2023 Hyundai Tucson GLS+ Diesel Review | Philkotse Philippines

Updated Mar 15, 2023

Editor's: 4.0/5
A compact crossover oozing with swag.
2023 Hyundai Tucson GLS+ Diesel Review | Philkotse Philippines

In this review...

  1. Introduction
  2. Exteior
  3. Interior
  4. Tech & Safety
  5. Engine & Performance
  6. Fuel Efficiency
  7. Verdict
  8. Variants & Price
  9. Color Options
  10. Specs

2023 Hyundai Tucson GLS+ Review: Introduction

It’s an open secret that timing is crucial for any car brand when launching a new model. The new model’s arrival in the market plays a significant role in capturing the attention of potential car buyers.

Such is the case with the all-new fourth-generation Hyundai Tucson that debuted globally last September 2020. Safe to say that it took quite a while for it to make its official Philippine debut, which was initially slated to be released in 2021. But with the change in Hyundai’s Philippine distributor, reservations for the fourth-gen Tucson only kicked off in June 2022. 

2023 Hyundai Tucson Gasoline vs Diesel: What are the differences? | Philkotse Reviews

Is it a case of too little too late for Hyundai Philippines’ compact crossover SUV? Or does it have what it takes to lure car buyers in driving home the arguably most distinctive Tucson yet? Here’s Philkotse’s 2023 Hyundai Tucson GLS+ Diesel full review.



Hyundai Tucson 2023 Review

How we do our reviews
  • aesthetics

    Overall exterior & Interior design, build quality, form vs function

  • Safety & Technology

    Number of safety & tech features, consistency during usage

  • Performance

    Power delivery, acceleration, transmission, suspension, handling

  • Comfort & Practicality

    Overall Ride Comfort, Space, Storage Areas

  • Value for Money

    Sticker price vs overall package

2023 Hyundai Tucson GLS+ Exteior Review: A complete head turner

The all-new Hyundai Tucson is currently one of the most standout compact crossovers in the Philippines today when it comes to the overall styling. Hyundai’s new design concept, dubbed “Sensuous Sportiness” allowed the Tucson to have a distinct exterior, which I find great.

2023 Hyundai Tucson GLS+ Diesel front quarter shot2023 Hyundai Tucson GLS+ Diesel

The front end is fitted with LED headlights that are housed within the vehicle’s angular bumper. The Tucson’s jewelry-like grille is integrated with parametric hidden LED daytime running lights (DRLs), which is one of the design detail that I like about the all-new Tucson. The DRLs are seamlessly attached to the grille, creating an illusion that it’s hidden. Pretty nifty stuff from Hyundai’s design team that deserves to be treated to a good Samgyupsal place.
2023 Hyundai Tucson GLS+ Diesel side shotIt has crisp character lines

The crisp lines continue to be seen in the Tucson’s side profile. The play of lines gives it an aggressive look, resulting in more character and style points. I particularly like the fender flares as it results in making the overall side profile angular rather than rounded. The same goes for the lines you see on the doors, creating a ripped finish that seemingly cuts the air when out on the road. And oh, the 19-inch two-tone alloy wheels further add character to the Tucson’s side. 

The LED taillights are the highlight when you look at the Tucson’s rear. Calling it sharp seems to be an understatement. It is also connected by a light bar that runs from end to end, which makes it like a double-sided spear. 

2023 Hyundai Tucson GLS+ Diesel rear profile shotThe sharp and distinctive design detail continues at the rear

Despite the sharp design detail, I also find the rear to be clean. Why so? Well, the Hyundai badge is placed on the rear window glass while the rear wiper blade is tucked below the spoiler (behind the third brake light). A muscular bumper finishes off the Tucson’s head-turning exterior.

The Tucson’s exterior design is definitely one of its strongest calling cards. It has a distinctive look that stands out from the rest of the pack, making it a complete head-turner. 


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2023 Hyundai Tucson GLS+ Interior Review: Keeping it clean

The aggressive exterior is simmered down once you get inside the 2023 Tucson. The cabin is seamless and neat, a design approach that’s totally different from the crossover’s crisp exterior look.

2023 Hyundai Tucson GLS+ Diesel interior dashboardNeat interior 

The interior comes with a two-tone theme. Compared to the GLS Gasoline variant, the Tucson GLS+ Diesel trim has a cream and black cabin. This combination creates a more spacious cabin feel. Although, I’m not much of a fan of the Tucson’s light interior color as it is more prone to get dirty as you use the vehicle. In fact, the test unit that I got already has some dirt marks when inspected closely. Although, one can’t deny that a two-tone light interior theme adds a premium touch. 

What I like most about the Tucson GLS+ interior is its dashboard layout. It’s straightforward, driver-oriented, and clutter-free while giving a modern appeal at the same time. Piano black accents dominate the center console. While it adds texture and flair to the interior, piano black trims are dust and fingerprint collectors – regular cleaning is a must.  

