What Changed for 2008:
- Standard active front head restraints
- Standard XM satellite radio with three months of service
- Auxiliary input jack
- Black leather replaces grey leather
- Six-disc CD changer now standard on Limited
Like many crossover SUVs, the Tucson from Hyundai-which is mechanically similar to the Kia Sportage-is constructed like a car with a transverse- (sideways) mounted engine and a choice of front- or all-wheel drive (FWD or AWD). For 2008, the Tucson receives minor enhancements, most of which relate to the standard audio system.
Hyundai offers the 2008 Tucson in GLS, SE and Limited trim levels. The Tucson GLS, which features a 4-cylinder engine, comes with power windows, locks and mirrors; 16-inch alloy wheels; and a CD stereo with XM satellite radio. Air conditioning and cruise control are optional. The Tucson SE gets a V-6 engine with automatic transmission; fog lights; leather-wrapped steering wheel; air conditioning; cruise control; 140-watt stereo; and a trip computer. Options include a sunroof and heated front seats. The top-of-the-line Tucson Limited adds leather seats; 200-watt stereo with 6-disc CD changer; automatic climate control; and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. A sunroof is optional.
The 2008 Hyundai GLS models are powered by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with continuously variable valve timing that produces 140 hp at 6000 rpm and 136 lb.-ft. of torque at 4500 rpm, and drives the front wheels through either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. EPA fuel economy estimates are 20 mpg city/25 mpg highway for the manual, 19 mpg city/25 mpg highway with the automatic. SE and Limited models come with a 2.7-liter V-6 engine good for 173 hp at 6000 rpm and 178 lb.-ft. of torque at 4000 rpm, a 4-speed automatic transmission and choice of FWD or AWD. EPA fuel economy estimates are 18 mpg city/24 mpg highway in FWD form, 17 mpg city/23 mpg highway for AWD.
Standard safety equipment on the 2008 Hyundai Tucson includes front air bags, front-seat-mounted side air bags, 2-row side curtain air bags, a tire-pressure-monitoring system, active front head restraints, and electronic stability control. The Tucson scored a perfect 5 stars in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) front- and side-impact tests; the rollover rating was 4 stars. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) front and side crash tests, the Tucson scored \"Acceptable,\" the second-highest rating.
The 2008 Hyundai Tucson's new active front head restraints work in a rear-end collision to better protect against whiplash, maker says. The active front head restraint is a spring-loaded mechanical device, and therefore does not rely on the vehicle's electrical system. Sudden pressure on the upper part of the seatback-as would occur if the vehicle were rear-ended-trips the device, causing the head restraints to spring forward to position closer to the occupant's head, reducing backward head movement and thus the likelihood of a whiplash injury, Hyundai adds.