2016 Hyundai Tucson First Look
Small Crossover Gets A Big Upgrade
Although the current Hyundai Tucson has only been out since the 2010 model year, within just a few years, it has started to look a little dated. This is not any fault of its own but rather the hyper-competitive compact crossover segment, which, in the time since the Tucson was introduced, is now populated with an all-new Ford Escape, the Mazda CX-5, a redesigned Toyota RAV4, and Honda CR-V. Hyundai knew if it hoped to make any major impact in this cutthroat segment, it had better bring its A-game, and by all indications, it has with the 2016 Tucson.
Taking the LEDLED lighting in cars is nothing earth-shatteringly new, but with each new model introduction, we see its use expand into more mass-market segments. The new Tucson utilizes the high-tech illumination liberally, with available LED headlights, headlight accents, running lights, taillights and interior lighting. Further emphasizing the new Tucson’s upscale ambitions are an available power passenger seat and a much more premium interior, with greater use of soft-touch materials, a standard 5-inch touchscreen display, and an optional 8-inch display on models with navigation. The new larger display also features integrated Pandora audio streaming, Yelp reviews, and Apple Siri Eyes-Free functionality for iPhone users. The top-shelf audio system features 405 watts and eight speakers. The new display also now features a split screen function simultaneously showing map and audio information.
Strategic use of acoustic foam, high-strength steel, and bushing-mounted crossmembers increases chassis stiffness as well as reducing road and resonance noise. Although reducing weight is an increasingly major priority for many automakers, the new Tucson is slightly heavier than its predecessor but not grossly so, with weight increasing between 5 and 50 pounds, depending on trim, which a reasonable gain considering the significantly higher level of equipment and content on the new model.
Underhood, the base 164 hp, 151–lb-ft 2.0L I-4 engine carries over, with enhancements to improve fuel economy, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The new Eco, Sport, and Limited models get a 1.6L turbocharged, direct-injected I-4 making 175 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque, mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. On the Eco front-wheel-drive model, the new powertrain is expected to deliver 26 mpg city and 33 mpg highway. The fuel tank is now 1.1 gallons larger for a total capacity of 16.4 gallons. Helping aid in fuel efficiency is a sleeker 0.33 coefficient of drag (Cd).
Safety FirstAs it is in most SUVs and crossovers, safety is a big priority in the new Tucson, with available automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, blind spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, backup warning sensors, and backup camera. On models equipped with the automatic braking feature, Hyundai expects to earn a TSP+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The 2016 Tucson is slightly larger than its predecessor in nearly every measure but is still firmly in the compact size of the spectrum, with an overall length of 176.2 inches, an increase of three over last year’s model, and a 1.2-inch longer wheelbase. Width also increases by about one inch. The larger size translates to a 5 cubic foot larger cargo area, now with a 31 cubic foot capacity. Getting to that cargo area is now easier than ever thanks to Hyundai’s available hands-free power liftgate, which only requires the driver to stand within proximity of the rear tailgate for a few moments with the key fob in their pocket or purse.
The 2016 Tucson will be in dealerships starting in July 2015. Pricing will be announced closer to its on-sale date.