2017 Hyundai Tucson Night SUV AWD

Susan Frissell

Our 2017 Hyundai Tucson Night came in Caribbean Blue, a real looker, with black cladding and black wheels. We rather liked it. All-new and slightly larger for 2016, the Tucson was restyled (sheetmetal), and now gets better fuel economy, handles much sharper and offers more interior space.

What may be most noticeable in the 2017 Hyundai Tucson is the ride. One almost feels as though she is floating over bumps, with little or no jarring and a much more pleasant ride.

One thing that always stood out in the early Tucson models was how hard it rode. Not anymore. This compact crossover is one of Hyundai’s most popular vehicles, competing with lots of others including the Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4, Chevrolet Trax, and of course, Honda CR-V.

The 2017 Hyundai Tucson comes standard with a direct-injection 2.0-liter four-cylinder, pumping out 164 horsepower, with 151 pound-feet of torque, and mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Three driving modes (Eco, Regular, Sport) are standard; we stayed mostly in Eco, but went back/forth with Sport mode.

Our test Tucson Night came equipped with the optional turbocharged direct-injection
1.6-liter (175 horsepower, 195 pound-feet torque), and Hyundai’s 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. Not terribly peppy, the turbocharged 1.6-liter performed well, with few hesitations, and smoothness. The 2.0-liter engine is rated at 23/31 mpg., and 26 mpg combined with FWD. The 1.6-liter turbo is rated 25/30/27 mpg when equipped with 19-inch wheels (like ours). When opting for the 17-inch tire, the 1.6-liter gets 26/33/29 mpg.
Hyundai has built in more high-strength steel in this year’s redesign of the Tucson, thus safety ratings are expected to be better. As with all vehicles today, the Tucson has six airbags and standard rearview camera.

Available in four model choices, the Tucson can be had in SE, ECO, Sport and Limited. The SE trim level is equipped with the 2.0-liter engine; the Limited model with the Ultimate package includes ventilated leather seats and a panoramic roof.

The 2017 Tucson now has a sculpted style, bringing it more into the fray of upscale small SUV’s. The design is the best yet, and with the 19-inch black wheels and black cladding, this is one sharp SUV.

You won’t mistake the hexagonal grille of the Hyundai; much like the infamous Lexus grille. Geometric headlights stand out, as well, and the rear is also Hyundai. The new horizontal lines in the fascia are noticeable and updated. The look is ‘upscale.’

For the most part, Tucson’s cabin is quiet, certainly by comparison to older models. The dashboard and console are simple, yet handsome. Controls are well-placed, easy to handle, however, the screen in our test Tucson is very small-3.5-inch LCD information display. Our Night test Tucson didn’t come with the Nav system. Bluetooth, AM/FM/CD/MP3 Audio system with iPod/USB/Aux input jacks, Sirius Radio are all included.

We especially liked the Panoramic sunroof, which is assumed comes with the Night edition. The only option on our test Tucson was the carpeted floor mats ($125). Otherwise, for just over $30,000, one gets a lot of vehicle.

All the safety equipment one expects is standard, including Electronic Stability Control, ABS with Electronic Brake Force Distribution and Brake Assist, Downhill Brake Control and Hillstart Assist Control, Tire Pressure Monitoring System, side airbags and rollover sensors.

The cabin is serenely quiet, and roomy with four adults, but there isn’t as much cargo space as in some other compact crossovers, for example the CR-V, RAV4 and Escape. The split 60/40 rear seats create 62 cubic feet of cargo space when they’re folded, and 30 cubic feet then they’re up. To accommodate taller items, the cargo floor can be lowered with a lever by two inches. The liftgate on the Sport and Limited opens with the key fob.
Driving Impression

We got a few hundred miles of seat time in a Limited with the 1.6-liter turbocharged engine, and the power is adequate in most situations, but the response is sluggish under hard acceleration. Surprisingly, the three different driving modes don’t have much effect on performance. In any mode, the shifts by the 7-speed dual clutch transmission shifts are almost imperceptible.


MSRP: $29,300; total vehicle price $30,220; destination $895
Engine: 1.6-liter i-4 turbo, 175 hp., 195 lb.-ft. torque
Transmission: 7-speed automatic shift, manual with OD
Wheelbase: 105.1in.
Length: 176.2 in.
Height: 64.8 in.
Gross weight: 4,784 lbs., curb weight: 3,686 lbs.
Width: 72.8 in.
Towing capacity: 1,000 lbs.
Fuel Tank Capacity: 16.4 gal.
EPA Fuel Economy: 25/30 mpg.
Tires: 245/45R19
Wheels: 19-inch Rays Black Finish alloy
Warranty: 5 yrs/60,000-miles new vehicle; 10 yrs/100,000-miles powertrain; 7 yrs./unlimited mileage Anti-perforation; 5 yrs/unlimited mileage roadside assistance

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