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2016 Hyundai Tucson Review By John Heilig +VIDEO

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
2016 Hyundai Tucson (Photo by Thom Cannell)

By John Heilig
Senior Editor
Mid-Atlantic Bureau
The Auto Channel


MODEL: 2016 Hyundai Tucson ECO FWD
ENGINE: 2.0-liter turbocharged four
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 175 hp @ 5,800 rpm/195 lb.-ft. @ 1,500-4,500 rpm
WHEELBASE: 105.1 in.
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 176.2 x 72.8 x 64.8 in.
TIRES: P225/60R13
CARGO: 31.0/61.9 cu. ft. (rear seats up/down)
ECONOMY: 26 mpg city/33 mpg highway/23.3 mpg test
FUEL TANK: 16.4 gal.
CURB WEIGHT: 3,369-3,580 lbs.
COMPETITIVE CLASS: Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape
STICKER: $25,170 (includes $895 delivery, $125 carpeted floor mats)

BOTTOM LINE: While small, the Hyundai Tucson is quiet, smooth riding and practical.

The all-new 2016 Hyundai Tucson is full of surprises, not the least of which is its quality ride. Let’s face it, nobody expects a smooth ride from a small SUV, just like nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition (sorry Monty Python). The Tucson doesn’t have an exotic suspension or anything, but the final result is a quiet, comfortable ride. And that’s important, because even if you use your SUV for hard work, the greater majority of the time you’re going to be using it to drive around town, to the grocery story, and on trips.

Helping the ride quality are front seats that are comfortable with some side support. There’s a nice deep console/arm rest between the seats as well as a pair of cup holders. Helpful is aa nice cubby at the base of the center stack that has two 12-volt plugs, a USB and an AUX outlet, and room for your iPod, phone, sunglasses, etc.

Tucson is an easy car to drive with everything where it is supposed to be. Thus, the switches and controls aren’t in some exotic location that the designer thought might be interesting, but they’re handy and within reach of the driver. There are three drive mode settings– eco, sport and normal – so you can tune the ride to your preferences.

The driver has a smart wheel with audio volume, cruise control and information switches handy. Again, everything you need and right there. The driver’s exterior rear view mirror has a “blind spot” convex mirror located in the upper left corner. While I prefer lights, the mirror is as good.

Under the hood is a 2.0-liter four developing 175 horsepower. The engine drives the front wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission. There’s nothing exotic here either. You just get in the car, fire the engine up by pushing the start/stop button, shift into drive and go.

The driver faces a clear instrument panel with a large tachometer and speedometer. The dials are my favorite white-on-black with white pointers. An information panel separates the two round gauges.

Audio options are the usual suspects, and the HVAC controls are simple – knobs for fan speed and temperature and four air direction switches.

Rear seat legroom is good, plus there are “knee indents” in the backs of the front seats to make knee room a bit better. There’s a tall center hump, so a middle passenger back there might be uncomfortable. There is room for water bottles in the doors, plus a pair of cup holders in the pull-down arm rest. Cargo capacity is excellent, especially considering that the Tucson is a small SUV. The rear seat backs fold easily with levers at the cushions, resulting in a flat cargo floor.

Six tie downs around the cargo area are helpful for securing items that might move. There’s also the possibility of some storage under the cargo floor if you can cram it around the spare.

As I said, the 2016 Hyundai Tucson has some surprises, not the least of which is its relatively modest sticker of $25,170. Unusual for most of the vehicles I drive, it wasn’t overloaded with options, keeping the bottom line more reasonable.

2015 The Auto Page Syndicate

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