Test Drive: 2014 Hyundai Tucson Limited AWD car test drives hyundai
Test Drive: 2014 Hyundai Tucson Limited AWD car test drives hyundai
Test Drive: 2014 Hyundai Tucson Limited AWD car test drives hyundai
2014 Hyundai Tucson Limited AWD. Click image to enlarge

Review and photos by Greg Wilson

We’ve been spending a lot of time with the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport lately – it’s proved popular with our reviewers in Autos.ca’s recent compact sport-ute comparison tests – but to be honest, it’s been distracting us from Hyundai’s other compact sport ute, the Tucson (Hyundai likes to call it a compact utility vehicle or CUV) which we last test-drove in 2011. Redesigned in 2010, the curvy European-designed Tucson (and its corporate cousin the Kia Sportage) is a bit smaller than popular CUVs like the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape, but nevertheless has a roomy passenger cabin, generous standard equipment, nimble driving manners, and attractive aerodynamic styling which seems to be holding up quite well after four years (at least in my view). Its main drawback is a comparatively small cargo area.

You’ll be hard-pressed to spot the styling differences for 2014, but there are some minor changes: new LED daytime running lights, projector headlights, and new-style 17 and 18-inch alloy wheels. As well, some trim levels are now available with Hyundai’s driver-selectable variable steering effort system, third generation audio and navigation system, LED tail lights and heated second row seats.

Under the hood, new direct fuel injection has been added to both its available four-cylinder engines to increase power and torque, though it hasn’t done much for fuel economy. The base 2.0L four-cylinder GDI engine (offered in the GL trim) has the same horsepower (164) as last year, but adds five lb-ft of torque (now 151 lb-ft.) for improved mid-range throttle response. Its advertised fuel economy with standard front-wheel drive and the optional six-speed automatic transmission is now 8.9 city/6.9 hwy (L/100 km), but I prefer to use the EPA’s more realistic estimate of 10.2 city/8.1 hwy (23/29 US mpg). That’s a slight overall improvement over the previous engine’s 10.7/8.1 (23/29), but it’s not nearly as thrifty as the Mazda CX-5 2.0 with 9.0/7.4 (26/32), or even the Toyota RAV4 2.5 with 9.8/7.6 (24/31) and the Honda CR-V 2.4 with 10.2/7.6 (23/31) (all models with front-wheel drive and automatic transmission).

The Tucson’s bigger 2.4L four-cylinder GDI engine (offered in the GLS and Limited trims) now delivers six more horsepower (182) and nine more lb-ft of torque (177), but its fuel consumption has increased slightly to 11.8/9.4 (20/25) from 11.8/8.7 (20/27) (equipped with automatic transmission and all-wheel drive) . That’s not as good as the Mazda CX-5 2.5 with 9.8/7.8 (24/30), the Honda CR-V 2.4 with 10.7/7.8 (22/30), the Ford Escape 1.6 Turbo with 10.7/7.8 (22/30), and the Toyota RAV4 2.5 with 10.7/8.1 (22/29) (all with automatic transmissions and all-wheel drive).

Another change from 2013: the standard five-speed manual transmission in the base L trim has been replaced by a six-speed manual in the GL trim, which is now the base trim; the L trim has been discontinued along with its sub $20,000 price-tag.

For its 2014 base price of $21,499 plus a rather hefty $1,760 Freight charge, the Tucson GL FWD includes the 164 hp 2.0L engine and six-speed manual transmission ($23,749 with the six-speed automatic), air conditioning, remote keyless entry, cruise control, heated front cloth seats, Bluetooth hands-free phone, power windows, locks and heated mirrors, AM/FM radio with CD, auxiliary and USB ports (satellite radio with automatic transmission), audio controls on the steering wheel, folding rear seatbacks, traction and stability control, Hill Start Assist, Downhill Brake Control, four disc brakes and 17-inch tires and steel wheels. Tucson GL models with all-wheel drive (AWD) and standard automatic transmission start at $25,749.

Test Drive: 2014 Hyundai Tucson Limited AWD car test drives hyundai Test Drive: 2014 Hyundai Tucson Limited AWD car test drives hyundai Test Drive: 2014 Hyundai Tucson Limited AWD car test drives hyundai Test Drive: 2014 Hyundai Tucson Limited AWD car test drives hyundai
2014 Hyundai Tucson Limited AWD. Click image to enlarge

The mid-level Tucson GLS trim upgrades to the 184 hp 2.4L engine and standard automatic transmission for $26,899 (FWD) and $28,899 (AWD). To the GL’s list of standard equipment, the GLS adds 17-inch alloy wheels, dual panoramic sunroofs, leatherette seat bolsters to the cloth seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift lever, telescopic steering wheel, back-up camera in the rear-view mirror, heated rear seats, driver’s automatic up/down power window, and automatic head lights.

The top model is the Tucson Limited ($33,599) which comes only with the 2.4L engine, automatic transmission and all-wheel drive as standard equipment. To the GLS’s features, it adds standard 18-inch all-season tires and alloy wheels, LED tail lights, leather seats, power driver’s seat with power lumbar, seven-inch touchscreen with navigation and back-up camera, 4.2-inch information display in the instrument cluster, dual-zone automatic climate control driver selectable steering effort, premium 360-watt audio system with amplifier and seven speakers, Homelink garage door opener, and solar glass.




About Greg Wilson

Greg Wilson is a Vancouver-based automotive journalist and contributor to Autos.ca. He is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).