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2010 Hyundai Tucson Limited FWD PZEV Review & Test Drive

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Filed under Automotive, Featured, Hyundai, Test Drives

Hyundai has come a long way in terms of getting respect from American buyers. Now Hyundai touts one of the best warranties and a well respected name plates around the globe. One of the newest redesigns to come out of the Korean based automaker is the 2010 Tucson. You would be hard pressed to find any resemblance of the outgoing Tucson when compared with the new 2010. It has been redesigned and I must say it is much easier on the eyes than the 2009 or older models.

On the outside the 2010 Hyundai Tucson looks much bigger than the outgoing model but numbers wise the interior seating room was only increased by an inch or two and the wheelbase remained about the same. Refinement still has a way to go but fit and finish is there when it comes to new Hyundai vehicles. The new Tucson is evidence that Hyundai is headed in the right direction for continuing to making reliable and affordable transportation appliances.

Value is what you get in the new Tucson.

Our test vehicle was equipped with enough amenities to keep the price conscious buyer well satisfied for years to come. The list of options on our test vehicle for a small SUV makes the Tucson Limited’s price point starting at just 24,345 quite attractive. Speaking of being attractive, the new Tucson has much softer looks than some other small SUVs in its segment. The lines flow well from the front semi-smiley face grill to the smooth running panoramic sunroof lines. I might say it is a much needed improvement over the older Tucson.

Do you get your money’s worth?

Of course. Our test vehicle stickered for $28,090 which may seem a bit pricey for a small SUV, but you must take into consideration that our Tucson was a Limited FWD version which included leather seats, navigation, iPod and Bluetooth integration, rearview back-up camera and a panoramic sunroof. All in all this type of package found in competitors’ small SUVs would put you well into the $30 grand mark.

Reliable, economical, and practical.

These are all of the characteristics that are bestowed upon the new Tucson. Although the standard 2.4-liter 4-cylindar engine getting the partial zero-emissions vehicle (PZEV) making only 170hp and 163ft-lbs of torque vs. the normal 176hp, begged for more power when we attempted to haul 5 adults. The Tucson PZEV makes decent power when it is not packed so tight. The PZEV 4-cylindar is a champ but the 6-speed automatic transmission that directed the power to the front wheels seems like it wanted to get a premature divorce from the engine because they just did not get along well. It is like the transmission ratios were not taken into consideration for the engine’s power points. Needless to say, at highway speed we found the transmission shifting out of 5th and 6th gear quite often just to keep pace at 75mph.

The inside of the 2010 Hyundai Tucson is very enjoyable with reddish-rust colored leather seats. Although the front seat bottoms were rather hard, the seating position is comfortable, if that makes any sense. The Navigation screen is unfortunately mounted in a way that it gets washed out when the sunlight is shining down through the windshield. Overall functionality and usability of the controls are clear and concise. The integrated touch-screen navigation and stereo controls could use a few extra buttons to make it easier for the driver to quickly access major functions. Maybe Hyundai could learn a few things from Mazda by having a few extra buttons.

On the road the Hyundai Tucson is stable and provides a decent ride on the highway. The 18 inch alloy wheels wrapped in Kumo solus 225/55/18 rubber is an excellent choice for adding a pleasant visual appeal that makes the Tucson look more like a mid-sized SUV. In the back there is plenty of room for 3 kids and even 3 small to medium sized adults to sit comfortably. The rear cargo area, at a total of 56 cubic feet with the seats folded down, provides ample room for just about anything that you would pack into a modern-day crossover SUV.

If you are in the market for a practical small SUV that has a trusted name backed by proven reliability, a host of standard safety features, excellent warranty, and gets decent gas mileage all at an affordable price, then the 2010 Hyundai Tucson is one that you do not want to overlook.


Price: Base Tucson Limited FWD PZEV $24,345 As-Tested $28,090
Type: Compact SUV
Where Built: South Korea
EPA Class: Sport Utility Vehicles


Length: 173.2 in.
Width: 71.7 in.
Height: 66.3 in.
Wheel Base: 103.9 in.
Ground Clearance: 6.7 in.
Curb Weight: 3331 lbs.
Gross Weight: 4497 lbs.

Front Head Room: 39.4 in.
Front Hip Room: 55.5 in.
Front Shoulder Room: 57.1 in.
Rear Head Room: 39.1 in.
Rear Shoulder Room: 55.1 in.
Rear Hip Room: 53.4 in.
Front Leg Room: 42.1 in.
Rear Leg Room: 38.7 in.
Luggage Capacity: 25.7 cu. ft.
Maximum Cargo Capacity: 56 cu. ft.
Maximum Seating: 5

Performance Data

Base Number of Cylinders: 4
Base Engine Size: 2.4 liters
Base Engine Type: Inline 4
Horsepower: 170 hp
Max Horsepower: 6000 rpm
Torque: 163 ft-lbs.
Max Torque: 4000 rpm
Maximum Payload: 1166 lbs.
Maximum Towing Capacity: 2000 lbs.
Drive Type: FWD
Turning Circle: 34.7 ft.
0-60mph: 9.0 seconds

Fuel Data

Fuel Tank Capacity: 14.5 gal.
EPA Mileage Estimates: (City/Highway/Combined)
Automatic: 23 mpg / 31 mpg / 26 mpg
Range in Miles:
Automatic: 333.5 mi. / 449.5 mi. / 377 mi.


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