2016 Hyundai Tucson Roadtest and Review By Thom Cannell
2016 Hyundai Tucson
Delivering the good
By Thom Cannell
The Auto Channel
Bullet Points: No attempt at completeness, simply comments on one week’s driving experience—balanced against decades of experience and hundreds of comparisons.
If your family is in the market for a small crossover, a CUV, you should consider Tucson. The all-new 2016 Tucson has had its styling dialed down several notches; once brash, now sophisticated with the face remaining distinctively Hyundai. As in our original report, the Tucson is easy to enter, easy to sit into. Overall it is pleasingly quiet from the command driving position and everywhere you look you’ll see luxury touches far beyond what the price would suggest. Like the double sewn real leather surfaces on the seats, door controls that appear to be solid aluminum, and a fully equipped audio system with all the BlueTooth goodness.
Another features we appreciated was the excellent air conditioning. In the 90° humidity our glasses would mist over every time we exited the vehicle. And did we mention Tucson’s massive moon roof? It reaches from the plane of your forehead to beyond the rear passenger’s ears. It’s an aircraft carrier deck big.
In total, the load added over 300 pounds, which the Tucson totally disregarded, accelerating as normal. All Tucson except for base SE model is equipped with a 1.6-liter turbo engine and 7-speed DCT, dual clutch transmission with manual shift mode which you’d never use except in a snow storm. The motor, from a standing start, is more than adequate and two-lane or freeway passing is good, but nothing to activate your inner racer.
Something you’ll never notice unless you are keenly aware of vehicle dynamics, the 2016 Tucson is largely constructed of high strength steels for lighter weight, more rigidity, and greater crash resistance. Changes like this make the car feel better to drive. As do excellent headlamps, among the best we’ve seen and far better than Tucson’s price class would suggest. Think German exotics, bright and wide to illuminate the night and our Limited model had bending headlamps to shine into corners as we turned. That’s a feature you never knew you needed.
Here’s our bullet points:
- Handsome, with modern and sophisticated styling.
- Comfortable, with a quiet interior far beyond its price point regardless model choice.
- Abundant connectivity features, like SirusXM, CD, Blue Tooth, and soon-to-come Apple Car Play and Android Auto.
- Heated and ventilated seats, huge overhead moonroof.
- Sturdy and responsive chassis, excellent to steering and braking, all the active safety goodness needed in daily commutes and soccer field deliveries.
- As on our first report, we dislike the tires. Noisy on blacktop, twitchy and lacking traction in the rain, disappointing launch feel as well.
- The turbocharged Direct Injected engine works flawlessly, but has a bit of injector noise directly attributable to the direct injection process itself. Hyundai is not alone, it is an artifact of the fuel sipping intake system.