2011 Tucson New Car Test Drive
Launched all-new for 2010, the Hyundai Tucson employs the latest technology. A compact crossover SUV, the Tucson is shorter in length but slightly wider than its chief rivals, the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Subaru Forester. The Tucson is available with front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive.
For 2011, the Hyundai Tucson lineup includes a new value-priced Tucson GL with a smaller, more fuel-efficient 2.0-liter engine and front-wheel drive. The 2011 Tucson GL rates an EPA-estimated 23/31 City/Highway mpg when equipped with its optional 6-speed automatic transmission. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is rated at 165 horsepower.
The Tucson GLS and Limited models are powered by a 176-horsepower 2.4-liter engine. 2011 Tucson Limited and GLS models come with more standard equipment than before.
The 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine in the Tucson GLS and Tucson Limited wins the power-to-weight battle, the key to good performance with good fuel mileage, against every four-cylinder competitor except the turbocharged Forester XT. The 2.4-liter four-cylinder achieves an EPA-estimated 22/31 mpg City/Highway. The GLS and Limited come standard with the 6-speed automatic. This compact, extremely light transmission places Hyundai in an elite group of manufacturers who have built their own 6-speed automatic. We think it's a superb transmission and it offers better fuel economy ratings than the standard 5-speed manual gearbox.
Inside, the cabin is a model of straightforwardness and simplicity. It's excellent ergonomically, meaning everything is easy to reach and operate. The materials are nice. The seats are supportive and comfortable. There's plenty of room in both the front and rear seats, with comfortable seating for four, capability for five.
Though Korean, the Tucson design is decidedly European in flavor, sporty and aggressive, capturing the crisp, agile look German styling studios are famous for. And the Tucson skillfully tricks the eye, to its benefit. Just as the huge Audi Q7 manages to appear smaller and more athletic than it is, the new Tucson does just the opposite. Its high beltline and squinty side-window configuration make the Tucson appear larger and more capacious than it really is. This may give the buyer a feeling of getting more for the money.
In short, the Hyundai Tucson is a well calculated vehicle that delivers roomy interior space, crisp performance and very good fuel efficiency.
The 2011 Tucson GL ($18,745) comes with cloth upholstery, air conditioning, AM/FM/satellite radio/CD/MP3 audio with six speakers, iPod/USB input jacks, iPod cable, roof antenna, power windows, mirrors and locks, remote keyless entry, trip computer, tilt steering, front and cargo area power outlets, bottle holders in all four doors, rear armrest with cupholders, 60/40 split fold-down rear seatback, bodycolor rear spoiler, rear wiper and washer, and 17-inch steel wheels. Tucson GL comes standard with the 5-speed manual but is available with Hyundai's 6-speed automatic transmission ($19,745). The GL is front-wheel drive only.
Tucson GLS 2WD ($21,845) upgrades with leatherette upholstery with cloth inserts, leather-wrapped wheel and shifter, Bluetooth hands-free phone, illuminated vanity mirrors and glovebox, cruise control, steering wheel audio and cruise controls, faux leather inner door trim, soft-touch interior paint, black garnish moldings, and silver roof rails, 17-inch alloy wheels, bodycolor door handles, heated fold-away outside mirrors, privacy glass, roof cross rails, and an engine cover. The GLS comes standard with the 6-speed automatic. The GLS is available with AWD and heated front seats ($23,495). The GLS Navigation Package ($2,000) adds touch-screen navigation, a review camera, premium audio with external amplifier and subwoofer, and automatic headlights.
Tucson Limited ($24,695) and Limited AWD ($26,195) upgrade to leather seating, heated front seats, eight-way adjustable driver's seat, power lumbar support for driver and front passenger, dual-zone automatic temperature control, solar glass, cargo cover, chrome grille and door handles, automatic headlights, front foglights, front wiper de-icer, side repeater exterior mirrors, and 18-inch alloy wheels. New for 2011 are an auto-dimming inside mirror with HomeLink, and high-tech shock absorbers called Amplitude Selective Dampers (ASD) from German supplier Sachs. The Limited Premium Package ($2,850) adds navigation with rearview camera, premium audio, and a panoramic sunroof that deletes the roof rack.
Safety features on all Tucson models include electronic stability control, traction control, hill-start assist, downhill brake control, four-wheel disc brakes, ABS, EBD, brake assist, six airbags with rollover sensor, active front adjustable head restraints, lane-change assist turn signals. All-wheel drive is optional.