We have lavished praise upon Hyundai’s current-generation Tucson compact crossover, which manages to do most things well. Looks are subjective, we know, but the wagonload vehicle is fairly handsome; the interior is a model of ergonomic simplicity, and the quality feel is evident. We even found plenty to like in our drive of a front-drive base model Tucson SE. The Tucson nails the basics and fails to offend in any major way, and that stays true with the latest version to pass through our hands, the Eco model.
Combine the Eco’s weight savings with its smaller 17-inch wheels and tires-which promise lower rolling resistance than the 19-in . setup on the Sport and Limited-and you get the highest EPA fuel-economy estimates in the Tucson range. In front-drive guise, the Eco is definitely rated at 26 mpg city and 33 mpg highway; with all-wheel travel, it’s 25/31 mpg. Those numbers range from 2 to 5 mpg better than the SE and 1 to 3 mpg better than those of the Sport and Limited with the same powertrain.
Outside of the test amounts, the Eco’s electrically assisted power steering is as numb, yet still accurate, while the tillers in other Tucsons, and the suspension tuning yields a comfortable and secure ride-ride comfort is seeing that cosseting as it is in the foundation Tucson SE, the only additional member of the family with 17-inches tires and tires. We detected just faint chatter from the clutches-a common niggle with transmissions of this type-and usually only when starting on a hill under light throttle input. More deliberate jabs of the accelerator engage the clutches smoothly and quickly, after which the transmission cracks off crisp upshifts in its quest for the highest gear practical for a given road speed.
The Eco not just stands as the most efficient Tucson, but also as the least expensive way to nab the turbocharged engine and dual-clutch automatic transmission. In fact, at $26,445, the all-wheel-drive Eco can be just $1450 dearer than the entry-level SE with all-wheel get. (On any Tucson, opting for front-wheel drive saves $1400.) That $1450 outlay mainly nets the powertrain upgrade, with the only other features added over the SE being a power driver’s chair, power lumbar support, illuminated vanity mirrors, roof rails, LED running lights, turn signals on the outside showcases, premium fascias and sills, and an “Eco” badge. The lone add-on present on our check car was a $125 set of accessory floor mats, bringing the total to $26,570. There are no options beyond dealer accessories.
If our test 2017 hyundai Tucson seems plain-particularly in its Winter White paint-it’s nonetheless capable, with a roomy interior and cargo bay, smart ergonomics, and solid build quality. Although the Hyundai’s interior and cargo volumes are mid-pack, the back seat offers plenty of stretch-out space and the valuables hold lacks any obstructions and is certainly usefully shaped. The Tucson, regardless of trim level and engine, is a crossover that does everything pretty well, without performing any one thing exceptionally. Yet neither will it perform anything poorly, although it does lack the driving zest of the segment’s sportiest offering, the Mazda CX-5. But the Tucson offers good value, is normally efficient (particularly in Eco form), and is well suited to the daily grind in any type, so we’ll continue to sing its praises.