Minneapolis, MN – The Hyundai Tucson is all-new for the 2016 model year, with dramatic and edgy design cues taken from its larger sibling Santa Fe. Still smaller than the Hyundai Santa Fe, the latest example Tucson has itself, grown in stature, with an increase in length of 3-inches, plus 1.2-inches in wheelbase, and 1.1-inches in width.
The new Tucson?s base engine is a 2.0-liter Direct Injected NU four-cylinder that replaces the old 2.4-liter motor and delivers 164 horsepower at 6,200 rpm along with 151 pound feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. It will be available in the base SE trim level and mates to a six-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC? manual shifting mode, with an overdrive lock-up torque converter. SE model pricing starts at $22,700.
Eco, Sport and Limited trim models are available with a new 1.6-liter turbocharged, direct-injected four-cylinder from the Gamma engine family. The more powerful 1.6-liter churns out 175 horses at 5,500 rpm along with195 pound feet of torque in a range from1,500-4,500 rpm. The 1.6-liter motor is coupled with a new, first-in-segment seven-speed EcoShift? dual clutch transmission. All Tucson models are available in either FWD or AWD.
Visually, the new Tucson exterior incorporates Hyundai?s 2.0 Fluidic Sculpture design theme that appeared first on the 2015 Genesis. The Tucson displays gracefully sculpted body forms with sporty contours, delivering a bold, athletic image. Up front is Hyundai?s signature hexagonal-shaped grille, flanked and enhanced by available, high efficiency LED twin-projector headlights, with LED headlight accents and integrated LED Daytime Running Lamps. There are even available LED approach lamps in the door handles.
19-inch alloy wheels are offered for the first time on Tucson, with a dynamic spoke design, centered in forward-raking wheel arches. Roof rails are sleek and low, and a Z-shaped character line appears above the rear wheel accentuating a strong, sporty side profile. Out back, the rear angle conveys a wide stance. Taillights also apply LED technology, continuing the premium design image, while providing enhanced rear visibility. Twin, bevel-cut chrome exhaust tips and a standard rear spoiler complete the athletic cues from the rear.
The interior serves up a premium wrapped instrument panel with extra-wide panels that enhance a sense of cabin roominess. A stitched, soft-touch pad is located near the driver?s right knee, for added comfort on long commutes or during spirited cornering. Interior touch points are been upgraded with soft-touch materials, and all interior switchgear offers a more refined feel during use. The overall ambience is further enhanced by an available full-length panoramic sunroof that provides both front and rear passengers with day or night skyward visibility.
Several compact CUV segment firsts and new features are offered in the 2016 Hyundai Tucson, including ventilated front seats and YES Essentials? stain-resistant seats. Newly available features include LED headlights and accents, LED Daytime Running Lights, HID headlights with Dynamic Bending Light that turn-in with the direction of the steering wheel, LED map lights, color LCD cluster display, individual tire monitoring, power passenger seat and heated rear seats.
Also offered is a Smart Power Liftgate with auto-open, which allows the rear liftgate to be opened automatically, hands-free, by standing within a few feet of the liftgate for a few seconds with the key fob in proximity.
The new Tucson now offers as standard, a five-inch color LCD display with rearview camera and touchscreen function for intuitive operation. Apple Siri? ?Eyes Free? integration is also now available. Popular apps such as Pandora? Internet Radio and Yelp? are already integrated with the multimedia system on navigation-equipped Tucsons. An available 405-watt, AM/FM/SiriusXM premium audio system with eight speakers will please audiophiles.
For 2016, new, advanced safety technologies are offered, such as: AEB with pedestrian detection, Lane Departure Warning System, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross-traffic Alert, Lane Change Assist, Backup Warning Sensors and standard rearview camera. In addition, advanced high-strength steel represents over 50 percent of the new Tucson?s structure, for enhanced crash safety.
