Runs up and down the roads in the Santa Cruz mountains revealed a pleasantly firm suspension that provides nearly flat cornering attitudes and also resists dive and squat. Electric power steering is tuned better than most, if still a bit overboosted at parking-lot speeds.
We liked how the new Tucson rides firmly but avoids feeling stiff. The firm suspension tuning, responsive steering, tidy dimensions, and a relatively light weight make it feel more agile than many compact sedans. The engine and other sounds don’t intrude excessively into the cabin, but the Tucson isn’t hushed like a RAV4 or Equinox/Terrain.
Hyundai’s “un-boxy” crossover design may look good from the outside, but the inside has to compromise with a relatively tight cargo hold of 55.8 cubic feet. While that may prove to be plenty of space for many if you fold down the rear seat, but the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 each offer 30 percent more.
There’s acceptable but unexceptional storage space behind the rear seat, but the sloped roofline and back hatch cut the total volume to 25.7 cubic feet. There was lots of room for groceries, but not so much for kiddie toys. The rear seatbacks drop in a 60-40 split to make an almost flat cargo floor.
|Cargo Volume Compared (cubic feet)||Behind 1st row
||Behind 2nd row
|2010 Hyundai Tuscon Limited Auto FWD||55.8 ft3||25.7 ft3|
|2010 Honda CR-V
||72.9 ft3||35.7 ft3|
|2010 Toyota RAV4
||73.0 ft3||36.4 ft3*|
|2010 Subaru Forester
||68.3 ft3||33.5 ft3|
|2010 Ford Escape
||67.2 ft3||31.4 ft3|
|2010 Chevrolet Equinox
||63.7 ft3||31.4 ft3|
|2010 Nissan Rogue
||57.9 ft3||28.9 ft3|
|2009 Hyundai Tucson
||65.5 ft3||22.7 ft3|
|*In two-row RAV4. Three-row RAV4s with the third row folded have 37.2 cubic feet behind the second row.|
Cabin quality is competitive for this segment, with a consistent, low-gloss appearance for most of the plastics within immediate view. Most buttons operate with high-grade precision, but the silver paint on a number of them, can obscure the labels.
The optional XM navigation system uses a 6.5-inch touch-screen. It’s fairly easy to use, with plenty of street labels and excellent graphics.The live traffic updates are truly appreciated in busy urban areas where negotiating daily traffic is a tactical art. Our one big complaint is with the angle and position of the display screen. Glare is a big problem and makes viewing the screen difficult in the bright sunlight.
Other amenities include a panoramic moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control and heated leather seats. The leather in the Limited trim feels rich enough for a pricier car; it’s a far cry from the cut-rate textured cloth in the base Tucson GLS. A respectable leatherette/cloth mix that’s optional on the GLS splits the difference.
A front-wheel-drive Tucson Limited, which comes standard with the automatic transmission, starts at $24,345. Load it up with navigation, the panoramic moonroof and all-wheel drive, and you’ll have a downright rich-feeling crossover — but it will set you back more than $28,000.
For a bargain price of $18,995, the front-wheel-drive Tucson comes standard with electronic stability control and an iPod/USB-compatible stereo, as well as hill start control, power windows and locks, air conditioning, keyless entry and a height-adjustable driver’s seat. All-wheel-drive shoppers will have to spring for an equipment package that adds cruise control, steering-wheel audio controls and a litany of other items. It’s a prerequisite for all-wheel drive, boosting the minimum price for an AWD Tucson to a not-so-inexpensive $21,495.
||2nd Row Rear
|2010 Hyundai Tuscon Limited Auto FWD||140 hp 2.0L I4||102.6 ft3||37.2 inches||170.3 inches||20/25||$24,345|
|2010 GMC Terrain SLT2 FWD||182 hp 2.4L I4||99.6 ft3||39.9 inches||185.3 inches||22/32||$29,550|
|2010 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ FWD||182 hp 2.4L I4||99.7 ft3||39.9 inches||187.8 inches||22/32||$28,220|
|2010 Honda CR-V EX-L 2WD||180 hp 2.4L I4||100.9 ft3||38.5 inches||177.9 inches||21/28||$26,495|
|2010 Mazda CX-7 s Grand Touring||244 hp 2.3L I4||98.8 ft3||36.4 inches||184.3 inches||18/26||$31,185|
|2010 Nissan Rogue SL 2WD||170 hp 2.5L I4||126.4 ft3||35.3 inches||182.9 inches||22/27||$21,930|
|2010 Toyota RAV4 Limited 4X2||179 hp 2.5L I4||108.2 ft3||38.3 inches||174.3 inches||22/28||$24,665|
|2010 VW Tiguan SEL||200 hp 2.0L I4||95.3 ft3||35.8 inches||174.3 inches||18/24||$31,550|
Globally, the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, which owns the Hyundai Motor Company and about 39 percent of Kia Motors, passed Honda and the Ford Motor Company. It became the fourth-largest automaker, behind Toyota, General Motors and Volkswagen. In the U.S., Hyundai-Kia is seventh in the United States and was in 11th place worldwide less than a decade ago.
|Hyundai Motors America: Cars, Coupes, Sedans, CUVs, Touring – www.hyundaiusa.com|
Pages: 1 2