Hyundai Adds a More Powerful Engine to the Tucson Lineup
After Hyundai redesigned its compact crossover, the Tucson, for 2016, we wanted to add one to our long-term fleet. We’ve liked it well enough so far, but perhaps we should have waited. Today, Hyundai announced a new mid-level Sport trim for the Tucson that drops our long-termer’s unrefined dual-clutch transmission while offering a more powerful engine.
Priced starting at $26,130 including destination, the Tucson Sport gets a 2.4-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder good for 181 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque. Compare that to the other engine options in the Tucson lineup: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 164 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque and a 1.6-liter turbo-four with 175 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque.
Front-wheel drive comes standard on the Sport, but all-wheel drive is available as a $1,400 option. Both versions get Hyundai’s six-speed automatic transmission.
Positioned between the SEL and SEL Plus trims, the Tucson Sport includes features such as blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a proximity key. For a sportier feel, Hyundai also added a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, chrome exhaust tips, and 19-inch wheels. All-wheel-drive versions get a standard windshield wiper de-icer, as well.
Sadly, unlike Sport versions of the Elantra, this Tucson doesn’t get an upgraded suspension. Then again, sporty handling usually isn’t a top priority for mainstream crossover buyers. With more power and a less-jerky transmission, though, the Tucson Sport should be a better all-around car.