2012 Hyundai Tucson (GLS, GL, Limited) Review - Pictures, features, specs

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In a marketplace where gas prices are near $4.00 per gallon, the 2012 Hyundai Tucson delivers better fuel economy and range for consumers needing the utility of a CUV without sacrificing fuel efficiency. The Tucson now delivers up to an estimated 32 miles per gallon on the highway.

2012 Hyundai Tucson photo2012 Hyundai Tucson photoFind more new 2012 Hyundai Tucson (GLS, GL, Limited) pictures in our 2012 Hyundai Tucson (GLS, GL, Limited) photo gallery

These improvements are attributed to a new Active ECO System, low rolling resistance silica tires, high efficiency air conditioning and a larger capacity fuel tank.

2012 Hyundai Tucson photo2012 Hyundai Tucson photo

NEW EQUIPMENT

• Up to 32 mpg on the highway
• Active ECO System which modifies engine and transmission control to smooth out throttle response for improved fuel economy
• Low rolling resistance silica tires for improved fuel economy
• Improved HVAC system to speed cooling and increase fuel efficiency
• Solar glass is now standard on all models to reduce the need for air conditioing
• Fuel tank capacity increased from 14.5 gallons to 15.3 gallons
• Front disc brake size increase from 11.02 x 1.02 inches to 11.81 x 1.10 inches
• Tucson GLS now features the same premium Sachs Amplitude Selective Dampers (ASD) found on Tucson Limited to give a smoother ride while still offering excellent handling
• Larger rear suspension bushings for improved ride quality
• Side repeater exterior mirrors added to GLS trim level for improved visibility

2012 Hyundai Tucson photo2012 Hyundai Tucson photo

All of these upgrades help illustrate why more and more customers are discovering how well Tucson stacks up against the competition. Tucson GLS and Limited are more fuel-efficient than the Honda CRV, Nissan Rogue, Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape four-cylinder equipped models. Tucson accomplishes this while having a longer wheelbase than Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Subaru Forester. Tucson GLS A/T also has a higher 36-month residual value than Toyota RAV4 further demonstrating that Tucson is one of the smartest compact crossover choices available.

2012 Hyundai Tucson photo2012 Hyundai Tucson photo

The Tucson features precedent-setting engineering including advanced weight saving technology and two eco-efficient Theta II four-cylinder engines delivering up to 32 mpg on the highway. True to Hyundai form, Tucson applies life-saving safety technologies as standard equipment such as Downhill Brake Control (DBC) and Hillstart Assist Control (HAC). Likewise, to keep its passengers informed and comfortable, Tucson also has available a panoramic sunroof, touch-screen navigation and a Bluetooth® hands-free phone system.

2012 Hyundai Tucson photo2012 Hyundai Tucson photo

FUEL ECONOMY INNOVATIONS
First of all, 2012 Hyundai Tucson automatic transmission models feature Hyundai’s Active ECO System. Active ECO modifies engine and transmission control to smooth out throttle response. By turning on Active ECO, drivers can realize up to a seven percent increase in real-world fuel economy.
To help Tucson drivers get the most out of their vehicles, Hyundai also offers a standard trip computer and economy indicator. The trip computer provides distance to empty, average fuel consumption, average vehicle speed, elapsed time and instant fuel economy. The GL manual transmission model has a shift indicator to inform drivers of the optimal time to upshift and downshift. Fuel savings in the range 7 to 9 percent are attainable using the manual Eco Gear Shift Indicator.

2012 Hyundai Tucson photo2012 Hyundai Tucson photo

CHOICE OF TWO POWERFUL AND FUEL-EFFICIENT POWERTRAINS
The entry-level Tucson GL is equipped with a high output 2.0-liter Theta II four-cylinder engine that produces an estimated 165 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 146 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,600 rpm. Fuel economy estimates for the Tucson GL FWD model with available six speed automatic transmission SHIFTRONIC® are 23 mpg city/31 mpg highway. The FWD five-speed manual transmission model gets an estimated 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway. The 2.0-liter Theta-II also offers Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) (intake and exhaust camshaft phaser). Major features include the application of a two-stage Variable Intake System (VIS) which enables switching between long and short intake runners resulting in an across-the-board performance increase. To reduce internal friction, engineers have applied a Diamond-Like-Coating (DLC) to the top surface of the valve tappets resulting in improved fuel efficiency. Engineers also expended considerable time and effort optimizing the oil pressure to achieve an ideal balance between durability and fuel economy.

