The Hyundai Tucson is a crossover SUV first released in 2005. It was labeled as an entry-level SUV and marketed to people who wanted a tough, robust and spacious vehicle without burning much of a hole in their wallet. It had the bare necessities to bring people from point A to point B and nothing more. The Tucson was a good enough vehicle, but it had nothing to make it stand out in the aggressive automobile market of the United States.
2005 – 2009: First Generation
The first-generation Tucson came in three trims: GL, GLS and Limited. The GL was powered by a 140-horsepower 2.0 -liter four-cylinder engine and came with either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission. The GLS and the Limited were powered by a 173-horsepower 2.7-liter V6 engine and came with only a four-speed automatic transmission. Standard features included alloy wheels, four-wheel disc brakes, stability control and airbags. The Limited trim featured leather seats, a sunroof, climate control and an improved audio system.
The first Tucson was generally described as an adequate enough vehicle. The engine power just manages to move the vehicle though it may struggle when it comes to inclines. The V6 engine was a small improvement over the four-cylinder but it still lacked the punch. The interior is spacious though rather bare and handling was forgettable.
2010 – Present: Second generation
The current Tucson is available in three trims: GL, GLS and Limited. The GL is powered by a 165-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and comes with a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. The GLS and Limited are powered with a 176-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. They come with a six-speed automatic transmission and are available in either front-wheel or all-wheel drive variations. Standard features include air-conditioning, power accessories, tilt steering wheel and an iPod/USB audio system. The GLS has Bluetooth integration, improved suspension, cruise control and alloy wheels. The Limited offers leather seating, climate control, sun roof, 18-inch wheels and a navigation system.
The second Tucson was a big improvement over the previous one. The engine is more than adequate for the vehicle, hauling a full load of people through moderate inclines without much strain. The handling has been tightened somewhat, giving a much more controlled and responsive driving experience. The interior space is large enough to seat four adults but doesn’t leave a lot of room for everything else. The interior design is much more improved than the bare essentials of some other SUV lines.