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Hyundai Tucson Go 2019 review

Nedahl Stelio
Family reviewer

28 Nov 2018 • 14 min read

It’s the standard size car most families with two kids and a dog are looking for. The mid-size SUV. It’s the one that you can most easily drive without it impinging on your lifestyle or cramping your actual style (sorry, no more sports cars for mums and dads, the sensible SUV is what you’ve got now). 

And it’s a category with serious competitors like the ever popular Mazda CX-5 and Toyota RAV4. But is the Hyundai Tucson the dark horse of mid-size SUVs

I tested a Tucson Go - the bottom of the range, petrol two-wheel drive (2WD) model. After a week of harrowing school runs (for me, not the car), driving to work, after-school activities and a few fairly long freeway journeys, did it perform the way you need a family car to? Reliably and effortlessly? Let’s find out.

How does it look?

The best bit about getting into the Tucson is that I had to look up what spec this particular model was. Because even though it’s bottom of the range, the interiors look really good. So yes, there are basic finishings on things - the seats are fabric but they feel nice.

The steering wheel isn't leather but it doesn’t feel like plastic either. What Hyundai has done is improve the overall design of the interior, like the centre console, so all together as a package you’re getting a great first impression. 

The steering wheel isn't leather but it doesn’t feel like plastic either. (image credit: Dean McCartney) The steering wheel isn't leather but it doesn’t feel like plastic either. (image credit: Dean McCartney)

And things do look good. The centre console is clearly laid out, the multimedia screen sits up high, as do the climate controls. Everything is within reaching distance and it’s all quite functional and easy to use.

The exterior hasn’t changed much since last year’s model, just a few tweaks and refinements to make it a bit more sleek. It’s not as boxy as a RAV4, but it doesn’t have quite the same aesthetic appeal as a Mazda CX-5. The large shape tapers up towards the rear windows to give it a sporty feel and you definitely feel good driving a Tucson.

  • The Tucson's exterior hasn’t changed much since last year’s model. (image credit: Dean McCartney) The Tucson's exterior hasn’t changed much since last year’s model. (image credit: Dean McCartney)
  • The Tucson isn't as boxy as a RAV4, but doesn’t have quite the same aesthetic appeal as a Mazda CX-5. (image credit: Dean McCartney) The Tucson isn't as boxy as a RAV4, but doesn’t have quite the same aesthetic appeal as a Mazda CX-5. (image credit: Dean McCartney)

How spacious is it?

There was a huge difference between the Tucson and the small SUVs I’ve been testing over the past few weeks, and it was certainly nice to see my tall husband have more space than he’s had recently. 

Of course, the Tucson is a mid-size SUV, so that was bound to happen. The Tucson gives his 185cm frame all the head and leg space it needed, and we had a good amount of room between us in the front, as well. There’s a nice and breezy feeling in the cabin. 

The kids (two girls, aged five and seven) fit comfortably in the back, with a lot of room between their little feet and the seat in front of them, even behind my husband’s driving position.

  • My two kids fit comfortably in the back, with a lot of room between their little feet and the seat in front of them. (image credit: Dean McCartney) My two kids fit comfortably in the back, with a lot of room between their little feet and the seat in front of them. (image credit: Dean McCartney)
  • In the back are two ISOFIX points and three top tether points for children’s car seats. (image credit: Dean McCartney) In the back are two ISOFIX points and three top tether points for children’s car seats. (image credit: Dean McCartney)

I also fit really well in the back. At 161cm tall there was lots of space between me and the front seat, with plenty of room to spare if you’ve got tall adult or teenage passengers. The Tucson is roomy and comfortable enough for all. 

Onto the boot which at 488-litres is a pretty good size for a growing family. It fit a pram which I lugged around all week, and I was able to fit boxes of fruit and veggies on top of it. I was also able to fit the kids bikes in, which I won’t be able to do for much longer ‘cause the seven-year old really needs a bigger bike soon. 

Cargo space of 488L is bigger than a CX-5 but smaller than a Honda C-RV. With all seats down that grows to 1478L and you can transport larger items.