Tucson GLS and Limited models feature the Theta II 2.4-liter DOHC inline four-cylinder engine. The Theta II is rated at an estimated 176 horsepower and 168 lb.-ft. of torque. This high-tech, all-aluminum, 16-valve engine features CVVT on both camshafts and a VIS for better engine breathing. In the green states, the 2011 Tucson GLS and Limited models are certified as Partial Zero Emission Vehicles (PZEV) which means they are as clean as many hybrids. Tucson GLS and Limited boast an impressive estimated 22 mpg city/32 mpg highway fuel economy rating with the six-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC® and FWD. Tucson GLS models also now feature Low Rolling Resistance (LRR) silica tires to contribute to the outstanding fuel economy. With AWD, Tucson delivers an estimated 21 mpg city/ 28 mpg highway exceeding competitors’ AWD versions.

TWO AVAILABLE TRANSMISSIONS
Hyundai’s commitment to making the Tucson extremely fuel efficient continues through the availability of two transmissions: a six-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC® manual control and a five-speed manual transmission.

Hyundai's six-speed automatic transaxle helps the company meet its goals of improving fuel efficiency and reducing emissions. Shifts are silky-smooth with an option of manual control through the SHIFTRONIC feature. Designed for transverse engine applications in passenger cars and CUVs, the compact transmission puts Hyundai into an elite class of auto manufacturers who have designed proprietary six-speed automatic transmissions. The strength of the design is its unique layout which makes it smaller, more compact and lighter than any other six-speed on the market today.

For the customer, the six-speed delivers a performance edge while helping to bring a gain in highway fuel economy. When it comes to transmissions, more gears are definitely better. This enables closer spacing between gear ratios providing a better balance of performance and fuel economy while the wide overall gear ratio helps deliver strong acceleration.

There is no dipstick in the transmission gearbox. Instead it is filled with automatic transmission fluid that is good for the life of the vehicle under normal usage conditions, thereby reducing maintenance costs. The gearbox has three planetary gearsets and a unique flat torque converter which shortens the unit's overall length by 0.47 inches. Four pinion differentials improve durability and further minimize size.

2012 Hyundai Tucson photo2012 Hyundai Tucson photo

EXTERIOR DESIGN
Key attributes of Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture design philosophy are demonstrated through the Tucson’s flowing lines, full surfaces and muscular presence. This athletic design language is highlighted by bold, dynamic graphic elements such as the Hyundai family hexagonal front grille, aggressive lower air intake, sculptured hood creases, swept back headlights, and sleek greenhouse and wraparound taillights. Chrome grille accents and door handles lend sophistication to the top-of-the-line Tucson Limited. The profile of Tucson features a sports car-like theme with a double-zigzag treatment for the wheel arches that wrap around the available Euroflange 18-inch alloy wheels. With an overall length of 173.2 inches, a width of 71.7 inches and a height of 66.3 inches (with roof rails), Tucson has a great stance and road presence.

ARCHITECHTURE
Tucson has a longer wheelbase and overall width than CR-V, Escape and Forester to deliver more packing efficiency
Body stiffness is 38 percent greater than Rogue
World-class weight efficiency was one of the program targets for the Tucson engineering team. In fact, the Tucson leads all of its competitors in weight efficiency. Hyundai engineers also targeted leadership in power-to-weight ratio. Having these targets paid huge dividends in both performance and fuel economy.

Tucson’s widespread use of high-strength steel provides increased strength at a lower body weight. High-strength steel allows the four-wheel independent suspension to work optimally. At 3,197 pounds, the automatic transmission equipped Tucson GLS is lighter than its competitors while offering more interior room than Rogue and Escape, with body-bending rigidity 38 percent higher than the Rogue. This weight efficient unibody architecture allows for Tucson to achieve a 32 mpg estimated EPA highway rating.

2012 Hyundai Tucson photo2012 Hyundai Tucson photo

FUN TO DRIVE
The 2012 Hyundai Tucson’s athletic shape is complemented with agile handling and responsive steering. Tucson uses MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension systems for more precise wheel control and a smoother ride. All four wheels are controlled by coil springs and fade-resistant gas-charged dampers. The front suspension has a 25 mm hollow stabilizer bar to save weight, while the rear suspension has an 18 mm solid stabilizer bar. Larger stabilizer bars keep the vehicle very flat during cornering and help provide quick turn-in response. Rack-and-pinion Motor-Driven Power Steering (MDPS) also contributes to Tucson’s nimble and refined handling dynamics while saving fuel and reducing interior noise. Lastly, both the GLS and Limited models now have an upgraded premium ride thanks to sophisticated Sachs shock absorbers.

