Hyundai Tucson Highlander 2021 Review

Building on the success of the previous generation Tucson, Hyundai have not only upgraded to a classier look and feel and better creature comforts, it’s also a more tech savvy model.

Is this the future of mid size SUVs in australia?

Let’s see what Car Sales had to say in their review.


The new fourth-generation Hyundai Tucson has landed in Australia. For 2021, the Toyota RAV4 and Mazda 6, 5 rival is bigger than before, has new technology and sports a radical redesign. Let’s take a closer look.

After three generations on sale, the Tucson has become a household name in the mid-size SUV segment. Now Hyundai hopes this new fourth-generation model can extend the sales legacy. The radically redesigned Tucson has grown by 150 millimetres in length, as well as incremental increases in height, width and wheelbase. Prices are up across the board, including a $5000 increase in entry price. Hyundai says that figure reflects considerably more standard equipment across the range.

Here we’re testing the up spec Tucson Highlander, fitted with the entry 2.0-litre petrol engine. Hyundai says a 1.6-litre, turbo-petrol option and a 2.0-litre, turbo-diesel option will become available between now and July. Now, understandably, it is the exterior that really grabs your attention with the fourth-generation Tucson, but, equally, family SUV buyers will really appreciate the changes inside.

Those dimensional updates have liberated more space across the first and second rows as well as the boot area while up front, there’s this swish new wrap-around dashboard that features a 10.25-inch infotainment display, and in the case of Highlander spec, a digital instrument cluster and these new capacitive touch buttons in place of the predecessor’s hard-wired switch gear. It’s a really nice place to be inside. There’s plenty of incidental storage, nice soft-touch materials, and with the bigger dimensions, plenty of cabin space as well. The Highlander spec features live blind spot video streaming of the Tucson’s flanks, just like the larger Santa Fe, and you can pair two smartphones simultaneously.

Oddly though, top-spec versions of the Tucson miss out on wireless Apple Car Play, even though it’s offered in entry models. That might sound like a minor gripe, but it does affect the vehicle’s voice functionality on the move. In any case, the refreshed internals help the Tucson take another key step forward, especially if you opt for a new N-line package that is offered across all grades. There’s a newfound level of polish when it comes to the driving experience as well. The steering wheel feels really nice in the hands, has nice light weighting at low speed, yet it weighs up and offers adequate feedback through the corners as well. Equally, there’s a really nice open view of the road. You do sit a little bit perched in the seat, but you have a really good view of the road and your surroundings.

Larger in all key dimensions than the third-generation Tucson that launched in 2015, including wheelbase, the fourth-generation model adopts Hyundai’s global suspension tune. It also underwent a localised evaluation process before being signed off for Aussie showrooms. On first impression, that larger wheelbase seems to translate to a slightly more settled and refined road ride. In this particular car I found that inconsistencies in the road are reflected accordingly through the chassis. Little bumps and niggles seem to pose very little drama, and you’ll only ever occasionally feel a more meaningful thud or crash riding on 19-inch wheels. Equally, body control is quite admirable, both through larger wash-outs and through the corners. Under the bonnet, a familiar 2.0-litre engine carries over with 115 kilowatt and 192 Newton-metre outputs.

It drives the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. The 2.0-litre engine gets the job done fairly well. In daily conveyance, it builds speed in a linear and progressive fashion, and it works well with the automatic transmission. I’ve gotta say fuel economy is quite respectable. We’ve had very little trouble matching the 8.1 litre per 100K claim, and at highway speeds, the engine ticks over at a very casual 2000 RPM.

Ask a little bit more of the engine, and it is a bit noisier and even languid under load, and I think the big test for it will be a family of five and all their luggage. I don’t think it’s gonna have quite the same refinement that I’ve seen today.

The fourth-generation Tucson is offered with a five-year unlimited kilometre warranty, and in the case of the entry petrol version, annual $319 servicing costs. It means that despite an obvious trend up market, the Tucson will continue to resonate with family buyers as well.

So then a sound first impression of the 2021 Hyundai Tucson, based on our experience with this 2.0-litre petrol Highlander variant. However, with a smorgasbord of new engine options, including hybrid versions and even a possible Hyundai Tucson N variant, I reckon the best is yet to come.



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