First drive: 2016 Hyundai Tucson in the Canary Islands, Spain

First drive: 2016 Hyundai Tucson in the Canary Islands, Spain

2016 Hyundai Tucson 3

We’re guessing this will probably be our most popular story for August. Did you know that the Hyundai Tucson is the highest-selling crossover in its segment in several countries, including the UAE? And to be honest, the outgoing version of the Tucson wasn’t particularly good to begin with, managing to outsell all its rivals simply by being cheap. But this new one is completely different from the ground up. And we went all the way to the Canary Islands to find that out.

Now sourced from the Czech Republic instead of Korea, the all-new 2016 Tucson is a little bit longer to better match up with cars such as the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4, although still shorter than both of them. Oddly enough, the new Tucson actually has a longer wheelbase than either of them.

2016 Hyundai Tucson 14

The well-styled Tucson looks premium on the outside, and now has a cabin that isn’t just made up of cheap hard plastics any more, with several dash and door surfaces now covered in firm soft-touch materials. Even the front A-pillars, driver’s knee bolster and the rear door-insides are padded, areas that several other carmakers skimp on.

It has decent space inside, with a much bigger boot than before. There’s also tons of optional tech equipment, with everything from a multimedia-nav touchscreen system to blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert, aside from things like an electronic parking brake, front and rear parking sensors, a rear camera and a tailgate that opens just by standing in front of it. There’s also the requisite smart keyless start, panoramic sunroof and enough airbags to get a 5-star crash-test rating, but you’ll probably have to spring for the fully-loaded model to get all that.

2016 Hyundai Tucson 8

We drove a loaded model, yet fitted with the base 2.0-litre engine. Mated to a 6-speed automatic and front-wheel-drive, it moved the car just fine in around-town driving with a well-programmed gearbox, while being expectedly slow when the go-pedal was floored, and even struggling a bit on winding uphill roads in the mountains, requiring you to keep up the momentum so you don’t have to keep hammering the engine.

The 2.0-litre will still be the engine of choice for most buyers in the GCC, but if you’re left wanting, there’s a 2.4-litre all-wheel-drive offering that will debut a bit later this year. The ideal motor would be Hyundai’s new turbocharged 1.6-litre with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, but our dealers are still deciding whether there’s enough demand to justify bringing it here.

2016 Hyundai Tucson 5

We believe all Hyundais ride remarkably well, and the new Tucson is no exception. However, there is a marked difference in the way this new one handles, with limited body roll and good grip in moderate-speed driving compared to the awful old one. The wide tyres on our optional 19-inchers helped no doubt, but we didn’t push the car to its limits, so we can’t be sure if it’s a “sporty” crossover. The steering is accurate and well-weighted, but lacks feedback. The disc brakes are pretty good, never requiring intervention from ABS or ESP.

Hyundai demonstrated the Tucson’s offroad capabilities with some gravel-trail routes, with features such as a 50:50 power-split lock and hill-descent control on all-wheel-drive models. It seemed to do fine, and clearly, we’d recommend sticking to gravel trails rather than steep dunes.

2016 Hyundai Tucson 12

Truth be told, we’re having a tough time finding flaws in the 2016 Tucson. For the daily drive, there’s nothing at all to complain about. With a justified price increase expected that will only be a bit higher than the outgoing model, we believe this new model will murder its rivals on the sales charts, more so than it already has been.

For updated prices and specs, visit the Hyundai Tucson buyer guide.

Photos by Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury & Hyundai.

What do you think?



  1. Hyundai continue getting rid of their old cheap designs.

    Great job Hyundai a huge improvement in short time !

  2. Looks like a winner although I’m waiting for the 2016 Grand Santa Fe to be launched. Seriously contemplating purchasing it!!


  4. Hyundais have come a long way…

  5. This is definitely the second best looking cross over, beaten only by the Mazda CX-5 in terms of exterior elegance.
    But looks like Hyundai has the upper hand when it comes to infotainment and options, because the CX-5 sold in the UAE does not have the infotainment and connectivity system (HMI) with its center console mounted control knob.

  6. but the problem is as usual the HP and torque of their motors are limited. I mean common why do all Japanese/Korean SUVs in this class limit their horse power that much? Check even the Tiguan and Q3 are +200 HP.

  7. Starting at just AED59,999/-* The brand new Tuscan is coming soon to a showroom near you.

    *Basic trim FWD with a single air bag and no ABS.

  8. Beautiful design is always in front of the 2016 Hyundai Sweetie

  9. What’s with the GTI Wheel ?

  10. Looks attractive and indeed have good ground clearance.
    I guess price take won’t be less than 20 – 25K USD.

  11. the only good thing about those photos is the background , Hyundai and Kia keep making flashing design which fade in a second with the low performance over the time , low quality material and shy character , price now become same as Toyota and Nissan which way better and solid mechanical Formula .

  12. it’s just sad that you’ve been waiting for a long time to have this here in UAE but they just brought a 2.0 4WD and the most important options/features that you wanted are not there. and they are trying to prolong the launch of the 1.6 GDI one. well i hope i can wait 2-5 mos as stated by the showroom or more as quoted 🙁

  13. Hyundai if you are listing, get the 1.6 Turbo !!!!!
    I’m sure it will be a great hit as it lands !!!
    I would be one of them to get one asap !
    Drive Arabia any Idea if we will be getting the 1.6 anytime soon ?

    • according to Hyundai Deira Showroom 1.6 GDI is only for Europe and US MARKET ONLY and depending on the demand “they might ship it here” which really saddens me because I was waiting and willing to pay for the price but I think I will settle with what they will offer 🙁

  14. Drive Arabia any idea if we will get to see a glimpse of the 1.6 Turbo?

  15. I had tucson, i wish next time will be latest model 🙂
    very nice car

    • Faysal,
      What about cooling(AC) in Tucson? I am hearing from many of my friends that AC is taking too long to get cool. Appreciate your response.

  16. they should as now they got turbo sonata and turbo velocitor turbo optima so no point not bringing unless the super high humid and hot climate is not able to handled added heat from turbo and poor quality of petrol in KSA, but in UAE should do fine,

    GDI and Turbo both need better petrol quality as per my own research and quality is just not there in KSA which in end is the main market that decides what we get here in uae another issue is perception

    most people buy Hyundai in fleets and rentals or if they really have no cash other wise any one who has enough cash they jump to the big three Toyota Nissan Honda, as expats always have this job loss issue on their head and the big three just sell right away while gooood luck selling a used Hyundai or kia, u will be killed in resale value, hence either you pay lower initially and get stuck with crap resale value down the road, or pay little more up front and get a japanes brand and be worry free for most models.

  17. Guys,
    Any idea about the AC cooling in 2016 model?
    I heard from my friends who are having Tucson, all are saying AC is failure in previous models.
    Appreciate your inputs, it will help me to make a decision.

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