It's not the biggest vehicle in its class, by any means, but the tape measure reveals the 2011 Hyundai Tucson has a longer wheelbase and is wider than the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, and Subaru Forester. For the record, it's 173.2 inches long, 71.7 inches wide, and 66.3 inches tall.
It still offers more interior room than the Ford Escape and the Nissan Rogue, but the Tucson is noticeably smaller inside than the upright Honda CR-V. It's also significantly less roomy than the Toyota RAV4. To its credit, it outboxes luxury crossovers like the Acura RDX.
In the front row, the Tucson affords driver and passenger plenty of leg room. In first-year models, we thought the leather seats had bottom cushions that tilted too far down, leaving passengers uncomfortable after a hundred miles or so. The back seat is better, in cloth or in leather, with plenty of room for adults. For our dollar, the Tucson's cloth seats are better than the leather-clad ones, at least until the bottom cushions get a bit of reshaping.
The cargo hold has a significant amount of luggage space--enough room for groceries for a week for a family, too. It's not physically possible to wedge in the third-row seat you'll find in the Toyota RAV4, though, and the cargo well is more pyramid-shaped than a rectangular, wide-open space--the kind you'll want to carry your pets in, for example. Interior storage is well planned inside the Tucson, with cubbies and bottle holders in the console and door panels, and a deep glove box up front.
We've been impressed with the fit and finish in the Tucsons we've driven. It's a vast improvement over older Hyundai vehicles, and it's superior to the plain-jane cabin in the CR-V or the Escape. Still, hard plastic is the rule of the Tucson's trim, not the exception.