Finally Hyundai has a competent entry in a very competitive class. Sure, everything about the 2011 Sonata sounds great, but I haven't driven one yet so I'm not passing judgment there. The Tucson is now a serious competitor to the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V, and that's exactly what Hyundai needs from this little crossover.
Joe DeMatio has already done a great job explaining the Tucson's interior, so I'll skip that and focus on the driving dynamics. First off, you'll notice the suspension on this small crossover seems to be tuned to actually negotiate turns! It's still far from that of a decent sedan, but the Tucson is quite nimble when you want to hustle through a few turns. Steering response is very good for a crossover and the electric assist feels natural. Even the dampers, a traditional difficulty for the Korean manufacturers to get right, are well tuned, at least with this front-wheel-drive example.
Combine the comfortable ride, great interior, and still-favorable pricing, and Toyota has even more to worry about this year.
Phil Floraday, Senior Online Editor