For 2012 Hyundai’s flagship Tucson Limited goes through a bunch of tweaks and prods, as well as gaining a standard all-wheel drivetrain (AWD), to emerge as the Tucson Limited AWD PZEV (Partial Zero-Emissions Vehicle). Some slight adjustments to the suspension are touted to smooth the ride a bit in this 5-passenger compact crossover, while low rolling-resistance tires and a selectable Active Eco mode ought to deliver marginally improved mileage. Unfortunately, this top-shelf trim remains burdened by a less-than-bounteous 55.8 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seatbacks folded down.
A plethora of goodies nonetheless remain standard aboard this well-wrought crossover, including a suave and swoopy profile that’s decorated with 18-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, a roof rack and heated power-adjustable mirrors. Inside, this high-end trim boasts leather upholstery, heated front seats, a height- and power-adjustable driver’s seat and full power accessories. Leather and simulated alloy cabin accents are accompanied by a similarly decorated telescoping and tilting steering wheel that mounts standard audio and cruise controls.
Again, a universal remote garage door opener, auto climate control and Bluetooth hands-free calling are delivered with the 2012 Tucson Limited AWD PZEV, while entertainment is once more delivered via a 160-watt system sporting an MP3-capable single-CD player, 6 speakers, satellite radio and a USB connection.
Standalone options, meantime, remain remote engine start, carpeted floor and cargo mats, roof-rack cross rails, a trailer hitch and splash guards. And, of course, the Premium Package, flaunting a power sunroof, voice-activated navigation with a 6.5-inch touchscreen and a 360-watt stereo boasting 7 premium speakers, also remains available.
Engineered to conform in those states enforcing stricter California emissions laws, the variable-valve-timed (VVT) 2.4-liter inline 4-cylinder (I4) powerplant standard on this top-shelf, eco-friendly mini-ute puts out a little less power than its non-PZEV brethren, though mileage and towing capacities are unaffected. In any case, look for the I4 to again be managed by the standard 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission to the tune of 170 hp and 163 lb-ft of torque. Mileage is estimated at a tolerable 20 mpg city/27 highway, while towing remains maxed out at 2,000 pounds with the proper equipment.
The Tucson AWD PZEV boasts intelligent AWD that allows it to cruise in front-wheel drive (FWD) in normal conditions and automatically divert torque from the wheels that slip to the wheels that grip when surfaces become slippery. Additionally, a driver-selectable mode allows this system to be locked into AWD on either dry or slippery surfaces, as desired.
Finally, standard safety features again include 4-wheel antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front and rear head airbags, front side-mounted airbags and front head restraint whiplash protection. Once more, turn-signal-integrated mirrors, front fog/driving lights and dusk-sensing headlights also come standard, as does a remote antitheft alarm.