 The Tuscon has 488L of cargo space, which is bigger than a CX-5. (image credit: Dean McCartney) The Tuscon has 488L of cargo space, which is bigger than a CX-5. (image credit: Dean McCartney)

How does it drive?

It’s an easy drive, with a 2.0-litre engine that is powerful enough to get up hills swiftly, and I didn’t feel like I had to press hard on the accelerator when driving along highways to reach the 110km/h speed limit. It was effortless and smooth.

With a 2.0-litre engine, the Tucson is powerful enough to get up hills swiftly. (image credit: Dean McCartney) With a 2.0-litre engine, the Tucson is powerful enough to get up hills swiftly. (image credit: Dean McCartney)

The Tucson handles well and it doesn’t feel heavy on the take-off. It’s too big to be called zippy but it picks up speed well. The steering wheel isn’t heavy either. Parking was a breeze this week because turning the wheel was easy. There’s also a clear reverse parking camera to help you out. 

I was in the 2WD model but there are all-wheel drive (AWD) versions on offer. If you often drive on dirt or gravel roads or if you’re an avid skier, you may want to lift your grade to an AWD for better traction on slippery surfaces. The 2WD was fine for suburban driving and along the highways. 

How easy is it to use every day?

It’s the kind of car you just jump in and go, there’s not much to think about in the way of tech. The driver and front passenger seats are manually adjusted, which can get a bit taxing if you switch drivers often, and there is a manual park brake and key start, as opposed to a button park brake and push button start.

However both of those are available if you buy the 'SmartSense' safety pack, which comes with a bunch of safety options, and costs $2200.

There are two cupholders in the front, a small spot to stash keys and a phone, a bottle holder in each door plus a decent sized centre storage bin for all those receipts you keep meaning to do something with. 

Rear passengers get two cupholders in the centre armrest, but there are no air vents back there in this base model, which I think is an issue in a car this size, especially in an Australian summer. You will get rear air vents if you purchase the safety pack though. 

All Tucsons also come with a full size spare tyre, so if you like going on long road trips, that is a big plus. 

What’s the tech like?

Happily you’ll be able to plug in for Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, it’s just the easiest way to connect your phone to the 7.0-inch multimedia screen and is also good if you constantly switch drivers, as different phones can connect easily. 

Use it to navigate via your maps app (CarPlay now lets you connect with Google Maps too, even if you’ve got an iPhone), play music or podcasts through Spotify and also use voice control to make calls and send texts. You’ll never have to touch your phone again. 

The 7.0-inch multimedia screen comes with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The 7.0-inch multimedia screen comes with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

The speakers are good, so turn the volume up for a stress-busting music session. 

How safe is it?

In the Tucson Go, as standard, you will get airbags covering driver and front passenger, side curtain airbags that extend to the back, plus two ISOFIX points and three top tether points for children’s car seats. However there are no rear collision warnings, or newer safety tech like blind spot monitoring and lane departure alert

If you buy the SmartSense safety pack for $2200 however, you’ll get all of those plus forward collision warning, auto emergency braking, rear cross traffic alert and adaptive cruise control. So if you’re opting for the base model it may be worth investing extra for the latest in safety. 

What does it cost to own?

The Hyundai Tucson Go comes in at $30,650 (before on-road costs) as standard, with the safety pack an extra $2200. Fuel consumption for the 2WD petrol auto is a claimed 7.8L/100km which is fairly average for a car this size. 

It’s covered by Hyundai’s five year/unlimited km warranty and has a capped price service program that runs for the life of the car, which will surely help resale value. 


The Wrap

If you invest in the safety pack, the Hyundai Tucson Go is a great all-around family car that gives good value. It drives smoothly and easily, with enough power to get all over the country, fits everyone comfortably and has a good amount of boot space. 

I gave it a family rating of eight out of 10, because this car fit beautifully in with our lifestyle this week. My children also gave it an eight, even though they couldn’t kick the back of their dad’s seat, no matter how hard they tried! 

Likes

Interior design
Smooth driving
Interior space

Dislikes

Safety pack optional
No rear air vents
Manual front seat adjust

Scores

Nedahl:

4

The Kids:

4

$30,650

Based on new car retail price

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