The 2.0-litre turbo-diesel uses least fuel of the three engines available in a Tucson, consuming as little as 6.4 litres/100km on the official test (city and country combined). This diesel four-cylinder – which Hyundai calls the 2.0 CRDi – is also the most powerful engine in a Tucson. And every diesel Tucson drives all four wheels.
In the real world the diesel uses a bit more fuel than that, and especially when lugging around town. On a long highway trip you could expect about 7.5 litres/100km, but if you use the car mainly around town then a long-term average nearer 11 litres/100km is likely.
Therefore, one reason you might not choose the diesel is that most of your driving is short suburban trips, where its fuel use advantage is less significant. As well, a diesel Tucson needs frequent 30-minute highway drives to prevent clogging of its particulate filter
, which prevents exhaust soot from dispersing into the atmosphere.
A second reason you might not choose the diesel is that you want to pay less for your Tucson: at any equipment level, the diesel costs more than its petrol alternative.
Finally, both of the Tucson’s petrol engines are smoother and quieter than the diesel.
For fuel use, it makes little difference which petrol engine you choose.
The more powerful of the petrols is the 1.6-litre turbo four-cylinder that you can get with the more expensive Tucsons, the Elite AWD and Highlander. Hyundai calls it the 1.6 T-GDi, and it uses 7.7 litres/100km on the official test.
In a real-world comparison conducted for Wheels
magazine, a Tucson Highlander with this engine averaged 10.9 litres/100km, ranking second for efficiency among four medium SUVs reviewed (behind a Mazda CX-5 – 10.2 litres/100km).
The less powerful petrol engine is the GDI (for gasoline direct injection) 2.0-litre non-turbo four-cylinder supplied with front-drive Go, Active X and Elite Tucsons. It uses about as much fuel as the 1.6 turbo – Wheels
recorded a 10.7 litres/100km average.
The 2.0-litre petrol engine is available with either a six-speed manual gearbox (Go and Active X) or a conventional six-speed automatic (Go, Active X, and Elite). It’s a good engine for around town and does well at highway speeds, however it lacks oomph when needed, such as when overtaking.
The 2.0-litre turbo-diesel now comes with an eight-speed automatic gearbox (Elite and Highlander), which makes it quieter and more responsive than previous models equipped with a six-speed transmission.
The 1.6-litre turbo-petrol comes only with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox (Elite and Highlander).A dual-clutch automatic
works like a manual gearbox that’s controlled robotically. It reduces fuel use and offers very smooth shifts on the highway. But it cannot match the very fluid, elastic starts from rest that you get with a conventional automatic.(Power outputs and all other Tucson specifications are available from the Cars Covered menu, under the main image on this page.)