New & Used Hyundai Tucson: In Depth
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The Hyundai Tucson is a compact crossover utility vehicle that looks and performs more like a tall hatchback than a vehicle with any off-road intentions. It's practical, attractive, and has an option for all-wheel drive.
The Tucson's rivals include vehicles like the Ford Escape and Kia Sportage.
MORE: Read our 2015 Hyundai Tucson reviewThe first-generation Tucson hit the U.S. market in 2005, offering an affordable compact crossover for daily driving with a range of trim levels. And it's carried that basic motif through to the new generation, though over time the engine options have changed.
That 2005 Tucson was available with a 2.0-liter in-line four-cylinder engine rated at 140 horsepower, or a 173-hp 2.7-liter V-6, and a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. The Tucson's three trim levels--GL, GLS, and Limited--divided the powertrains up as fit the model. The GL was available only with the four-cylinder engine, and a choice of the manual or automatic transmission. The GLS and Limited, on the other hand, were available with only the V-6 and only the automatic transmission. All models were available with all-wheel drive.
Safety ratings for the first Hyundai Tucson were a strong point, earning five stars in all categories in NHTSA testing from 2005 through the 2009 model year.
Today's Hyundai Tucson
The current-generation Hyundai Tucson was introduced for the 2010 model year, with a much bolder new design and updated engines. The Tucson offers a choice between two four-cylinder engines, either a 2.0-liter four with 165 hp, or a 2.4-liter four with 176 hp. There's no longer a V-6 option for any Tucson. A choice of five-speed manual or six-speed automatic on the base engine becomes automatic-only with the bigger powerplant, but all-wheel drive is offered on either.It's more spacious than the previous generation, and the new Tucson bests some luxury crossovers for interior space. It's smaller by a good margin than the Honda CR-V and Subaru Forester, but four adults, especially those in front, will find ample room in all directions. The rear seat has just enough headroom for taller adults, and good leg room.
The current Tucson has changed relatively little since its 2010 launch. Since 2013, all versions come with standard air conditioning; power windows, locks, and mirrors; remote keyless entry; cloth seats; and an AM/FM/XM/CD player with a USB port.
Changes for 2015 are limited. There's a new Popular Equipment Package available on the base GLS model, adding items like a touchscreen radio and power driver's seat, while Limited models now get LED taillights as standard equipment.
The current Tucson is among those Hyundai vehicles included in a restatement of fuel-economy figures. From the 2011 to the 2013 model year, the EPA calculated that many Hyundai vehicles had overstated gas-mileage ratings that did not hold up to confirmation testing performed by the agency. Owners will receive reimbursements for extra fuel used, and can initiate payment through Hyundai's site, www.hyundaimpginfo.com.