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By Cars.com Staff
August 27, 2008
Vehicle Overview The Tucson is Hyundai's smallest SUV, intended to compete with the Ford Escape and Honda CR-V. Trim levels include the GLS, SE and Limited. There is a choice of either a four-cylinder or V-6 engine, and a manual transmission is available for four-cylinder models. Both versions can be equipped with front-wheel drive or optional four-wheel drive. The Tucson seats five.
New for 2009 The Tucson gets a bolder front grille and rear treatment, a tweaked transmission management system and torque converter said to improve fuel economy. Upper-level models gain standard luxury features.
Exterior A single-bar grille contains the Hyundai logo. Riding a 103.5-inch wheelbase, the Tucson is 170.3 inches long and 66.1 inches tall. The base GLS is 70.7 inches wide, but the uplevel versions have plastic wheel-well flares for a rugged appearance, extending the width to 72.1 inches. Compared to its Ford and Honda competitors, the Tucson is the shortest in length but close in width. With the roof rails, the Tucson stands 2 inches taller than the CR-V.
Standard 16-inch alloy wheels
New, bolder front grille and rear treatment
Fog lamps on SE and Limited
Power sunroof standard on Limited V-6 models
Interior The Tucson's five-passenger interior has 22.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seat up and 65.5 cubic feet with the seat down. Standard equipment includes power windows and locks, heated mirrors, air conditioning and an intermittent rear wiper. Available features on other trims include a leather-wrapped steering wheel, keyless entry with alarm and cruise control. Fully loaded Tucsons have heated leather seats, automatic climate control and a six-CD stereo. A new 200-watt Kenwood Navigation/Audio system with 700 MB of internal memory, SD card slot, and touch-screen functionality is standard on the Limited and optional on the GLS and SE.
60/40-split flat-folding rear seat
Easy-to-clean plastic cargo floor with multiple tie-down locations
Standard AM/FM/XM Satellite Radio/CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary input jack
Under the Hood A 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that uses continuously variable valve timing is standard. In uplevel trims, a 2.7-liter V-6 engine is offered. The available four-wheel-drive system can divert up to 50 percent of available power to the rear wheels in response to changing road conditions or torque demand. A button lets the driver lock the driveline into a 50/50 torque split. Hyundai says engine improvements and the transmission management system should improve fuel economy for the four-cylinder engine and increase city mileage for all-wheel-drive V-6 models.
140-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 136 pounds-feet of torque
173-hp, 2.7-liter V-6 with 178 pounds-feet of torque
Shiftronic four-speed automatic or five-speed manual