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2005 Hyundai Tucson

June 8, 2005 11:48 AM EST | Hyundai , SUV's | Email to Friend

View large imageHyundai Tucson 2005 is has appealing styling, plenty of standard features and Hyundai's impressive warranty make the Tucson a solid competitor in the compact SUV class.

Pros
Generous warranty, standard ABS and stability control, roomy passenger and cargo space, attractive interior, standard side and head curtain airbags.

Cons
Low horsepower rating, some cheap interior materials here and there.

What's New for 2005
The Hyundai Tucson is an all-new compact SUV from Hyundai. It rides on the Elantra platform and is intended for buyers who want a smaller package than the midsize Santa Fe.

Introduction:
Hyundai has found surprising success with its Santa Fe, a well-engineered midsize SUV. Early Santa Fes had a few odd quirks, and Hyundai made a point to listen to its customers and upgrade the SUV accordingly. Evidently, Hyundai is still listening to consumers -- this time, it's responding to requests for a smaller vehicle. The answer is the new Tuscon, an all-new compact SUV. Designed to challenge segment stalwarts like Honda's CR-V and Toyota's RAV4, the Tucson offers loads of standard features and a choice of four- or six-cylinder power. The Tucson's styling follows in the tire tracks of the Santa Fe with its sweptback headlights and curving front fenders, although it thankfully doesn't have the "fish mouth" grille of its big brother. For the most part, it's more handsome, if not more conservative, than the Santa Fe. The Tucson boasts a generous standard features list, including full-length side curtain airbags (in addition to seat-mounted side airbags for front occupants). Other notable standard features include four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, traction control, a stability control system, air conditioning and full power equipment. Also standard on all Tucsons is Hyundai's 10-year/100,000-mile warranty. A unique split-folding rear seat is able to fold flat to create a level cargo floor. It does this by lowering the bottom cushion into the footwell, and doesn't even require removal of the head restraints. The all-wheel-drive option uses an Electronic InterActive Torque Management system that routes up to 99 percent of the available power to the front wheels under ideal traction conditions for the sake of fuel economy. As road conditions change, the system automatically diverts up to 50 percent of the power to the rear wheels. A dash-mounted lock button allows the driver to lock the driveline into a set 50/50-split for extra traction when driving in snow. Power is provided by two different engines, a 2.0-liter, inline four-cylinder engine with continuously variable valve timing, which makes 140 horsepower and 136 pound-feet of torque, and an optional 2.7-liter V6 engine that produces 173 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque. The Tucson is joining a crowded class of excellent vehicles. Hyundai hopes its entrant will win the hearts of potential CR-V and RAV4 buyers with its roomy interior, fresh styling and generous helping of standard equipment. With those kinds of credentials, the Tucson may prove just as popular as its big brother, the Santa Fe.

Body Styles, Trim Levels and Options:
The four-door Tucson compact SUV comes in three trim levels -- entry-level GL, midlevel GLS and top-of-the-line LX. Standard features on the GL include four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, 16-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, power windows and door locks, keyless entry, cruise control, heated outside mirrors, roof rack side rails, a rear intermittent wiper and a CD stereo system. The GLS adds body-side cladding, foglamps, larger tires, a CD/cassette/MP3 stereo, upgraded upholstery and a front wiper de-icer. The LX adds leather seating, heated seats and an upgraded audio system with an in-dash six-disc CD changer and a subwoofer.

Powertrains and Performance:
The base GL offers a 2.0-liter, inline four-cylinder engine with continuously variable valve timing. It generates 140 horsepower and 136 pound-feet of torque, and is mated to a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic with automanual control. The GLS and LX provide a larger, more powerful 2.7-liter V6 engine that produces 173 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque. A four-speed automatic transmission is standard on the GLS and LX. Buyers can get front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive with either engine.

Safety:
Passengers are well protected as the Tucson comes standard with seat-mounted side-impact airbags for front occupants and side curtain airbags for both front- and rear-seat occupants. Four-wheel antilock disc brakes are also standard on all Tucsons, along with a traction and stability control system. The Tucson has not yet been crash tested.

Interior Design and Special Features:
The Tucson features a modern interior with high-quality materials and design. Generous passenger space makes for a comfortable ride. Inside, the Tucson offers 22.7 cubic feet of cargo capacity with the rear seat up, and up to 65.5 with the seat folded.

Driving Impressions:
The Tucson returns a smooth ride and feels more like a sedan than an SUV. The standard four-cylinder is quite weak; we recommend you go with the V6.

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