In a USA Today nine-vehicle SUV/crossover comparison, the 2011 Hyundai Tucson was ranked No. 5. What does this sub-compact crossover have to offer?
The Hyundai Tucson first arrived in the United States in 2005 and its styling was similar to the Santa Fe but with smoother lines. The most recent Tucson is one of the first Hyundai to use the automaker’s ‘Fluidic Sculptured’ design philosophy.
Two four-cylinder engines are available and include of a 2.0-liter providing 164 hp and 146 ft. lb. of torque and a 2.4-liter making 176 hp and 168 ft. lb. of torque. The transmission choices include a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic. The automatic shifts very smoothly and it does a good job of keeping the engine in its powerband. The 2.0-liter engine moves the Tucson from 0-60 in 9.5 seconds and the 2.4-liter unit does 0-60 in 8.8 seconds. The four-wheel disc brakes stop the Tucson from 60 mph in 120 feet.
On the exterior the Tucson has curved body lines combined with a bold looking front end. Overall, it is described as a youthful and sophisticated looking vehicle that is eye catching.
The interior is well finished and aesthetically pleasing given this crossover’s pricing. The knobs and buttons for the air conditioning and stereo are simple and straightforward. Standard features include a six speaker 160 watt stereo system, XM Satellite radio, navigation, iPod integration, and partial leatherette seats.
The Tucson will seat four six-footers and provides good rear leg room. The cargo capacity is 55.8 cubic feet with the rear seats folded ‘almost’ flat and 25.7 cubic feet with the seats up. Furthermore, the Tucson has good outward visibility in all directions!
Safety features include standard traction and safety control, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, and downhill brake assist. Additionally, six air bags are standard consisting of dual front, driver and passenger front side, and front and rear curtains with rollover sensor.
On the road the Tucson’s steering is nicely weighted and the system provides some satisfying driver feedback. This crossover handles well when driven with moderate cornering speed. The ride over ruts and bumps is good and the road noise level is reasonable for a crossover at this price level.
The fuel economy of the Tucson is rated at 22 mpg city and 31 mpg highway. However, some sources have reported that the ‘real world’ fuel mileage might be somewhat lower.
The Tucson’s base price is $18,745 for the GL model that includes the 2.0-liter engine and an automatic transmission. The GLS model is priced at $21,825 and is equipped with the 2.4-liter engine, automatic transmission, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, a leather wrapped steering wheel, air conditioning, power windows and door locks, 17-inch alloy wheels, MX Satellite radio, Bluetooth, UBS/iPod integration, and AM/FM/CD player with six speakers, plus keyless entry.
The 2011 Hyundai Tucson provides much value, good refinement and reliability for the money. It will handle the vast majority of family needs well and it is indeed worth a test drive!
Kyle Busch is the author of “Drive the Best for the Price…” He welcomes your comments or car questions at his auto web site: www.DriveTheBestBook.com . Become Kyle’s friend on Facebookand Twitter.