New Hyundai Tucson – Does It Have Better Handling?

by Hubert Mckinney / SUV

The new 2018 Hyundai Tucson almost does not look like its predecessor ix35. Appearance, advanced stuffing – everything else.

The Korean crossover in the third generation has returned its original name to Tucson – a small town with a half million population in Arizona. If in the middle of zero, the first Tucson was focused on the US market, which clearly follows from the name, but now in Hyundai openly talk about the desire to gain a foothold with this model in Europe: it will be manufactured in the Czech Republic.

As in the case of the appearance of ix35, which was not at all like the awkward design of the first generation, another radical update markedly changed the car, and, it is necessary to admit, again for the better.

New design language

The SUV looks fresh, sporty and very modern – in this respect, the car will now yield very little to competitors. It seemed to me that the 2018 Tucson now looks a lot like the Mazda CX-5, one of the most elegant representatives of urban crossovers. This is especially noticeable when viewed from the front and from the side angles in 2018 Hyundai Tucson pictures. Both the contours and the dimensions of the two cars are quite similar.

The length of the new crossover increased by 2.5″, width – by 1.2″, but the height was reduced by 0.6″.

Surely, many specialists and motorists were surprised by the fact that Petar Schreyer, who is the head of the design department at the Korean plant, put his hand to the appearance of the new car.

In general, the 2018 Hyundai Tucson redesign, if desired, can be described in two words – style and refinement. It should be noted that the new car is very different from its predecessors, but it has certain characteristics that tell us that this model is designed in Asia. However, experts believe that the appearance of the new Hyundai Tucson is very similar to the design of the model, which is now called Santa Fe.

Thought-out interior

Once in the 2018 Hyundai Tucson interior, you immediately understand that the specialists who put their hand to the interior decoration worked for the glory. It should be noted that the interior of the car really meets the best standards in terms of ergonomics, space and comfort. Of course, modern front seats deserve special attention, which are equipped with a heating system and numerous adjustments.

Passengers who are lucky to sit in the back seat, will also feel all its advantages. By the way, the interior of the car is so spacious, that sometimes it seems that people can feel comfortable here, even people with uncommon anthropometric data.

Pleasant metamorphosis did not ignore the front panel, which now flaunts the digital instrument panel, as well as a huge display that seems to be an excellent addition to all the other benefits of the Hyundai Tucson interior.

In the cabin it became more spacious – in the back row, despite the reduced height, it will not be closely to anyone. Sitting in the driver’s seat, you note: Tucson pleases with some kind of general harmony. From the car of this class, you do not expect anything special from the beginning, that’s why the car was especially pleasantly surprised in terms of ergonomics.

The steering wheel is pleasant to the touch, on the dashboard is output to a convenient 4.2-inch TFT-display, and the central console is attracted by a large 8-inch touch screen, to which is attached a navigation system with TomTom software.

Soft plastic here, of course, not, but visually, to the touch or hearing of no rejection, the materials do not cause any decoration. One of the claims to the ix35 interior was the bluish illumination of the instruments, which annoyed many – and this jamb of designers was removed. The backlight remained blue, but it became absolutely neutral.

Speaking Technically

In a nutshell, the suspension is the same – McPherson in the front and multi-link rear, but a number of new elements. At subframes the changed fastenings to a body and other geometry. Stocks of front shock absorbers became thicker, the levers of the rear suspension are longer. Front shock absorbers for all variations of the crossover are identical, and the rear ones with springs depend on the drive and the type of engine. Also, the Tucson has acquired larger brake discs than the ix35: in front of 12″ instead of 11.8, in rear – 11.9″ instead of 11.2″. The clutch of the rear axle drive is made by WIA Magna Powertrain, as in Santa Fe model.

2018 Hyundai Tucson specs shows increased proportion of high-strength steels, revised body structure. The result is a five-star rating in the Euro NCAP crash tests and a maximum Top Safety Pick+ score in the IIHS tests, where ix35 failed two years ago during the front crash test with a 25 percent overlap.


Direct injection, aluminum cylinder block and head, combined with the exhaust manifold turbocharger, phase shifters at the inlet and outlet. The turbo engine of the 1.6 G-GDI model of the G4FJ family of the Gamma family, after adjustment from the Euro-4 to the Euro-5 norm, is inferior to the Veloster powertrain only: 177 forces versus 186 (in European spec). And they have the same torque – 195 ft-lb in the range 1500-4500 rpm .

In the engine line, there have also been major changes. Instead of two diesel engines and one petrol engine, the ix35’s heir was equipped with three petrol versions, leaving only one diesel – the one that is more powerful – 184 hp. However, given the high cost and questionable savings when using diesel in most countries unlike the European ones, it would be naive to expect that this option will be bought in bulk.

Considering that a weak 132-horsepower 1.6-liter engine is only available in the cheapest equipment with mechanics, there are almost no chances that it will be used at least in some demand (and it is unavailable for the US customers). No 2018 Hyundai Tucson hybrid modification whatsoever.

