2016 Hyundai Tucson SE FWD (1120)


This is the 2016 Hyundai Tucson SE FWD. The Tucson has always been a nice, middle-of-the-road small crossover. For 2016 it is longer, wider, lower, and more mature. It’s got a new, more powerful engine, and it gets better fuel economy. It’s loaded with more features depending on how much money you’re willing to spend.

The consumer, I believe, although many like fancy and glitz, they really seek a competent ride with a trouble-free ownership experience. (That everyday reassurance is what made Toyota the powerhouse that it is). Now Hyundai is following the same path and has gone even further with the best warranty in the business. That is possible because they provide a basic quality car and that is a good thing because even a good warranty is a pain in the rear to have to use. Better it is a good reliable car that needs no dealer intervention. Finally the Tucson’s 2016 redesign simply means it has grown up.

General Information: It is assembled in Ulsan, Korea; Parts – US/Canadian 0%, Korea 93%; Engine and transmission – Korea;Classification is Small SUV. Cars from Hyundai: Accent, Azera, Elantra, Elantra Touring, Equus, Genesis, Genesis Coupe, Santa Fe,Sonata, Sonata Hybrid, Tucson, Tucson Fuel Cell, Veloster.

Handling & Performance:

Two powertrains are available: the 2.0-liter four-cylinder with a six-speed automatic transmission that I tested. It comes only on the base SE trim and a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic comes with three up-level trims. Although the Turbo is a smaller engine, the turbo makes it a better performer.

The SE does 0-60 mph in 9.7 seconds, so it will strain a bit to get up to freeway speed. You may prefer the Turbo, as I do, but the SE gets better mileage, tying the Subaru Forester at 26 mpg overall.

Handling is, non-the-less responsive enough as it absorbs most bumps and ruts pretty well and perhaps more important braking is excellent.


I prefer a bit larger car, but in class this is competitive. It feels roomy and spacious for a compact SUV. The cabin offers easy access and a family-friendly rear seat. Head and knee room are generous; even short drivers can sit up high with a good view out the front. The interior is quiet in a segment that is typically not so hushed.

Fit and Finish:

The cabin trim is simple but neat. All of the door-panel plastics are hard; the dashboard has some soft-touch material beneath the windshield. Components fit together well, with minimal gaps. Not flashy, just competent.


Very well priced.

Conveniences and comfort:

The seats are sufficient for short travels but some feel the bottom cushioning needs more support on longer trips. My typical commute is 50 miles so I made no observation that may be evident if you drive all day.

The cargo area can swallow three large suitcases.

In a time when the infotainment systems are becoming super capable Hyundai’s controls are a model of simplicity. Setting up the Bluetooth hands free is very intuitive and tuning the radio or operating the NAV system is light years better than many cars.

The Hyundai Tucson is an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick Plus, thanks to good crash-test results. They also have available crash-avoidance features.

Drive Mode Select adjusts both engine mapping and steering effort to match your driving style. Select from three modes: Eco, Normal or Sport by simply touching a button on the center console.

Consumer Recommendations:

Recognized Competition:

Hyundai Tucson $23,000, Kia Optima $23,000, Subaru Forester $23,000, Mazda CX-5 $24,000, Jeep Patriot $24,000, Ford Escape $24,000, VW Tiguan$26,000.

Good News:

Affordable, decent fuel economy, well made and best warranty.

Bad News:

A bit underpowered (Turbo better if rapid acceleration wanted).

Standard Equipment:

2.0 liter 165 hp 4-cylinder engine, 6-speed auto transmission, drive mode select, stability and traction control, 4-wheel power assist ABS disc brakes with brake force distribution, downhill brake control and hillstart control, front, side and side curtain airbags with rollover sensors, tire pressure monitor with individual wheel sensors, 17” alloy wheels, driver’s blind spot mirror, front solar glass and rear privacy glass, rear spoiler with LED brake light, variable intermittent windshield wipers, remote keyless entry with alarm, 60/40 split folding rear seat with recline and center armrest, power windows and locks, heated side mirrors, air conditioning, 2 – 12 volt power outlets with one in the cargo area, 3.5” LCD multi-information display, tilt and telescopic steering wheel with audio, cruise and phone contols, bluetooth hands free phone system, 5” color touchscreen audio display with rear view camera, AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system, iPod & USB and Aux input jacks, Sirius XM radio with 3 monthstrial, intermittent rear window wiper washer.

Gas Stats:

$2.85 Gal avg. December 27, 2015


for more information.

23 City and 31 Highway MPG


MSRP $22,700.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
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