Comparative test: Hyundai Tucson vs Peugeot 3008
Cador shock among compact SUVs! Now benefiting from a stunning look (especially from the front) and a great driving pleasure, the new Hyundai Tucson comes to provoke the current king of the segment in France, the recently restyled Peugeot 3008. A good fight of the leaders in perspective.
All the identical, compact SUVs? It's a false impression.
The proof! This good face-off between the Peugeot 3008 legend: 800,000 units sold between 2016 and 2020, the best-selling segment since its launch, and its new look since last year with its new finely striated bow, which extends under refined headlights and now framed with luminous fangs, to anticipate that little touch of old age that can strike a mid-career model at any time.
Especially in the face of its Korean competitor, who has just recently undergone cosmetic surgery.
Opposite indeed, the Hyundai Tucson SUV is outwardly unrecognizable. Its bow erases the marks between grille elements and light-emitting diodes. At the rear, its raised lights evoke those of the Ford Mustang Mach-e, and the band that connects them is reminiscent of certain Porsches. An aesthetic revolution that prepares for the next episode: total electrification.
The hybrid is spreading more and more at Hyundai
100% electric propulsion remains the preserve of the Ioniq range, but the Tucson systematically doubles its heat engines with a more or less powerful electric input.
The Hyundai SUV thus has a plug-in hybrid version of 265 horsepower and another classic hybrid of 230 horsepower or even a "micro-hybrid" combining a starter-alternator and a 48-volt battery on the 150 hp petrol as on the 136 hp diesel.
In addition, unlike the 3008, the Tucson can receive an all-wheel drive.
At Peugeot, a light hybridization
Opposite, light hybridization still does not exist at Peugeot, which prefers rechargeable hybridization to it, allowing it to travel around forty kilometers in all-electric mode after recharging on the mains (unlike micro-hybridization, which assists the thermal block during reminders).
But this rechargeable technology is much heavier and much more expensive.
Aboard the Tucson. We're not bad at all!
The main reason for buying an SUV is the desire for a "high" driving position. This is confirmed on board the Tucson: sufficiently high status, well-defined flat hood, and excellent peripheral visibility.
The fittings consist of a central screen integrated into the console rather than placed at the very top (you know whom I mean!) and digital display counters completely devoid of caps—surprising at first but fun to use.
The driving position of the new Tucson is more than the original in terms of instrumentation.
Its 10.25-inch digital panel is embedded in the dashboard and is not topped with any cap. The graphics guarantee good visibility imitating fine contrasting needles, even if specific display modes are more gimmicky, such as the speed and the engine speed, which appear in a cube.
Dotted with sensitive keys, the central console is surprising at first contact but ultimately practical to use: direct access to ventilation, a customizable shortcut key, and infotainment functions placed directly under the screen.
It lacks a wheel to adjust the volume of the radio (much more practical than the "-" and "+" keys here), but the stations are easily memorized, and navigation is easy to interrupt.
As for the Android Auto or Apple Carplay interface, which does not occupy the entire width of the 10.25-inch screen, it hosts another system function (radio, weather, contacts) in a “black” area. Rare and practical!
The Tucson also progresses in road behavior: no more unpleasant body movements and uninformative steering make way for formidable efficiency and driving precision on winding routes.
The comfort is not forgotten; it is pretty pleasant, especially with an 18-inch fitment preferable to that of 19. And if some dry reactions remain on the large deformations, they are far from making the Tucson unpleasant: soft controls and effective soundproofing of air noise. Here, the progress is noticeable, making this Asian SUV one of the best travel companions.
On board the 3008: we feel good too!
At the wheel of the 3008, opinions remain clear-cut; we are entirely for or against the small steering wheel/digital instrumentation duo overlooking the dashboard.
Especially about the vision of the counters according to the driving position of the driver (and its size!).
The furniture is very enveloping and practical, and the storage spaces are even more spacious than those of Tucson, particularly under the central armrest and at the level of the door bins.
Still, the infotainment interface is starting to date in terms of graphics and functionality.
It also requires several manipulations, for example, to adjust the temperature or the ventilation: no physical controls, except for air recycling.
The Peugeot SUV is offered a 10-inch touchscreen instead of 8.
The road qualities of the 3008 have been recognized since the beginning of my career in 2016. In particular, the famous touch of road specific to the mark of Sochaux. The dynamism of the French SUV is always a delight for the driver, mainly because of its consistent and exact steering and excellent body support. But this agility does not come at the expense of passenger enjoyment; on the contrary.
The comfort of the 3008 is simply exemplary, with particularly effective damping, which eliminates practically all body movements. In addition, this is accompanied by excellent soundproofing, whether for air or rolling noise.
Life at the back with our two competitors
The Hyundai Tucson is also welcoming in the rear seats: the long tail, nice space under the front seats to slide your feet in, and reclining seatbacks over a large amplitude for serene comfort during long journeys.
The 3008 with the classic 60/40 bench seat (40/20/40 for its competitor) cannot do as well. On the other hand, it outclasses its rival at the level of the central place, with a softer backrest and a rigorously flat floor.
At the chest level, we can consider that there is equality. It is also spacious at Peugeot in length, width, and usable loading height despite a lower announced volume (520 liters against 546 liters at Hyundai).
The Frenchman also benefits from more roomy under-floor storage, better height under the luggage compartment cover, and a forward-folding front passenger seat allowing the transport of long objects (2.63 m available from the tailgate to the dashboard). A final detail: a tailgate lighter to lift at Peugeot… except in the high finish, where the two travelers enjoy a motorized opening.
Hyundai Tucson or Peugeot 3008?
Driving the Peugeot 3008 remains a pleasure, even four years after its launch. But, more extensive at the rear and more generous in terms of warranty and equipment, the new Tucson dominates the 3008 in terms of engine/gearbox approval and comes close to it in terms of comfort/dynamics.
Its original exterior style and atypical driving position are convincing.