The 2010 Hyundai Tucson, while slightly smaller than some leading compact crossover SUV competitors, makes up ground in a big way with its sporty handling, long list of features, well-equipped cabin, good gas mileage and strong value for the dollar. Anyone shopping in this segment would be well-advised to give it a serious look.
The 2010 Tucson is completely redesigned, representative of Hyundai's move away from just being the low cost competitor with a decent product. Like other Hyundai models in recent years, the Tucson has now joined the upper tier in its class, while still maintaining its budget pricing. It's sleek styling, well-designed interior and efficient new four-cylinder engine (it produces more horsepower than its old optional V6, and with better gas mileage than the old four-cylinder) has many taking notice.
Add in its surprisingly good road manners and the total package has turned the Tucson into one of sportiest compact SUVs available.
Trims, Standard Features And Options:
The 2010 Hyundai Tucson is offered in two trims: GLS and Limited.
Standard features on the already well-equipped base Tucson GLS model includes full power accessories, keyless entry, air conditioning, hill descent control, a hill-holder feature, a trip computer, a tilt steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver seat, 17 inch steel wheels and a 6-speaker audio system with a CD player, satellite radio, a USB port with an iPod interface, and auxiliary audio jack.
There's a Popular Equipment package that adds cruise control, an auto-up/down driver window, body-color heated mirrors and door handles, 17-inch alloy wheels, a tilt/telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, leatherette/cloth upholstery, Bluetooth and roof rails. The Navigation package adds everything in the Popular Equipment package plus a touchscreen navigation system, rearview camera, a 7-speaker stereo with a subwoofer and automatic headlights.
Moving up to the Tucson Limited adds all of the Popular Equipment package features, plus leather upholstery, an 8-way power driver seat, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, foglights, automatic headlights, 18 inch alloy wheels, chrome grille and door handles, a front wiper de-icer and a cargo cover.
There's also a Premium package that includes a panoramic sunroof, the navigation system, the rearview camera and an upgraded 7-speaker stereo, while dropping the roof rails.
Engines, Powertrain And Gas Mileage:
Powering the 2010 Tucson is a 2.4 liter four-cylinder engine that produces 176 horsepower and 168 pound-feet of torque ( 170 hp and 163 lb-ft of torque in California-emissions states due to its partial zero-emissions vehicle status, PZEV). A 6-speed manual transmission is standard on the front-wheel-drive GLS, while a 6-speed automatic is an available option. The 6-speed automatic is standard on the all-wheel-drive GLS and on both Limited models.
The EPA-estimated gas mileage for an automatic, front-wheel drive Tucson is a very respectable 23 mpg city and 31 mpg on the highway. The manual transmission reduces those numbers by 1 mpg, while all-wheel-drive models are rated at 21 mpg city and 28 highway.
Standard safety features on all 2010 Tucsons are also impressive, including four-wheel antilock disc brakes (ABS), traction control, stability control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags, hill holder control (prevents rolling back when on an incline) and hill descent control (automatically brakes when descending steep off-road hills).
The Tucson's cabin features a contoured twin-cowl dash and available two-tone color schemes, not something usually found in compact SUVs in this price range. It's attractive and solidly-built, while made with higher grade materials. The gauges and controls are easy to see and use, including the optional touchscreen navigation system.
Even though smaller overall than many top rivals, the backseat is quite roomy with ample leg and headroom. The seating is comfortable and supportive. Maximum cargo capacity, however, while adequate, is on the smaller side at 55.8 cubic feet (average is around 70 cubic feet).
With its nicely-weighted electric power steering system and European-styled suspension tuning, the Tucson provides a sportier and more athletic drive than other top competitors in this segment. Some might find the sporty suspension a bit firm, however, as there is a trade-off between a firmer suspension and ride softness. This is more noticable with the larger 18 inch wheels.
The majority of drivers will be satisfied with the four-cylinder's power in most circumstances, and certainly will like its fuel efficiency. However, it can sound a little loud at times when pushed hard.
How To Get The Lowest Price:
Best Negotiating Tactic: Well, there's definitely a 'best way' when it comes to new car buying. If you want to get the best bottomline, out-the-door price you need to know exactly who to talk to at the dealership, how to make the contact and how to make this person eager to quickly drop prices as low as possible to get your sale.
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