2016 Hyundai Tucson Preview

Jeff Youngs | Apr 03, 2015
  • Redesigned for 2016
  • Longer and wider outside, larger inside
  • Significant increase in cargo room
  • Upgraded interior materials, switchgear
  • Upscale equipment in Limited trim level
  • Improved fuel economy, new turbocharged engine
  • New torque-vectoring AWD system
  • Major safety and infotainment technology upgrades
  • Base, Eco, Sport, and Limited trim levels
  • On sale in July 2015


Small crossover SUVs are exploding in popularity, and while the Hyundai Tucson is not new to the game, the redesigned 2016 Hyundai Tucson is, and it appears that the automaker has perfectly timed dramatic improvements to the model with unprecedented consumer demand for this type of vehicle.

On sale in July of 2015, the new 2016 Tucson will be offered in base, Eco, Sport, and Limited trim levels, most of which will have a new turbocharged engine, and all of which will benefit from Hyundai's improvements in terms of design, engineering, comfort, utility, dynamics, safety, technology, and more.

Exterior Features

Sitting on a wheelbase that is stretched 1.2 in. compared with the outgoing Tucson, the new 2016 Tucson is both longer and wider than before. Hyundai has also reduced front and rear overhangs in order to concentrate more of the vehicle's mass within the wheelbase, resulting in a more balanced appearance and improved driving dynamics, according to the company.

The Tucson's new bodywork is wrapped around a more rigid structure, more than half of which is composed of advanced high-strength steel. Hyundai offers a mix of standard and optional LED lighting elements for the Tucson, a set of 19-in. aluminum wheels is available, and the SUV can be painted one of eight exterior colors.

Interior Features

Hyundai sought to refine the Tucson's interior by using liberal amounts of soft-touch material in locations where vehicle occupants frequently come into contact with the cabin. Additionally, thanks to improved aerodynamics, engineering changes, and greater amounts of sound insulation, Hyundai says the new Tucson's cabin is quieter.

Hyundai says the interior switchgear and displays are more refined than the outgoing model, and that the tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel offers a greater range of adjustment than before. Seats are wrapped in one of three shades of stain-resistant fabric, and the Tucson Limited is equipped with one of two colors of leather upholstery. The 60/40-split rear seatbacks recline up to 37 degrees.

According to Hyundai, the new Tucson offers 5 extra cu. ft. of cargo space behind the rear seats, for a total of 31 cu. ft. Loading cargo is easier thanks to a larger rear liftgate opening, and a dual-level cargo floor design provides options for carrying items in the cargo hold.

Optional Features

Among the options confirmed by Hyundai are LED headlights, LED running lights, LED accent lights, LED map lights, and LED approach lights within the Tucson's door handles. Dynamic Bending Light adaptive headlights are also available, along with a full-length panoramic sunroof, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and a smart auto-open power liftgate.

Under the Hood

A direct-injection, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine making 164 horsepower is standard in the base Tucson. It drives the front wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission with a Shiftronic manual shift gate. Hyundai estimates this powertrain will return 26 mpg in combined driving.

Eco, Sport, and Limited versions get a turbocharged, 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine good for 175 horsepower. The story here, however, is torque. The turbocharged engine generates 44 extra lb.-ft. of it compared with the standard engine, for a total of 195 lb.-ft. The torque peaks from 1,500 rpm to 4,500 rpm, ensuring lively response when the driver depresses the accelerator pedal. A 7-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) is included with this engine, and Hyundai says this powertrain will return 27 mpg to 29 mpg, depending on the trim level.

An all-wheel-drive (AWD) system is optional with the turbocharged engine, featuring torque-vectoring Active Cornering Control to enhance cornering characteristics. Hill-start assist and Downhill Brake Control are also included with the AWD system.

Upgrades to the Tucson's suspension are claimed to deliver a smoother ride and better handling, according to Hyundai, and changes to the electric steering are designed to improve feel and response. Drive Mode Select technology is available, adjusting the steering and powertrain to specific driver-selected preferences.


Every 2016 Hyundai Tucson is equipped with a reversing camera as standard equipment. Options include rear park-assist sensors as well as blind-spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, and lane-change-assist systems. Hyundai will also offer a pedestrian-detection system with automatic emergency braking for the new Tucson.


The new Tucson's standard infotainment system includes a 5-in. display, reversing camera display, and Bluetooth connectivity. Siri Eyes Free is available to Apple iPhone users.

An optional infotainment system with navigation is equipped with an 8-in. touch-screen display. It features improved sensitivity, brighter illumination for better visibility, and a new split-screen function simultaneously showing both the map and the radio information.

Also available, a premium audio system is equipped with SiriusXM Tune Start technology, which allows a song to be replayed from the start as long as it is playing on one of the radio's pre-set stations.

A next-generation version of Hyundai's Blue Link smartphone connectivity and services technology is available for the 2016 Tucson. It includes a free subscription to Connected Care service for the first year of ownership, providing access to automatic-collision notification, SOS emergency assistance, and enhanced roadside assistance.

An extra-cost Remote package subscription adds a car-finder service, remote lock/unlock, remote engine start/stop, remote climate control operation, and stolen-vehicle recovery assistance. The Remote package also contains remote monitoring services such as valet alert, speed alert, and curfew alert, and tells the owner when the Tucson has been driven beyond a programmed geographic boundary.

Blue Link also offers a Guidance package including Google-powered destination search and send-to-car capabilities.
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