Hyundai’s Tucson Limited Hybrid SUV is a blockbuster as it’s loaded with abundant safety and convenience features of any comparably priced midsize hybrid SUV. Added to this, it has the most generous powertrain warranty in the world.
The Tucson Hybrid is unbeatable with its standard content, plus it has a handsome, eye-catching design that starts with its 10 stacked (five on each side of the grille) running lights and shark-eye LED headlamps. When lit, the running lights exude a look like no others. Even when not lit, it’s unmistakably a Hyundai SUV.
Then there’s the sculpted, geometric angled body sides that give it an artistic, sexy look. They’re a huge visual difference from the mundane side panels on most other SUVs.
Tucson’s interior too is handsome and classy. Complete with a 10.25-inch display, flush push button automatic transmission shifter and sumptuously padded seats, the suave interior is what you’d find in a more expensive SUV.
As for the shifter, it offers a separate “P” push button for park and separate switches Drive and Reverse. Incidentally, when selecting Reverse gear, a slight beep sounds to notify anyone behind that the vehicle is backing up.
But the standard feature list doesn’t stop with these. There’s paddle shifters to supplement the 6-speed auto trans, panoramic sunroof, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, satellite radio, heated steering wheel, Bose audio and the MyHyundai app that features remote start with climate control and heated/ventilated seats, remote lock/unlock, POI search, vehicle status with fuel level, car finder, a monthly vehicle report and stolen vehicle recovery mode. Hyundai thought of and included all the latest technical goodies, and then some.
Tucson is offered in Blue, SEL Convenience and Limited trim models. Tucson is also offered with a standard gasoline engine model, this hybrid and a plug-in hybrid that’s good for up to 28 miles of electric only driving.
We tested the Limited Hybrid that was nicely appointed with all the aforementioned features plus remote smart parking via a pair of switches on the keyfob.
Step-in into the cabin is a low 19-inches and despite this, Tucson has an impressive 8.3-inch ground clearance for negotiating modest snow depths.
The 10.25-inch split screen infotainment display is vivid and it serves the audio, navigation, apps, weather report, voice control climate system, rearview camera with three different views plus an overhead view, and when tired of listening to the radio, merely switch to Sounds of Nature selections that offer sounds of a crackling fireplace, waves breaking on shore, open air café and more.
Below the display are HVAC controls that are seemingly all on one glass screen with touch sensitive selections. Below it is the push button transmission shifter.
There’s also an AWD lock switch on the console that when engaged, delivers engine power to front and rear wheels for added traction and does so up to 60 mph. Beyond that it and it will automatically switch to AWD Auto mode. Tucson’s system offers Normal, Sport, Smart and Snow modes.
Over on the 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, a hybrid gauge shows Charge, Eco and Power modes. In between, there’s a driver information display showing functions and alerts.
Heated/cooled leather front seats are soft and supportive while the back seat is also heated. In the back, seat a third tween passenger gets decent leg room as the transaxle hump is low.
Tucson Hybrid’s cargo area with the rear seats upright is rated at 41.3 cubic feet that measures 38 inches deep, 43 wide and 29.5 high. Flip the rear seatbacks and space increases to 80 cubic feet for 72 inches of loading depth (a full six feet).
And beneath the cargo floor resides a five-compartment foam bin for small item storage. One of those compartments holds a tire inflator kit as there is no spare tire. Liftover into the cargo area is a low 29.5 inches.
As a hybrid, Tucson is powered by a 44.2 kW electric motor and 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that in combination develops a total of 226-hp and 258 lb/ft of torque for EPA mileage estimates of 37-highway, 36 city mpg when coupled to the 6-speed automatic transmission. The combination has been independently timed at 7.1 seconds for a 0-60 sprint. The transition from gas to electric power and back is seamless. And if you employ a light accelerator pedal, the electric motor can power the Tucson over limited distances.
As for handling, Hyundai’s E-Handling Technology assists by sending more torque to the rear wheels for exceptional stability in corners. And as it’s shod with Michelin 19-inch tires, Tucson Hybrid rides quietly and smoothly as its suspension absorbs road imperfections, tar strips and unimproved railroad crossings with ease creating merely a ripple in the cabin.
Just as impressive is that the Tucson Hybrid was loaded with an extremely long list of standard safety features and functions. Safety items such as forward collision avoidance assist, lane keeping/following assist, driver attention warning, blind spot collision/rear cross traffic collision avoidance, safe exit warning, tire pressure monitoring and many more.
On the comfort/convenience side, there’s heated/ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, rain sensing wipers, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, smart cruise control, remote park assist, panoramic sunroof and numerous more.
For all this and then some, the suggested retail price is a reasonable $37,650. But that’s not all.
Like all Hyundai vehicles, Tucson Hybrid comes with generous warranties of 5 year/60,000-mile new vehicle; 10/100K powertrain; 10/100K hybrid system components; 10/100k hybrid battery; 7/Unlimited perforation; 3/36K complimentary maintenance; and 5/Unlimited roadside assistance. How can any car buyer go wrong with this complete warranty?
Hyundai’s Tucson Hybrid is not only fuel efficient, but offers the most comprehensive features, functions and affordable price among the competition. It’s our choice for Midsize Hybrid SUV of the Year.