2010 Hyundai Tucson: Up Close

The 2010 Tucson is a lot more contemporary than the model it replaces. Based on a new platform, which it shares with the new Sonata sedan, the Tucson has a longer wheelbase and is a few inches longer than the outgoing model. It looks sharp, exhibiting the new Hyundai family resemblance when viewed from the front. Once you walk around it, you might see Infiniti in the bulbous headlights, Buick in the side accent lines and Lexus in the rear haunches. At least I did. For what it's worth, similar observations could be made of virtually any new design these days.

Only two Tucson trim levels are available, and naturally the two Tucsons on display at the auto show were of the higher level, the Limited. As we've come to expect, the interiors are appointed to compete; they're certainly as high in quality as some small crossovers and nicer than most. From the dashboard and door panels to the optional leather seats, there's a consistency you won't find in the Honda CR-V. My only quibble is the silver-colored plastic finish, but I've become a broken record on that issue (a broken CD for you younger folks...or a corrupted MP3 file). I much prefer the piano-black bezel around the shifter. The tilt/telescoping steering wheel is always good to have.

The cabin seems roomier, especially in the backseat; though the specs say the legroom dimensions have increased only slightly. Even with the driver's seat all the way back, my legs were clear of its backrest. The seats don't seem to recline, which is a bit of an oversight; however, the 60/40-split folding backrest is at a comfortable angle, and the center armrest is the perfect height. The cabin volume is about the same as in the 2009. The cargo space behind the backseat is up 3 cubic feet, but the maximum cargo space is actually down 10 cubic feet, making it considerably smaller than the CR-V and Chevy Equinox.

The 2010 Tucson offers a six-speed manual — a rarity in this vehicle class — along with an automatic. Its 23/31 mpg with the automatic bests most of the class. As a package, the Tucson looks better than ever. It will hit some dealerships by the end of the year.

Front angle Profile Front angle Front seats Dashboard Profile Gearshift Taillight Rear angle Badge Rear Taillight Cargo area Controls Dashboard Rear seats Rear interior Steering wheel Gearshift Dashboard Tail Wheel Headlight Grille Headlight


D E Miguel

Uh, Pontiac Aztec anyone?


Aztek????? This car is fricken sweet! Blows away anthing that GM has out now. I'd buy this over the Equinoxious.

Derrick G

Looks like they're going with a floor-mounted gas pedal in all their new cars now. Glad to see that.

I don't mind the lack of a reclining rear seat. It's a nifty thing for a salesman to mention when it's novel, but I've never found the very slight recline a rear seat can offer to be very useful myself.


i hate it when people bring up the Aztek...& can't even spell it! So anyways, about the taillights,r the rear turn signals red or yellow? & what's that weird strip across the taillights, is it supp. 2 make em look like LED's? I don't think they should have made the middle of the grille body colored, shoulda been just all black, IMHO....


Any word on whether the kia sportage will get the same treatment? This does look nice. Considering I have owend a hyundai for 7 years without ANY problems this makes my list as a possible choice for next year.


I own a '08 Tucson. I love the exterior looks of this one! The interior a bit "swoopy" (too many odd angles, etc) for my taste tho.

Mine doesn't have near enough cubbies around the driver to stash stuff! And the ones I do have aren't practical. So I hope they've solved that.

My rear seats recline at several stop points (which i found by accident). The kids like it when they are sleeping on long road trips.

Derrick G

The Sportage will move to this platform, yes Ziggy. Spy shots have already been taken and it's a boxier vehicle for sure so the styling will definitely be different. It should probably launch in S Korea early next year, the US late '10 or early '11.


Looks great except for the schnoze. Did they consult with Mazda for that one...

New Sportage definitely in the next two years yes. Confirmed from Kia.

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