Hyundai first pulled the drape off the redesigned 2016 Tucson at the Geneva auto show in March, but now it’s showing the U.S. version at New York. The Tucson is an international product—built in two factories, one in the Czech Republic and the one in South Korea that will produce our examples—so the American model looks the same as the one for Europe, but we do have the details on the new crossover’s U.S.-specific powertrains (one of which is new) and the CUV’s available equipment (which is quite extensive).
First, though, the basics: The new Tucson is 1.1-inch wider than its predecessor, 3.0 inches longer, and there’s a 1.2-inch greater stretch between the axles. Hyundai claims greater interior space and cargo volume as a result. The new structure is said to be stiffer, and the suspension of struts up front and control arms at the rear has been redesigned.
Something Old, Something New
Motivating the larger Tucson are two available powertrains. Returning for duty is the 164-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder, which also makes 151 lb-ft of torque. Available only on the base model, that engine is paired exclusively with a six-speed automatic (no manual is offered on the Tucson) and can be had with front- or all-wheel drive. Hyundai estimates that the EPA numbers will come in at 23 mpg city and 31 mpg highway (FWD), up from 23/29 mpg for the 2015 version. The company reckons that the AWD Tucson with this engine will get 22/26 mpg, barely better than the outgoing model’s lackluster 21/25 mpg.
Most Tucsons will be powered by a new 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder, which replaces the old 2.4-liter naturally aspirated four as the step-up engine. It makes 175 horsepower and 195 lb-ft and is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. Preliminary fuel-economy estimates are 25/30 mpg city/highway for the front-wheel-drive Sport and Limited models (24/28 with AWD), while the Eco version is expected to, ahem, eke-o an additional 1 mpg in the city and 3 mpg on the highway (+1/+2 mpg with AWD).
At Geneva, we also heard whispers of a performance version using a 200-ish-hp version of the 1.6T, although there was no confirmation as to whether that model would come to the U.S.
We do have a few specifics about the available AWD system, which operates via an electronically controlled clutch at the rear axle. The system’s Active Cornering Control can brake an inside rear wheel and send extra power to the opposite wheel, providing what Hyundai characterizes as “a torque-vectoring effect.” For off-road driving or extraslippery conditions, the driver can activate an AWD lock function. The Tucson also adds an available Drive Mode Select feature, which alters steering effort, throttle mapping, and transmission shift points.
Tech, Tech, and More Tech
The new Tucson greatly ramps up its list of high-tech safety features. New items include forward-collision warning with automatic braking and pedestrian detection, blind-spot warning (undoubtedly a good idea given those large C-pillars), lane-departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and adaptive headlights. A backup camera is now standard on all trim levels. Also on the list of available goodies are front and rear seat heaters, ventilated front seats, a panoramic sunroof, and a hands-free power liftgate.
The new Tucson’s other big push is in the area of connectivity. The navigation system can support Yelp, Pandora, and Apple Siri “Eyes Free.” Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics comes in three different levels of service, and some features can be controlled by an Android smartwatch. The 2016 Tucson reaches dealers in July.