We had high hopes for the Hyundai Tucson when we did a first drive back in August 2015. But when we did our full review last April, we ended it by saying the model wasn’t “the slam dunk we thought it was.” This was due to some key issues such as a small cargo area, a tough value argument and a dual-clutch transmission having some hesitating issues. A year later, we find ourselves revisiting the Tucson. There has been a software update to the transmission, along with some minor changes to the infotainment system and interior.
- A quick refresher on the Tucson’s powertrain lineup: A 2.0L four-cylinder producing 164 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque is used on the base SE and SE Plus. The rest of the Tucson lineup features a turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder with 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic comes standard on the 2.0L, while the turbo 1.6 gets a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
- The engine does show some turbo lag when leaving a stop, but it will soon pick up steam and move the Tucson at a pretty decent rate. The engine doesn’t feel overtaxed when you need to make a pass.
- The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission still has issues. While Hyundai has reduced some of the hesitation issues we experienced in the last Tucson via a software update, there is still a fair amount of this when leaving from a dead stop. We also noticed some rough upshifts during our week.
- At least the ride and handling characteristics have not changed since our last test. The Tucson still provides one of the smoothest rides in the class, even with the Limited’s 19-inch wheels. It doesn’t flinch when going around a corner as body motions are kept in check. A Mazda CX-5 would be more fun to drive as it is quicker when transitioning from one corner to another and the steering has the right amount of weight and feel. Road and wind noise are kept to very acceptable levels.
- The interior remains mostly unchanged except for a couple of minor things. The 8-inch touchscreen system now features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. We’re impressed with how fast the system was able to find the iPhone and bring up the CarPlay interface. The other change deals with more soft-touch materials being added to various parts of the interior. There is still a fair amount of hard plastics, even on the high-end Limited model which is very disappointing.
- There is still a lot to like about the Tucson’s interior. Space is plentiful for those sitting in the front or rear seats, even with the optional panoramic sunroof. The list of standard equipment is quite extensive as well. Limited models get automatic headlights, power and heated front seats, an 8-speaker Infinity sound system, dual-zone automatic climate control, proximity key with push-button start, and blind-spot monitoring.
- Cargo space still trails competitors with only 31 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 61.9 cubic feet when folded. The CR-V offers 35.2 and 70.9 cubic feet respectively.
- The Limited seen here came with a $35,210 as-tested price, which is about average for a fully-loaded crossover in this class. But the Tucson becomes a bit of a tough sell when dropping to the lower trims as you cannot get certain features. As we noted in our full review last year, “if you want navigation or dual-zone climate control on the Sport, you’re out of luck.”
- Despite some of the changes made for 2017, our verdict is much the same as the 2016 Tucson. There is a lot to like about the Tucson, but there are still some issues the company needs to address - smoothing out the dual-clutch and trying to make the model a better value.
Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Tucson, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
Trim: Limited AWD
Engine: Turbocharged 1.6L GDI Four-Cylinder
Driveline: Seven-Speed Dual-Clutch Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
Horsepower @ RPM: 175 @ 5,500
Torque @ RPM: 195 @ 1,500-4,500
Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 24/28/25
Curb Weight: 3,686 lbs
Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, South Korea
Base Price: $31,175
As Tested Price: $35,201 (Includes $895.00 Destination Charge)
Ultimate Package - $2,750.00
Cargo Cover - $190.00
Reversible Cargo Tray - $100.00
Rear Bumper Applique - $70.00
First Aid Kit - $30.00