2010 Hyundai Tucson:Rugged and Ready

8 Nov 2010 | 2,267 views | No Comment
Hyundai's Tucson always was a pretty cool little SUV. But this 2010 model is something else again.  First, it's highly desirable. This is a really classy looking ride with interior fittings that are pretty top drawer; it's part of a volley of products from Hyundai that you buy because you want them and they fit into the "must have" category. You no longer buy Hyundais as a second choice or a "settle" kind of proposition. Secondly, the little Tucson gets 21/28 miles per gallon, and  estimated fuel costs are $1,626 annually based on 15,000 miles at $2.60 a gallon.   In addition, the standard equipment list is extensive.  There's Hyundai's usual five year, 60,000 mile warranty and 10 year, 100,000 mile powertrain warranty, stability control and traction control, downhill brake control and hillstart assist control--a first for this class as standard equipment,  air conditioning, full power accessories, including power windows with driver's side auto down feature,  satellite radio, am/fm  CD/MP3 audio system, tilt steering wheel and many other desirable features. We also found the Tucson to be quite the handler around corners and through curves, with a well controlled ride, though some have complained that the ride was a bit rougher and harsher than they'd like.  But we like 'em firm, so we were just fine with the Tucson's ride. This year, Hyundai has introduced a new 2.4 liter, 176 horsepower four cylinder engine on the Tucson, and it gets even better fuel economy--21/28--than the old engine which also also had fewer horsepower. It's estimated that based on 15,000 miles of driving at $2.60 per gallon, you'll spend only $1,626 on fuel for the whole year. By the way, this is a new powerplant, and one that provides brisk acceleration. It behaves much as you would expect a v-6 to act, so we doubt that you'll miss the extra two cylinders. In fact, it's got more power than the old V-6 setup Hyundai offered on the Tucson with better gas mileage.     Inside, we  were impressed with the new, contemporary looking seats, interior,  and dashboard, and we never had any problem figuring out how the controls worked. Everything was intuitive and easy to use right from the start.     Our test model was a GLS all wheel drive version with a base price of $21,495.  Addng a popular equipment package added $1,700, to the price and a navigation package added $2,000 to the price.  With destination and other charges, our final price on the GLS was $26,090. GLS comes standard with 17-inch steel wheels, the aforementioned  hill-holder feature and hill descent control, keyless entry, a trip computer, air-conditioning, full power accessories, keyless entry, a tilt steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver seat and a six-speaker stereo with CD player, satellite radio, auxiliary audio jack and a USB port with an iPod interface.  The Popular Equipment package adds 17-inch alloy wheels, an auto-up/down driver window, cruise control, body-color heated mirrors and door handles, roof rails, a tilt-and-telescoping leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, leatherette/cloth upholstery and Bluetooth. The Navigation package adds all Popular Equipment package items plus a touchscreen navigation system, a rearview camera, automatic headlights and a seven-speaker stereo including a subwoofer. The Tucson Limited adds all Popular Equipment package items plus 18-inch alloy wheels, chrome grille and door handles, automatic headlights, foglights, a front wiper de-icer, a cargo cover, leather upholstery, heated front seats, an eight-way power driver seat (includes lumbar adjustment) and dual-zone automatic climate control. The Premium package deletes the roof rails but adds a panoramic sunroof and the touchscreen navigation system, rearview camera and seven-speaker stereo upgrade.   There was plenty of cargo room for hauling stuff, though the Tucson has a bit less than you might find on some of its competitors. But looking at the overall car, there are features you wont get on those other cars that you will have on the Tucson, so you pay your money and make your choice.  A visit to Edmunds.com to check their chatroom revealed several concerns by buyers, including some paint quality issues, tire noise on the highway, uncomfortable headrests, a better sounding horn and a console with several smaller inner compartments instead of one large box.  Still, we consider the Tucson to be one of the best of the growing number of small crossover SUVs.

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