The Hyundai Tucson is a compact crossover sold only with a five-door SUV body style. The vehicle pairs a front engine design with either front-wheel or four-wheel drive. With two engine options, purchasers can opt for the cheapest base model or a more-expensive model with increased horsepower. While the Tucson can seat five people, cargo space is relatively limited because the vehicle is the smallest model in Hyundai's crossover product line.
Hyundai offers GL, GLS or Limited trim levels for the Tucson. The Tucson's GL trim has a standard four-cylinder engine that puts out 165 horsepower. Manual transmission GLs should receive 20 miles per gallon in the city and 27 on the highway, while the automatic transmission version should reach 23 miles per gallon for city driving and 31 on the highway. The GLS and Limited trims also have a four-cylinder engine, but produces 176 horsepower. The front-wheel drive GLS and Limited trims should make 22 miles per gallon in city driving and 31 on the highway. Four-wheel drive GLS and Limited trims receive 21 miles per gallon under city conditions and 28 on the highway. The Tucson seats five. Hyundai designed and assembles the Tucson in South Korea.
The Tucson was initially launched in 2004, sharing its base platform with the Elantra and Kia Sportage. It was Hyundai's first model to enter the compact crossover market. Critics and buyers found the first generation Tucson to have a poor-quality interior and an unexciting look. In 2010, Hyundai gave the Tucson a restyled interior and exterior, along with upgraded engine options. Sales have increased dramatically following the redesign.
The GL has 17-inch steel wheels, powered accessories and key-free entry. The audio system has six speakers and is linked to a CD player and satellite radio. The GLS trim upgrades the wheels to 17-inch cast-aluminum, moves audio controls onto the steering wheel and installs bluetooth capabilities. Four-wheel drive GLS models have heated seats for the driver and front passenger. A Navigation package is optional and installs a touchscreen navigation system. A rear-view camera is also included in the package to help drivers with reverse driving. The Limited trim has 18-inch cast-aluminum wheels, full leather upholstery and a refined suspension system.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Tucson a Top Safety Pick. The Tucson earned five star ratings for the NHTSA's front and side crash tests. Consumer Reports named the 2009 Tucson one of the most reliable vehicles for the model year. Canadian Car of the Year gave the Tucson its Best New Crossover award for 2005. Independent automotive reviews have been impressed by the second-generation Tucson's performance and interior design, but mentioned that the ride can be rough.
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