During the national press launch program, I was afforded the opportunity to pilot both FWD and AWD versions of the 2016 Hyundai Tucson in Limited trim, powered by the new 1.6-liter, turbocharged engine connected to the 7-speed DCT automatic transmission. The base price of the FWD version was set at $29,900., while AWD added $1,400. to the base sticker. Final pricing of my Ash Black finished FWD test vehicle came to $31,110., while the final sticker of my Sedona Sunset finished Tucson came to $32,510. The only extras fro each were Carpeted floormats, a cargo cover and the DestinatIon charge.
SUMMARY: The 2016 Hyundai Tucson Limited is a more solid and stable vehicle than its predecessor. Both the FWD and AWD Tucson?s performed admirably in heavy city traffic or on the open road. The AWD version feels somewhat heavier, but still handles well.
On more challenging, twisty back roads, some limited body roll was noticeable, but was predictable and quite manageable. Steering feel was centered and solid. The ride quality was very comfortable ? not too firm, nor too soft.
Of the variable Drive mode choices, Eco, Normal and Sport, the Sport mode, utilizing the paddle shifters provided the most enjoyable performance level.
Next generation Hyundai BlueLink? is available, featuring enhanced safety, service and infotainment telematics, with many features being able to be controlled via the latest Android Wear? smartwatch offerings. In addition, Tucson models equipped with Blue Link come standard with one year of complimentary Blue Link? Connected Care. Connected Care is a suite of safety and car care features providing owners with free proactive services including automatic collision notification, SOS emergency assistance, enhanced roadside assistance, monthly vehicle health reporting and maintenance alerts. Blue Link is offered in three service packages: Connected Care, Remote and Guidance.
SE and Limited models offer available option packages: SE Popular and Limited Ultimate, each featuring model enhancements.
Bottom line, the Hyundai Tucson is poised to compete with the best compact crossovers in today?s global marketplace. It is a value laden, affordable and attractive crossover vehicle that is fun to drive, and is backed by what Hyundai claims to be America?s best Warranty program. All Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by the Hyundai Assurance program, which includes the 5-year/60,000-mile fully transferable new vehicle limited warranty, Hyundai?s 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty and five years of complimentary Roadside Assistance. Hyundai Blue Link Connected Care provides owners of Hyundai models equipped with the Blue Link telematics system with proactive safety and car care services complimentary for one year with enrollment. These services include Automatic Collision Notification, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Vehicle Diagnostic Alert, Monthly Vehicle Health Report and in-vehicle service scheduling.
[wptabs style=”wpui-light” effect=”slide” mode=”horizontal”]
?[wptabtitle] SPECIFICATIONS: 2016 Hyundai Tucson Limited AWD [/wptabtitle]
|Base Price:||$31,300. For AWD ? FWD= -$1,400|
|Price as Tested:||$32,510.|
|Engine Type and Size:||1.6-liter Turbo-GDI, DOHC, 16-valvw with CVVT inline 4-cylinder.|
|Horsepower (bhp):||175 @ 5,500 rpm|
|Torque (ft./ lbs.):||195 @ 1,500-4,500 rpm|
|Transmission:||Seven-speed EcoShift DCT automatic (dry)|
|Drive Train:||Transversely mounted front engine / All-Wheel Drive with Driver Selectable AWD lock and Active On-Demand.|
Front – MacPherson struts with coil springs, Sachs gas pressurized shock absorbers and 24.7-mm hollow stabilizer bar.
Rear – Independent multi-link with coil springs, Sachs gas pressurized shock absorbers and 23-mm hollow stabilizer bar.
|Brakes:||Power-assisted four-wheel discs (vented front) with 4-wheel, 4-sensor ABS with ESC and Traction Control System.|
|Tires:||Hankook Kinergy GT 245/45 HR 19 mounted on 5-?swirl?-spoke alloy wheels.|
|Length Overall:||176.2 inches|
|Height:||65.0 inches-with roof rails|
|Curb Weight:||3,710 lbs.|
|Fuel Capacity:||16.4 gallons|
|EPA Mileage Estimates:||24-mpg city / 28-mpg highway|
|0 – 60 mph:||Not tested.|
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles as well.