Hyundai Tucson Estate 2004-2008 owner reviewsFront wheel drive.
The Hyundai Tucson is a budget 4x4 and as such some of the equipment used may not be of the highest quality. However, it is extremely spacious seating five adults easily, it also comes with a boot that will be able to hold a lot of luggage and you receive almost as much kit as you do on much more expensive 4x4’s. It was designed as a ’soft roader’ like the RAV-4 and it is here where it excels with well controlled body roll and plenty of grip. It also does well off road too being able to tackle muddy tracks and fields easily enough. Just don’t expect it to be as good as a proper off-roader like the Defender. It comes with a good range of engines with the petrol’s offering speed and the diesels coming with added low down pull and fuel efficiency.
The Tucson is far from being a good looking 4x4, but most of its rivals aren’t exactly eye catching either. Inside it is extremely spacious with plenty of head and legroom for all of the cars occupants. The seats are all very wide, soft and comfortably especially in the back. They do lack any proper support though which may make longer journeys uncomfortable. The boot is a decent size with its 540litres which can be increased by either sliding the back seats forwards or folding the back seats down for any larger items. The boot opening is a good size and with no boot lip making unloading and loading heavier items easy. The interior trim is full of cheap dull plastics and the seats are all made of very thin feeling leather that isn’t likely to suffer much hard wear. The dash and central console are clearly laid out with all of the dials being clearly visible and all of the switches and knobs are easy to operate.
As for choosing a trim, we would opt for the GSI level as it offers good value for money coming with air-con, a CD stereo, alloys, an electric sunroof and windows, traction control and roof rails. If you want a little bit extra go for the Style trim that adds climate control instead of air-con, cruise control, heated mirrors, parking sensors and heated seats.
There are four engines to choose from in the Tucson with two petrol and two diesel options. The petrol engines include a 140bhp 2.0-litre and a 175bhp 2.7-litre V6 whilst the diesels are made up of a 138bhp 2.0 CRTD, which later was increased in power to 148bhp and rebadged as the 2.0 CRDi. The V6 only comes with an automatic gearbox whilst the others come with manual ’boxes. The 2.0 petrol comes with a five-speed gearbox whilst the diesels come with a six-speed unit.
The diesel engines are our top choice. If you can go for the newer 148bhp 2.0 CRDi as it is slightly quicker than the original unit going from 0-60mph in 11.6 seconds, while achieving the same 39mpg as the older unit. The 2.0-litre petrol is also worth looking at though as it’s quicker than the diesels reaching 60mph in 10.9 seconds and isn’t far behind on the economy front achieving 34mpg. It is also the only model to come in two-wheel-drive increasing the fuel efficiency to 35mpg and reducing the 0-60mph to 10.1 seconds. This makes it the engine of choice if you just want the 4x4 height and practically rather than an actual four-wheel-drive car. As for the V6 engine, we would recommend leaving it well alone as the automatic gearbox it comes with saps any power out of the engine making it slower than the two-wheel-drive version at 10.2 seconds to 60mph and is the least economical too at 28mpg.
When insuring them you shouldn’t expect it to cost you any more than the average 4x4 with only the Kia Sportage being any cheaper.
The Tucson was built mainly for on-road travel and as such it handles everyday travel well with minimal body roll in the corners and there is plenty of grip, especially in the four-wheel-drive models. The steering isn’t as sharp as some rivals and the firm suspension can make travelling at slower speeds and over rougher surfaces uncomfortable. It may have been built as a ’soft roader’ but it does a decent job off road too. It will tackle most muddy tracks and fields easily, just don’t expect it to take you through thick mud and sand. If you want a proper off roader then the Tucson isn’t for you.
There have been few reported problems with the Tucson so far. The only recurring complaint is that drivers aren’t able to match the claimed fuel efficiency figures and that the on board trip computer is calibrated to US rather than UK gallons.
Servicing costs are fairly inexpensive too costing no more than most other 4x4’s. Repair costs are unlikely to cost much with Hyundai’s hourly rates being one of the cheapest in the country.
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