2010 Hyundai Tucson
One way for car companies to become more "green" is to reduce cylinder counts while doing everything possible not to sacrifice power. Hyundai has gone that route with its redesigned 2010 Hyundai Tucson, eliminating the V-6 engine option and leaving a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that makes 176 horsepower--three more than the 2009 V-6's 173--as the only powertrain choice.
Green Car Reports usually quotes the EPA when it comes to fuel economy numbers, but those aren't finalized yet. Hyundai is promising a fuel-economy range of 21-23 mpg city and 28-31 mpg highway, depending on whether the vehicle is equipped with the 6-speed manual transmission or the available 6-speed automatic.
When it comes to model configurations, Hyundai is keeping it simple. There are only two trim levels--GLS and Limited. The GLS is the "base" trim level, and it's what Hyundai expects will be the volume seller. The uplevel Limited will offer more features and creature comforts--but both trims are available with all-wheel drive.
Price of entry for a manual-transmission GLS is $18,995--add $1,000 for the automatic. In order to get all-wheel drive, one must select the Popular Equipment Package (17-inch wheels, wireless cell phone link, and other features) and all-wheel drive is not available with manual-transmission vehicles. The base price for a top-of-the-line Limited with the Premium Package (sunroof, navigation system, rearview camera, et cetera) is $28,695. Destination fee on all models is $795.
The 2010 Tucson has freshened styling, and it has an international design background--it was conceptualized in the U.S., underwent final design in Frankfurt, Germany, and is built in Korea. How does this globalized small crossover function on the road?
I was able to test three models--a Limited with front-wheel drive, a GLS with all-wheel drive, and a GLS with front-wheel drive and the manual transmission--on the expressways and back roads of Chicago's tony near-western suburbs. My first seat time came in the Limited, which comes standard with features like 18-inch wheels, heated front seats, an audio system with MP3 capability, a USB port, and an auxiliary jack; a power drivers' seat, leather seats, keyless entry, fog lamps, a cargo cover, and a front windshield de-icer. The base price for this trim was $24,345. The options list was restricted to the $2,850 Premium Package and $100 carpeted floor mats, for a total--with destination--of $28,090.