What Is It?
The fully redesigned 2016 Hyundai Tucson is an affordable compact crossover SUV, and judging by its sophisticated styling, it’ll likely give Hyundai a leg up in this segment. Most entry-level crossovers aren’t exactly fashion leaders, but the Tucson cuts a dapper figure here at the 2015 Geneva Auto Show with its BMW X5-inspired headlights, aggressive alloy wheels and taut, muscular body panels. We think it’s the best-looking Hyundai crossover yet, which is pretty remarkable given that it’s also the cheapest crossover in the company’s portfolio.
The 2016 Hyundai Tucson’s interior is no less impressive, boasting soft-touch materials, improved ergonomics and a classy, understated dashboard design. Hyundai touts the available wine-red leather upholstery as a notable upscale touch. Other available features include heated and ventilated front seats, a hands-free power tailgate, a self-parking system and a navigation system that’s reportedly three times faster than the outgoing version.
Hyundai has also enhanced the Tucson on the safety front, offering premium protective measures such as lane-keeping assist, rear cross-traffic alert and a collision-mitigation system with automatic braking. Such features typically only appear in larger, more expensive crossovers.
The engine lineup for the U.S. market has yet to be determined, but we hope that Hyundai will make the Euro-market 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder available. Rated at about 175 horsepower in European specification, the little turbo four should move the lightweight Tucson around with authority, with satisfying fuel economy besides. Thusly equipped, the Tucson could serve as an intriguingly affordable substitute for a range of higher-priced and even premium-brand crossovers. Think Lexus NX on a budget.
No official pricing has been announced as of this writing.
When Can You Get It?
European dealerships will start receiving deliveries in the second half of 2015. Our guess is that American dealers will follow suit by the end of the year.
Add It to Your Shopping List Because…
It looks great, it’s packed with contemporary features and it promises to be an excellent value.
Other Cars to Consider
2015 Ford Escape — Although the Escape is one size class up, it’s as engaging to drive as a fine compact car.
2016 Mazda CX-3 — Similarly stylish and well equipped, the CX-3 seems likely to be a perennial Tucson nemesis.