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STYLING | 8 out of 10
a big, flamboyant step
For the moment, it looks good
too much Buick Enclave going on
an attractive dash and well-laid-out switchgear
Looks aren't deceiving: The 2010 Hyundai Tucson smartly steps to the front of the compact-crossover class with a curved, crested, upscale design. TheCarConnection.com's editors scan their review, as well as reviews from other sources, and find most writers are pleased by the big changes in the Tucson's style.
From its nose to its tail, the Tucson appears compact and edgy, while the rear end has visual mass that's cut somewhat by angular tail lamps. While it's no "Audi-style standout," Automobile reports, "it falls somewhere in the range between inoffensive and blandly attractive." The sheetmetal is nearly the inverse of the past Tucson's bland, upright silhouette. It's "a big, flamboyant step away from the humble look of the outgoing model," Edmunds comments. The Tucson bears perhaps more than a casual nod to the Nissan Rogue and Murano, Motor Trend says, "which is about as far as you can get from the first-gen." It's "much friskier than anything Toyota has tried in this segment," Car and Driver observes. Autoblog likes the view to the Tucson's front end, where you can see "the thrust of the design's flow and how winds its way around the car." Some versions have more chrome trim work around the grille and sides, while all versions have black trim that cuts the visual height of the doors on the side view. Autoblog thinks that's the car's worst design element: "the black plastic chunks below the doors look like the afterthoughts they are." Cars.com remarks, "If the last Tucson looked affable, this one seems sophisticated," but many reviewers question its longevity. "Will it wear well or soon seem outdated?" USA Today asks. "For the moment, it looks good."
Inside, the 2010 Tucson steps into the thick of global interior design with a big LCD screen, flanked by chromed vents and dashes of metallic-painted plastic breaking up plenty of tightly grained, hard black plastic. USA Today says the presentation of dials and gauges has a "stunning simplicity that looks and feels inviting," while Car and Driver admires the "expensive-feeling buttons on the nice dash" and the "sporty-looking and functional" gauges. While TheCarConnection.com's editors feel the Tucson's cabin is not quite in the same class as the Rogue or CR-V, Edmunds believes the interior "compares favorably with Honda's CR-V and puts the Toyota RAV4 to shame." Automobile leans more in our direction, calling the interior "pleasant-looking" but noting "lots of hard plastic" in the cabin. Autoblog voices concern, however, that the "refreshing" design is "bordering into Honda's weird territory of organic shapes and spread out buttons."
The 2010 Hyundai Tucson breaks new styling ground among compact crossovers.