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2010 Hyundai Tucson Overview

Everything’s new for the 2010 Hyundai Tuscon, with fresh designs, a size increase, and a new engine to replace both options from 2009. For 2010, the Tuscon is almost 3.5 inches longer and 1 inch wider than last year, riding a new platform it shares with the Elantra and the Kia Sportage. Hyundai has incorporated what it calls “fluidic sculpture” into its new designs, a concept that weighed heavily on the 2010 Tuscon.

Replacing and outperforming both outgoing engines is a 176-hp, 2.4-liter inline 4-cylinder (I4) that comes standard in both GLS and Limited trim levels. Either trim has the option of a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission, offering EPA estimates of 22/30 mpg for trims equipped with the manual transmission and 21/28 with the automatic. All trims are available with rear-wheel drive (RWD) or an all-wheel-drive (AWD) system that adds a locking center differential and a small penalty for fuel efficiency, although all Tuscons use regular-grade gasoline.

In addition to the new engine, a size increase and redesign are new standard features for the 2010 Hyundai Tuscon. In an effort to help maintain downhill speed, Hyundai has made Downhill Brake Control standard throughout the lineup, as well as Hillstart Assist Control, which prevents the vehicle from rolling backward downhill.

Many improvements were made to handling and ride, despite the size increase, and the 2010 Tuscon is actually more than 60 pounds lighter than the 2009 model. The suspension has been fully revamped, and the MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension provide response and comfort that are closer to that of a car than a truck. Roll and lean have been combatted by increasing the front and rear stabilizer bars by 4mm, although using a hollow front bar to replace the smaller solid unit allows additional weight savings.

The interior has received the same attention as the exterior, with new accent and foundation materials improving the general feel of the cabin. Negative attention has been drawn to the headliner, however, a significant sore spot in an otherwise well-received cabin. Technical integration has also received praise, namely for audio controls within the touchscreen nav, which along with the reversing camera is a newly available feature, as well as a “seamless” iPod connection. The Limited trim adds several luxury features like dual-zone climate control, heated power leather seats, heated power mirrors, and 18-inch alloy wheels, as well as a trim-specific option of a power panoramic sunroof. Standard safety features include 6 airbags, 4-wheel antilock brakes with brake assist, traction control, and anti-skid.


A CarGurus contributor since 2008, Michael started his career writing about cars with the SCCA - winning awards during his time as editor of Top End magazine. Since then, his journalistic travels have taken him from NY to Boston to CA, completing a cross-country tour on a restored vintage Suzuki. While his preference is for fine German automobiles - and the extra leg room they so often afford - his first automobile memories center around impromptu Mustang vs. Corvette races down the local highway, in the backseat of his father's latest acquisition.

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