2016 Hyundai Tucson : Review

2016 Hyundai Tucson 3 560x280The 2016 Hyundai Tucson is a sporty all-new 3rd generation compact crossover that is now available at your local dealership. It offers an edgy exterior design, a pair of fuel-efficient drivetrains and a stylish interior that is roomier than its predecessor. Let’s take a look at the “official pace car of living”…

Recently we were invited out to Minneapolis, Minnesota to be among the first to get behind the wheel of the 2016 Hyundai Tucson for an urban adventure. Minneapolis is the Midwest’s up-and-coming tech hub, home to millions of young, tech-savvy urban adventurers, who are the target demographic for the all-new Tucson, so it served as the perfect location to get acquainted with the latest from Hyundai. The weather was perfect, the roads were beautiful and the vehicle was a joy to drive. Below we’ll share what we’ve learned about the all-new Hyundai Tucson.


2016 Hyundai Tucson Aerial 560x280We’re going to start with the color, because damn that Caribbean Blue looks hot, especially with that full-length panoramic sunroof. That’s not even our favorite color either, which was made clear when we reserved a Sedona Sunset orange model early to make sure we’d have it for our photographs. While color choice is superficial to most, what cannot be ignored is Tucson’s sculpted body and sporty contours. From the moment we first saw it in person at the New York Auto Show, we fell in love with the exterior style of this vehicle.

The Tucson is noticeably similar to the larger Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport, which is a good thing in our book, but the design works even better in this smaller package. It looks sharp from every angle, with no aesthetic weaknesses. We’re particularly fond of the 19-inch alloy wheels with their dynamic spoke design housed in forward-raking wheel arches. Crave some light-emitting diodes on your new Tucson? Hyundai provides with available high­-efficiency LED twin-projector headlights, LED headlight accents, LED tail lights, LED door handle approach lamps, and integrated LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs).


2016 Hyunda Tucson Interior 560x280If you’re looking for differences between the Tucson and it’s larger more expensive Santa Fe brothers, they can certainly be found in the interior. However we don’t think buyers will be disappointed at all with what they get for the money. Interior touch points have been upgraded with premium, soft-­touch materials compared to the outgoing model, but the quality is understandably still a step below the current Santa Fe. Heated and cooled seats along with automatic dual-climate zones made the Tucson a pleasant place to be for a day of driving, but so did the added space :

The 2016 Tucson is longer (+3.0 inch), wider (+1.1 inch) and has a longer wheelbase (+1.2 inch) than the previous model for greater interior volume and versatility. Overall, cargo room has been increased to 31.0 cubic feet (from 25.7), up more than five cubic feet over the previous model, with a dual­ level rear cargo floor further enhancing cargo­-carrying versatility.

The new Tucson comes standard with a five-inch color LCD display with touchscreen and rear-view camera. However, we highly recommend upgrading to Hyundai’s next-generation navigation system, with an advanced eight-­inch display that offers a split-­screen display with both map and music data available simultaneously. Unfortunately the Tucson only offers one USB input / charging port which is sandwiched between two older style 12V ports that we’d prefer not to use any longer.

For those who will make use of the features, it’s also important to note:

The 2016 Tucson offers the next­-generation of Hyundai Blue Link®, with enhanced safety, service and infotainment telematics. Blue Link brings seamless connectivity directly into the car with technology like remote start/stop, destination search powered by Google®, remote door lock/unlock, car finder, call roadside assistance, remote climate control and stolen vehicle recovery.


Tucson Performance 560x280We’re going to go with “surprisingly capable” to summarize the performance of the 2016 Hyundai Tucson. We only drove the 1.6-liter turbocharged, direct-injected four-cylinder engine, but honestly that’s all you should be looking to buy either. It produces 175 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft of torque with 27 combined mpg in the Sport FWD trim while the 2.0-liter engine only gives you 164 horsepower and 151 lb.-ft. of torque with 26 combined mpg on the base SE model.

The 2016 Tucson platform offers enhanced driving dynamics in a variety of ways. An increase in width and wheelbase, a more rigid chassis, stiffer suspension, improved steering feel, and more aerodynamic design combine to create a ride that is more stable, comfortable, quiet, and fun. Fun is exactly how we would describe the puddle jumping scene you see below…

Tucson Splash 560x280The Tucson is also offered with an advanced AWD system that includes driver­selectable AWD lock that allows a differentiated torque split between front and rear wheels, for off­-road and extremely slippery road conditions. Although we’ll note the model in the photo above was actually FWD and is more a demonstration of our expert driver skill, rather than the AWD system.

The system also includes Active Cornering Control, which automatically transfers torque to the wheels with the most traction. The system reduces under-steer and enhances cornering performance by braking the inside rear wheel and delivering more torque to the outside rear wheel, providing a torque­-vectoring effect. Finally, the system incorporates both Hillstart Assist and Downhill Brake Control to assist drivers facing sharp incline or decline conditions.


2016 Hyundai Tucson 4 560x280The 2016 Hyundai Tucson starts at $22,700 for a FWD SE with the 2.0L engine. The fully loaded AWD Limited trim with 1.6L Turbo engine will set you back $31,300. In between there are a variety of trims and options to satisfy any buyer, and all are competitively priced with a surprising amount of content for the money. Of course the Tucson also comes with 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.

Considering the price point, it’s tough to find much to knock on this vehicle. The 2016 Hyundai Tucson is just sporty fun done right, and we didn’t even bother to tell you about the advanced safety features (Lane Departure Warning system, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross­traffic Alert, Lane Change Assist, Backup Warning Sensors and Automatic Emergency Braking) or the segment-first seven-speed EcoShift® dual-clutch transmission. Tucson is the latest model to reaffirm why we strongly recommend most buyers look to Korea instead of Japan for reliable affordable quality these days.