When we finished testing the new Hyundai Tucson we were quite impressed. The 2016 redesign leapfrogged over its rather creaky predecessor. We appreciated the comfortable ride, agile handling, quiet interior, roominess, and equipment levels. But there was one sore spot: The automated manual transmission that comes with the 1.6-liter turbo version caused the car to hesitate off the line, notably disconcerting when crossing an intersection. In December, Hyundai issued a fix.

The free fix involves a software update to the engine management system, and it takes about 45 minutes to perform at the dealership. The update is available for SUVs built before November 17, 2015, and it is included with models that are now in production.

We recently had our test car updated. Since the fix, we’ve found that the hesitation is largely gone, but the software update introduced a new issue. There is now a vibration at very low speeds. This occurs at 1-2 mph such as when crawling along in a stop-and-go situation or when looking for parking. We informed Hyundai of this phenomenon, and there likely will be a follow-up update.  

The 2016 Hyundai Tucson transmission receives a free fix, but does it solve the problem?

Hyundai, as well as other manufacturers, uses a dual-clutch automated manual gearbox in order to achieve good performance and fuel economy. As is often the case, the challenge is to get drivability that’s on par with a regular automatic. Common drivability issues experienced with dual-clutch transmissions typically manifest themselves with either hesitation off the line or added vibration.

We think most customers will appreciate the reduced lag that this update provides. And hopefully, Hyundai will also address the vibration issue soon.  

2016 Hyundai Tucson exterior