2013 Tucson New Car Test Drive
The Hyundai Tucson is a compact crossover SUV that delivers responsive performance and good fuel economy. It's roomy, comfortable cabin makes it easy to live with. A choice of engines is available.
2013 Hyundai Tucson models get more standard equipment than before. The 2013 Tucson GLS comes standard with fog lights, automatic headlight control, and heated front seats; the 2013 Tucson Limited gets proximity-key entry with push-button starting. Tucson was last redesigned for the 2010 model year; for 2012, Tucson benefitted from bigger brakes, improved air conditioning, a smoother ride, and other improvements.
The 2013 Hyundai Tucson begins with the value-priced, front-wheel-drive Tucson GL. Powered by a 165-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, the Tucson GL rates an EPA-estimated 20/26 mpg City/Highway mpg with its standard 5-speed manual transmission, and 22/29 mpg with optional 6-speed automatic.
Tucson GLS and Tucson Limited models are offered with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Power is provided by a 176-horsepower 2.4-liter engine. Hyundai's superb 6-speed automatic is standard, and comes with a driver-selectable Active Eco mode, which modifies the response of the engine and transmission to changes in throttle position. Hyundai says this can yield as much as a 7-percent gain in real-world fuel economy. EPA ratings for the 2.4-liter Tucson with Active Eco are 21/30 mpg City/Highway with front-wheel drive. Low-rolling-resistance silica tires contribute to those numbers.
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 for which German styling studios are famous. 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 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.
Hyundai Tucson competes with the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Mitsubishi Outlander Sport and other compact SUVs.
The 2013 Tucson GL ($19,245) comes with a 165-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, cloth upholstery; air conditioning; AM/FM/XM/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; solar glass with privacy glass in the rear windows; and 17-inch steel wheels. Tucson GL comes standard with a 5-speed manual transmission, but is available with Hyundai's 6-speed automatic ($20,245). The GL is front-wheel drive only.
Tucson GLS 2WD ($22,595) upgrades with a 176-horsepower 2.4-liter engine, 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, silver roof rails, 17-inch alloy wheels with low-rolling-resistance tires, body-color door handles, heated fold-away outside mirrors with turn-signal repeaters, an engine cover, and ASD shock absorbers from Sachs. New for 2013 are fog lights, automatic headlight control, and heated front seats The GLS comes standard with the 6-speed automatic. Tucson GLS AWD ($24,095) adds all-wheel drive.
Tucson Limited ($25,445) and Limited AWD ($26,945) upgrade to leather seating, eight-way adjustable driver's seat, power lumbar support for driver and front passenger, dual-zone automatic temperature control, cargo cover, chrome grille and door handles, front wiper de-icer, auto-dimming inside mirror with HomeLink, and 18-inch alloy wheels. New for 2013 are proximity-key entry with push-button start. The Limited Premium Package ($2,850) adds navigation with rearview camera, premium audio with XM NavTraffic, 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. Rearview camera is optional.