The 60/40 folding rear seats are clad in leatherette. Our 6-ft-plus friends had no problem fitting inside with ample room, thanks to the model's extra 3.3 in. in length and 1 in. in width over the outgoing model. Cargo room was never a problem during our last-minute holiday shopping. Granted, its volume with passengers in tow (25.7 cu ft) is smaller than that of the Honda CR-V (35.7 cu ft) or Chevy Equinox (31.4 cu ft) and could pose a foreseeable problem when transporting containers bigger than our small-to-medium sized gifts. However, the Tucson is shorter than the Honda by 6.1 in. and the Chevrolet by a whopping 14.6 in., so the days of averting mall parking spaces labeled "Compact" are over.

So is the 2010 Tucson what Hyundai needs to grow its meager 2-percent CUV market share in America? Considering all the factors, the simple answer is "Yes." We can't wait to put the new Tucson up against some of its hottest new adversaries, so stay glued to MT Online for the full report.

2010 Hyundai Tucson GLS FWD
Base price range $19,995
Price as tested $22,590
Vehicle layout Front-engine, FWD, 5-pass, 4-door, SUV
Engine 2.4L/176-hp/168-lb-ft DOHC 16-valve 4-cyl
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Curb weight (mfr) 3203 lb
Wheelbase 103.9 in
Length x width x height 173.2 x 71.7 x 66.3 in
0-60 mph 8.2 sec
Quarter mile 16.3 sec @ 83.9 mph
Braking, 60-0 mph 122 ft
Lateral acceleration 0.77 g (avg)
MT Figure Eight 28.6 sec @ 0.57 g (avg)
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 23/31 mpg (est)
CO2 emissions 0.75 lb/mile