Daily Archives: August 30, 2007

Long-Term Wrap-Up: 2006 Hyundai Tucson

Long-Term Wrap-Up: 2006 Hyundai Tucson

Another adventurer took our Tucson to Colorado over a holiday weekend. He wrote that freeway ride quality was smooth, allowing passengers to easily doze off. As the road took him higher in elevation, it started to snow, and the Tucson really began to shine. In near-whiteout conditions with little traction on the road, it “was nothing short of phenomenal — over icy, windy, snowy roads, the vehicle was perfect, never giving us any white-knuckle moments.”

Additionally, our Tucson went to Mammoth Lakes, a popular summer and winter destination five hours north of Los Angeles, where it served as pack mule for an editor who embarked on a multi-day camping trip with friends and family. “I was impressed with the amount of gear the cargo area held — the rear became downright cavernous with the second row folded,” she logged.

More often than the occasional out-of-town excursion, the Tucson was enlisted to battle Los Angeles traffic. Not surprisingly, its compact size made it easy to maneuver around our busy, congested streets and a piece of cake to parallel park and fit into tight spaces. For that reason alone, it was always a popular choice among staffers, but there were a few discouraging details worth mentioning.

The 2.7-liter V-6 is small and offers a respectable amount of horsepower, but for such a small vehicle it still felt sluggish and didn’t offer the fuel economy we would’ve expected. In fact, the Tucson only got one mpg better average fuel economy than the much bigger and heavier 3.5-liter Honda Ridgeline V-6. Of course, this small V-6 is one the Hyundai’s had for a while, and we’d expect a newer generation engine soon. Likewise, the four-speed automatic seems to slip away much of the available power, and it sure would be nice not to buzz at near 3000 rpm at highway speeds.

Likewise, editors cited the lack of storage areas and cubbies in the doors and center console. As for overall ride and handling, comments were mixed: Some staffers felt the steering was comparable with that of other vehicles in its class, while others found themselves correcting halfway through most turns, usually having to dial in more input than expected. Some of that, we suspect, is in the suspension design, while some is probably inherent in what a compact SUV’s design parameters will allow, especially at this price.

Our Tucson went through four standard service procedures, and not once did we have additional issues for the dealer to investigate. That says a lot for its reliability.

In summing up our experience with this Hyundai, one editor noted, “It’s easy to say the Tucson is a good value — it’s got a V-6, airbags, stability control, good interior room, back-country capability, all for under $24,000. But there are a few other good vehicles also in that ballpark.”

Maybe Hyundai isn’t the first name that comes to mind for most shoppers, but this little SUV served us well for the 12 months and 23,000 miles we had it. Worth a look if you’re ready buy in this segment.

2006 Hyundai Tucson 4wd Limited
Base price $18,445
Price as tested $23,320
Vehicle layout Front engine, AWD, 4-door, 5-pass
Engine 2.7-liter DOHC 24-valve V-6
SAE net hp @ rpm 173 @ 6000
SAE net torque @ rpm 178 @ 4000
Transmission 4-speed automatic
0-60 mph, sec 10.7
EPA, city/hwy 19/24
Total mileage 23,105
Average test mpg 18.1
Observed worst mpg 10.8
Observed best mpg 24.9
Average distance per fill-up 190.9
Average cost per fill-up $29.76
Average cost per gallon $2.90
Number of services 4
Overall service cost $332.48
Problem areas None

By Scott Mortara
Photography by Julia LaPalme

Hyundai Announces Name of Future Five-Door

Hyundai Announces Name Of Future Five-Door

All-New 2009 Elantra Touring Moves A Popular Nameplate In A Sportier, More Functional Direction

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich., 08/08/2007 Hyundai Motor America Vice President of Product Development and Strategic Planning John Krafcik, speaking at the Center of Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars, announced Hyundai’s all-new five-door compact will be named “Elantra Touring.” Elantra Touring will reach dealers in the spring of 2008 as a 2009 model year vehicle. The “Touring” name captures this all-new model’s combination of high-function and fun-to-drive character. Elantra Touring will once again extend Elantra’s product line into the compact five-door segment. (The previous generation also featured a sporty five-door model). Elantra Touring will come with class-leading standard safety technologies, including Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Traction Control, ABS with Electronic Brake-force Distribution, and six standard airbags, including side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. The vehicle will be the first compact five-door with standard Electronic Stability Control.[1]

Elantra Touring will have the most interior volume (passenger volume plus cargo space) of any five-door in its class and will be powered by the same fuel-efficient 2.0-liter, in-line four-cylinder found in the Elantra sedan. This newest Hyundai will also feature unique sport suspension and steering tuned for greater response and handling, while offering Hyundai’s first USB port, along with a standard auxiliary jack and standard XM Satellite Radio®. Elantra Touring’s competition will include the Toyota Matrix, Dodge Caliber and Mazda3.


Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 750 dealerships nationwide.

[1] Based on AutoPacific mainstream compact 5-Door segmentation