First Drive: 2016 Hyundai Tucson US-spec

by Jul 28, 2015All News, Hyundai, Reviews4 comments

2016 Hyundai Tucson

Hyundai invited us to the sunny city of Minneapolis to test drive the All-New 2016 Hyundai Tucson with all new features exploring the state if Minnesota and Winsconsin through all different types of roads.

[ads id=”0″ style=”float:left;padding:9px;”]Upon my arrival my limo driver took me to the Commons Hotels at the University of Minnesota campus, a great hotel and location for this event. We had dinner at the McNamara Alumni Center, a really crazy design I must say, with the bloggers from the previous wave. As always we enjoyed some excellent food and great chat with all the bloggers.

Inside the McNamara center we also find the Heritage Gallery, a multimedia museum with some of the accomplishments of University of Minnesota alumni but what really grabbed my attention was the Wall of Books, which is esentially a wall full of books some written by members of the university community and second copies of doctoral dissertations from the University Library.

Next day early morning we had the All-New 2016 Hyundai Tucson presentation with great displays of some of the Tucson’s improvements like the strengthened metals, comparison between competitors steering wheel, small room what you could fit in the new cargo space and Blue Link presentation.


The 2016 Hyundai Tucson is now bigger in size with an overall length increased of 3″, width over 1″ and reducing the height by 0.4″ but improving in the aerodynamic performance with 0.33. When it comes to design the new Tucson is based on the Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 using the sleek, modern look and premium ambiance also found on the Genesis Sedan.

On the front you have the option of LED Twin-Projector headlights, LED daytime running lights and the signature Hexagonal grille. At the back you find the LED tailights (almost identical to the Genesis sedan and I love it), chrome-tipped dual exhaust and spoiler that improves on the aerodynamics.

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Let’s not forget about the wheels, it’s comes with a very 19″ allow wheels with an interesting design that I’m sure lots of car enthusiast might just leave them instead of replacing them.

One of the best features has to be the hands-free smart liftgate (also found at the Genesis Sedan) you only have to be within 3 feet for 3+ seconds and automatically opens the liftgate and even better you can program the height by holding the button for couple seconds.


The inside felt very roomy and no problems with the roof even though it was reduced. First thing i have to start with is the huge Panoramic sunroof found at the Limited trim, it’s stretches to the second row giving a great view of the outside.

Unfortunately unless you get the Limited edition which combines leather and the plastic, when I first drove the Sport trim the plastic used on the dashboard, door panels felt and looked very inexpensive as is common with other hyundai models and not very scratch resistant.

Photo Credit : Hyundai

[ads id=”0″ style=”float:left;padding:9px;”]One thing you’ll definitely enjoy will be the steering wheel, Hyundai showed 2 different steering wheels from the competition and the feel of the new Tucson steering wheel is very soft and comfortable, I can say for sure you’ll love this new steering wheel hopefully it won’t scratch very easily like some other models do.

The driver has a 10-way power seat and the passenger 8-way power seat with ventilated front seats ( a must have and also 1st on the segment) and heated front and rear seats.

The cargo room on the Tucson has also been improved with a result of 31.0 cu. ft. thats an additional 5.3 from the previous model and Hyundai pointed out it has more cargo room than the Infiniti QX70, Porsche Cayenne and BMW X5. Also you can get an additional 2″ Cargo by sliding the floor onto a second level and it can easily be done with one hand sliding it out and in.

Engine and Performance

We find the Nu 2.0L GDI with 164 HP @5200 RPM and 151 lb-ft @ 4000 RPM paired up with the 6 speed transmission. For fuel economy we get 23 MPG in city and 31 MPG in HWY and 26 MPG combined with 1 MPG improvement from last year. We got to drive this engine for a short period and even tho the engine was fine enough, I had no fun driving this engine.

Next we have the Gamma 1.6L Turbo GDI with 175 HP @ 5500 RPM and 195 lb-ft @1500-4500 RPM paired up with the new 7-speed DCT. Now for fuel economy, with the ECO trim we get 26 MPG from city, 33 MPG on Hwy and 29 MPG combined with 5 MPG improvement from the previous Tucson.