Due to the suspension geometry and wider track width that enables greater turn angles, Tucson’s turning circle is 34.7 feet – an advantage Tucson drivers will appreciate in their daily driving and parking. In fact, Tucson’s turning diameter bests Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.

ALL WEATHER PERFORMANCE
To make Tucson even more versatile, Hyundai engineers added an advanced electronic AWD system designed by JTEKT. The AWD system will automatically activate under any driving condition when needed, distributing the power equally and optimizing driving performance. Under normal driving, the system only distributes power to the front wheels, thereby reducing fuel consumption. The system includes a driver-selectable AWD lock allowing for a 50/50 torque split between the front and rear wheels for off-road and very slippery conditions.

For even more driver control, the 2012 Hyundai Tucson features Hyundai’s Hillstart Assist Control (HAC) and Downhill Brake Control (DBC). HAC is designed to minimize rolling backwards on steep ascents. By selecting the DBC switch, the Hydro-Electronic Control unit manages the wheel speed sensors, steering angle sensor and acceleration sensor to maintain control and speed on steep declines without having to use the brake. Neither of these features are available on
CR-V, Rogue, RAV4 or Escape and are typically found on luxury SUVs with much higher price tags.

THOUGHTFUL INTERIOR DESIGN
Inside, the five-seat Tucson offers a commanding view of the road and evokes an adventurous ambience that is also laid-back and relaxing. The needs of the driver are fully accommodated, with the interior blending aspects of the outdoors and an urban lifestyle. Shapely seats feature center panels trimmed in breathable fabric with attractive and functional cushion side bolsters, plus additional lateral support for occupants’ shoulders.

The long wheelbase and generous width of the Tucson, combined with Hyundai’s expertise in interior packaging, have produced an interior that delivers class-leading rear legroom. The Tucson has more passenger volume than Rogue and Escape at 101.9 cubic feet. In fact, Tucson has more interior volume than Acura RDX and more cargo volume than Infiniti FX. The spacious cabin on Tucson Limited is further enhanced for all passengers by the available panoramic sunroof.

The high-tech cockpit comes standard with Hyundai’s signature blue lighting, power windows, power door locks, fold-away mirrors and remote keyless entry with alarm and panic button. Bluetooth hands-free phone system with voice recognition and steering wheel audio and cruise controls are also available. Another premium feature in the Tucson Limited is a CleanAir Ionizer that automatically kills germs within the system when the heater or air conditioner is running.

Other available features include leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, power driver seat with lumbar support, automatic headlights, front wiper de-icer and dual front automatic temperature control.

Audiophiles will love Tucson’s 160-watt AM/FM/XM/CD/MP3 audio system with six speakers. This system includes XM Satellite Radio® and iPod®/USB auxiliary inputs and an iPod cable as standard equipment.

The 2012 Hyundai Tucson can be further upgraded with an optional navigation system with rearview camera and XM NavTraffic. This navigation system also provides Bluetooth streaming audio capability. This easy-to-use unit can be controlled via a 6.5-inch LCD touch-screen or voice-activation by headliner-mounted microphone. The system comes matched with the 360-watt premium audio system that includes an external amplifier and subwoofer. It plays compact discs, accesses digital music files employing Bluetooth streaming audio or allows driver and passenger to access their personal listening devices through the iPod/USB/auxiliary inputs. Bluetooth audio wirelessly streams music from a phone to the audio system.

2012 Hyundai Tucson photo2012 Hyundai Tucson photo

STORAGE GALORE
The 2012 Hyundai Tucson features a total of 19 different storage places and drink holders:

Console storage tray
Glove box
Overhead sunglass storage
Armrest storage compartment
Two front seat drink holders
Two rear center armrest drink holders
Four bottle holders – one in each door
Four map pockets – one in each door
Two seatback pockets
Cargo area storage compartment

ADVANCED STANDARD SAFETY TECHNOLOGIES: PART OF HYUNDAI’S ASSURANCE COMMITMENT
Tucson is loaded with life-saving standard safety features including ESC with traction control, six airbags and active front head restraints. ESC compares the driver’s intended course with the vehicle’s actual response. If needed, ESC brakes individual front or rear wheels and/or reduces engine power to help correct understeer or oversteer. Its braking system features four-wheel disc brakes controlled by an advanced four-channel ABS with Brake Assist, providing maximum braking force when a panic stop is detected, and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) to optimize brake performance with uneven weight distribution.

