We got my wife her new daily today, a 2020 Hyundai Tuscon Ultimate. Her lease was up on her 2017 Highlander and she wanted something smaller. She sat in a Tuscon at the local auto show and really liked it. With Hyundai offering its 0%/84 month financing, $1000 First-Responder rebate as well as the other $2300 off the sticker, we ended up with the same payment as our lease.
Obviously a compact SUV isn’t the most exciting purchase, but I figured I write up some quick thoughts on it anyways.
First off, the Hyundai Sage Brown color is beautiful. Normally my wife likes blue cars, but I wasn’t able to find one locally. I took her to see a brown Tuscon and she was like ’Yeah, I want that color’. With the subtle chrome bits that the ‘Ultimate’ trim offers against the brown results in a rather luxurious look that comes at an affordable price.
It comes with an n/a 2.4l 4 cylinder with 181hp/175tq. It’s nothing special, but I totally prefer larger displacement n/a 4-cylinders over the tiny displacement turbo engines that are also common in this segment. The broader and more linear torque curve of the n/a makes for a nice, smooth drive. But, it definitely runs out of breath above 5k rpms. Do I wish is was a 2.4 turbo? Yes. But I like it better than the 1.6l turbo. Fuel economy is rated at a so-so 21 city 26 highway.
The suspension and ride are what you expect, compliant and smooth even over shitty NY roads. The damper tuning is a bit weird on it though. It has incredibly soft compression with much stiffer rebound. I did some slaloming in it and it has huge amounts of initial dive, but then transitioning back, it becomes a little more predictable. But it is certainly not a performance-tuned vehicle by any means. A Mazda CX-5 would drive circles around it. The steering and brakes are incredibly overboosted and rather numb which is pretty standard in this segment.
Being the ’Ultimate’ trim, this Tuscon is loaded with features. The panoramic sunroof is great (My wife wanted this feature more than anything else). The leather seats are some of the more comfortable and supportive seats that I have sat in this segment. They are heated in the front and back (along with the steering wheel) and the fronts also come with ball-chiller vented seats. I’m 6'3" 250lbs and I fit comfortably in any seating location so I’d say that for a family of 4 that this vehicle is easily big enough.
All the HVAC controls are in their own spot on the dash with easy to use button-controls while the infotainment system has a decent sized touchscreen. The infinity sound system provides excellent sound and the Apple Carplay and Android Auto make the smartphone integration a breeze. It even has a wireless Qi charger storage area if your phone has that ability.
As for the safety stuff, it has the adaptive cruise, advance collision warning, blindspot indications and whatnot. Sensitivity level adjustment was simply to figure out and it was easy to keep them working while not being too intrusive. The backup camera has a 360* view so you not only see behind you, but also each side.
One interesting thing is that you can remote-start the car via your phone. But you have to download the ‘My Hyundai’ app. It also monitors the location of the car, and its status. But it feels to me like I’m being watched and monitored all the time, which I’m sure is the case, but whatever.
My wife drives her cars for as long as possible, so having Hyundai’s 5yr/60k bumper to bumper and 10yr/100k powertrain warranty is nice. Plus they have free service for 3yrs/36k so I will at least get a few free oil changes too.
The only thing that kind of bothers me is that there are no memory-seats. The Tuscon used to have memory-seats in previous years. Why would you get rid of that? The Kia Sportage which shares a good chunk of its underpinnings with has memory seats. Oh well.
So anyways, while I made the title of this review sound less than inspiring, the Hyundai Tuscon Ultimate packs quite a bit into a ~34k sticker price. Its certainly not class-leading in any area, but is a solid, good looking all-arounder that is available in one of the best-looking browns I have ever seen. If you are shopping the compact SUV segment, the Tuscon is something that you shouldn’t overlook.
The author, who goes by Joe in real life, is an avid automotive enthusiast with a particular passion for Mazda rotaries. You can find him at many Western New York SCCA and surrounding area events autocrossing his RX-8. He can be reached at AkursedX@gmail.com (If you are an automotive company and want to give me free stuff to write about, let me know!) More of what I’ve written can be found here: CLICK HERE