2016 Hyundai Tucson Eco Review

If you want to know how successful your crossover redesign has been, just ask Google. I was more than a little surprised recently, when it was revealed that the Hyundai Tucson was amongst the top 10 most searched for cars in 2015. Then again, sharp-looking, right-sized, do-everything crossovers are all the rage right now, and Hyundai’s version obviously ticks many of those boxes for prospective shoppers.

Lucky timing for me then, that I took delivery of the 2016 Hyundai Tucson Eco, just this week. Despite some unseasonably rainy Michigan weather (for December), I was able to compile a reasonable test in this basic Tucson trim. As you might expect, “Eco” here means the fuel-economy leader for the model, but it’s also the most inexpensive variant you can buy with the company’s new engine and transmission combination.

Pros:

  • The turbocharged 1.6-liter four does an admirable job bringing the Tucson briskly up to speed. Even though I had the “Eco” model, remember that this is the same turbo powerplant that’s found in the Tucson “Sport” Both of those descriptors may be a bit grasping, but with 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque – at just 1,500 rpm – there’s more than enough motivating force for a small crossover. Power delivery might not be the smoothest (more on that in a bit) but for catching up with highway traffic and scooting away from stoplights, you won’t want for more.
  • Fuel economy, while not class leading as far as the EPA ratings go, was pretty spot on in my test...