Reviews

2019 Hyundai Tucson Introduction

The 2019 Hyundai Tucson slips into the crossover-SUV mainstream with good looks and features. It once was Hyundai’s smallest SUV, but those duties have since fallen to the Kona, and next year to the new Venue.

Moderately redesigned and upgraded this year, the 2019 Tucson boasts some appearance changes both inside and out, including a new grille, a new dash and a new electronic parking brake. The base touchscreen is now 7.0 inches on the diagonal, and wireless smartphone charging is available.

A new optional 2.4-liter engine with stop/start supplants the previous turbo-4. Hyundai also has added new safety technology, led by automatic emergency braking.

The 2019 Tucson comes in seven trims: SE, Value, SEL, Sport, Night, Limited, and Ultimate. Base SE and Value trim levels continue to use a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine. Mating with a 6-speed automatic, the base engine is rated at 161 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque. Front-drive is standard, with all-wheel drive an option.

For other Tucson models, Hyundai has replaced the former turbo-4 with a normally-aspirated 2.4-liter engine, also found in sedans. Coupled to a 6-speed automatic rather than the previous dual-clutch transmission, the bigger engine makes 181 horsepower and 175 pound-feet. Both outputs arrive at significantly higher engine speeds.

Forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking now are standard, along with active lane control and a driver-attention warning. Sport and Ultimate models get a more sophisticated version of emergency braking, with pedestrian detection.

Adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go operation is installed in Night trim level and up, while the Limited adds a surround-view camera system. Blind-spot monitors are standard on all except SE.

Both crash-test agencies give the 2019 Tucson good scores. The NHTSA issued a five-star overall rating, with five stars for frontal and side impact. The IIHS gave the Tucson “Good” scores in all tests, deeming it a Top Safety Pick.

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