Test drive: Hyundai Tucson 1.6 PHEV N Line

Test drive: Hyundai Tucson 1.6 PHEV N Line

Good looks and a lot of N details for high end devices

It’s the details that make it new Hyundai Differentiate Tucson. Well-proportioned radiator grill integrated with daytime running lights. A bonnet with a muscular design and bulbous fenders, which are attached to the side of the car with an elegant tension layer. In addition, the boldness of the edge: Even the wheel arches are not round, but a little squarer than usual. Hyundai itself does not want to offend, it wants to inspire. With the N Line as the top device, the Koreans are now going a step further.

A beautiful shade of gray for the body and a striking black for the roof and mirrors give the N Line a more colorful look. In addition, there are elegantly designed 19-inch alloy wheels in a two-tone finish. In addition, the N Line is defined by more “Parametric Gems” on the radiator grille and a surface reminiscent of piano lacquer. Of course, matching N Line logos should not be missing anywhere. There are also bigger air intakes at the front, different lower protection and black side moldings on the windows. At the rear, the extended roof spoiler catches the eye and the chromed tailpipes are a testament to the sporty elegance.

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A powerful hybrid drive that isn’t always fully convincing

265 hp meanwhile is a good ad in a small SUV. With this “GTI level” of performance, the Hyundai Tucson 1.6 T-GDI PHEV 4WD N Line promises (combined fuel consumption: 1.4 l/100km; combined energy consumption: 17.7 kWh/100km; combined CO2 emissions: 31 g / km)² lots of driving fun. And he delivers too. In a credible 8.2 seconds, it sprints to 100 km/h with a full battery and pulls in every situation, as the torque boost of the electric motor pushes the 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder surprisingly into the low-speed ranges. However: The picture changes as soon as the battery level is low.

Upshifts are short, but the six-speed dual-clutch transmission keeps upshifts for a long time and thus requires no electric assist. What was once strong and lively has suddenly become sluggish. If you switch from Eco to Sport mode, you’ll get a kick out of it, but at the cost of speed and utility. The combustion engine of 180 hp is now fully exposed, it often has to revive and not only loudly, but above all thirst. You are fast on the road’s fast stages with a consumption of ten liters per 100 kilometers – paired with a tank that has a size of 40 liters, long distances are not a real pleasure.

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The compact size of the battery enables the electronic range to be suitable for everyday use

However, if you do not drive several hundred kilometers a day, you will not be aware of the problem. Used in urban transport, the image of the Hyundai Tucson 1.6 T-GDI PHEV changes again to positive. Its 13.8 kWh high-voltage battery is easily good for an electric range of 50 km and usually easily handles daily needs. Like most PHEVs, it can be recharged in one phase, but at up to 32 A and 7.2 kW. Electrically, it drives smoothly, willingly, powerfully and, despite the nominal hp of only 91, very exciting. However, there is no real E mode, because the combustion engine frequently jumps in despite low performance requirements – whether it’s to help with heating or to keep the exhaust gas cleaning system warm.

It’s points like these that show how complex plug-in hybrid control can be. Many current opponents of the time argue that such cars are nonsense. The author thinks fundamentally differently, considering PHEVs to be a respectable transitional solution that, with proper use, enables electric driving, but in the individual case of long distances normal driving comfort and acceptable driving times. The only thing is that the drive train should be well made for this. In the Hyundai Tucson, the PHEV is not always well organized. Everything is fine in electronic mode, as well as in acceleration mode, but the difference between a powerful turbo combustion engine and a small electronic machine is too great to maintain its independence in low-speed transitions. battery. .

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The chassis tuning is very successful, thanks to the ECS dampers

Perhaps this small flaw is only because the rest of the Korean SUV is not only beautiful, but full of more talent. The N Line’s optional ECS suspension deserves special mention. In everyday life, it is simple and comfortable, showing itself as an ideal family car. But when things get down to business at speed, the steering is sharp, and more power is needed, then it becomes difficult, it balances the Tucson wonderfully through corners and is an excellent driving partner, which is also very well placed.

Of course, an SUV weighing around 1.9 tons is not a sports car, but the balancing act that Tucson does on its own, without dealing with menus and buttons, is truly remarkable. You can tell that Hyundai spent a lot of money on the chassis. The ability to drive in every situation of life (everyday) was clearly ahead. Here the small all-wheel drive is a good step ahead of its competitors.

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Rich materials and very clean processing

In addition to the already extensive equipment, N Line also adds a lot to the interior. The sports seats are wrapped in a nice combination of leather and suede, with contrasting red stitching. These can also be found in other parts of the interior and provide a sporty touch – such as black-trimmed fabric, black-tinted windows at the rear and shiny metal interior trim. The digital cockpit is also familiar from other Hyundai group models, as is the full menu navigation.

While the controls in the cockpit are the same, opinions differ about the function of the gearbox button. Comments in the editorial office ranged from “Fisherman’s Price” to “Elderly Cell Phones”. However, there is an agreement that coarse bindings do not necessarily correspond to well-made breaks of the internal environment. The same applies here: It grumbles at a high level, but the Tucson doesn’t reveal weaknesses, which is why such mistakes are so obvious.

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Anyone looking for an entertaining alternative in the small SUV class that can charge at home or work – and please do – will find a great car in the Hyundai Tucson 1.6 T-GDI PHEV 4WD N Line. Beautiful, well-refined, powerful and great balance of the chassis. Only: You should know your weaknesses, especially when the battery is empty, so as not to spoil the overall result. (Text and photos: Fabian Mechtel)

Technical details*

  • example: Hyundai Tucson 1.6 T-GDI PHEV 4WD N Line
  • engine: Four cylinders in line, 1,598 cc
  • performance: 132 kW/180 hp
  • torque: 265 Nm
  • electric motor: electric motor, rear-axle electric vehicle
  • performance: 67 kW/91 hp
  • torque: 304 Nm
  • system performance: 195 kW/265 hp
  • system torque: 350 Nm
  • battery: lithium ion
  • ability: 13.8 kWh (total)
  • run: electric all-wheel drive, six-speed automatic transmission
  • Combined use (WLTP): 1.4 l/100km²
  • Combined power consumption (WLTP): 17.7 kWh/100km²
  • Combined CO2 emissions: 31 g/km²
  • Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 8.2 seconds
  • high speed: 191 km/h
  • Dimensions (L/W/H): 4.50m/1.86m/1.65m
  • weight1,893 kg*
  • base price: from 42,350 euros (N Line Package plus 8,450 euros)

* Manufacturer’s information