In an era where nearly a quarter of all European car buyers are looking at something from the SUV Crossover class, mainstream brands need to take this segment very seriously. Back in 2015, Hyundai did just that with this car, its third generation Tucson model.
This Korean maker has done well on this continent with SUVs since the beginning of this century. By 2015, it had sold over 1.2 million of them, some of those orders accounted for by a first generation Tucson model that sold between 2004 and 2009. This was then replaced by a design sold in some markets badged 'Tucson' and in others (including ours) badged as 'ix35'. That model actually sold very well for the company in the family SUV segment, quickly accounting for over 20% of the marque's total sales. It was always thought this is the car you tended to buy in this sector if you couldn't quite afford the segment-leading Nissan Qashqai. By 2015, Hyundai's ambitions were a bit more far-reaching than that. Hence the replacement of the ix35 by this far more stylish third generation Tucson model, a family-sized SUV that made a move up-market and aimed to offer the prefect stepping stone toward the brand's smartly-proportioned Santa Fe seven-seat SUV.
Compared to its predecessors in this segment, this Tucson offered original buyers higher quality, extra technology, greater standards of safety and more space - and they were promised sharper driving dynamics too. Mind you, it was priced to reflect that level of prowess: Hyundai has long abandoned its bargain basement beginnings. Can what's on offer here justify that for used car buyers and offer a genuine alternative to established players from Nissan, Skoda and Peugeot in this sector? Time to find out.