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First Drive: 2010 Hyundai Tucson

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2010 Hyundai Tucson

2010 Hyundai Tucson

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• What is it? The latest generation of Hyundai’s popular compact SUV
• The basics: Front- and all-wheel drive plus four-cylinder power
• On sale: Early next year
• Price: Less than $20,000 (est.)

Hyundai only updated its Tucson compact SUV last year with a new four-cylinder engine but the next-generation model has now made its U.S. debut, showcasing the latest iteration of the automaker’s “Fluidic Sculpture” design language.

The 2010 Hyundai Tucson was revealed for the first time back at September’s Frankfurt Auto Show in the form of the European iX35 version. However, we now finally have the full U.S.-specs for the compact SUV--and we're live today from the first drive of the 2010 Tucson in Los Angeles.

2010 Hyundai Tucson

2010 Hyundai Tucson

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The latest addition to Hyundai’s lineup has a much more premium look than its predecessor and also comes with a few new features. Front- and all-wheel drive versions will be offered, but only one engine will be available initially--Hyundai's new Theta II 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 176 horsepower (26% more than its predecessor) and 168 pound-feet of torque.

In addition to the 2.4-liter engine, Hyundai will introduce an even more fuel efficient Blue model for the 2011 model year equipped with a Theta II 2.0-liter engine.

With an overall length of 173.2 inches, a width of 71.7 inches and a height of 66.3 inches (with roof rails), the 2010 Hyundai Tucson has a great stance and road presence. It also means the Tucson has a longer wheelbase and overall width than the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Subaru Forester to deliver more packing efficiency.

2010 Hyundai Tucson

2010 Hyundai Tucson

Enlarge Photo

Furthermore, at 3,203 pounds for an automatic transmission model, the Tucson is lighter than its competitors, while offering more interior room than the Nissan Rogue and Ford Escape.

Accordingly, the Tucson has one of the best fuel economy ratings in its class, with an estimated 23 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway rating for the automatic model with front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive versions return 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.

Inside, fitted as standard is Hyundai's signature blue lighting, power windows, power door locks, fold-away mirrors and remote keyless entry with alarm and panic button. Bluetooth hands-free phone system with voice recognition and steering wheel audio and cruise controls are also available.

2010 Hyundai Tucson

2010 Hyundai Tucson

Enlarge Photo

Other available features include leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, power driver seat with lumbar support, automatic headlights, side repeater exterior mirrors, front wiper de-icer and dual front automatic temperature control.

A total of six airbags are also positioned in the Tucson's interior. Dual advanced frontal airbags are complemented by front seat-mounted side-impact airbags and roof-mounted side-curtain airbags with new rollover sensors that cover both the front and rear seat rows.

Development for the 2010 Hyundai Tucson took more than 36 months and cost upwards of $225 million. The Tucson has remained one of the most popular Hyundai models with more than one million units sold worldwide since the launch of the original model back in 2004.

[Hyundai]

2010 Hyundai Tucson

2010 Hyundai Tucson

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Comments (9)
  1. That drooping rear roof line which was first seen on the Matrix (I think) is now the standard, it appears. Must be good for the aerodynamics.
     
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  2. Will the Navigation package be available here in the US? It shows availability for the Korean market. Should definitely be available to your biggest market!!! Our next vehicle will have a NAV system, hope it will be yours.
     
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  3. I've never been a hyundai fan,the quality is apparently a lot better than it used to be but I find that they feel "tinny" when I drive them but this looks pretty promising, I'm definitely going to have to check it out when it comes to Canada
     
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  4. This post is titled "First Drive." So how does it DRIVE?
    I can look up the features and specs elsewhere. Regurgitating specs is not going to get any auto blog good readership or a unique offering to readers. What's your insight into how the car drives?
     
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  5. The Center for Media Research has released a study by Vertical Response that shows just where many of these ‘Main Street’ players are going with their online dollars. The big winners: e-mail and social media. With only 3.8% of small business folks NOT planning on using e-mail marketing and with social media carrying the perception of being free (which they so rudely discover it is far from free) this should make some in the banner and search crowd a little wary.
    www.onlineuniversalwork.com
     
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  6. A nice car,not expensive and efficient
     
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  7. Awesome test drive! Want one now!
     
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  8. Just bought one today and love it! Got the GLS with the Popular Package and found a dealer willing to negotiate so saved about 2500.00 off the MSRP. It is so cool inside. Can't wait to hit the road with it.
     
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  9. Just got my 2010 Tucson and cannot get the bluetooth setup in english. Followed the manual but will not get out of spanish.
     
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