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2010 Hyundai Tucson GL AWD Review

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I know, I’m not being too original when I say Korean Menace, obviously referring to the Hyundai-Kia duo. But if I were a major car manufacturer, I wouldn’t be too pleased with the value the Korean automakers have managed to imbue their vehicles with. And the arrival of the Hyundai Tucson only underscores that fact.

The Tucson’s front fascia is above reproach. The grille, smaller and more streamlined, complements the sinuous looking hood, evoking a sports car rather than a sport utility vehicle.(Photo: Matthieu Lambert/Auto123.com)

The previous Tucson had itself managed to attract a horde of admirers, especially with its reasonable pricing and relatively pleasant drive. This time, Hyundai hasn’t pulled any punches: fluid design, nearly sporty handling, flawless finish. The Tucson is a small SUV that will have a big impact.

A Hyundai, really?
The first noticeable change has to do with styling. The new Tucson is a far cry from the sober, yawn-inducing previous generation. Its modern, contemporary style has a touch of European flair. Hyundai decided to go trendy with this latest incarnation, all fluid lines and soft contours.

The Tucson’s front fascia is above reproach. The grille, smaller and more streamlined, complements the sinuous looking hood, evoking a sports car rather than a sport utility vehicle. In fact, the sinuous hood is an example of the aerodynamic quality the automaker tried to breathe into the package. Hyundai didn’t hesitate to deep-six the old, square profile in favour of curves – and more curves. Obviously, the rear fascia was no exception, and even if on the whole it does seem somewhat reminiscent of the Lexus RX (not the worst choice of model), on closer examination it proves quite unique.

Stylish cabin
The exterior result is unquestionably a full-on improvement over the old generation, as is the cabin.

Again, we’re treated to an astoundingly contemporary design. The dash is defined by a well-designed, ergonomic centre console offering easy access to all controls. Throw in some dashing dials, vividly backlit but not overwhelmingly so, and a small, centre display, and checking your vehicle’s status has just become much simpler.

The jutting lip smack in the centre of the dash is the only thing that disturbs the otherwise harmonious ensemble. Sure, it shields the display from the glaring light of the sun, but it isn’t of the utmost elegance, let’s put it that way.

The dash is defined by a well-designed, ergonomic centre console offering easy access to all controls.(Photo: Matthieu Lambert/Auto123.com)