2016 Hyundai Tucson: Best Compact Crossover Yet?

Hyundai (rhymes with fun-day) is launching an all-new 2016 Tucson Compact Crossover Utility Vehicle and this third generation model is hands down the best yet. The new ride is longer and wider and is stretched between the wheels and features an all-new array of powertrains (including a turbo) making the new Tucson one of the best compact crossovers period.

GearDiary 2016 Hyundai Tucson: Best Compact Crossover Yet?

2016 Hyundai Tucson/Images by David Goodspeed

We recently attended the national launch program for the 2016 Tucson where we spent an entire day behind the wheel of front- and all-wheel drive models powered by the new peppy turbocharged 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder engine. It is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox for what might be the most pleasurable driving experience we have had in a “cute ute” to date. Eastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin was the setting for the drive routes where we put the new Tucson through its paces against a gorgeous bucolic backdrop.

GearDiary 2016 Hyundai Tucson: Best Compact Crossover Yet?

The biggest problem we could find with the new crossover from Hyundai is that the automaker simply cannot make enough of them. Hyundai representatives admitted they have a difficult time meeting demand for their entry crossover, but this problem should be alleviated next year when a new production facility comes on-line in the parent company’s homeland of Korea. Hyundai is currently shipping 2016 Tucson models to dealers as I write this.

GearDiary 2016 Hyundai Tucson: Best Compact Crossover Yet?

By the numbers, the new Tucson is some three inches longer, one inch wider, and rides on a wheelbase stretched more than an inch over the outgoing model making for a more stable platform with better handling and about five cubic feet more interior space as well. The base engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder producing 164hp and 151 lb. ft. of torque but the bulk of the vehicles will see the spunky 1.6T motor cranking out 175hp and 195 lb. ft. of unadulterated fun. The seven-speed EcoShift dual clutch transmission offers fast but smooth shifting between the gears and FWD vehicles will see up to 33 mpg on the highway.

GearDiary 2016 Hyundai Tucson: Best Compact Crossover Yet?

Hyundai will offer the new Tucson in four trim levels: SE (base), Eco, Sport, and Limited with the latter three seeing the new turbo engine. Outside there is all new styling bringing this model in line with Hyundai’s fluidic sculpture 2.0 family theme. Bold and beautiful is a fitting description of the new look. Inside there is new materials, new technology, and, as I mentioned earlier, new space. Everybody can ride in more comfort and this Tucson is so quiet on the road we thought we were in a luxury sedan. Hyundai is bringing its latest safety technology to the 2016 Tucson in the form of Blind Spot Detection System with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Change Assist, and Automatic Emergency Braking with pedestrian detection. There is also a new hands-free liftgate assist technology where the vehicle senses the proximity of the keyfob at the rear and opens the liftgate without any fancy gesturing or hocus-pocus.

GearDiary 2016 Hyundai Tucson: Best Compact Crossover Yet?

The new ride is more stable on the road thanks to serious attention paid to structural rigidity and the extended use of new high strength steels. Engineers made certain this vehicle features significantly improved noise, vibration, and harshness measures while delivering a sportier driving experience. We tested both FWD and AWD models during our time behind the wheel and Hyundai has hit a home run in its next compact crossover. Drivers can select from Eco, Normal, and Sport modes to suit their style and circumstance.

GearDiary 2016 Hyundai Tucson: Best Compact Crossover Yet?

Pricing for the 2016 Hyundai Tucson will start at $22,700 for the base SE in front-wheel drive and climb to $34,050 for a Limited Ultimate AWD and Hyundai still offers the 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty on all of its vehicles.

GearDiary 2016 Hyundai Tucson: Best Compact Crossover Yet?

What a great way for the automaker to celebrate its 30 years in America with the launch of the new 2016 Hyundai Tucson CUV. It is nothing like the outgoing model and everything buyers will want in a compact crossover. Since that very first Excel model in 1986 Hyundai has come a very long way in America and shows no signs of slowing, and with the continued advancement in product styling and quality they are proving they are a motoring force to be reckoned.

GearDiary 2016 Hyundai Tucson: Best Compact Crossover Yet?


About the Author

David Goodspeed
David was editor of AutoworldToday at Today Newspapers in the Dallas suburbs until its closing in 2009. He was also webmaster and photographer/videographer. He got started doing photography for the newspaper while working as a firefighter/paramedic in one of his towns, and began working for the newspaper group full-time in 1992. David entered automotive journalism in 1998 and became AutoworldToday editor in 2002. On the average, he drives some 100 new vehicles each year. He enjoys the great outdoors and as an avid fly fisherman, as is his spouse Tish. He especially enjoys nature photography and is inspired by the works of Ansel Adams.