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    William Maley

    Review: 2016 Hyundai Tucson Limited AWD

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      Months after our first drive, do we still think the Tucson is one of the best?

    The Hyundai Tucson has never been a real serious threat in the compact crossover segment. It isn’t that Hyundai wasn’t trying. They offered a lot of equipment at a low price and went with a unique design. But even with these traits, the Tucson wasn’t able to make a sizable dent into the compact crossover market where the likes of the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, and Subaru Forester rule the roost. Hyundai isn’t giving up the fight, though. Last year, they launched the third-generation Tucson to make some inroads in the class. As we said in our first drive back in August, “it may be that the 2016 Hyundai Tucson can be considered one of the best in its class.” Let's see how we feel when we revisit the 2016 Tucson after some time has passed.

     

    To make the Tucson standout in a crowded class, Hyundai has put a lot of effort into the Tucson’s design. There is a fair amount of European influence with sharp lines and an uncluttered look. Hyundai’s trademark elements such as a large hexagonal grille and slim headlights are here. A set of 19-inch alloys on the Limited are designed in such a way that it looks like an airplane propeller. The design work has paid off as the Tucson is one of the sharpest looking models in the class.

     


    2016 Hyundai Tucson Limited AWD 9


    The Tucson’s interior doesn’t have the same flair as the exterior which is quite a shame. Is isn’t to say the interior is bad; there is a good mix of hard and soft materials, and controls are arranged in a logical fashion. But I found myself wishing Hyundai would take a small risk and add something special to the interior.

     

    Our Tucson Limited tester came with leather seats with power adjustments for the front. Comfort and support levels are excellent. In the back, the Tucson offers plenty of head and legroom for most passengers. As we noted in our first drive, the Tucson loses out in cargo space. Open the tailgate and you’ll be greeted with 31 cubic feet. Fold the rear seats and space increases to 61.9. Competitors such as the Honda CR-V (35.2, 70.9 cubic feet), Subaru Forester (34.4, 74.7 cubic feet), and Toyota RAV4 (38.4, 73.4 cubic feet) offer more space.

     

    When it comes to technology, the Tucson Limited does very well. There is an eight-inch touchscreen with the latest version of Hyundai’s infotainment system. We like this system as it is one of the easier systems to use thanks to large touchpoints and buttons under the screen to take you to the various parts of the system. One thing we are slightly disappointed is that you cannot option the larger screen on the Sport trim, which slightly hurts Hyundai’s value argument.

     

    Most Hyundai Tucsons will come equipped with a turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder producing 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic and the choice of either front or all-wheel drive. The turbo engine is potent thanks to the torque being available across a wide range (1,500 to 4,500 rpm). This means the Tucson is able to scoot along when you are trying to make a pass or leaving from a stop. The engine is also very refined with very little noise coming into the cabin.

     


    2016 Hyundai Tucson Limited AWD 7


     

    Sadly we cannot say the same about the dual-clutch transmission. Unlike the transmission we tried out on our first drive, the one in our test Tucson had issues of hesitating when leaving a stop and taking its sweet time to downshift whenever we needed to make a pass. At least upshifts were quick and smooth. Now when we turned in our Tucson tester, we learned that Hyundai issued an update for the transmission to fix the hesitation issue. If the Tucson was built before November 17, 2015 - which we suspect ours was - Hyundai’s dealers would perform the update on the vehicle. Tucsons built after November 17th have the update installed.

     

    The Hyundai Tucson Limited AWD is rated by the EPA at 24 City/28 Highway/26 Combined. Our average for the week landed around 26 MPG. Those who want to eek out a few more MPGs should look at the Tucson Eco that comes with some fuel saving tricks such as lighter wheels to improve fuel economy to 26 City/33 Highway/29 Combined for the front-wheel drive model. All-wheel drive models see a small decrease in fuel economy numbers.

     

    One thing that hasn’t changed from our first drive impressions is the Tucson’s ride and handling characteristics. Over Michigan’s terrible roads with endless bumps and potholes, the Tucson’s suspension was able to iron them out and provide a smooth ride. An extraordinary feat when you take into account the Tucson Limited feature a set of 19-inch wheels. Handling is impressive for a Hyundai with little body roll and the vehicle feeling planted. The only item we wished Hyundai would work on is the steering. There is still a slight dead zone when beginning to turn the wheel. At least some weight does appear the further you turn.

