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2020 Hyundai Tucson Limited AWD Review by John Heilig - Writer Puts His Money Where His Words Are +VIDEO

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

REVIEWED MODEL: 2020 Hyundai Tucson Limited AWD
ENGINE: 2.4-liter 4
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 181 hp/175 lb.-ft.
WHEELBASE: 105.1 in.
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 176.4 x 73.8 x 65.0 in.
TIRES: P225/55R18
CARGO CAPACITY: 31.0/61.9 cu. ft. (rear seat backs up/down)
ECONOMY: 21 mpg city/26 mpg highway/19.5 mpg test
FUEL TANK CAPACITY: 15.0 gal. (est.)
CURB WEIGHT: 3,475 lbs.
COMPETITIVE CLASS: Ford Escort, Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V
STICKER: $31,875 (includes $1,095 delivery, $330 options)
BOTTOM LINE: The Hyundai Tucson offers the best value among the other small/medium SUVs.

Over the past 35-3/4 years, we have owned a few vehicles and driven nearly 2,000 for The Auto Page. So as this career winds down, we went shopping for a reliable (the other cars in our stable are less so) vehicle that can take us back and forth from Virginia as well as the town compost center. We chose the Hyundai Tucson.

We compared the Tucson with the competition and felt it offered the best value. To get all the safety and convenience features we desired it would have cost as much as $8,000 more from the others. Besides, the warranty will probably outlive us. 

Outside, the Tucson looks like any other small SUV with a standard two-box design. We liked the way the chrome trim worked with the black body and tinted windows.

Inside, the Tucson is all Hyundai, with ergonomically thought-out placement of controls and switches.This is one of the easiest vehicles I have driven in that regard. For example, when I wanted a heated wheel the switch was right there beside the heated seat switch. 

The Tucson Limited is powered by a 181 horsepower 2.4-liter four. A 2.0-liter four is the base engine. It drives the wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission (who needs more?). Front wheel drive is standard, but we wanted all-wheel drive because of the weather in the northeast. Performance is smooth, although a few more horses wouldn’t hurt. The engine makes noise under stress, but basically it is quiet.

Front seats are comfortable, and my wife commented on how easy it is for entry and exit. Rear seats offer very good leg room.

Modern features include a Qi wireless charger, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and USB and 12-volt outlets all around.

A key selling point is the abundance of safety features that I have come to expect in vehicles these days. The Tucson has: forward collision avoidance assist, lane keeping assist (that isn’t annoying), blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert, electronic stability control with traction control, hill start assist, tire pressure monitoring system, automatic headlights and variable wipers. Shift into reverse and there’s the (now) standard rear view camera, but there’s also an “overhead” 360-degree view that is a big assist in parking. 

Many vehicles have hands free smart lift gates, where you dance on one foot and wiggle the other under the rear bumper. No dancing with the Tucson. Just approach the tailgate with armfuls of packages and the fob in your pocket and it opens automatically. This is so convenient at Christmas time when you’re frequently loaded down.

When we decided we were going to need a new vehicle, I did the requisite research. The Hyundai Tucson offered all the safety and convenience features we wanted, at a lower price than the competition. It’s a good driver, too. 

Finally, writing these reviews has been a blast for nearly 36 years. I have been blessed by the opportunity. My thanks go out to the many manufacturers who supplied me with vehicles, to the late Bethlehem Globe-Times who published the first reviews back in 1984, and to the many outlets (more than two dozen) who also chose to use them. 

Drive safely my friends.

(c) 2020 The Auto Page Syndicate