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2005 Hyundai Tucson Overview

As Hyundai's Santa Fe gets serious and gets set to grow in size, the Korean automaker comes out with a new entry-level compact SUV. The city of Tucson may be a less visited, less glamorous neighbor of Santa Fe, but the SUV which sports its name is actually a snazzier, more feature-packed utility vehicle than its older cousin. The 2005 Hyundai Tuscon comes in either front-wheel or all-wheel drive in three different trim levels -- base GS, GLS, and LX. The all-wheel drive is meant for tricky roads rather than off-roading.

Safety is a priority for the Tucscon, and all levels come with ABS brakes, traction and stability control, and six airbags, which is more than the Santa Fe offers and more than you'll find in its competitors, all at a lower price point. Engine choices range from a 2.0-liter, 140-hp I4 with a 5-speed manual or 4-speed auto tran to a 2.7-liter, 173-hp V6 and 4-speed shiftable automatic. Built on an Elantra platform, the 2005 Tucson combines car-like handling with the high ride height and cargo space families have come to depend on in an SUV.

Seating five in two rows, the Tucson's cargo area falls in between that of the CR-V and the Ford Escape. Rear seats fold flat, expanding the trunk from 22 to 65 cubic feet, and the front passenger seat also folds forward. Both rows recline for extra comfort. Base models start full loaded with power features, cruise control, a CD layer, heated mirrors, and remote entry, and as you move up you add an MP3 player, leather seats, and automatic climate control. Owners rave about the affordability of the 2005 Tucson, saying you get a lot of features for the low price. They praise the safety record, handling, roomy interior, and road grip, and the 100,000-mile warranty is a big draw. Negatives include the lack of power, even with the V6, the low fuel economy, cheap interior materials, and some highway noise.

Updated by Anonymous

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