2016 Hyundai Tucson Eco FWD Review By John Heilig
THE AUTO PAGE
By John Heilig
MODEL: 2016 Hyundai Tucson
ENGINE: 1.6-liter Turbocharged I-4
TRANSMISSION: 7-speed automatic
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 175 hp @ 5,500 rpm/195 lb.-ft. @ 1,500-4,500 rpm
WHEELBASE: 105.1 in.
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 176.2 x 72.8 x 65.0 in.
CARGO: 31.0/61.9 cu. ft. (rear seats up/down)
ECONOMY: 26 mpg city/33 mpg highway/23.5 mpg test
FUEL TANK: 16.4 gal.
CURB WEIGHT: 3,369-3,580 lbs.
COMPETITIVE CLASS: Ford Escape, Subaru Outback. Mitsubishi Outlander
STICKER: $25,170 (includes $895 delivery, $125 option (carpeted floor mats))
BOTTOM LINE: For its price, the Hyundai Tucson is a very capable small SUV/CUV. It has some quirks, but overall it does its job well.
The third generation Hyundai Tucson rides on a longer wheelbase than it predecessor and has an edgier style. Our tester was the base model, with a 1.6-liter turbocharged I-4 that delivered 175 horsepower. That proved to be an adequate amount for the small crossover/sport utility that weighs around 3,400 pounds. We found we could accelerate into speeding traffic, with some engine complaining, fairly well. On more normal acceleration, you can feel the 7-speed automatic shift through all the gears. The transmission can also be shifted manually, using the gear lever. Because of the Tucson’s compact size, shifting manually makes it appear almost sporty.
On the right road surfaces, which are rarely found in Pennsylvania, the Tucson rides quietly with only a modicum of engine and road noise.
Handling is very good. At the speeds I travel there is no feeling of top-heaviness, which can be a concern with sport utes and crossovers. Besides the longer wheelbase, the Tucson’s footprint is larger thanks to a one inch increase in width. The front seats are comfortable. The side bolsters hold you in while driving hard and also during softer cornering. It’s a comfortable feel. Also, the seats are comfortable on longer rides. Did I mention that they’re comfortable? The rear seats offer good leg room. There is also a low center hump that would allow for a middle passenger to ride in relative comfort. The rear seat backs fold flat to provide an excellent cargo area.
The driver grabs a nice fat wheel with audio, cruise, phone and information controls. The instruments are clear with while-on black numbers in round dials.
I have a major complaint with the infotainment screen. It is almost impossible to read in daylight, and barely better at night. The screen is small and audio selections might as well be from AM because you can’t rear what they are anyway. While the Tucson is equipped with a backup camera, you can’t see what it is displaying either and backing up into tight spaces can be a challenge. Also dangerous.
The audio is decent, even if the screen is impossible to read. There is good Bluetooth phone response with an easy setup. We drove the Tucson in weather that was fitting to its name, very hot. The HVAC system did an excellent job keeping us cool. At times we had to turn it down because we were too cold.
Cargo capacity is very good, even with the rear seats up. My golf bag fit easily when I put it in the back diagonally. In addition, there are hanger hooks by the rear assist handles as well as on the rear of the B pillars. In the cargo area itself there are multiple tie-downs. The Tucson would benefit from an interior liftgate release. More upscale models have a Smart Power Liftgate that allows the owner to raise the liftgate by merely standing close to the rear bumper.
For interior storage there is a large cubby at the base of the center stack with two 12-volt outlets as well as USB and AUX plugs. There is also a smaller cubby just ahead of the two cupholders, plus a deep center console/arm rest. All the door pockets have room for water bottles.
In addition, the Tucson has good visibility all around. Four assist handles aid entry and egress. Overall, the Hyundai Tucson, even in its base form, is a good, practical crossover utility vehicle. It has a great price point, very good ride quality, and it doesn’t hurt the eyes.
(c) 2016 The Auto Page Syndicate
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