MPG-o-Matic 2010 Hyundai Tuscon Review Summary: While the Hyundai Tuscon faces tough competition in the five-seat crossover category, it’s clearly up to the task. The Tuscon carves out a healthy chunk of the segment with good fuel economy numbers, solid handling, a roomy and well-executed cabin, and unique styling.
The 2010 Hyundai Tuscon is available in both front-wheel-drive (FWD) and all-wheel-drive (AWD). The Tuscon GLS and Limited are equipped with a DOHC 2.4-liter inline four cylinder engine with Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) producing 170 horsepower (HP) and 163 foot pounds of torque in PZEV (Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle) spec. Non-PZEV 2.4-liter Tuscons produce 176 HP and 168 foot pounds of torque.
While the FWD Tuscon GLS can be fitted with a six-speed manual or automatic transmission, the Limited is only available with the automatic. The AWD Tuscon is only available with the automatic.
The official fuel economy estimates for the automatic-equipped FWD 2010 Hyundai Tuscon Limited are 23 city / 31 highway. The manual-equipped GLS is rated at 22 city / 30 highway and the AWD version is rated at 21 / 28.
We covered more than 300 miles in our FWD Iris Blue Tuscon Limited review unit and were able to meet the official mileage estimates, with an average of 31.6 MPG on the Interstate highway and 27.1 MPG combined, with temperatures ranging from the mid-seventies through the low-nineties. Interstate highway testing temperatures ranged from the high-seventies through eighty degrees. The test vehicle was delivered with slightly over 7000 miles on the odometer.
The Tuscon Limited is equipped with 18-inch alloy wheels and P225/22HR18 Kumho Solus (low rolling resistance) tires. The Tuscon GLS is equipped with 17-inch wheels (steel standard, alloy optional) and P225/60HR17s.
Interstate Mileage Testing:
- Cruise control set to 68 MPH, A/C off, windows up: 31 MPG
- Cruise control off, target speed 60-72 MPH, A/C off, windows up: 32.3 MPG
The Tuscon’s 170HP inline four is capable of covering the 0-60 run in under nine seconds.
Highway driving range is good. All 2010 Tuscons are fitted with a 14.5 gallon fuel tank and are designed to run regular unleaded fuel.
The Tuscon is equipped with four wheel anti-lock (ABS) disc brakes. Front (vented) discs are 280mm x 26mm (FWD) and 300mm x 28mm (AWD). Rear (solid) discs are 262mm x 10mm (FWD) and 284mm x 10mm (AWD).
The Tuscon’s trip computer provides miles to empty and an average fuel economy display, along with a useful Eco indicator that can be toggled on or off. (While specifications state that GLS and Limited also have a instant fuel consumption display, it remained hidden throughout our test period.)
Out on the road, the Tuscon is quiet and well mannered. We found it to be among the better handling small crossovers, giving enthusiastic drivers a reason to reach for the automatic transmission’s SHIFTRONIC manual shift mode.
Standard safety features include Electronic Stability Control with Traction Control and Brake Assist, long with Downhill Brake Control and Hillstart Assist Control. A Tire Pressure Monitoring System is included, as well.
The Tuscon Limited’s cabin earns big points for its well-executed leather-covered seats and technology integration. The leather-wrapped steering wheel has appropriate heft with nicely designed controls. Bluetooth is standard. The driver’s seat features eight-way power adjustment with two-way power lumbar support. The front buckets provide two-level heating.
There are three 12-volt outlets, with two at the base of the dash and one in the cargo area. USB iPod and audio line-in jacks are located on the center console. iPod support is excellent. The Bluetooth system supports phonebook downloads.
The Premium option package includes a panoramic sunroof, navigation system with 6.5-inch touchscreen LCD, a handy rear-view camera, and an upgraded 360-watt, seven speaker audio system (with subwoofer). A six-speaker 160-watt audio system is standard.
With the optional panoramic sunroof, the Tuscon’s second row seating feels open and airy. It’s comfortable back there, with 39.1 inches of rear seat head room and 38.7 inches of rear seat leg room.
The Tuscon passes the Costco run test by providing 25.7 cubic feet of cargo area with the 60/40 fold-down rear seats up and a generous 55.8 cubic feet of storage with the rear seats folded down.
All-in-all, the distinctively styled 2010 Hyundai Tuscon offers serious competition in a very crowded segment. Hyundai has put fuel economy at the top of its priorities, and their investment in design and technology has clearly paid off.
– by Daniel Gray
September 28th, 2010
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