2007 Tucson New Car Test Drive
The Hyundai Tucson is a compact SUV designed to compete with the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V and for the most part it succeeds. The Tucson comes standard with a comprehensive list of active and passive safety features, including six airbags and electronic stability control. It's aggressively priced and it comes with Hyundai's five-year/60,000-mile warranty.
We found the Tucson to be comfortable around town and on the highway, with light steering, adequate power from the available V6 engine, and a smooth four-speed automatic. The interior is nice, it doesn't look cheap, and the controls are easy to operate with big knobs. It's easy to get in and out of the front and back seats, the rear seatbacks flip down easily, and there's a decent amount of cargo space available.
We actually preferred the ride and handling of the four-wheel-drive models, even on dry pavement. On wet pavement, the 4WD models don't spin their front tires the way the front-drive models do when accelerating from a stop. In the snow, they benefit from an all-wheel drive system that directs power to the rear wheels as road conditions change. A switch allows the drive r to lock in a 50/50 torque split when creeping through drifting snow. Though not intended to be a highly capable off-road vehicle, the Tucson can certainly manage rocky, dirt two-tracks and other light off-highway duties.
The Tucson looks good, too. It's nicely proportioned with clean lines and short overhangs front and rear.
For 2007, the Tucson features some new interior convenience features, a revised model range, and an enhanced audio system.
The 2007 Hyundai Tucson is offered in three trim levels. The entry GLS models are powered by a 140-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. The mid-range SE and top-of-the-line Limited models are powered by a 173-horsepower 2.7-liter V6 engine mated to a four-speed automatic transmission.
The GLS ($16,895) comes with power windows, door locks, heated power mirrors, an 80-watt AM/FM/CD audio system, remove keyless entry, roof-rack side rails, and 16-inch alloy wheels. However, air conditioning is optional ($900). It comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission, but is also available with a four-speed automatic ($18,895), which includes the air conditioning. The CD/MP3/cassette audio system is an option packaged with cruise control ($450). The four-wheel-drive GLS ($18,395) comes with the five-speed manual transmission only.
The SE comes with the V6 and front-wheel drive ($20,895) or four-wheel drive ($22,395). The SE also features upgraded cloth trim, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, a more powerful audio system with cassette and MP3, a trip computer with two modes, air conditioning, front wiper de-icer, illuminated vanity mirrors, gray lower body cladding, a tire pressure monitor, cruise control, fog lights, and wider tires. Mirrors and door handles are body color instead of black. Options include a power tilt-and-slide sunroof, heated front seats, upgraded 200-watt audio system ($1,650).
The Limited comes with front-wheel drive ($22,245) or four-wheel drive ($23,745) and features leather seats and door trim, heated front seats, automatic climate control with outside temperature display, auto-dimming inside rearview mirror, windshield wiper de-icer, and a 200-watt sound system with a six-CD changer. Lower bodyside cladding is body-color rather than gray. A power tilt-and-slide sunroof and a 200-watt CD changer package ($1,300) is optional.
Safety features on the Tucson include electronic stability control, four-wheel antilock disc brakes (ABS), electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), and traction control. It comes with 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 (NHTSA) in front and side impacts. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which conducts crash tests differently than the government, has rated the Tucson 'acceptable' in its frontal offset and side-impact crash tests. The system rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal or poor.