Thursday, September 3, 2009

2011 Hyundai Tucson Preview

2011 Hyundai Tucson

Hyundai pulled the covers off its redesigned Tucson small SUV in Korea this week, previewing the second-generation model scheduled to make its Stateside introduction this fall at the Los Angeles auto show. The new Tucson production will begin at the Ulsan, South Korea, manufacturing complex in late 2009.

Expected to again slot just a notch below the Hyundai Santa Fe in size and price, the new Tucson has radically different styling than the outgoing model, with cleaner, more dynamic lines akin to other recent Hyundai vehicles. (The updated 2010 Santa Fe will be available with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. Production begins late 2009.) The hood slopes down, the fender flares are flattened, and the triangular rear quarter windows taper to a point facing aft.

Interior space is about the same as before, and we expect reasonably high levels of fit and finish. The engine is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder like that in the current Sonata sedan, where it makes 175 hp, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. (An all-new Sonata begins production in winter 2010.) That engine replaces the outgoing Tucson’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder as well as its fuel-thirsty 2.7-liter V6. Both front- and all-wheel-drive versions will be available. True to Hyundai’s lots-for-the-money marketing strategy, uplevel Tucsons will offer leather upholstery, a navigation system, keyless ignition with push-button start, and other premium touches.

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