The Tucson spearheaded Hyundai's recent product offensive. Its launch in 2005 was followed by no less than six redesigned models and two all-new ones.
Accent Hatchback, Accent Sedan, Elantra, Sonata, Azera and Santa Fe all got makeovers, while the Entourage and Veracruz were additions to the line-up. Only the Tiburon is waiting for a redesign, although it received minor changes in 2007. In its fourth year on the market, the Tucson is still cute-looking, with its stubby proportions and shapely sheetmetal.
|The Tucson is still cute-looking, with its stubby proportions and shapely sheetmetal.|
No less than 6 versions of the Tucson are available, and this test model is the front-drive Limited. Equipped with the 2.7-liter V6, we have the impression that several of the 173 horses announced didn't come out of the stable. Actually, takeoffs are quick, but the engine quickly runs out of breath; above 4,000 rpm where the torque peak falls off, the little V6 gave all it could.
And although the 4-speed automatic does its job, the Kia Rondo benefits from a 5-speed auto with the same engine, which helps keep it in its power curve. The time has come for a little mechanical update, especially when rivals are coming to war with V6 engines that have 200 to 268 horsepower.
With an average of 13.8 L/100 km, it's needless to say that I was expecting a better result. One can also choose the 2.0-liter four, which will save a little fuel, but its performance is sufficient at best. Still, a member in the family has a Tucson with the 2.0-liter unit and an automatic, and suits her just fine. It all depends on your needs and driving habits.
|One can also choose the 2.0-liter four, which will save a little fuel.|