By Cars.com EditorsOctober 9, 2015
About the video
Hyundai promises new styling, better fuel efficiency thanks to a new optional turbo engine and finally some much-needed ride refinement in the redesigned-for-2016 Tucson SUV. Watch the video to see how the automaker pulled it off.
(engine revving) Hyundai promises new styling, better fuel efficiency, thanks to a new optional turbo engine. And finally, some much needed ride refinement in the redesigned 2016 Tucson. Let's see how the automaker pulled it off.
Now the new Tucson loses some of its cute Ute styling for a much brawnier expression here upfront. Check out this grill. It's much lower and wider across the front of the car. Also, these headlights have these new LEDs that tuck kind of nicely in and sweep up in sort of a more angry expression toward the fenders. I'm not wild about this black fender cladding here, but overall tight proportions, small overhangs, a high belt line. A very good looking redesign for Hyundai. Falls right in line with the Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport. (upbeat music) Now the redesigned interior in our limited grade test car here has really outstanding cabin materials. Soft stuff where your arms and your elbows land. A nice high quality woven headliner up to. An eight inch touchscreen here with very intuitive menu structures. Easy to use knobs and controls here down the center stack. Lots of storage areas. Nice cubbies here ahead of the cup holders, and a pretty good sized center console here. A lot of premium options too you don't often get in this segment. Things like ventilated seats, a height adjustable front passenger seat, a panoramic moon roof. A lot of mainstream competitors don't offer those features. Now, a few low points here. Visibility, a little bit of a mixed bag. It's good out front, but you turn around and you look back, there's a rear center seatbelt that's kind of anchored in the ceiling. That kind of gets in your way looking straight out the back window. Those D pillars back there, they do kind of swallow up some of the rear quarter windows as well. Also, I don't feel like I'm really sitting in these seats. I feel like I'm more sitting kind of on them. They allow a lot of lateral movement. The leather is kind of tough. Not the most comfortable set up there. And one editor who's driven other trim levels below the limited, notes that in sub-limited trims, Hyundai does swap out a lot of the materials for some kind of cheaper stuff. So keep an eye out for that. Now Hyundai says backseat leg room in the new Tucson has actually decreased, but that's an example of where specs can mislead you. I'm six feet tall. That's where I'd sit to drive. Tons of leg room here and pretty good headroom left over. And a pretty nice, high seating position off the ground all things considered. For this class, a very good setup in this new Tucson. Extra cargo room for 2016 now. 31 cubic feet behind the rear seats. About 62 cubic feet with those seats folded. The former number up about five cubic feet over the last Tucson. Still pretty small though in a segment of compact SUVs. Now there's a dual level load floor. It allows you to have a flat loading surface, or you can drop it down here if you just want maximum vertical height. Kind of cool, but the total difference seems like about an inch and a half or so. So also kind of lame. Now the Tucson starts out a little bit busy at low speeds. It does smooth out in terms of suspension refinement at higher speeds, but that also introduces a little bit of tire noise in our test car. Overall though, a pretty good setup versus the last Tucson, which was definitely choppy kind of at all speeds. Power in our test car comes from a 1.6 liter turbo four cylinder. It makes 175 horsepower and pairs with a seven speed dual clutch automatic transmission. That's actually the setup for all but the base Tucson, which gets a larger non-turbo force on it. Pretty good setup here. Decent power overall, and a much smoother shifting automatic transmission than we've been accustomed to in the past from dual clutch autos. Now steering and handling, a little bit of vagueness. Not the best feedback from the steering wheel in the new Tucson. The old Tucson, actually for all that it kind of punished you on the ride front, it actually handled pretty well. This seems a little bit softer to be sure. Kind of more generic in terms of handling. (engine humming) EPA combined gas mileage for the Tucson is as high as 29 miles per gallon. That's very good, but that's only for the front wheel drive eco trim. Some of the other trims get as low as 23 miles per gallon, all the way up to 27. So a little bit less competitive there. But overall, the Tucson is stylish, refined, and fairly comfortable on the inside. Definitely something to consider if you're looking at the Santa Fe Sport or many of those other compact SUVs on the market. (upbeat music) (trunk slamming)