Hyundai tucson

Photo Credit : Sasaki Time

For the Sport & Limited trim they make 25 MPG on city, 30 MPG on Hwy and 27 MPG combined, and again that’s 3 MPG improvement over the previous Tucson. I’m sure everyone is going to be pleased with these new MPG numbers. My first thought for the Gamma Turbo engine on the Tucson it was going to feel underpower due to the size of the CUV but to my surprise it was not but if you want to have some extra fun, switching to Sport mode gives that extra power you by delaying the upshift and quickly down shifting at the request of the pedal.

With the 7-speed DCT transmission helps eliminating the torque transfer interruption during shifts also reducing the 0-60 accelaration time. The acceleration was very smooth and as well as going thru gear on automatic as well as using the shifter to manual change gears. Another great feature has to be the AWD system Dynamax made by Magna (also found at the Genesis Sedan).

Smaller engine can be noisy from time to time but Hyundai made sure you can’t hear your engine by improving their sound dampening materials and adding an integrated dual member at the wheel house panel for road noise, all these improvement made the Tucson beat the competition in all 3 aspects, Wind Noise (67.2 dBA), Road Noise(65.5 dBA) and Idle noise (61.7 dBA).

The suspension is also improved with a 4-point bushing mounts reducing road noise and increase ride comfort, shock absorber strut rod diameter improving handling, Hydraulic rebound spring minimizing shock and a new hollow stabilizer bar reducing some of the weight.


You’ll love how the Tucson has improved in so many different aspect, for the example 51% of high-strenght steel (33% more than previous model) is now found in the chasis and 34.0 body rigidity ( 11.0 more than previous mode). More improvements can be found on the chasis with a straightened A-pillar, C/D pillars more resistant to Torsional forces, strengthened floor connectors areas, passenger cabin hot stamping application, load path added to driver side foot well. Let’s not forget the side curtain airbags are present at the front, front side and side with rollover sensors.

Some of the greatest features also incorporated on the New Tucson is the lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, Blind Spot detection, lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alert.

Prices, Trims and Colors

The base SE model price starts at 22,700 for FWD and SE popular FWD at 23,450 and AWD 24,850. The ECO model with FWD is 24,150 and the AWD 25,550. The Sport model with FWD is 26,150 and AWD 27,550. And last is the Limited model, FWD is 29,900 and AWD 31,300 last but not least the Limited Ultimate FWD 32,650 and AWD 34,050. All prices excludes 850 freight charges.

For colors we see again the Winter White and Ash Black but now we have 6 new colors, starting with the Chromiun Silver, Coliseum Gray, Ruby Wine, Mojave Sand, Sedona Sunset and Caribbean Blue (also found exclusively on the Kia Soul EV)

Final Thoughts

Currently the market for light trucks has increase to 10.7% but Hyundai CUVs went down to 14.5% due to constrained CUV production. Hyundai with the new Tucson for sure will try to gain some of the lost shares on the market and by how it perfomed is just matter of time until they make it.

Hyundai has done a great job designing the new Tucson, even tho there are some similarities with the Santa Fe sport, some of the new technologies and upgrades found sets the Tucson apart from the big brother. We drove the Tucson to many different types of roads, on the smooth and no pot holes ( i was very surprise by these roads even tho they were on the country), also the pot holes and the off road in which the Tucson performed very well, i couldnt hear any unwanted noise and could easily talk to my passengers without raising my voice. One thing i sure missed was the smart cruise control which was not offered even on the Limited package, knowing this is a family car and more than likely it’ll see many miles on the road i wished Hyundai would add that very needed feature.

Im sure a lot of families will now have Hyundai on the list for their new Crossover and with its starting point of 22,700 there are many reason to test drive one. Hyundai mention the new Tucson will be available by the end of this summer.

Written by Erick Uceda

Blogger, Photographer, Car Enthusiast, HanFest - KDM Car Show, Streetkiaz Texas Chapter Leader, Husband and Father. Some of the activities I enjoy doing everyday.

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