The Reality-check SUV 4wd
Filed by: Mark ''Stretch'' Bat, Fri, 11 Mar 2005 08:00:00 PDT
Driving the new 2005 Hyundai Tucson with a local Portlander over the Pacific coastal range mountains to the coast was a double enjoyable trip. First the pleasant surprise of the Hyundai Tucson's roomy interior for two over six footers in both the driver and rider slot and second the beautiful first time visit to the glorious Northwest of the United States.
This was woodsman central decades past. Men of clever resourcefulness, determined get-it-done, lumber to harvest the forest primes. Like Hyundai's new 2005 Tuscon SUV 4wd, this is a real-world-price, ($21,549 MSRP,) standard feature laden bring-it-home vehicle.
The no-overhead brand name price is what Hyundai's larger Sante Fe owners welcomed and purchased with smiles while keeping more money to drive in their wallets. Like Tucson's big brother Sante Fe, feature per feature the new 2005 Hyundai Tucson delivers the best cost-per-features than the more expensive name brand mantra of the competition.
We drove the majority of our ride in the GLS 2.7 liter 4-speed Shiftronic automatic V6 173 hp, 178 ft-lbs., can-pull-modest-camper/trailer 2000 lbs. towing capacity model. Standard package is FWD (Front wheel drive) but we had the optional Electronic 4WD system with manual over-ride lock out, i.e. push the 4wd button and stay-in-4wd. Note BOTH the V6 GLS and XL models and the four cylinder GL model can come with 4wd.
But it is the standard feature roster that is as deep as the Red Sox's spirit in their historic World Series overturn of Babe Ruth's perceived curse.
Besides the ubiquitous four-wheel disc brakes on 16 inch wheels for both models the "Hyundai standard" safety means 4-channel ABS with electronic brake force distribution (EBD), traction control and electronic stability program (ESP), seat-mounted side-impact airbags for the driver and front seat passenger, and roof-mounted side curtain airbags for front and outboard rear-seat passengers. All standard on either the four cylinder GL or V6 GLS and XL modes.
The 2.0 liter 140 hp four cylinder GL version comes standard with a five speed manual or optional four speed Shiftronic automatic. This entry level Tucson would be sufficient for street run-to-the-store life but a puff for modest off-roading and/or towing with a loaded-up-with-friends adventure. Though Hyundai claims 1,500 towing capacity for the smaller 2.0 liter four cylinder power plant.
Traveling mostly on road but over modest mountain passes was effortless for our 2.7 liter V6 GLS. Quiet interior at freeway speeds, neutral steering, and no-revving-to-redline four speed Shiftronic automatic to power plant is appropriately matched in the Tuscon GLS 4wd
This is not your four low 4wd optional drive chain but for limited trailing, read not Canyon lands national park four wheel drive trails, the Tucson is capable and ready to preform.
I drove around twice through water-filled mud holes and Hyundai's Borg Warner Electronic InterActive Torque Management four-wheel-drive system delivers the majority of traction to the front wheels but senses wheel motion and torque demands and adjusts traction 50-50 between front and rear wheels accordingly.
The new 2005 Hyundai Tucson GL model FWD five speed manual with a 2.0 liter four cylinder power plant starts at $17,499 while the GLS 4wd 2.7 liter V6 starts at $21,549 MSRP.