Hyundai Tucson 2020 active x (2wd) black int
review

2020 Hyundai Tucson Active X review

Rating: 7.6
$29,880 $35,530 Dealer
  • Fuel Economy
    7.9L
  • Engine Power
    122kW
  • CO2 Emissions
    185g
  • ANCAP Rating
    5Stars
While a new model isn't far away, the current Tucson's appeal lies in its no frills performance, fitness for purpose and good pricing.
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With 2020 drawing to a close and a new model looming, Hyundai is clearing its remaining 2020 Tucson stock with some sharp deals.

Our tester, a 2020 Hyundai Tucson Active X, is currently advertised at $34,990 drive-away with a six-speed automatic gearbox, which is less, even, than the regular price before on-road costs (usually $35,140 plus on-road costs).

Take off two grand for the manual if you're happy to row your own gears, and also consider lopping off another $3000 for the entry-level Active specification.

Active X includes 18-inch alloy wheels, an 8.0-inch infotainment display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, projector headlights and power-folding mirrors. There are also leather appointments on the seats, shifter and steering wheels, and an up-specced Infinity eight-speaker sound system.

There’s also lane-keep assistance, driver-attention warning and autonomous emergency braking. However, Active and Active X miss out on a more sophisticated camera and radar AEB set-up, which increases the operating range of the active braking system.

Things you miss out on in this specification are: smart key, front parking sensors, privacy glass, tyre pressure monitoring and adaptive cruise control.

2020 Hyundai Tucson Active X
Engine2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol
Power and torque122kW at 6200rpm, 205Nm at 4000rpm
Transmission6-speed torque-converter automatic
Drive typeFront-wheel drive
Kerb weight1590kg
Fuel consumption, claimed7.9L/100km
Fuel use on test8.5L/100km
Boot size (five-seat/two-seat)488L/1478L
ANCAP safety rating (year)Five stars, 2015
Warranty (years/km)Five years/unlimited kilometres
Main competitorsToyota RAV4, Mazda CX-5, Nissan X-Trail
Price as tested (Drive-away)$34,990

And while other powertrains are available, we’ve got the most rudimentary here: a 2.0-litre petrol engine that makes 122kW at 6200rpm and 205Nm at 4000rpm running to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.

Gutsier turbocharged petrol and diesel engines, both all-wheel drive, are also available, but our tester Tucson proved to be a decent if uninspiring performer around town.

Highway acceleration and ascending hills did see a good dose of revs to access the power and torque from time to time, but urban driving wasn’t as bad. The Tucson feels perky enough off the line, and is able to dart around between roundabouts and intersections with appropriate vigour.

And while fuel-saving dual-clutch transmissions – which often do require a driver’s calibration to operate smoothly – are getting more and more popular, this traditional six-speed torque-converter automatic gearbox is completely free of glitches and surprises to worry about. It’s smooth and predictable, although with only six gears, it can feel like a big jump in ratios from time to time.

While we averaged 8.5 litres per 100km during our test, a heavier dose of highway driving also saw that number creep into the sixes, which is pretty impressive. This lines up well with Hyundai’s own claims: 6.1L/100km on the highway, 11.0L/100km urban, and 7.9L/100km combined.

In terms of steering and ride comfort, the Tucson offers little room for complaint. We often praise Hyundai for the efforts they make in calibrating cars to suit Australian roads and tastes, and this is no different. There’s a great combination of comfort and control in the Tucson, which seems to maintain composure across a wide variety of road surfaces.

Steering, too, is well dialled for the application: it feels relaxed at times, with enough off-centre activity kicking in when you need it. Not floaty, nor overactive.

The turning circle, 11.0 metres, is tight enough for most urban driving, and can be achieved with 2.5 turns lock to lock.

The interior of the Tucson is starting to feel a little basic and dated, in the face of competition that is ever-renewing and updating. However, it’s comfortable and effective. The infotainment display, with native navigation and digital radio on top of smartphone mirroring, is easy to use.

The small multi-function display in the instrument binnacle, measuring only 3.5 inches, hints at the age and specification of this Tucson, letting you rifle through basic readouts and settings. Other hints is the basic air conditioning controls and turn-key start.

Practicality is well served, with a decent-sized centre console and and twin cupholders in the middle. The extra storage slot in front works well for things like phones and wallets, although a charging pad is reserved only the top Highlander specification.

The so-called leather appointments to the seats aren’t exactly sumptuous, but they are comfortable and go a long way to improving the interior presentation of the Tucson. For those with dodgy backs, the electric lumbar support will be a welcome addition.

Two 12V outlets dole out power up front, along with a USB and an auxiliary input jack.

In the back, there is an additional USB outlet, but no second-row air vents. Overall space is in good supply: with enough room for adults and baby seats in the second row. Although admittedly, my short legs and driving position means I sit closer to the wheel than others.

Legroom is helped by the sculpted seat backs, finished off in hard plastic that should be able to weather the storm of kids, their feet and food. Although, a presumably empty transmission tunnel does eat into the available space.

While there is no sliding in the 2nd row, the tilt can be adjusted. There is also ISOFIX and top tether points, for those fitting child seats.

The Tucson’s boot, measuring in at 488 litres, has a flat load lip, 12V power and some extra storage bins on each side. Underneath the floor lives a full-size alloy spare wheel (top marks) and some additional storage space for bits and bobs. And when you need all the space you can get, 1478 litres becomes available with the second row folded down.

Along with a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty, servicing prices for this Tucson are kept in check by a capped-price servicing program. After five years and 75,000 kilometres, the Tucson asks only for $1570 to keep the logbook up to snuff via Hyundai dealers.

That equates to an average of $306 per year, with most services sticking at $280 (only the four year/60,000km service is dearer at $410). And of course, this capped price program isn’t exhaustive, so you will likely see some services costing more for some consumables.

There isn’t a lot going on with this Tucson, especially when this somewhat basic specification is compared to newer and glitzier competition. However, at the same time, the Tucson does a handy trick of never really putting a foot wrong.

Along with feeling solid and well-put-together, it’s got the practicality and comfort to suit its brief as a family car, and has solid safety credentials. ANCAP gave the Tucson a five-star rating back in 2015.

Yes, it will put enthusiasts to sleep, and that driveline isn’t likely to win any big awards. However, considering the core job of hauling a family around town in comfort and safety (all at a good price), the Tucson still deserves commendation.

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