2016 Hyundai Tucson Limited AWD Review
Hyundai's semi-fancy small SUV is nice, but is it nice enough?
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.
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.
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.
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)
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
• For more information such as specs, prices, and photos of the 2016 Hyundai Tucson, click here: 2016 Hyundai Tucson.