The new Tucson follows Hyundai's new Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design theme, with sculpted lines and a striking athletic presence. Up front is a hexagonal grille with high-efficiency LED projector headlights, LED accent lights and LED daytime running lights. The rear features a Z-shaped character line to complete an aggressive profile, while the rear end is accented with LED taillights. Twin bevel-cut exhaust tips and a rear spoiler complete the look.
The new Tucson is also larger overall than the model it replaces, which equates to more interior space. Cargo room is up from 25.7 to 31.0 cubic feet and features a dual-level rear cargo area for greater versatility. And with 60/40 split-fold rear seatbacks -- and rear seats with up to 37 degrees of recline -- ease of use has never been greater.
Four trims are offered on the 2016 Tucson: SE, Eco, Sport and Limited. The SE is powered by a direct-injected 2.0L four that makes 164 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. It is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC manual shifting mode, which includes an overdrive lock-up torque converter for increased fuel economy at cruising speeds. The 2.0 is EPA-rated at 26 mpg combined.
Eco, Sport and Limited models are powered by a new direct-injected 1.6L turbocharged four with 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. Peak torque comes on as low as 1,500 rpm for excellent responsiveness. This engine is paired with a new 7-speed EcoShift dual-clutch transmission, and on front-wheel-drive Eco models, the powertrain returns an EPA-estimated 29 mpg combined. Front-wheel drive is standard on all Tucson trims, while all-wheel drive is available.
SE models are equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, a 5-inch color touchscreen audio system, a rearview camera, a 6-way adjustable driver's seat and a tilt/telescopic steering wheel.
In addition to the 1.6L turbo, the Eco features upgraded front and rear fascias, integrated turn indicators in the side mirrors, LED daytime running lights and halogen fog lights and metal-look side sills. Inside, there's a power driver's seat with power lumbar support and auto up/down driver's window.
Stepping up to the Tucson Sport yields 19-inch alloy wheels, illuminated outside front door handles, a hands-free power liftgate, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob and push-button start. Standard advanced safety features include blind spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert and lane change assist.
Finally, the Tucson Limited comes standard with LED headlights and taillights, with a chrome grill and door handles. Also included is a leather interior with powered passenger seat, an 8-inch touchscreen navigation system with premium 8-speaker audio, dual automatic climate control, an upgraded instrument panel, Blue Link Telematics and an auto-dimming rearview mirror and compass.
Two packages are available for the Tucson SE. The Preferred Package features LED running lights and halogen fog lights, roof rails and premium side sills, auto up/down windows and illuminated vanity mirrors. To the above, the Popular Equipment Package adds a power driver's seat and power lumbar support. For the Limited, the Ultimate Package includes HID headlights with Dynamic Bending Lighting, lane departure warning, a panoramic sunroof, LED map lights, ventilated front and heated rear seats, and a 4.2-inch LCD electroluminescent gauge cluster.
Standard safety features across the Tucson range include a tire pressure monitor, stability and traction control, anti-lock brakes with brake assist and a host of front, rear and side airbags.
Hyundai isn't falling into the industry-typical habit of making all its new cars look like Russian dolls. From the to the to the , every new Hyundai debut is more interesting than the last. But they're more than just great pieces of design -- these products are well-rounded, too. The crossover isn't just Hyundai's latest model, it's the company's best one yet.
Like the new Sonata and Elantra, the Tucson will surely be divisive, but I absolutely love it. Easily the most striking part of the design is the Tucson's face. The wing-shaped "parametric design" front grille has angular inserts and a dark chrome-ish finish, and the LED running lights and turn signals are integrated into the grille, appearing hidden when off. Meanwhile, the main headlights and high beams are in the larger pods in the lower bumper. It's a distinctive solution and looks awesome, especially at night.
The rest of the Tucson is cool, too. It's got squared-off wheel arches reminiscent of the-- yes, really -- and lots of intense character lines and surfacing details. My Tucson's Amazon Gray paint has tons of metal flake and looks green under direct sunlight, showing off the lines perfectly. The greenhouse is accented by a spearlike chrome strip that gets thicker at the D-pillar, but otherwise there's not a lot of jewelry. The slash-shaped taillights have a unique signature and are connected by a full-width light bar, and the placement of the Hyundai badge in the rear glass is interesting.
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