Hyundai Tucson

The Hyundai Tucson competes in a very crowded small crossover segment, sized right between compacts like the Mazda CX-3 or Honda HR-V and the larger Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape and Honda CR-V. The Tucson shines in the interior space it affords, for both cargo and passengers, and adults will find themselves right at home in the back seat -- a rarity in vehicles like this. Efficiency, too, will attract buyers, particularly with the sprightly 1.6L turbo, which rewards in both acceleration and fuel economy, offering up to 33 mpg on the highway in Eco trim.

Editors' Review

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Sometimes, it's easy to forget how significantly a single car can vary in character and competency depending on the trim level and options chosen. These days, most vehicles are so thoroughly designed and vetted that it's rare for a bum steer to find its way onto dealer lots.

What we have here, however, is a rare exception to that rule.

Don't get me wrong -- the 2016 Hyundai Tucson is a perfectly nice compact SUV in most trims, but the Eco seen here is a model I'd avoid.

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The Good Hyundai's popular Tucson SUV is reborn with smart styling, good ergonomics and confident handling. Available with the buyer's choice of two engines and two transmissions, this clean-sheet redesign arrives just as compact SUV sales are exploding. The Eco trim promises slightly higher fuel economy than other Tucson models, too.

The Bad The Eco trim's 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and dual-clutch transmission are poorly calibrated, with disappointing overall refinement and drivability. Hard interior plastics and a lack of standard features and advanced safety options compared to other Tucson trims means the Eco model is best avoided.

The Bottom Line The 2016 Hyundai Tucson has a lot to recommend it, just not in this trim.

Editors' Rating
  • Cabin tech 6.1
  • Performance tech 6.1
  • Design 7.4

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