2005 Tucson New Car Test Drive
As the popularity of SUVs continues unabated, more people realize they don't need a large SUV and are opting for smaller models. Just a few years ago a small SUV was almost an oxymoron, then Toyota and Honda hit the market with the RAV4 and the CR-V, both of which became hits. Ford followed soon after with the Escape, which quickly became the top-selling small SUV.
Now Hyundai enters the fray with the very well equipped 2005 Tucson, offering a viable alternative to the established models.
As one would expect off a vehicle from Hyundai, the Tucson is attractively priced with the best warranty in the business. It's no barnstormer as far as performance goes but then neither are most of its competitors.
Tucson comes standard with an impressive list of safety features. Electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, and traction control are all standard. Add to that six airbags, including side-impact airbags and curtain airbags designed to provide head protection for passengers in both rows. The Tucson is the lowest cost vehicle with that level of safety features.
Bigger is better? Many might disagree with this statement and the Hyundai Tucson sets out to prove the point.
The Hyundai Tucson GL ($17,499) is the base model. It is powered by a 140-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with a five-speed manual transmission and front-wheel-drive. Standard convenience features include air conditioning and power windows, power door locks and heated power mirrors. Four-wheel drive ($1500) is available. Also optional: a four-speed Shiftronic automatic transmission ($800).
The GLS ($19,999) is powered by a 173-horsepower 2.7-liter V6 engine, coupled to a four-speed Shiftronic automatic transmission. Slightly larger tires, upgraded cloth trim, leather-wrapped steering wheel, upgraded sound system, body cladding and windshield wiper de-frosting are among the enhancements over the GL. Manual transmission is not available. Four-wheel drive ($1500) is optional.
The top-of-the line LX model ($21,249) offers leather seating surfaces and a sound system with in-dash six CD changer, otherwise it has the same features as the GLS model.
Safety features include dual front airbags, front seat-mounted side-impact airbags; front and rear side curtain airbags for head protection, front seatbelt pretensioners; anti-lock brake system (ABS), electronic stability control and traction control.
Options for each model include a sunroof and an upgraded sound system.