TEST – Hyundai Tucson PHEV (2021): on your way!

The fourth-generation Hyundai Tucson, discovered at the end of 2020, has everything Korean hits. Devastating look, high-level approval, on-board technology and up-to-date engines have given him an explosive start to his career. The recent arrival of a PHEV version, at the top of the range, should allow it to cast an even wider net. The plug-in hybrid is indeed the most powerful and virtuous of the Tucsons … as long as it is used properly.

We can reasonably call the Hyundai Tucson cardboard. Quite the opposite of previous generations, which have remained discreet, like almost all Korean productions. There, it swarms! The Tucson even climbed leading foreign mid-size SUV sales, in France. In front of the Volkswagen Tiguan, the Ford Kuga, the Toyota RAV4 … Not to the point of worrying our national Peugeot 3008, but placing a Hyundai in the French top 30 in sales last year was rather unexpected. A little less than 18,000 copies were sold in 2021. The look all in angle, the atypical facies (the grille is recognizable among a thousand) and the engines, all electrified to varying degrees (simple 48V mild-hybrid or classic hybridization), this is obviously pleasing.

First tested at its launch as a classic, non-rechargeable hybrid, the Tucson was subsequently available in PHEV. Almost all possible hybrid technologies are now available in the catalog.

Painless hybridization?

In itself, the mechanics of the Tucson PHEV do not advance anything very revolutionary. The 180 hp 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder engine is well known, and the architecture is classic. The 91 hp electric motor is attached to the gearbox (6 gears, double clutch), powered by a battery located partly under the boot floor. This is relatively generous: 13.8 kWh, in the good average of the niche but below the Kuga (14.4 kWh) and the RAV4 (18.1 kWh and almost 100 km announced!). Good news, the impact on the trunk is rather limited. Its capacity only loses about fifty liters and still boasts a respectable 558 l capacity, with a flat floor. No impact to report on board, apart from the specific display and the controls for selecting the modes specific to the PHEV (all electric or hybrid). We find the qualities of any Tucson (roominess, finish and sleek presentation) … and some complaints, mainly concerning the ergonomics of the large screen of the media interface.

TEST - Hyundai Tucson PHEV (2021): on your way!
The slightly sportier presentation and large rims of the N Line version further accentuate the look of the Tucson: billhook cut, all in angles … and impossible to miss with the imposing grille flanked by LEDs!

Good to know: anticipate the purchase and resale.

It is possible to know the resale or trade-in value of your vehicle thanks to the auto Turbo rating of your Hyundai Tucson, the alternative to the Argus rating.

When starting up, battery full (there are about 5 hours of charging on a domestic outlet, 2 hours on a wallbox), hardly any more surprises. We move silently and smoothly up to the usual highway speeds. But strangely, heating or air conditioning on, impossible to maintain 100% electric mode permanently. During our test in winter conditions, the 4-cylinder woke up at regular intervals on the road. Not really a problem in terms of comfort: the soundproofing is extensive and the transitions from one engine to another smooth and carefully smoothed out. But it is difficult to determine with precision its real all-electric autonomy, announced at 62 km. Realistic in town … but a priori, without air conditioning!

A first contact in a more temperate climate, however, allowed us to cover approximately 45 km on a mixed route, including a part of fast track. The system is rather efficient, although the absence of a mode B (to force recovery with the engine brake) is regrettable during high relief courses. The all-electric range is however satisfactory for daily use.

Battery empty, the results are less flattering … as expected, with 2 tonnes to move! His appetite then turns around 7 l / 100 km on a mixed route., but remains at a relatively low level in the urban and peri-urban cycle: frequent use of electricity (the battery always maintains a level of charge allowing it) easily limits his appetite around 6 l / 100 km. As usual, avoiding a series of long motorway journeys … less favorable terrain for PHEVs. And we cannot repeat it enough, the overall results of this type of engine can be really interesting by strictly complying with the daily recharge. It is quite possible (but very theoretical) to reach the announced 1.4 l / 100 km. On the contrary, leaving the charging cable stowed in the trunk and just giving it Unleaded to drink is the worst possible thing to do. In this case, a Diesel will always be more economical (therefore ecological, even if it is scary).