2023 Hyundai Tucson GLS+ Diesel steering wheelThe steering wheel is integrated with essential vehicle and audio buttons

I also appreciate how Hyundai designed the Tucson’s aircon vents as it is seamlessly integrated into the dashboard. This creates a neat finish, which adds to the vehicle’s premium-like cabin. The leather-wrapped steering wheel has a conventional design, and It comes with the essential vehicle and audio buttons that feel good to the touch. This Tucson also has paddle shifters in case you want a more engaging drive. 

2023 Hyundai Tucson GLS+ Diesel shifterAdding modern touch to the whole cabin layout  

Ambient lights offer an added flair when driving at night. Of note, there are several ambient light color options to choose from. I also like the placement of the cup holders between the driver and front passenger.   

Up to five individuals can be seated inside the Tucson. It comes with leather seats that offer good cushioning. The driver benefits from powered seats with lumbar support. 

2023 Hyundai Tucson GLS+ Diesel second row seatsSecond row occupants get plenty of legroom

Second-row occupants get enough leg- and head-room. They also get rear aircon vents and USB charging ports. Long road trips and rush hour traffic might be a bit of a challenge for the middle rear passenger as legroom is a bit compromised due to the center tunnel below. 

2023 Hyundai Tucson GLS+ Diesel cargo spaceLoading up items is not a problem with the Tucson's spacious cargo area

Cargo space is not a problem with the Hyundai Tucson. With the rear seats up, you can easily load two to three medium-sized luggage with extra room for other items. In case you really need space, the Tucson’s rear seats can be folded down in a 60:40 fashion. 

2023 Hyundai Tucson GLS+: Tech & Safety Review

The Tucson’s overall design is arguably a standout. You can even say that it is one of the most distinctive crossover vehicles in the Philippines today. Despite its surefooted look, the Tucson has an Achilles heel, its tech and safety kit. 

While it has all the essential features you can expect from a modern car, I was expecting a bit more from the top-spec Tucson. At its Php 1,840,000 price point, I believe that it’s fair to expect that it already comes with a couple of advanced driver assist features such as an Adaptive Cruise Control

2023 Hyundai Tucson GLS+ Diesel front profile shotThe 2023 Hyundai Tucson is one of the most distinctive crossovers in the Philippines

The top-of-the-line Tucson diesel only has standard cruise control. Yes, it gets the job done when you’re cruising on the expressway but I wish that Hyundai PH equipped it with the adaptive version. The reason is that its segment rivals such as the Honda CR-V Diesel come with a suite of advanced driver assist systems. 

To put things in perspective, the CR-V Diesel’s price tag starts at Php 2,030,000 (for the S Diesel variant). For an extra Php 190,000 the CR-V Diesel S gives you seven seats and a suite of advanced driver assist systems called Honda Sensing.  

Another tech feature absent on the Tucson GLS+ Diesel is the Lane Keep Assist (LKA). The LKA gives a slight steering torque to keep the vehicle centered within the lane. I find this tech both cool and helpful since it not only lessens driver fatigue on long drives but it also makes highway driving relatively safer. In fact, this feature is present on the Hyundai Stargazer seven-seater MPV

On the flip side, Hyundai PH might have opted to drop those features to keep the Tucson’s pricing as competitive as possible.

2023 Hyundai Tucson GLS+ Diesel wireless Apple CarPlayIt has wireless Apple CarPlay

As a reprieve, it has an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen that comes with wireless Apple CarPlay. It is then complemented by a wireless phone charger, allowing you to ditch your smartphone’s cable wire while you’re out on the road.

2023 Hyundai Tucson GLS+ Diesel rear cameraRear camera with dynamic guidelines

The infotainment touchscreen then transforms into a reverse camera display. It has dynamic guidelines than can further help when you’re reversing. The camera’s resolution is fairly acceptable but not stellar.  

The 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster gives a modern and premium look. It also has a crisp display, allowing you to have a clear view of essential vehicle info such as the average fuel consumption.

2023 Hyundai Tucson GLS+: Engine & Performance

The Tucson GLS+ is powered by a 2.0-liter Smartstream turbodiesel engine that delivers 184 hp and 416 Nm of torque. The power unit is then connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Hyundai’s compact crossover also has four drive modes: Eco, Normal, Sport, and Smart. I opted to use the Normal drive mode during the week-long test drive. 

2023 Hyundai Tucson GLS+ Diesel engineThe Tucson GLS+ has a 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine

The Tucson’s diesel engine is another reprieve from its lack of advanced driver assistance systems. I find its power delivery impressive, giving you confidence whenever you need to overtake slower vehicles and when you’re driving on a steep road. The throttle response is also good, which makes driving more pleasant while the eight-speed automatic shifts smoothly and efficiently. The said characteristics allow you to have a surefooted drive.   

