The 2007 Tucson's styling bears a close resemblance to the other Hyundai five-place SUV, the Santa Fe. The interior is pleasantly up-market, with high quality trim flanking the center stack. The rest of the dashboard is cleanly laid out with a fine symmetry and good quality of materials. The cloth seats are very comfortable.
Three trims are available on the Tucson: the base GLS, the mid-level SE, and the top Limited. The GLS is equipped with a 2.0L DOHC four-cylinder engine that makes 140 horsepower and 136 lb-ft of torque. The SE and Limited models get a 2.7L V6. Thanks to continuously variable valve timing, double overhead cams and four-valves-per cylinder, this engine makes 173 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque. A four-speed automatic transmission is optional, while a five-speed manual transmission is standard.
Besides being very comfortable to drive, the Tucson strikes us as being a great value. The GLS is well stocked, with standard stability and traction controls, ABS, a fold-flat front passenger seat, power windows, power locks, power mirrors, a CD player, and an alarm system. Air conditioning can be added for $900.
The SE upgrades include aluminum wheels, fog lamps, heated mirrors, windshield wiper deicer, cruise control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an enhanced audio system, air conditioning, and a tire pressure monitor. The Limited trim has power heated leather seats, automatic temperature control, a six-disc CD changer, and an electrochromic rearview mirror, among other items. A sunroof can be added to both models.
We tested a V6 with AWD and found the powertrain combination to be winner. The six-cylinder engine and four-speed automatic transmission provided plenty of pep for around town cruising and seemed more than capable of keeping up with speedy interstate traffic. The Borg Warner Electronic InterActive Torque Management normally sends up to 99% of the power to the front wheels. When slip is detected, up to 50% of the torque is sent to the rear wheels. A button on the dash allows you to lock in a 50/50 front/rear split.