TEST - Hyundai Tucson PHEV (2021): on your way!
The behavior remains healthy and efficient, the comfort of a good level despite a firm damping at low speed. But no question of dynamism, with 2 tons to move. The Tucson, classic hybrid or PHEV, prefers a cast drive.

265 hp and true all-wheel drive

In use, we will especially remember the smooth running of this mechanism. Not really its performance, wiser than expected, yet with 265 hp available. In reality, this power is only delivered in Sport mode, battery full. Logically, you should not ask for prowess from a 4 cylinders of relatively modest displacement to move an SUV loaded with heavy batteries (not to mention the peripherals related to the load). The relatively weak torque for a car of this size (350 Nm combined, despite everything) generates hardly pleasant stresses from the thermal, in sustained recovery. Better to keep a casting, without brutality, which suits him perfectly. In absolute terms, even if the available power seems much less generous than announced, the performances remain of good quality and sufficiently energetic in family use (8.2 s from 0 to 100 km / h).

Finally, note that the Tucson thus rigged is only offered in 4-wheel drive HTRAC. Something that has become rare among generalists, it is a real permanent all-wheel drive, with a real mechanical connection. In addition, combining plug-in hybrid and 4-wheel drive is even less common and generally, the system is based on the addition of a second electric motor to the rear axle (on the Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4, for example). This technical choice also helps to explain his appetite, which climbs quickly under heavy loads … Let’s say that it is the counterpart of a relative versatility! Motricity question, efficiency is rather interesting off-road or in precarious conditions. Two specific driving modes are also offered, acting on traction control.

TEST - Hyundai Tucson PHEV (2021): on your way!
The Tucson’s cockpit, techno and refined, benefits from a flattering finish. The large central screen and digital instrumentation are standard. The leather / Alcantara upholstery is specific to the N Line finish.

Prices: champion of the price / equipment ratio

As always with Korean manufacturers, the range and policy of options could not be simpler: everything is standard! Even on the call versions, which already have a fairly rich equipment (blind spot warning, lane keeping, reversing camera, GPS). Fortunately, there is nothing cheap about a Tucson. A fortiori in PHEV: the additional cost compared to the classic hybrid amounts to nearly 4,000 € (in 4-wheel drive HTRAC), yet thus its starting price at 43,150 € in entry-level Business. As for our N Line version, a finish inspired by sporty Hyundai models, it charges its large 19-inch rims, its shields and its N-branded interior fittings (seats, logos) at an almost premium rate: € 50,450. At this price, the content is complete (360 camera, level 2 semi-autonomous driving, blind spot cameras, ventilated / heated seats, etc.) and the price / equipment ratio is one of the most attractive in the niche.

note that to take advantage of the € 1,000 bonus enjoyed by plug-in hybrids under € 50,000, it will be necessary to be satisfied with the first two levels of equipment. Still in the fiscal chapter: the exemption from TVS remains one of the great advantages of PHEVs for fleet managers.

TEST - Hyundai Tucson PHEV (2021): on your way!
The batteries located in the bases, under the floor of the boot, do not penalize the total volume: we lose the double bottom, or around 50 l (from 558 to 1,737 l bench seat folded down).

Technical characteristics Hyundai Tucson PHEV (2021)

Fiche Technique Hyundai Tucson PHEV (2021)
Model tested: Hyundai Tucson PHEV N Line Executive (2021)
Dimensions L x l x h 4,500 / 1,865 / 1,61 m
Wheelbase 2,860 m
Min / max trunk volume 558 l / 1.737 l
Unloaded weight 1.999 kg
Engine displacement 4-cylinder petrol, turbo + synchronous electric motor (91 hp) – 1.598 cm3
Thermal power / combined 180 ch / 265 ch
Combined maximum torque 350 Nm
0 to 100 km / h 8,2 s
Max speed 191 km/h
CO2 rate 31 g/km (WLTP)
Battery capacity / electrical autonomy announced 13.8 kWh / 62 km (reading, mixed route: 45 km)
Advertised consumption (WLTP) 1.4 l / 100 km (reading, mixed route, empty battery: 6.5 l)
Bonus 2021 Business / Creative: 1.000 € (model tested: 0 €)
Prices from 43,150 € (tested model: 50,450 €)

Source: Turbo.fr – L'info en continu by www.turbo.fr.

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