IF convenient, cost effective and trouble free motoring in a small SUV package is what you’re after, then the 2020 Hyundai Tucson Active may well be the motor for you. That’s especially so if you’re not looking for neck snapping performance or outright pizzazz.
The Tucson does everything it needs to do. It does nothing badly, and that’s not to say it does anything exceptionally either. It will deliver you to where you need to go at a good price, and with reliability and dependability. It’s a good car.
Our test vehicle was the front-wheel drive version of the Tucson Active, but you can avail yourself of an all-wheel drive variant, as well as a variety of trim and engine offerings from across the range.
The Active is powered by a normally aspirated 2.0-litre four-cylinder twin cam petrol engine which does a reasonable job of pushing the Tucson along, delivering 122kW of power and 205Nm of torque.
It’s sufficient, if not overly abundant, and at times it does struggle. Maximum torque is made well up the rev range at 4000rpm, so don’t expect a hard lugging donk that pushes you back in the seat on take off.
It has to be revved, and when you pile the luggage and passengers in it does need to be rowed along to deliver reasonable performance. It’s mated to a traditional torque converter six-speed auto.
While the engine and transmission work fine together, it does nothing special, if that makes sense. It handles city driving well, rolling along in urban traffic with little fuss, as we discovered during our week of testing.
We covered mostly suburban and city driving, with a short excursion into some rural areas on Sydney’s fringe, where we got to try the front drive Hyundai on some relatively smooth gravel roads. It did okay there too.
At cruise speed on the highway or motorway the Tucson travels nicely, it is quiet, smooth and boasts a comfortable and well controlled ride. On the blacktop, the Active’s engine does the job for fuel economy of just over 9.4-litres/100km in real testing.
That’s not awesome and is higher than Hyundai’s claimed average of 7.9-litres/100km for the compact SUV.
Inside the cabin, it’s neat and tidy, but again, generally uninspiring, with a colour palette of mid-grey and black abounding. The interior is neatly trimmed and well laid out. It’s a mid-range specification, and it feels exactly like that.
The Active features a 7.0-inch centre-mounted infotainment screen. It’s slightly smaller than the Active X variant and lacks some of its features. That said, you do score AM/FM radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as Bluetooth connectivity.
What’s missing is DAB+ digital radio and satellite navigation. Google Maps can of course do the job via your smartphone, which tends to be easier and more intuitive to use in most cases, anyway.
Controls, instruments and the infotainment screen are all easy to read and use, with good illumination at night. They’re easy to read in daylight as well. Seating is good too, with strong support and plenty of comfort.
Space wise the Tucson offers good head room and acceptable leg room for decent adult-size comfort, while cargo space in the rear luggage area is comparable with other offerings in this SUV sector. The luggage area boasts 488 litres.
The load area is wide and easily accessed, so the space is very usable, and features tie-down points and a nice flat floor. There’s a 60:40 split-fold rear seat that allows you to expand the load area to a convenient 1478 litres with the seats stowed.
Thankfully, the flat floor hides a full size spare wheel, unlike some other SUVs. How car makers think you can travel this challenging country in an SUV without a full size spare, is almost beyond comprehension.
In terms of safety, the Active does get a suite of safety technology packaged up in Hyundai’s forward collision avoidance assist suite, including lane keep assist, a guided reversing camera, and rear parking sensors.
Autonomous emergency braking is also included, as is a 5-year unlimited-kilometre warranty. Hyundai also offers a range of pre-paid servicing packages for the car’s 12-month/15,000km intervals.
While fuel consumption may be a bit high for an SUV like this, the overall cost of ownership should be pretty reasonable, especially at a drive away price of $30,990 for the 2020 Hyundai Tucson Active. That represents pretty strong value.
Our test vehicle was provided by Hyundai Australia. To find out more about the 2020 Hyundai Tucson Active, contact your local Hyundai dealer.