The Tucson is available with either a 164 hp 2.0-liter coupled to a 6-speed automatic or a turbocharged 175 hp 1.6-liter engine with a 7-speed dual clutch transmission. Standard specifications have improved and there are now six trim levels to choose from. The availability of all-wheel drive across the range and notable options such as power passenger seat, hands-free power liftgate and heated rear seats make for a solid offering in the compact crossover SUV segment.
|SE FWD||2.0-liter Inline-4 Gas||6-Speed Automatic with SHIFTRONIC (STD)||FWD||$21,866||$22,700|
|SE AWD||2.0-liter Inline-4 Gas||6-Speed Automatic with SHIFTRONIC (STD)||AWD||$23,189||$24,100|
|Eco FWD||1.6-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas||7-Speed EcoShift Dual Clutch (DCT)||FWD||$23,115||$24,150|
A fully redesigned Tucson was launched in 2016 and the new model has proven to be a capable all-rounder in the popular compact crossover SUV segment. For 2017 additional standard features as well as some new trim levels help keep it fresh.
The modern interior features the organic swoops and curves that are common in this class although base trim models suffer from below-par plastic fittings. Top specification levels introduce soft-touch plastics and improved materials which make a big difference to the interior ambience.
Interior space is slightly tighter than most rivals but still spacious enough to accommodate adults comfortably in both the first and second rows. Controls fall easily to hand and the standard 5-inch display works well, the option of a power passenger seat on certain trim levels is noteworthy in this class too.
At the risk of damning the Tucson with faint praise, it rides and handles competently without being particularly good or bad in any one area.
This may be just what most shoppers prefer in their compact crossover, ultimate handling ability generally takes a back seat to real-world driving ability in a compact SUV. That is why the suspension has been tuned for comfort and the Tucson offers good bump absorption on both the standard 17-inch and optional 19-inch wheels, perfect for making unruffled progress over most terrain.
The additional ground clearance and optional all-wheel drive all the Tucson to venture off the beaten track too, its slightly smaller dimensions also make it that much easier to manoeuvre around tight parking lots.
The Tucson is available with either a 2.0-liter inline-4 producing 164 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque or a more modern and economical 1.6-liter turbo unit which makes 175hp and a far more generous 195 lb-ft of torque. A 6-speed automatic is standard on the 2.0-liter models while a 7-speed dual clutch transmission is fitted to the turbocharged cars.
The 164 hp 2.0-liter unit needs some coaxing to get going, especially when fully loaded and while the shifts are smooth the need to keep the revs up contributes to the slightly worse overall consumption figures.
The new 1.6-liter turbo is far more flexible and other than an occasional jerkiness when pulling off gently, the dual-clutch transmission keeps the engine in the ideal rev range and responds quickly to inputs. Front-wheel drive is standard across the range with all-wheel drive being optional although it comes with a slight consumption penalty.
The Tucson is available in six trim levels, the base SE comes with the 2.0-litre engine and 6-speed automatic transmission. It also has cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity, USB port, 5-inch touchscreen, rearview camera and 6-speaker sound system. Other than the usual array of traction control and stability control systems, brake assist and vehicle stability management are also standard throughout.
An upgrade Package adds Drive Mode Select, 8-way power driver seat, LED daytime running lights, fog lights and roof rack rails as its more notable features. The ECO trim is fitted with the 1.6-litre turbo and 7-speed dual clutch drivetrain and includes the SE trim optional items as standard.
Sport trim adds 19-inch wheels, keyless entry and ignition, heated front seats with upgraded interior trim and a hands-free power liftgate. The Night trim adds some black exterior design accents including side sills and wheels and you also get a panoramic sunroof and leather-covered steering wheel.
The SE Plus, fitted with the 2.0-litre motor, offers LED lights all-round, power seats for both driver and passenger and leather upholstery. An 8-inch touchscreen, 8-speaker sound system and dual-zone climate control are also standard. Limited models share the same high specification levels but feature the 1.6-litre turbo motor, 19-inch wheels and can be had with an exclusive ultimate package which includes features such as heated rear seats, xenon headlights and upgraded instrument cluster.
Safety wise all bar the basic SE and ECO trim get blind spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert and lane change assist as standard. Lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking and rear parking sensors are optional only on the top Limited trim.
The new Hyundai Tucson continues to offer strong value in the compact crossover sector. It increases its appeal with additional standard features and new trim levels.