2016 Hyundai Tucson Limited AWD

2016 Hyundai Tucson Limited AWD Review

Hyundai's semi-fancy small SUV is nice, but is it nice enough?

By: David Merline

Web2Carz Contributing Writer

Published: September 28th, 2015

The Hyundai Tucson was an early entry into the crossover market, debuting way back in 2004. Since then it's morphed from a clunky CR-V wannabe to a semi-unique-looking crossover (crossovers can only look so unique, basically it's all about that face), that provides excellent safety and fuel economy for an attractive price.

  • Exterior

    The current, third, generation of the Tucson is visually much improved from its previous incarnations. With slimmer headlights and a more aggressive grille, the Tucson has a slight touch of menace, which is what passes for character in crossovers. All in all, it doesn't look out of place with any modern crossover, including ones costing well over twice as much.

  • Interior

    Hyundai has grown quite good at delivering high-end luxury options for bargain-basement prices, and the Tucson is no exception. We tested the top-of-the-line Limited trim, but at $32,510 out the door, it's still a ridiculous bargain.

    Heated and ventilated front seats, as well as the beautiful panoramic sunroof, would usually add a quick $10K to the bottom line if this were any other carmaker's car. Add to those an extremely capable sound system and one of the best-looking and easiest-to-use infotainment systems on the road. And you've easily got a $50,000-car's worth of fab gear.

    Crossovers are all about the space (all about that space, no cramping), and thus the fanciness of the interior must give way to the obsessive need for enough space to fit the biggest thing you'll ever move, along with various storage compartments. That's not to say that the Tucson's various lines and arcs aren't pleasant to behold, it's just that these cars can only ever look so nice inside.

  • On the Road

    Hyundais may be second only to Lexuses when it comes to ease of driving. The Tucson is as close to self-driving as it's possible for a non-self-driving car to feel. All systems respond to your input in a precise and predictable manner, but beyond that there's no sense of connectedness between car, driver, and road. It's as though your moving of the steering wheel or your applying of the brakes are just suggestions that the car was going to do whether you suggested them or not.

    That may make the Tucson a poor choice for those who like a bit of excitement behind the wheel, but an extremely wise choice for the average driver, who's far more interested in getting home safely than in triggering their fight or flight response. The Tucson, in addition to being outfitted like a luxury vehicle, is as soft and quiet as one.

    The only area in which the Tucson lacks is in super-high-tech safety features. While it does have collision mitigation and lane-keeping alert, it lacks adaptive cruise, as well as lane-keeping assist - two things that would greatly enhance its safety while also making it that much more like a self-driving car.

  • Conclusion

    Although extremely well-optioned for the price (as are all Hyundai/Kias these days), The Tucson is lacking in some essential safety technology that's sure to be important to buyers in this class. However, for those looking for a bargain on a capable crossover, the Tucson remains a compelling choice.

  • Specs & Prices

    Engine: 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-four

    Transmission: Seven-speed dual-clutch automatic

    Drivetrain Layout: Front-engine, all-wheel drive

    Power Output: 175 hp / 195 lb-ft

    Fuel Economy (mpg): 24 city / 28 highway

    Base Price: $31,300

    As Tested: $32,510 (includes $895 destination charge)

    Available Features:

    Standard Features: 19-inch alloy wheels, hands-free lift gate, LED headlights, fog lights, leather sport seats, heated and ventilated power front seats, leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescope steering wheel, 8-inch touchscreen with navigation, SiriusXM radio, blind spot detection, lane change assist

    Other Options: Cargo cover, carpeted floor mats

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