition and an 8-inch media screen with Apple Carplay. In the Comfort version you will find a large media screen (10.25 inches) with navigation and connectivity of Hyundai Bluelink. Versions with automatic transmission also receive flexible cruise control.

If you opt for the Comfort-Smart package, you will find an electrically operated back door with a steering wheel. Seat heating is available from the Comfort version, the ventilation of the seat is unique to the Premium version. In the Premium version you are quite warm, among other things, more elegant interiors, electrically adjustable seats, blind spot discovery and Remote Parking Assistance. The text of this driving test is the richest version of the device, called Premium Sky. The difference compared to the ‘normal’ version of Premium is that it has a panel roof.

Hyundai SUV in the wild

For € 34,995, – you can already park the new Tucson in front of the door. But also the richest versions of equipment still have the best price. The text in this driving test is the most expensive format you can find and it costs € 49,295 new.

Conclusion of driving test Hyundai Tucson PHEV

The Hyundai Tucson proved itself during this driving test as a simple travel vehicle. Despite its high weight, the Tucson Plug-in Hybrid is a medium between fuel-efficient and electric-powered. You can cover miles of electronic travel if you wish. But if summer is near and you want to go somewhere far away, you can do it very quietly, without leaving the charge for too long. If you have a place to charge where you are going, you can even explore the area without dirty air. We already encounter frequent Mandalorian hats on the Dutch road, and that does not surprise us at all.