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UNDER THE TUCSON SUN

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Sat, Aug 7, 2010

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

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By Paul Robinson The newly redesigned 2010 Hyundai Tucson is bigger, stronger, better-looking and more efficient—making it an excellent addition to the competitive compact SUV Market. The 2010 Tucson is more refined in its styling, while the new 2.4-liter four-cylinder adds both more power and better fuel economy. The compact SUV market historically has consisted of small boxy vehicles with generally poor fuel economy and a lack of on and off road performance. The 2010 Tucson is here to change that stereotype.

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The new design is radically different than the previous Tucson. The designers in the Hyundai Frankfurt Studio did away with the traditional boxy look and replaced it with refined, sporty lines. The new front end has a sloping hood meeting with a two-piece grille and headlights stretching back into the front fenders. The wide stance and sloping roofline give the Tucson a much more aggressive appearance, and also stop the Tucson from looking top heavy, as many of the compact SUV’s tend to look. The Tucson and the rest of the compact SUVs have a tough order to fill, as they need to be capable off-road vehicles and also comfortable for the highway. Most compact SUVs will never see the trail. The Tucson was designed to do both and there are some noticeable compromises in terms of on road ride quality. Surprisingly, there is very little body roll in turns. However, the stiff suspension and firm seats let you know when you hit some uneven pavement.

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The interior adds to the stiff feel of the Tucson being mostly made of hard surfaces, but it is designed with the driver in mind. The seats, although firm, are very comfortable. There is a surprising amount of room in the back seats and rear cargo area making a trip for four adults from Orange County to the Hollywood Bowl a comfortable ride. The Tucson is very spacious for a Compact SUV, and unlike many vehicles I never feel cramped. There is more than enough headroom—even for a NFL lineman. For my long daily commute on the 405, the Tucson is packed with options—including a great sound and navigation systems. I am never out of musical options with XM Satellite radio, an iPOD, and USB input. The premium audio system with its 360 watt external amplifier and subwoofer have a great sound. Even at high volume, there is little apparent distortion.

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The new Tucson also has a new engine with both more power and better fuel economy. The 176 horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder linked to a six-speed automatic transmission allows the Tucson to have great passing ability and excellent fuel mileage at 23 miles per gallon in the city and 28 on the highway for the all-wheel drive model. Fuel economy has always been a downside of the SUV market. Hyundai has given the Tucson the size and capability of an SUV and the efficiency of a car.

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SUMMARY JUDGMENT: Move over Honda and Toyota, Hyundai’s arrived. For more information about Hyundai products, go to hyundaiusa.com

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SPECIFICATIONS Name: 2010 Hyundai Tucson Price: $26,090.00 EPA fuel economy rating: 21 mpg city/28 mpg highway Engine: 2.4-liter 16-valve in-line four cylinder engine Horsepower: 176 hp @ 6000 rpm Torque: 168 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm Drive configuration: Front engine, All wheel drive Transmission: 6-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC® Suspension: 4-wheel independent suspension: MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear Wheels/tires: 17" aluminum-alloy wheels Brakes: 4-wheel disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS): Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist Dimensions Overall length: 173.2 inches Overall width: 71.7 inches Overall height: 66.3 inches Curb weight: 3,382 pounds

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