The 2011 Hyundai Tucson gets a new GL base trim level, with a smaller engine that reduces the starting price by $250 to $18,745 (last year’s GLS model started at $18,995), not including destination charges. Along with that, the existing GLS and Limited trims get significant content upgrades for 2011.
The GL trim’s engine is a 165-horsepower, 2.0-liter inline-four-cylinder that makes 146 pounds-feet of torque and is mated to a five-speed manual transmission. The GL with the manual transmission is rated 20/27 mpg city/highway; the 2010 Tucson GLS with a six-speed manual and larger 2.4-liter engine is rated 22/30 mpg. The $1,000 optional six-speed automatic transmission improves the GL’s gas mileage to 23/31 mpg, which is now the best fuel economy rating for the Tucson. (More on that later.)
Besides the downgraded performance and mileage, the GL has all the same accruements as the 2010 Tuscon GLS: air conditioning; power windows, locks and mirrors; electronic stability control; and 17-inch steel wheels. The GL is only available with front-wheel drive.
With the new GL model, the GLS has moved upmarket, now starting at $21,845 with a standard six-speed automatic. No manual transmission will be offered. That’s a price bump of $1,850 compared with the 2010 GLS with an automatic. The GLS now comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, leatherette-bolstered seats with cloth inserts, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, Bluetooth, steering-wheel mounted audio controls, cruise control, heated mirrors and tinted windows. What Hyundai has done is add the Popular Equipment Package, optional on the 2010 Tuscon GLS. Overall, you’re paying $150 more for the same equipment you could get on the 2010 model. Price increases like that between model years is not unusual.
The GLS and Limited use the same 176-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder from last year, but the gas mileage is now pegged at 22/31 mpg with front-wheel drive, a 1 mpg drop in city mileage from the 2010. The all-wheel drive models are rated 21/28 mpg, which is the same as the 2010 Tucson with all-wheel drive.
The Limited trim gains auto-dimming rearview mirrors and a premium active suspension dampening system standard. The model starts at $24,695, which is a $350 price bump.
All models get an upgraded electronic stability control system that is better integrated with the steering system. All models have a $796 destination charge. The 2011 Hyundai Tucson is already on sale at dealerships.