Another thing I appreciate about the Tucson is its lightly weighted steering feel, which helps in lessening driver fatigue especially when you’re planning to use the Tucson GLS+ as your daily driver. The suspension tuning is also relatively nice, which I find not too soft and not too firm. It absorbs impacts within reason and makes driving through the dilapidated roads of EDSA more bearable.  

2023 Hyundai Tucson GLS+ Diesel front shotLook at that front fascia

The Tucson is also one of the vehicles that can make long expressway drives fun. When driven at highway speeds, the Tucson is stable and planted – giving you peace of mind. It can also hold its own when tackling wide turns as it has minimal body roll.

Outside noise is reduced to a minimum, which adds to Tucson’s overall drive and ride experience. I also like how Hyundai kept the diesel engine sound in check as it doesn’t creep in too much inside the Tucson’s cabin. 

2023 Hyundai Tucson GLS+ Diesel rear shotThe rear end is as distinctive as the front end

The Tucson GLS+’s driving characteristics are clearly one of its strongest selling points. Yes, it might be lacking with some tech features mentioned earlier such as the adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist. But, the lively diesel engine sort of makes up for it as it gives you impressive power delivery. And oh, I prefer the Tucson GLS+ Diesel over the Gasoline variant since the former is more on point when it comes to the overall driving feel.  

2023 Hyundai Tucson GLS+: Fuel Efficiency

The Tucson’s 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine posted good fuel efficiency numbers. In the city, it returned 9.6 km/l while driving at an average speed of 15 km/h. On the open highway, it posted 22.4 km/l while cruising at 90 km/h. 

The Tucson Diesel obviously returned better fuel economy as compared to its Gasoline counterpart, which delivered 8 km/l in the city, and 14.3 km/l on the expressway.

2023 Hyundai Tucson GLS+: Verdict

Priced at Php 1,840,000, the Hyundai Tucson GLS+ gives you enough reasons to consider getting one. It has a standout exterior design that separates itself from the current crossover vehicles sold in the Philippines today. The roomy interior gives a premium-like appeal, and the Tucson offers a lot of cargo space. The diesel engine gives impressive power delivery as well as yields good fuel economy numbers.  

2023 Hyundai Tucson GLS+ Diesel2023 Hyundai Tucson GLS+ Diesel

On the other hand, you can’t deny the fact that the top-spec Hyundai Tucson GLS+ is lacking when it comes to the tech and safety department. This comes to light when you compare it to its segment rivals such as the Honda CR-V and the Toyota Crolla Cross, among others. But, the Tucson is equipped with the essential tech and safety features one would most likely need.

So, is the all-new Hyundai Tucson’s arrival in the local market a little too late? Yes and no. Yes, since the current PH-spec Tucson is a bit behind as compared to its segment rivals when it comes to tech and safety. No, because the Tucson’s overall styling is arguably ahead of the competition. It is unique, distinctive, and currently has the most swag among the compact crossover vehicles in the country today.

2023 Hyundai Tucson: Variants & Price

Hyundai Tucson Variants & Price in the Philippines

Hyundai Tucson GLS+ Diesel

Php 1,840,000

Hyundai Tucson GLS Gas

Php 1,570,000

2023 Hyundai Tucson: Color Options

Hyundai Tucson Color Options

White Cream, Shimmering Silver, Crimson Red, Deep Sea, Amazon Gray, Phantom Black

2023 Hyundai Tucson: Specs





Tucson GLS+

Body Type

Compact Crossover

Dimensions & Weight


4630 mm


1865 mm


1665 mm


2755 mm

Ground Clearance

181 mm

Seating Capacity


Engine & Transmission



Fuel Type



1,998 cc


Intelligent Variable Transmission


184 hp


416 Nm


LED Headlights with Static Bending

LED Daytime Running Lights

LED Taillights

Power Adjustable, Power Folding, with Side Turn Indicators Side Mirrors

Black Grille

Rear Spoiler

19-inch two-tone alloy wheels


Leather Seats

10.25-inch Digital Instrument Cluster

8-inch infotainment touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto

Tilt & Telescopic Steering Wheel

Shift-by-Wire Gear Selector

Paddle Shifters

Wireless Mobile Phone Charger

USB Charging Ports (front and rear)

Power adjust for Driver & Manual Adjust Passenger Seats

60:40 Second Row Folding Seats

Driver and Passenger Backseat Pocket

Ambient Light Options

Safety & Tech

6 Airbags

Anti-Lock Braking System

Cruise Control

Electronic Stability Control

Downhill Brake Control

Hill-Start Assist Control

Trailer Stablity Assist

Tire Pressure Monitoring System

Rear View Camera

Manual Speed Limit Assist


Child Seat Anchor



McPherson Strut


Multi Link