Shopping for a new Hyundai Tucson?
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The 2011 Hyundai Tucson may not be the biggest little crossover vehicle, but it's become a favorite of families with its catchy new styling themes, its class-leading fuel economy ratings and its good safety scores.
While it could use some handling tweaks and some more horsepower, the Tucson's a smart choice for new families that don't need vast spread-out space, but put value on cheap and cheerful driving fun. For those reasons, we're giving the Tucson a rating of 7 out of 10 here at FamilyCarGuide.
Redesigned in 2010, the Tucson carries over into 2011 with a new base engine and some minor running changes. The packaging? It's intact, and it's at once the Tucson's main selling point and a problem for folks with tall teenagers or empty nests. The front seats have the kind of room adults can appreciate, with a little knee contact against the center console but good head room. The back seats are a little confining for full-grown adults; that fast, sloping roofline cuts into headroom even without a sunroof, and the backs of the front seats will touch the knees of growth-spurt teens, too. It's fine for middle schoolers and below, though, and the door openings are wide enough to accept car seats without too much difficulty.
The cargo area is among the smaller bins in this size class. Move into a larger Escape or CR-V or Forester and you'll be able to tote the family and their luggage, but in the Tucson the packing will have to be light and lean. The cargo area isn't a great place for pets, since most of the space sits below the glass areas (and if you've ever transported a carsick pet, you'll know why that's important). The rear seats do fold down to expand the Tucson's backpack into something more useful.
On the safety front, the Tucson hasn't yet been rated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), but the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has given the cute-ute its Top Safety Pick award. The Tucson's standard curtain airbags and stability control can be paired with Bluetooth, which we consider an important safety feature.