Unexciting but practical. Solid transportation that gets you from point A to point B. Those are the damn-with-faint-praise platitudes that some auto enthusiasts use to dismiss vehicles like the Hyundai Tucson. But many consumers don't want -- let alone need -- the 'wow' factor. They seek a competent, workmanlike ride and a headache-free ownership experience.
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Hyundai Tucson Road Test

Unexciting but practical. Solid transportation that gets you from point A to point B. Those are the damn-with-faint-praise platitudes that some auto enthusiasts use to dismiss vehicles like the Hyundai Tucson. But many consumers don't want -- let alone need -- the 'wow' factor. They seek a competent, workmanlike ride and a headache-free ownership experience. That everyday reassurance is what made Toyota the powerhouse that it is. Now Hyundai is trying on those same sensible shoes.

Although the exterior design of the Tucson hints at flash, the rest of this compact SUV is as generic as store-brand soda. But basic doesn't mean bad. The Tucson's 2016 redesign lifts it from a perennial also-ran right up to the forefront. It's a centerfold for sensibility.

Two powertrains are available: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with a six-speed automatic transmission that comes only on the base SE trim and a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic on the three uplevel trims. It might seem odd that more expensive versions get a smaller engine, but this is the new world order, with small turbo offerings usually the more satisfying alternative.

Best Version to Get
Sadly, the perfect Tucson doesn't exist: an SE with the turbo engine and conventional six-speed automatic. That said, the buyer has to choose between two basic configurations based on engine choice. Our testers found the Sport to feel more rewarding, with stronger power and better fuel economy. Th...
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