In Hyundai reasonably believe that the main sales will be on the other two engines. This is a 164-hp naturally-aspirated engine with a displacement of 2 liters preserved from the previous generation. It is available both with mechanics, and with the “automatic” and can go both in all-wheel drive, and in the front-wheel drive version (in the US only with an automatic gearbox).

The second of the “basic” is the 175-hp turbocharged 1.6-liter unit, which is paired with a robotic seven-speed transmission with two clutches. By the way, this motor is the fastest of all.

Test Driving

The first miles I overcame from the rear and, not having time to really enjoy the comfort of landing and the seat itself, was unhappy with the smoothness of the course. The car finds irregularities even where they are not noticed by the eyes: the amplitude of the oscillations is low, but their frequency for the long voyage is prohibitive.

Managed by the Tucson is no worse than the Bike, although the compliment is doubtful. The clamped suspension, small rolls, low-profile (in the case of the top version) tires – the steering wheel turns quickly and assembled to turn the steering wheel, but the real effort on the steering wheel is not enough to enjoy the process. You choose Sport – electric b1ooster “loads” the steering wheel more, however, the distance between you and the car does not decrease. And in the broken corners at the speed of the Tucson sometimes jerks along the trajectory with the rear axle, albeit in a non-frightening range.

On the asphalt car behaves without complaints, cheerfully listening to the steering wheel and not delivering any unpleasant surprises. Noticeably reduced rolls in the corners, on mountain serpentines the crossover showed itself very much even nothing.

To sing a buzz from an amateur for fast driving is almost impossible. Between the gas pedal kick in the floor and some kind of response will have to wait, and all that this engine is capable of – to accelerate the car to sixty in 9.1 seconds. This is a monstrous lot for active driving. The rest and that is slower. What can I say that at speeds of 80 MPH even the top turbocharged engine is frankly lacking power, forcing to be cautious with overtaking.

With joy you can ride on it on smooth roads, with convenience – pushing in traffic jams. And everything that concerns irregularities and extra-asphalt, crossover disciplines, – in a whisper or with shaking. No matter how hard I tried, I did not find in this model any driving quality that could lead me to Hyundai dealers. 2018 Hyundai Tucson reviews are likely to be the same.

Trim Levels, Modifications, and Pricing

In the US market, Tucson comes in 7 trim levels and modifications. We suppose that the same trim levels and pricing will be preserved for 2018 model year car.

The basic one, Tucson SE features 2-liter engine with automatic transmission, 5-inch multimedia, air conditioning, rear view camera, 17-inch alloy wheels. MSRP is $22,700 plus $1,400 if you need AWD.

SE plus has better multimedia (8-inch with Android Auto and Apple Car Play support), leather seats, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry, power seats with heating, 8-speaker audio system. It goes for $26,750 MSRP

Tucson Eco features efficient turbocharged engine with robotic dual-clutch transmission. It has all the same features as in Tucson SE. The price is $24,150.

Value Edition has 19-inch rims, panoramic roof, and all features from SE plus. Goes for $26,550.

2018 Hyundai Tucson Sport has blind spot monitoring system, lane change alert, hands-free power liftgate, illuminated door handles and costs $25,900.

Tucson Night is a package to Sport, features leather-wrapped steering wheel, 19-inch rims of exclusive design and aluminum sport pedals. All these for $27,800 MSRP.

Top-end trim level is Hyundai Tucson Limited. It has hi-fi sound system by Infinity, LED headlights, chromed grille and door handles, 8-inch multimedia with navigation, Premium insturment panel – for $29,775 for FWD version (with $1,400 surplus for all-wheel drive).

2018 Hyundai Tucson colors is likely to stay the same as well.

Model History

The first generation of Hyundai Tucson SUV appeared in 2004. Together with the Kia Sportage, it was based on a platform from Elantra (McPherson front, double wishbones at the rear). The rear axle was connected by an electromagnetic clutch. Two petrol units (2.0, 141 hp and V6 2.7, 175 hp) were available to the SUV. A two-liter diesel engine developed from 113 to 150 “horses”. Gearboxes: five or six speed manual and a four-speed automatic. In 2005, an experimental Tucson FCEV fuel cell was built.

The second generation was released in 2009. In a number of markets (including Europe), the name was changed to ix35. The crossover was still closely connected with Elantra, but with the newer one. So there was a multi-lever suspension in rear, the automatic gearbox become six-speed, the gasoline engines of the Theta II series (2.0, 166 hp and 2.4, 177 forces) and 1.6 GDI for 135 hp, as well as diesel engines CRDi (1.7 , 116 hp and 2.0, 136 hp). The car has added 3.3″ in length, 1″ in width and 0.4″ to the wheelbase. In 2013, a small restyling was carried out, during which a two-liter Nu series engine with direct injection was added to the engine range. In the same year, a serial model for fuel cells ix35 Fuel Cell appeared.