What Is It?
Hyundai did more than a little tinkering in freshening the 2019 Hyundai Tucson. Sure, there are a number of styling enhancements, like the new Hyundai cascading grille, new headlights, updated front/rear fascias and new taillights. Some noteworthy improvements inside reinvigorate the cabin, including a new center stack topped with a floating touchscreen and a new cluster.
In a move that seems to buck the industry — and the Tuscon’s competitive segment — Hyundai scrapped the 175-horsepower 1.6-liter turbo in the current version. Although the 164-hp 2.0-liter 4-cylinder remains the standard engine on lower grades, the 1.6-liter turbo is giving way to a 181-hp 2.4-liter 4-cylinder for the SEL, Sport and Limited trims. This is a small increase in ponies, but a drop in torque from 195 lb-ft to 175. The Tuscon is also losing the available 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Both engines will use a 6-speed automatic to spin the wheels.
There’s no shortage of technology. Every 2019 Hyundai Tucson will come out of the box with standard forward-collision avoidance assist (FCA) with automatic braking, as well as lane-keep assist. Available driver-assist/safety features include FCA with pedestrian detection, high-beam assist, a surround-view monitor, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, and driver-attention warning. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard on all grades.
While it had the stage at the New York International Auto Show, Hyundai also brought out its all-electric Kona EV. Although the Kona EV was no secret (it was shown in Geneva), the big news is its range. Hyundai announced it will travel up to 250 miles on a full charge. Its electric motor generates 201 hp, delivering 291 lb-ft of torque. Using a Level III Charger, 54 minutes is required to bring the battery to an 80 percent charge from empty. More than 9 hours is required with a Level II Charger.
Hyundai didn’t announce pricing for either the Tuscon or the Kona EV. Including the factory delivery fee, the current Tucson starts at $22,250, while pricing for the gasoline-fueled Kona begins at $20,450.
When Can I Get It?
The Tuscon will roll into showrooms during fall 2018. The Kona EV will be on sale in California in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Add It to Your Shopping List Because…
Value-packed, the 2019 Hyundai Tucson is simply a good deal. There’s plenty of technology for those looking for it. Fuel economy is decent, and its road manners are civilized. Oh, and there’s that terrific warranty, too.
Other Cars to Consider
Honda CR-V — Roomy interior, loads of cargo space, zesty turbo and comfortable ride.
Mazda CX-5 — Fun to drive, well-appointed cabin and lots of standard features.
Jeep Cherokee — Most capable off-roader in its class, with a high-output fuel-efficient turbo and an upscale interior.
Chevrolet Equinox — Available diesel engine, user-friendly infotainment system and generous cargo space.