All Tucson drivers can use the Eco Indicator, part of the standard trip computer, which glows green when the driver is driving efficiently.

In its dramatic redesign which employs the automaker's "fludic sculpture" design philosophy, the Tucson appears to have lost some rear visibility, but prospective owners will most likely forgive Hyundai's designers. The more you look at the new Tucson, the easier it is to understand what was more than likely the goal of the new design: Make the Tucson look more crossover-like and less rugged.

The new Tuscon's transformation is more striking inside. Sure, we're basing this comparison on a 2010 Tucson with the optional 6.5-in. navigation screen, but the look is still much more modern. Hyundai tells us the cloth seats have a hexagonal pattern incorporated into the fabric that matches the two-part grille. A two-piece panoramic sunroof is new and, along with features like the touchscreen-activated navigation system and rear-view camera, CleanAir Ionizer, Downhill Brake Control, Hillstart Assist Control, heated leather seats. We expect an all-wheel drive Tucson with all the bells and whistles to approach the $30,000 threshold.

Yes, there could be some cannibalization for the soon-to-be refreshed Santa Fe SUV, but the Tucson is strictly a two-row crossover, unlike its midsize sibling. A better comparison is with the old Tucson and the Hyundai's crowded compact crossover competitors. The new Tucson is 3.3 in. longer and 1.0 in. wider than its predecessor but 1.8 in. shorter, including the roof rails. The Tucson's 34.7-ft. turning radius is about the same as that of the Toyota RAV4 and is more nimble than the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, and Nissan Rogue.

More precise handling is made possible on the 2010 Tucson by a number of changes including larger stabilizer bars front and rear. The Tucson uses a MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension. Steering is electrically powered and we hope that this system is better than most of the new fuel-saving electric power steering units we've tested.