Anyone wanting the convenience of a sport utility vehicle, but without the costly and frequent visits to the gas pump will want to check out the 2012 Hyundai Tucson SUV Crossover. It manages to return 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway, which is about in line with many sedans.
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Standard for the Tucson is a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine paired up with a five speed manual transmission to deliver 165 horsepower and 146 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is also available on this front-wheel drive vehicle.
Those wanting a little more power will go for the GLS Limited trim that offers 176 horsepower and 168 pound-feet of torque, with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. A six-speed automatic is standard, but all-wheel drive is an option on these trims. This engine accelerates zero to 60 mph in 9.6 seconds, which is still pretty pokey. The upgrade does award you with a towing capacity of a 2,000-pound maximum though.
The multilink rear suspension and MacPherson strut front suspension work independently to offer a smooth ride to all passengers. Thoughtfully weighted electric power steering and a Euro-tuned suspension offer more responsive steering than you might expect to receive.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the 2012 Tucson with a “Good” rating in roof-strength, side-impact and frontal-offset crash tests. Braking is about average, stopping from 60 mph in about 123 feet. This is a crossover that has been nominated as a Top Safety Pick. Hyundai has thought of everything. Even the side curtain airbags feature rollover sensors as an additional way to add increased safety. Other features either standard or optional include:
While some say that the 2012 Tucson offers classy styling, others argue that it is just too boring. It is as if pieces are trying to be modern, such as the rounded rear end and contemporary headlamps, but the front fascia and bumper set is back a few years. It is an awkward combination of past and future that works for some, but not for others.
The 2012 Hyundai Tucson offers a functional, roomy and rather attractive cabin. In fact, it is much more stylish than much of its competition. Controls and gauges are thoughtfully placed and sized so they are easy to locate and operate without taking your eyes off the road.
Although there is seating for five, the rear seat is smaller than many crossovers of similar size. Plus, you can’t slide or recline it, making it more difficult for taller passengers to get comfortable.
The 2012 Hyundai Tucson fails miserably when it comes to cargo space. With the rear seat in place, you have 25.7 cubic feet to use, which is acceptable. However, when you fold the seat flat, only 55.8 cubes are opened up. This is about 15 cubic feet less than RAV4, CR-V and Subaru Forester.