     


    2016 Hyundai Tucson Limited AWD 6


     

    It seems Hyundai has mostly hit it out of the park with the new Tucson. Not quite. The big issue for the Tucson is the value argument. Our Limited all-wheel drive came with a base price of $31,300. The as-tested price landed around $34,945 with the Ultimate package that adds HID headlights, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, lane departure warning, and a panoramic sunroof. This about the average price you would expect for other loaded small crossovers.

     

    It is only when you drop down to other trims that you begin to realize the Tucson isn’t as a great of a value as you might think. For example, the Eco and Sport don’t come with any options. The only items you get to choose are color and whether you want front or all-wheel drive. If you want navigation or dual-zone climate control on the Sport, you’re out of luck.

     

    That isn’t to say there aren't a lot of good things to the Tucson because there are. It stands out with some of the sharpest looks in the class and the turbo engine is one of best we have driven. Hyundai also deserves some kudos for getting the ride and handling balance just right. But the Tucson has a value problem that could drive some folks away, along with a small cargo area for the class.

     

    The 2016 Tucson is good, but it isn’t the slam dunk we thought it was.

     

    Cheers: Exterior design that stands out, turbo engine, nice balance between sport and comfort
    Jeers: Value argument tough to argue on lower trims, small rear cargo area, interior design could use some more flair.

     

    Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Tuscon, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

     

    Year: 2016
    Make: Hyundai
    Model: Tucson
    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 - 24/28/26
    Curb Weight: 3,710 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, South Korea
    Base Price: $31,300
    As Tested Price: $34,945 (Includes $895.00 Destination Charge)

     

    Options:
    Ultimate Package for Limited - $2,750.00

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    • By William Maley
      I’ve driven my fair share of Challengers on both extremes - from the standard V6 to the high-performance SRT and Hellcat models. But I never had any time behind the wheel of the R/T with its 5.7 V8. That changed in the summer when a bright orange Charger R/T Shaker was dropped off for a week. This allowed me to ask a question that has been sitting in my head for some time: Is the R/T the best bang for your buck in the Challenger family?
      The Shaker sets itself apart from other Challenger models with the use of a ‘Shaker’ scoop that prominently pops up from the hood. There is also a blackout treatment on several trim pieces and wheels that make it look even more imposing on the road. Along with the scoop, the Shaker package does add a new cold-air intake seated right in front of the driver’s side corner. This addition should boost the output of the 5.7L HEMI V8 (372 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque when paired with the eight-speed automatic. But FCA’s spec sheet doesn’t say anything about the Shaker Package adding more oomph or not. When you first start up the R/T Shaker, it makes presence known with a deep and loud exhaust note. I had to do a double-take the first time as I was wondering if I was given either an R/T Scat Pack or a Hellcat by mistake. While it may lack the high power numbers of the 6.4 and supercharged 6.2 V8s, the 5.7 is no slouch. 60 mph comes in at just over five seconds and power is seemingly available at any speed. My tester came with the optional Performance Handling Group that adds upgraded springs, sway bars, and a set of Bilstein shocks. This does improve the handling by a fair amount with less body roll. But it doesn’t feel nimble due to a curb weight of around 4,158 pounds. The steering has a quick response, but there is a noticeable lack of road feedback. If you want your muscle car to have some handling, consider the Camaro or Mustang. Nothing new to report on the Challenger’s interior. It still has the angled center stack, retro-inspired gauges, and easy to use UConnect infotainment system. The seats are where the Challenger loses some points as it feels like you’re sitting on top of cinderblocks. The Shaker package is surprisingly good value, adding $2,500 to the base price of the R/T which begins at $34,295. But you’ll need to be careful on the option sheet, or you’ll end up with something quite expensive. My tester came with an as-tested price of $46,555, which is $300 more than an R/T Scat Pack Widebody with the 6.4 HEMI V8.  The Dodge Challenger is getting up there in age and sadly cannot compete with the likes of the Camaro and Mustang in terms of handling. But Dodge is still able to offer a lot of performance in the form of the R/T. With a potent V8 engine, old school styling, and different packages like the Shaker to make your Challenger stand out, the R/T is possibly the best value and well-rounded model in the lineup. Disclaimer: Dodge Provided the Challenger, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2019
      Make: Dodge
      Model: Challenger
      Trim: R/T
      Engine: 5.7 HEMI VVT V8 Engine
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 372 @ 5,200
      Torque @ RPM: 400 @ 4,400
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 16/25/19
      Curb Weight: 4,158 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Brampton, Ontario
      Base Price: $34,295
      As Tested Price: $46,555 (Includes $1,495.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      "Shaker" Package - $2,500.00
      TorqueFlite Eight-Speed Automatic Transmission - $1,595.00
      Performance Handling Group - $1,495.00
      Driver Convenience Group - $1,295.00
      Power Sunroof - $1,295.00
      UConnect 4C Nav with 8.4-inch Display - $1,095.00
      Alpine Sound Group with Subwoofer - $995.00
      Shakedown Graphics - $495.00
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Model Sales
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  • Posts

