2009 Hyundai Tucson

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18 CITY / 24 HWY
Overall Quality
Overall Performance and Design
Predicted Reliability


What Changed for 2009:
  • Up to a 6-percent improvement in fuel economy
  • Manual transmission models get B&M Racing Sport Shifter
  • Exterior upgrades include bolder grille, new 16-inch alloy wheels
  • SE 4WD model gets standard heated front seats, windshield wiper de-icer
  • Limited V6 model gets standard power sunroof
  • 200-watt Kenwood navigation/audio system available
Like many crossover SUVs, the Hyundai Tucson-which is mechanically similar to the Kia Sportage-looks like an SUV but drives like a car and offers a choice of front- or all-wheel drive (FWD or AWD). For 2009, the Tucson's fuel economy improves-not due to engine revisions, but because of improvements to its transmission, torque converter, steering pump belt and engine-management system. As a result, the Tucson SE and Limited V6 4WD get a 6-percent improvement in city mileage; other Tucsons see a 4- or 5-percent mpg boost.

The 4-door Tucson has more interior space than the Nissan Rogue, Ford Escape and Jeep Patriot, according to Hyundai. The 60/40-split folding rear seats expand cargo-carrying capacity to 65.6 cubic feet. Additional storage is available beneath the Tucson's composite load floor, and the vehicle has eight cup or bottle holders.

Model Lineup
Hyundai offers the 2009 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 172-watt, AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo with XM satellite radio. An auxiliary input jack for iPods is standard. 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; and a 2-mode trip computer that measures driving time and average speed. Options include a sunroof and heated front seats.

The top-of-the-line Tucson Limited adds leather seats; heated front seats; an enhanced stereo with 6-disc CD changer; automatic climate control; and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. A power sunroof is standard on V-6 models.

The 2009 Hyundai Tucson GLS model is powered by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine 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. This engine also is available for the Limited trim level. Four-cylinder 2WD models with a 5-speed manual transmission get 20 mpg in city driving and 26 mpg on the highway. Those equipped with automatic transmissions get 20 mpg city/25 mpg highway. Tucson SE and Limited V6 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, 18 mpg city/23 mpg highway for AWD.

The Tucson's 4WD system can send up to 50 percent of the power to the rear wheels, if road or traction conditions demand it.

Standard safety equipment on the 2009 Hyundai Tucson includes front air bags, front-seat-mounted side air bags, 2-row side curtain air bags, 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 for both FWD and AWD models. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) front and side crash tests, the Tucson scored \"Acceptable,\" the second-highest rating.

The Tucson's 200-watt Kenwood in-dash navigation/audio system is standard on both 4-cylinder and V-6 models for 2009. It's optional on GLS and SE models. The system includes a single head unit with an auxiliary input jack, and it comes with an SD card slot and 700 MB of internal memory. The touch-screen navigation system offers routing to millions of points of interest in the continental United States.


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