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2017 Hyundai Tucson Night AWD

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Note To Senior Drivers:The 2017 Hyundai Tucson was ranked 25th PlaceIn The Top 25 New Cars For Senior Drivers Consumer Report (July 2017 Edition):

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

REVIEWED MODEL: 2017 Hyundai Tucson Night AWD
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.
TIRES: P245/45R19
CARGO CAPACITY: 36.0/61.9 cu. ft. (rear seats up/down)
ECONOMY: 24 mpg city/28 mpg highway/26.1 mpg test
FUEL TANK:: 16.4 gal.
CURB WEIGHT: 3,500-3,686 lbs.  #/HP: 20.5
COMPETITIVE CLASS: Audi Q3, Ford Escape, Honda CR-V
STICKER: $30,220 (includes $895 delivery, $125 options (carpeted floor mats))
BOTTOM LINE: In a crowded segment, the Hyundai Tucson is a solid competitor.

A leading consumer magazine notes that there are 31 vehicles in the “Small SUV” segment. And while some “grow up” and move out, manufacturers are continually introducing new vehicles to take their places.

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The Hyundai Tucson separates itself from many of the others with crisp styling that lets you know it is part of the Sonata family. In addition, there’s a trapezoidal grille that almost makes you think it’s a Ford.

In any case, Tucson is offered in 12 different trim levels. Our tester was the new “Night” edition with a 1.6-liter turbocharged four and a 7-speed automatic transmission. Night is truly a black car. My wife referred to it as the Mennonite car because of its resemblance to many vehicles in the Eastern part of Pennsylvania where we live. There is minimal chrome on the Night edition, but the overall sense is black. Many true Mennonites paint over the chrome.

Two engines are available in the Tucson, a 2.0-liter four rated at 164 horsepower and the 1.6-liter turbocharged four rated at 175 hp in our tester. We found the engine delivered decent power in all circumstances. We took the Tucson on our favorite hillclimb. The first time we ran in pure automatic mode; the second with the EcoShift sequential manual mode. I found no real difference between the two transmission modes, although the manual shifted quicker. The manual mode employs the shifter on the center console.

There are two drive modes, normal (default) and sport. The drive mode select allows the driver to customize the car’s dynamic responses, such as steering feel, transmission and overall powertrain responsiveness.

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Steering generally is light with a fat wheel. The busy wheel has phone, audio controls, cruise control, and information panel switches that scroll through various screens. We set it for a digital speedometer.

Overall ride quality is good. The Tucson rides on a 105.1-inch wheelbase, giving it a solid footprint on the road. I did feel, though, that the brakes were tacky. For example, when I was headed out of a parking space and the rear cross traffic alert beeps, stopping is sudden, almost too sudden. It’s good that they stop the car quickly, but it is uncomfortable at times.

Front seats have minimal side support. In our tester they were surfaced in cloth and heated. There’s a wide center console/arm rest between the front seats that added to the comfort and eliminated squabbling over territorial rights.

Rear seat legroom is excellent, in addition to good headroom. Overhead there is a huge sunroof that extends all the way to the backs of the rear seats. It only opens over the front seats, but rear seat passengers can get a good view of the sky when the shade is fully opened. Interestingly, the rear seats recline slightly, about to the degree of airplane seats in coach. 

Interior storage consists of a small cubby at the base of the center stack with a pair of 12-volt outlets and USB and AUX plugs. There’s a smaller cubby ahead of this that is ideal for keys. The front door pulls also have bottoms. The center console has a tray for multiple levels.

The power rear hatch opens from the fob, a button on the dash or just by lifting. It exposes a healthy cargo area that holds golf bags diagonally plus accessories. There’s room for probably three more bags plus shoe bags. 

The Hyundai Tucson does its job well. It remains to be seen how well it can compete in an obviously crowded segment that includes several efforts from the powerhouses.

(c) 2017 The Auto Page Syndicate

(c) 2017 The Auto Page Syndicate

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