    • Does that 'more economical' ignore the purchase price? The audi e-tron is like $35K more that the similar-sized audi IC model.  The upcoming rivian EV pickup is going to START at $62K.
    • Weird that in all the years GM owned Opel and Vauxhall they said they could never make it profitable. Yet PSA Group within the first year after buying them have them as profitable divisions. https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/peugeot-maker-sees-record-profit-virus-clouds-horizon-69225919 Something is sure crooked in GM House.
    • Let me just say this... the Blackwing V8 is probably dead given that the new 2020 Escalade DID NOT USE IT. And, good riddance. GM should focus on their strengths not try to copy the Europeans overly complicated and unrelaible engineering paradigms when it is 20 years too late and buyers committed to European engineering hype are not going to give Cadillac a second look anyway. Here's what I believe GM should do for the 2020s... say hi to the.... Microblock Family The Microblock is a pushrod 2-valve per cylinder architecture scaled down from the Smallblock design. Bore spacing is reduced from 111.76 mm (4.4") to 101.6 mm (4.0") allowing the engine to be 40 mm shorter, narrower and lighter than the Smallblock. With the new V8 tipping the scales at very svelte 180kg, the Microblock offers 8 cylinders with a mass comparable to turbocharged DOHC V6 engines. A bore of 93mm and stroke of 98mm gives a displacement of 5,326 cc (325 cu-in) in the V8 engine with 11:1 compression enabling the use of 87 octane fuel. More importantly, the same dimensions give an ideal 3,994cc (244 cu-in) displacement to the V6 and 2,663 cc (162 cu-in) in the the Inline-4. Despite the longer stroke, piston speeds at the engines' 6,000 rpm redline is actually 3.2% lower to the Smallblock 6.2L engine at its 6,600 rpm rev limit giving improved harmonic refinement. The V8 and V6 engines feature Dynamic Skip Fire technology, while all engines adopt GM's new 48v electrical system. This new arrangement ditches the starter and alternator in favor of a flywheel integrated motor-generator with 50 lb-ft @ 0 rpm and 15 hp @ 3,200 rpm, while featuring a trunk mounted Iron Phosphate battery with a 20-year/200,000 mile maintenance free service life. Also eliminated is the accessory belt and the mechanically driven water pump allowing the engine to match the electrical system's 20-year/200,000 mile scheduled maintenance interval (apart from annual 20,000 mile oil changes, filter replacement and fluid monitoring). The family is introduced with four engines a 600 hp bi-turbo version available exclusively on Cadillac vehicles as their premium power plant, a 400 hp V8, 300 hp V6 and 200 hp I4. 5.3L Microblock V8 Bi-turbo (LVT) -- 600 bhp @ 5,300 rpm, 600 lb-ft @ 1,600~5,200 rpm, 6,000 rpm redline (91 octane) 5.3L Microblock V8 (LVE) -- 400 bhp @ 5,800 rpm, 400 lb-ft @ 4,200 rpm, 6,000 rpm redline (87 octane) 4.0L Microblock V6 (LVS) -- 300 bhp @ 5,800 rpm, 300 lb-ft @ 4,200 rpm, 6,000 rpm redline (87 octane) 2.7L Microblock I4 (LVF) -- 200 bhp @ 5,800 rpm, 200 lb-ft @ 4,200 rpm, 6,000 rpm redline (87 octane) Why? Because pushrods are nothing to be ashamed of. They are in fact superior for the rpm range which street cars motors operate in.
    • If you are talking about environment and global warming, that might be true. However, looking purely from a practical perspective, it is proven that even taking into account electricity cost and source, EVs are still significantly more economical than ICEs. It also a fact that they require substantially less maintenance, and are easier to upgrade.
    • The hallmark of the scientific method is that nothing is ever ‘proven’, only supported by evidence, and is always open to discussion/argument.  Nothing is more anti-science than blindly accepting a specific theory as empirical and final. Let me leave this right here: Pluto.
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