It’s a frugal PHEV with all the attributes to be a family favourite.

The Hyundai Tucson already ticked many of the right boxes, but a plug-in hybrid variant (PHEV) has further widened its considerable appeal.

With unerring levels of practicality, an economical powertrain and intriguing looks, those on the hunt for a family SUV won’t go far wrong.

The thing that struck me first about the Tucson was the grille, which has an almost mesmeric appearance.

Nine vertical rows of identical triangular shapes make up the grille’s fascinating formation, with the outer triangles on each side being the LED lights.

News Shopper: Hyundai Tucson

It is, without doubt, a thought-provoking way of integrating the grille with the headlights.

The fourth generation Tucson also cuts a striking profile when viewed from the side, with a nicely-sculpted crease running from the bonnet, dipping into the front door and then sweeping upwards again through the back door, catching the light as it goes.

Powering this PHEV version is Hyundai’s 1.6-litre GDi four-cylinder turbo petrol engine combined with a 90bhp electric motor.

It serves up a punchy 265ps and 350Nm of torque, which is enough to provide a decent burst of pace when needed. Four wheel drive comes as standard and adds to the Tucson’s sure-footed personality.

The six-speed automatic transmission does a decent job, with no obvious flaring of revs in evidence.

News Shopper: The Hyundai Tucson

With an eye on everyday ease of use, the Tucson has been set up with light steering and relatively soft suspension, making it easy to drive and comfortable when smoothing out bumps in the road.

However, despite the steering being a little lacking in ‘feel’, the handling is trustworthy enough to keep the driver interested, and there isn’t too much lean and body roll when cornering briskly.

In many ways, it’s a normal relaxed family car with the added bonus of a that extra bit of grunt.

Fuel economy is pleasing, especially with the current sky-high petrol prices, but you’ll need to keep the battery topped up to achieve the best results by allowing the petrol and electric motors to work in partnership.

News Shopper: The Hyundai Tucson

Officially, fuel economy is a whopping 201.8mpg, but I saw returns in the 45-50mpg bracket during a week of driving in mixed conditions.

In terms of the Tucson’s interior, it must rank among the nicest and most practical cabins in the sector. The layout of the dash is clean, clear and confident.

A 10.25-inch touchscreen takes pride of place within a large central block that divides the driver and front seat passenger.

Materials and overall fit and finish are high-quality, including the leather wrapped steering wheel and gear knob.

The comfy driver’s seat, trimmed in black leather, is electrically-adjustable and has a memory function, with both front seats also being heated and ventilated.

News Shopper: The Hyundai Tucson

During an Easter break in Wales, my children were impressed by the great level of room in the rear, with the rear outer seats also being heated for those chilly April mornings.

The cabin in general gave out a relaxed ambience, with ambient lighting adding to the effect.

At 558 litres, the Tucson PHEV’s boot is still a good size, albeit slightly down on the 616-litre capacity of the hybrid version due to the space needed for the larger battery.

In conclusion, it’s a car that doesn’t come cheap in top-spec guise, but one that offers everything you could really want from a family SUV, notably great space and practicality, good fuel economy, a dash of driving fun, an array of decent tech, and eye-catching looks.

Hyundai Tucson

VERSION: Ultimate Plug-in Hybrid + Tech Pack

PRICE: £42,330

ENGINE: 1.6-litre petrol T-GDi 265ps

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed auto, 4WD

0-62MPH: 8.6 seconds

TOP SPEED: 118mph

ECONOMY/CO2: 201.8mpg/31g/km

EV RANGE: 38 miles