2006 Tucson New Car Test Drive
For tip-toeing over a narrow, rocky trail to your favorite fishing hole, a small and nimble vehicle may offer real virtues. And for the even more common SUV duties of urban commuting and suburban child-rearing, something small, affordable, and easy on gas is more sensible than a behemoth.
The Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V pioneered the compact SUV market, which Ford soon came to dominate with its Escape. Hyundai staked a claim in this territory a few years ago with the slightly larger Santa Fe; then added the Tucson for 2005 to take on the RAV4 and CR-V more directly.
The 2006 Hyundai Tucson features some minor appearance revisions and a new flagship Limited model.
The Tucson is a good choice among compact SUVs. It's not the best of them, but it's comparable to the other vehicles in this class, including those from the big brand names. We hope that answers your first question about the Tucson. To answer your second question, Hyundai quality has been quite good in recent years. In fact, Hyundai is so confident of this that it offers the longest bumper-to-bumper warranty in the business, five years or 60,000 miles. J.D. Power and Associates, which surveys owners on product quality, rated Tucson as the highest-quality all-new model for 2005. That does not mean the Tucson is the best quality vehicle available in dealer showrooms today, but it is an indication that Tucson buyers haven't had many problems with their new vehicles.
Safety features on the Tucson include electronic stability control, four-wheel antilock disc brakes (ABS), electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), and traction control. That's impressive list of active safety features. Add to that six airbags, including side-impact airbags for torso protection and side curtain airbags designed to provide head protection for passengers in both rows. Tucson has earned a five-star safety rating from the U.S. government in front and side impacts. Tucson is the lowest-cost vehicle you can buy with this level of safety features.
The 2006 Hyundai Tucson is offered in three trim levels. Basic GL and mid-range GLS continue as before, while last year's LX model has been replaced by a more luxurious Limited model. Four-cylinder and V6 engines are available, as are front-wheel drive (FWD) and four-wheel drive (4WD).
GL ($17,495) is powered by a 140-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder. GL comes standard with front-wheel drive and a five-speed manual transmission. Standard features include air conditioning, cruise control, AM/FM/CD audio, power windows, power door locks with remote keyless entry, heated power mirrors, roof-rack side rails, and 16-inch alloy wheels. Options include a four-speed automatic transmission ($850) or four-wheel drive ($1500).
GLS ($20,395) is powered by a 173-horsepower 2.7-liter V6 engine mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. Enhancements include upgraded cloth trim, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, a more powerful audio system with cassette and MP3, a trip computer, front wiper de-icer, illuminated vanity mirrors, gray lower body cladding, a tire pressure monitor, fog lights, and wider tires. Mirrors and door handles are body color instead of black. Four-wheel drive ($1500) is optional.
Limited ($21,695) is upgraded with leather seating and door trim, heated seats, automatic climate control, auto-dimming inside rearview mirror, and a 200-watt sound system with a six-CD changer. Lower bodyside cladding is body color rather than gray. Four-wheel drive is optional ($1500).
Options include a power tilt-and-slide sunroof ($850) for the GLS and Limited; GLS buyers can also package the sunroof with heated front seats and the Limited's 200-watt audio and six-CD changer ($1500). The only options available for GL are mud flaps ($75) and roof-rack cross rails ($205).