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2010 Hyundai Tucson First Impressions

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When I first saw the all-new second-generation Tucson beside the previous model, I had a hard time believing that they were the same. As John Vernile, Vice-President of Sales and Marketing for Canada said, “The original was getting a bit dated; it is time to replace it”. He went on to tell us that he believes that “the existing competition is similar (in design) that they are vanilla”. He may well be right. At the front, the fascia, bumper and headlamps have morphed into a sleek and rounded form that lets air flow around the front better. From the sides, the alloy wheels set off a muscular design of curves, bulges and corners that make the Tucson stand out. At the back, tail lamps are as up to date as any SUV and the sheet metal finishes off the design rather than looking like the designer’s pen ran out of ink.

A new 2.4-litre DOHC inline four-cylinder gets variable valve timing on both cams to raise power output to 176 horsepower and 168 lb-ft of torque.

Powertrain
A new 2.4-litre DOHC inline four-cylinder gets variable valve timing on both cams to raise power output to 176 horsepower and 168 lb-ft of torque. The V6 engine of the previous generation has been discontinued. Power output between the old six and the new four are close and consumers purchased nearly half of the previous generation with the old four, so Hyundai felt that having just a four-cylinder engine would not hurt sales.

Transmission choices consist of a six-speed manual on the base GL model and a six-speed automatic on GLS and Limited that is also optional on the GL. Front-wheel drive is the order of the day for the GL and GLS. Selectable all-wheel drive is standard on the Limited and optional on the GL and GLS.

Suspension
Engineers have been hard at work not just improving the quality of the suspension but the size of the components. Up front, MacPherson struts with gas inserts and a 25-mm stabilizer bar do the work. The coils on the struts are offset so that they handle cornering loads better and improve handling. To help keep the front light, the stabilizer bar is hollow.

In the rear is a multi-link setup that replaces a dual-link rear suspension. This change has allowed the coil springs to be mounted differently and to be a bit shorter. Locating arms are lower as well and the sway bar is now mounted at the back of the subframe.

Transmission choices consist of a six-speed manual on the base GL model and a six-speed automatic on GLS and Limited.