2014 Hyundai Tucson: Nimble, versatile, no flash

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How convenient when the name of a car is easy to decipher. Take the 2014 Hyundai Tucson. The now decade-old sport utility vehicle is named after the city in Arizona, and that makes sense.

The compact crossover, like a lot of SUVs, is versatile for active buyers. It’s a daily driver, a weekend getaway car and good for families with kids needing lifts to their activities. It’s ideal for trips to the local market. It fits the lifestyle of Arizona and plenty of other regions of the country.

Hyundai has made only two generations of the Tucson, with the second and current generation in circulation since 2010.

For 2014, the Tucson has received a few enhancements and the available model lineup has been tweaked. The five-seater comes with a six-speed automatic transmission, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive. The Limited Edition has a 2.4-liter engine.

The 2014 Hyundai Tucson has an amended interior and exterior.
The 2014 Hyundai Tucson has an amended interior and exterior. Images copyright James Raia/2014

The interior and exterior designs have been revamped. The GM trim has been dumped in favor of the GLS trim now as the base model. Direct fuel injection is now standard on all trims.

The now entry level GLS Tucson has a healthy offering of standard features, and the GLS and the Limited edition featuring major additions. The 2014 Hyundai Tucson also has direct fuel injection.

The Weekly Driver Test Drive

My weekly driver was the Limited Edition. It included most of the features in GLS and SE trims but has a chunk of upgrades. It included 18-inch wheels, chrome exterior trim, keyless ignition/entry, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a rearview camera, Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a retractable rear cargo cover.

The Limited I drove also included the Technology package that added LED taillights, a panoramic sunroof, an upgraded seven-speaker sound system, a 7-inch touchscreen, HD radio and a navigation system.

The Tucson offered a comfortable ride. It’s not as spacious as other compact SUVs. It has 25.7 cubic feet of cargo behind the rear seats, and that expands 55.8 feet with seatbacks are folded. There are less spacious crossovers, but the big-selling segment rivals like the Honda CR-V and Subaru Forester are better cargo holders.

Even with its larger engine, the Tucson Limited struggles on steep inclines. The new Tucson offers a solid, if stiff, drive. During my several-hundred miles with the vehicle, it never felt like other SUVs sometimes feel — like it might tip over.

The Tucson also had a nimble feel in city driving. It has a small turning radius, and it shed its SUV designation. It often impersonated a sport wagon.

Likes:

Handsome, comfortable interior.

Good highway gas mileage.

Overall comfort.

Dislikes:

Tight rearing seating.

No power tailgate.

Mediocre acceleration

Facts & Figures, 2014 Hyundai Tucson

Acceleration: 0-60 mph, unavailable.
Airbags: (6)
Fuel economy: 21 mpg (city), 28 mpg (highway), six-speed automatic transmission.
Horsepower: 182.
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $26,200.00
Manufacturer’s Web site: www.hyundai.com.
Price As Tested: $29,835.00.
Warranty: Bumper to bumper, 5 years/60,000 miles; Powertrain, 10 years/100,000 miles; Corrosion, 7 years/unlimited miles; Roadside Assistance, 5 years/unlimited miles.

What Others Say:

“Overall, the Tucson remains one of the most pleasant crossovers at this price. It’s up to date in almost every respect, and its manageable size makes it an enticing alternative to larger rivals.” —- AutoTrader.

“The Hyundai Tucson is a compact crossover that delivers stylish sheet metal and composed handling. Limited cargo space and rear seat room mean that some buyers might be better served by a larger rival – or Hyundai’s own Santa Fe Sport – but those simply searching for a dapper all-weather runabout will likely find it a solid choice.” —- Left Lane News.

“The Hyundai Tucson compact crossover SUV for 2014 stacks up admirably when compared to such well-established names as the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape. To compete, Hyundai equips the Tucson with cutting-edge engine technology, stand-out styling and a long list of standard and available equipment. It does all this with an impressively competitive window sticker and an unrivaled 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.” — Kelley Blue Book.

The Weekly Driver’s Final Words:

“The Hyundai Tucson has the manufacturer’s industry-standard great warranty, and it has a substantial list of standard features. It’s comfortable and has sufficient but not great cargo room. It’s not flashy nor particularly quick for its segment. The SUV market is crowded and rivals have more seat and cargo room. And oddly its top competitor is likely its bigger sibling, the Hyundai Santa Fe.”

 

 

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