The 2012 Hyundai Tucson returns much the same, offering a roomy cabin and cargo space for it class, many standard features and great fuel economy. When the first Hyundai Tucson arrived here in the U.S. in 2005, it shared many design cues seen elsewhere in the Hyundai lineup, including exaggerated wheel arches and a creased hood. The overall result was a model that looked like a miniature Santa Fe, but with smoother lines.
The second-generation Hyundai Tucson arrived slightly larger in 2010 and has made a comfortable slot for itself with some added features and improved styling. A refresh of the current Tucson is expected in 2013. The Tucson was one of the first Hyundais to reflect the company's "fluidic sculpture" design philosophy.
There are two four-cylinder engines to choose from, either a 2.0-liter or 2.4-liter; the base transmission is a five-speed manual, with a 6-speed automatic as an option. Available models are the GL, GLS, and Limited; the 2.0-liter is only offered in the GL.
Bodystyles: Crossover SUV
Engines: 2.0-liter inline-4, 2.4-liter inline-4
Transmissions: five-speed manual, six-speed automatic
Models: GL, GLS, Limited
The 2012 Tucson has slightly improved what was already good fuel economy, getting up to 32 mpg highway on the GLS and Limited trims on the automatic transmission. The automatic transmissions employ an active ECO system that modifies the engine's functions to maximize fuel efficiency. More changes will come for the 2013 models.
The new Tucson reflects Hyundai's "fluidic sculpture" design philosophy, with curved bodylines and a youthful look. Crisp lines define the vehicle's style, as does the bold front end with its hexagonal grille, aggressive lower intake and sculpted hood. The Tucson features 18-inch alloy wheels.
The Tucson's cabin is as modern looking as the body, with attractive touches throughout. There is sufficient legroom for a variety of drivers, and an overall roomy feel. The controls are easily discernible. Leather is standard on the Limited. So is the dual-zone climate control with a CleanAir Ionizer, cruise control, and heated front seats.
Performance & Handling
The Tucson is impressively quick considering its engine and class. Hyundai's extensive use of lightweight steel helps reduce curb weight and keeps the crossover agile. The 2.4-liter engine pushes the Tucson to 60 mph in 8.8 seconds and through the quarter-mile in 16.7 seconds at 82.8 mph; it stops from 60 mph in 120 feet.
All 2012 Tucsons come standard with electronic stability control and traction control. Also included are four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, and downhill brake assist. Six airbags are standard: dual front, driver and front-passenger side, and front and rear curtains with rollover sensor.
EPA Fuel Economy
2.0-liter: 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway (manual); 23 mpg city/31 mpg highway (automatic)
2.4-liter (FWD): 22-23 mpg city/31-32 mpg highway (automatic)
2.4-liter (AWD): 21 mpg city/28 mpg highway (automatic)
- Good performance
- Standard features
- Fuel economy
You Won't Like
- Artificial steering
- Some cheap plastics
Close to the top of its class
If You Like This Vehicle
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