The 2016 Hyundai Tuscon benefits from a makeover this year that takes what once looked like an economy car and turns it into something that looks more like a luxury vehicle. Hyundai is really good at making their cars look like something special and in the process making consumers rethink their impressions of the brand. You don’t have to pay luxury car prices to get luxury car design.
There are four trim levels available and our test vehicle was the Hyundai Tuscon Limited, which sits at the top of the lineup. You can save money by going with the base SE, but even our Limited came in at only $31,300 which is a great price for such a fully-featured crossover.
Exterior features include a hands-free liftgate, dual fold-away heated power mirrors, rear spoiler, chrome door handles and front grille, premium front and rear fascias and side sills, shark fin antenna, fog lights, automatic LED headlights, and LED daytime running lights and taillights. All this comes in a package with bold styling without any of the humdrum that makes some crossovers look so boring. This is an incredibly attractive vehicle.
The interior is just as well equipped with a similar upscale look and the comfort to match. The Limited features leather seats that are heated in front with an 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support and a 6-way power adjustable seat for the front passenger. The seating is some of the most comfortable we’ve experienced in a crossover. There is mild bolstering as befits a vehicle that won’t be taking on the track and plenty of support without becoming stiff. Several hours behind the wheel will not leave drivers feeling fatigued and begging for a break from the road.
Rear seats are equally comfortable and split 60/40 to take advantage of up to 61.9 cubic feet of cargo space when they’re folded flat. Leave them up and there’s still 31 cubic feet, so it’s slightly less than competitors offer but still ample space. The rear seats recline from nearly straight up to a position slightly more reclined than an average fixed seat’s position.
The Ultimate Package ($2,750) adds both convenience and safety with HID headlights with dynamic bending lighting system, lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear parking sensors, panoramic sunroof, front LED map lights, 4.2″ LCD gauge cluster, ventilated front seats and heated rear seats. That’s the only option package available on the Limited because everything else is already standard.
Even without that package, the 2016 Hyundai Tuscon Limited has lots of safety features. There is blind spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, lane change assist, rearview camera, tire pressure monitoring, vehicle stability management, electronic stability control, traction control, anti-lock brakes, and electronic brake-force distribution.
Although it hasn’t yet been tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Hyundai is anticipating Top Safety Pick+ ratings for the Limited equipped with optional emergency braking. Families put a priority on safety and the Tuscon delivers.
Infotainment includes an 8″ touchscreen with navigation, AM/FM/SiriusXM/HD Radio/MP3 premium audio system and 8 speakers, and steering wheel mounted audio controls. There is also Bluetooth connectivity and Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics system. Sound quality is good and the system itself is easy to operate. The navigation was notably fast. Some systems are slow to begin the route, but the system in the Tuscon was incredibly quick to process directions to a new location and send us on our way.
Power for the Tuscon comes from a turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine with 175 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. This is paired to a 7-speed EcoShift dual clutch transmission that was very smooth. Our only criticism here is that the engine was a little slow to respond during hard acceleration. It was powerful and responsive enough once up to speed and in slower moving traffic, but took longer to respond to a heavy foot on the gas pedal than expected.
Handling, however, was very good. It’s not as sporty as you might expect looking at the snazzy exterior design, but this is a family crossover at heart. It offers what families want and that’s a confident, easy drive with a smooth ride and a very quiet cabin. Road and wind noise are kept at bay and conversation between front and rear seat passengers is easy.
The 2016 Hyundai Tuscon has style and comfort to spare making it a very appealing crossover. It looks like a much more expensive vehicle than it is and provides plenty of amenities designed to appeal to families. The Tuscon also has an appealing price with a fully-loaded Tuscon coming in at under $35K making it affordable for families on the go.
2016 Hyundai Tuscon Limited AWD
Base Price: $31,300
Price As Tested: $31,425 (not including destination charge)
- Exterior Styling
- Comfortable Interior
- Weak Acceleration
- Rear Seat Recline Positions