Daily Archives: January 25, 2007

Long-Term Intro: 2006 Hyundai Tucson AWD Limited

Long-Term Intro: 2006 Hyundai Tucson AWD Limited

Before last year's Sport/Utility of the Year, we would never have expected to welcome a compact Hyundai to the Truck Trend long-term fleet. But two key things happened: The Tucson proved itself one of the best performers in the competition, and gas prices spiked at over $3.50 a gallon in Southern California. We had a hunch the Tucson could be a versatile alternative to bigger, thirstier (even more capable) SUVs, but it would take time behind the wheel to know for sure.

To be specific, we added a 2006 Hyundai Tucson AWD Limited to our fleet. The Tucson was introduced in 2005, and Hyundai created the Limited trim level one year later, which replaced the previous LX version; GL and GLS remain the same. Our Desert Sage model came with only one option: carpeted floormats ($125). Everything else was standard. And the list of standard features reads like the options available on most cars, electronic stability control with traction control, ABS with electronic brake distribution, four-wheel disc brakes, tire-pressure monitoring system (not available on the GL), six airbags, leather seats, seat heaters, an in-dash six-disc CD changer with AM/FM and cassette, auto climate control with outside temperature display, power windows and locks, cruise control, and a host of other goodies. There are also plenty of compartments, storage bins, cupholders, and three 12-volt power points to store, hold, or power anything you need.

The Tucson's 2.7-liter V-6 (a significant step up from the base four-cylinder) also is standard on the Limited, mated to a four-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic manual shift control. For those looking under the hood, you’ll think it odd that a transverse-mounted engine has a cover designed to look like there’s a longitudinally mounted engine underneath. We’ll deduct points from Hyundai for that. Front drive is standard on the entire line with electronic AWD a no-cost option on the Limited. This system normally routes up to 99 percent of the power to the front wheels, but can run 50 percent of the power to the rear as conditions change. The Tucson's center differential can be manually locked for an even 50/50 power split at speeds below 25 mph at the push of a button.

During the first few thousand miles of driving highways, freeways, city streets, dirt roads, and canyons, initial feedback has been mostly positive, but there are complaints. Several editors note the four-speed transmission hunts for the right gear going up hills and at freeway speed. Another issue is with the texture of the steering wheel. It feels too slick and slips through the drivers’ hands too easily, we suspect this could turn into a safety issue in the wrong circumstance. But most feel the Tucson delivers a good amount of value for the money and applaud the manufacturer for designing a second row that actually folds flat.

The Hyundai also went in for its first service, which was supposed to be at 3500 miles. We took it in a little late (4973 miles), when it received a lube, oil, and filter change. One driver noted a coolant smell, but the dealer couldn’t detect it or any leaks. The Tucson left the dealer receiving a clean bill of health. Overall, the first impression is that this small vehicle does everything well, but falls just a point short of being spectacular. We’ll keep taking this SUV through the paces, and fill you in on how the Korean soft-roader fares.

By Scott Mortara
Photography by Julia LaPalme
Truck Trend, December 2006

Hyundai Takes On Cancer, One Mile At A Time

Hyundai Takes On Cancer, One Mile At A Time

On Sept. 17, thousands of people took steps to make a major impact in the fight against cancer and a difference in the lives of families facing this disease. They showed their commitment by participating in the 18th annual Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk, in which Hyundai Motor America served as presenting sponsor for the fourth year in a row.

Hyundai's presence was felt everywhere on Walk day. In addition to having the corporate logo displayed prominently on event signs and booths and Hyundai vehicles at the start in Wellesley, Mass., and the finish line in Boston, Mass., the company's own group of walkers—Team Hyundai—turned out once again to hit the pavement in support of this great cause. They joined the other 7,000 participants who together raised an estimated $5 million for research and patient care at Dana-Farber.

Twenty-one hundred marathon enthusiasts joined new Hyundai COO Steve Wilhite and Peter DiPersia, eastern region general manager for the Hopkinton 26.2-Mile Walk, which followed the famous Boston Marathon® course. Three thousand more people, including Mark Barnes, vice president of marketing, joined the festivities from Wellesley for the 13-mile course. In addition, many patients, their families, and several Boston-area Hyundai dealers chose to follow the third Walk route, starting at the Harvard Medical School Quad and finishing at Copley Square in Boston.

Participants were met along the course by hundreds of volunteers who passed out water, energy snacks, and enthusiastic motivation. The sea of walkers moving through the streets of Boston and its suburbs was an incredible show of support for the Jimmy Fund's fight against cancer at Dana-Farber.

Members of Team Hyundai gather at the finish line in Boston's Copley Square following their efforts in the 2006 Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk

A Team Approach
On the eve of the Walk, participants gathered together for a night of energizing food and celebration at the event's annual Pasta Party. Hyundai's very own "Hope on Wheels" Santa Fe, decorated with the colorful handprints of Jimmy Fund Clinic patients, was on hand to serve as a unique vehicular symbol of hope to all in attendance.

The highlight of the evening came when Team Hyundai capped of its fundraising efforts by presenting a check for $397,139 to Jimmy Fund Chairman Mike Andrews. This total represented all money raised by the team, funds raised by Hyundai's Strike Out Cancer campaign, and contributions from Hyundai dealers throughout the Northeast, Joining Andrews and the Hyundai group were several Walk Heroes—the young cancer patients who provide inspiration for walkers year after year.

"This event provides an opportunity for the whole community to come together and make a public stand against cancer," said DiPersia. "The Hyundai family is proud to be a member of that community and to help in the effort to rid the world of this terrible disease."

About the Jimmy Fund
Since 1948, the Jimmy Fund has supported the fight against cancer at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, helping to raise the chances of survival for children and adults with cancer around the world. Millions of peope have joined forces, through thousands of events and other fundraising activities, with one goal in mind: to help the Jimmy Fund save countless lives by furthering cancer research and care at Dana-Farber. Today, the Jimmy Fund has become one of America's favorite charities.