November 01, 2015 By Kevin C. Limjoco

2016 Hyundai Tucson Sport

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Words: Kevin C. Limjoco – Photos: Isabel N. Delos Reyes/ Additional Photo: Hyundai Press

The third generation Hyundai Tucson is guaranteed to be a winner for many reasons beginning with its familiar but considerably better looking/functioning overall redesign. Building on an already strong product enjoyed worldwide, Hyundai clearly understands who their target markets are and how to make their customers even happier offering not just more space, stability, safety and creature comforts but even surprising dynamics in its Sport model which we tested. Our test unit may not have had the ideal new LED twin-projector headlights and AWD, but it did have the slightly detuned version of the direct injection 1.6-liter turbo engine derived from the Veloster mated to an impressive 7-speed dual-clutch transmission that amazingly exploits the little engine entertainingly!

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The Tucson’s completely new platform is not much longer nor wider than before (a gain of 1.2 inches in wheelbase may not seem much) but the results are tangible. The new cabin has roughly 142 liters of additional interior volume. The Tucson feels very planted and substantial without feeling heavy. The jump in fitment from old to new is similar to when the new current Santa Fe was released. The interior feels way more upscale. Our Sport test unit arrived with standard 19-inch alloys shod with meaty 245/45HR19 tires that dangerously mimic the wheels of a Volkswagen Golf GTi. The exhaust note from the twin bevel-cut chrome tips are similar to the Sonata Sport we tested a few months ago despite having 400cc less engine displacement and two less exhaust ports. The new chassis is also more rigid, made up of 50 % advanced high-strength steel, whereas the former model only used 18 %. The steering also has a much improved motor-driven system.

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The old Tucson felt its best on the road with the top range 2.0-liter CRDI engine, and when full speced out, was a very solid small crossover. But this new model tears that old model up in every way. The Sport is by far the swiftest and most agile Tucson ever while yielding more class and fuel economy. I hope this Sport model eventually finds its way to our shores; it has the best balance of fuel economy and driving entertainment in the Tucson model range.

Specification – 2016 Hyundai Tucson Sport
Engine: Inline-4, 1591 cc, dohc 16V, D-CVVT, Direct Injection Intercooled Turbo, 7-speed DCT
Max power: 175 bhp @ 5500 rpm
Max torque: 195 lb ft @ 1500-4500 rpm
0-100 km/h (0-62mph): 8.7 sec.
Top Speed: 205 km/h (128 mph)
Fuel Mileage: 25 mpg City / 30 mpg Highway
Price as tested: US$ 27,170.00
C! RATING 9.7/10
+The quickest and most nimble Tucson ever without giving up versatility and comfort, handsome
-Our test unit did not have the LED headlights, unit sold in limited markets only

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