Full 2007 Hyundai Tucson Review
What's New for 2007
For 2007, the Hyundai Tucson sees a drop in its base price of almost $1,000. SE and Limited models get standard dual-mode trip computers, and an updated audio system with improved controls and an enhanced CD changer with MP3 capability. All are subject to late availability.
Initially, the Hyundai brand was the Tara Reid of the automotive world, known more for overall shoddiness than anything else. In recent years, though, the manufacturer has undergone a metamorphosis, reinventing itself as a marque that delivers competent products at value prices. That tradition continues with the 2007 Hyundai Tucson. Since its introduction in the 2005 model year, the Tucson has shone as a solid choice for bargain shoppers in search of a compact SUV.
The Tucson comes with a generous10-year/100,000-mile drivetrain warranty designed to placate those with vivid memories of the Hyundai of old. Another cornerstone of this hauler's appeal is its generous standard features list. Base models come equipped with full power features, air-conditioning, a CD stereo, a 10-way adjustable driver seat and heated mirrors. The Tucson also offers an easy-to-operate split-folding rear seat that folds flat to create a level cargo floor. Most impressive is the list of standard safety features that includes antilock disc brakes, stability control and a full complement of airbags.
Two engines are available: a 140-horsepower four-cylinder and a 173-hp V6. Power is not the Tucson's strong suit. Its four-cylinder is too wimpy to adequately motivate the hauler, and acceleration is tepid even with the more muscular V6. Handling is carlike, however, which isn't surprising, given that the Tucson shares the same platform as the previous-generation Elantra sedan.
Budget-minded shoppers in search of a compact SUV have many fine choices to consider. Both the Ford Escape and Suzuki Grand Vitara best the Tucson with regard to performance, but these vehicles are both more than two grand more expensive. The new Jeep Compass undercuts the Tucson's price, but it lags behind the Hyundai when it comes to cabin refinement and cargo room. If value is your primary concern, you can't go wrong with the 2007 Hyundai Tucson (or its twin, the Kia Sportage), which offers a low price tag and remarkably few compromises.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The four-door 2007 Hyundai Tucson is a compact SUV available in three trim levels -- entry-level GLS, midlevel SE and top-of-the-line Limited. Standard features on the GLS include air-conditioning, full power accessories, a CD stereo system, heated outside mirrors, roof rack side rails and a rear intermittent wiper. The SE adds body-side cladding, foglamps, wider tires, a tire-pressure monitoring system, a CD/cassette/MP3 stereo and cruise control. The Limited adds automatic climate control, a front wiper de-icer and leather seating.
Powertrains and Performance
The base GLS comes with a 2.0-liter, inline four-cylinder engine that generates 140 hp and 136 pound-feet of torque. It's mated to a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic with manual shift control. The SE and Limited provide a larger, more powerful 2.7-liter V6 engine that produces 173 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque. The automatic transmission is standard with the V6. Buyers can get front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive with either engine.
The 2007 Hyundai Tucson comes standard with front seat side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags for both front- and rear-seat occupants. Antilock disc brakes are also standard on all Tucsons, along with a traction- and stability-control system. The Hyundai SUV achieved a five-star sweep in all NHTSA crash tests, earning perfect marks for its front- and side-impact protection.
Interior Design and Special Features
The Hyundai Tucson features a clean, modern interior with simple controls and tight build quality. Materials quality is hit or miss, with a few more hard plastics than we'd like and an odd pattern on the standard cloth upholstery. Legroom up front should be more than ample for most adults, though taller passengers may find it a tad tight in back. The Tucson offers 22.7 cubic feet of cargo capacity behind the 60/40 second-row seat, though a non-retractable cargo cover tends to get in the way while loading up groceries. The rear seat is designed to fold completely flat in one step, opening up 65.5 cubic feet of total capacity.
The 2007 Hyundai Tucson offers a smooth ride quality and generally handles more like a sedan than an SUV. The standard four-cylinder is quite weak, so the decent-performing V6 is a must. Shifts from the automatic transmission can be a bit lazy, but the Shiftronic manual mode allows drivers to work through the gears themselves when they desire.