The Tucson is engineered to provide its passengers with multiple defensive safety layers. The steel unibody has integrated crumple zones and a high-tensile front sub-frame designed to work together to reduce the forces that typically reach the passenger compartment. Particular attention has been paid to increasing the stiffness of the front side members which have been enlarged and straightened. Also, the center pillars serve as the anchors of a new ring structure which improves overall side structure stiffness while also creating more room for the door armrest and seat. All four doors also have internal guard beams to protect passengers in a side-impact collision.
The entire body shell has been made stiffer and lighter thanks to its extensive use of ultra-high tensile strength steel, which comprises 68.9 percent of the shell. Also, the use of Tailor Welded Blanks (TWB) has been expanded on key structural members. TWB assemblies combine steels of different thickness and grades using a sophisticated laser welding and stamping process to achieve an optimal stiffness-to-weight ratio. TWBs reduce body weight while enhancing crash energy management. These safety systems helped to earn Tucson the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick for the 2010 and 2011 model years.

Tucson’s standard front-seat active head restraints help prevent whiplash by automatically reducing the space between a front occupant’s head and the head restraint during certain rear collisions and are highly recommended by safety organizations such as the IIHS.

The Tucson’s passenger restraint systems also help minimize injury. Three-point belts are provided at all five seating positions, and the front seatbelts have pretensioners and load limiters. There are two outboard rear seat Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) child-seat anchors.

A total of six airbags are positioned in the Tucson’s interior. Dual advanced frontal airbags are complemented by front seat-mounted side-impact airbags and roof-mounted side-curtain airbags with rollover sensors that cover both the front and rear seat rows.

Tucson also features a standard Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) which alerts drivers if one or more tires are under inflated.

COLORS
The 2012 Hyundai Tucson is offered in nine colors with an optimum mix between lighter and darker colors to satisfy regional preferences. The colors are Cotton White, Diamond Silver, Graphite Gray, Ash Black, Garnet Red, Iris Blue, Aurora Blue, Chai Bronze and Kiwi Green. Three interior colors, Black, Taupe and Saddle are available.

PACKAGING

Tucson GL

2.0-liter DOHC 16-valve four-cylinder engine
Active ECO System (automatic transmission model)
Five-speed manual transmission or six-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC®
Front-wheel drive
Motor Driven Power Steering (MDPS)
Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Traction Control System (TCS)
Four-wheel disc brakes and Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist
Hillstart Assist Control (HAC) and Downhill Brake Control (DBC)
Multi-function trip computer
EcoShift indicator (manual transmission)
Advanced front airbags, front side-impact airbags and side-curtain airbags with rollover sensors
Active front head restraints
EZ lane change assist
Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
Deluxe cloth seating surfaces
AM/FM/XM/CD/MP3 audio system with iPod®/USB and auxiliary input jacks and iPod® cable
Air conditioning with cabin air filter
Solar front glass
Power windows
Power door locks and mirrors
Remote keyless entry system with alarm
60/40 split fold-down rear seatback
17-inch steel wheels with full wheel covers with P225/60 R17 tires
Tilt steering wheel
Black manual folding power mirrors
Bodycolor rear spoiler with LED lights
Variable intermittent front windshield wiper
Rear wiper with washer

Tucson GLS:
The GLS includes all the GL Standard Equipment plus the following:

2.4-liter DOHC 16-valve four-cylinder engine
Six-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC®
Telescopic steering wheel
17-inch alloy wheels with low rolling Resistance tires
Premium Sachs suspension
Bodycolor heated mirrors with turn signal repeaters
Driver power window with auto up/down
Leatherette bolster/cloth insert seats
Front seatback pockets
Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob
Bluetooth® hands-free phone system
Illuminated vanity mirrors and glove compartment
Steering-wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls
Soft touch interior paint
Bodycolor door handles
Side garnish
Privacy glass
Roof side rails
Engine cover
GLS Options:

All Wheel Drive (AWD)

Adds heated front seats

Tucson Limited:
The Limited automatic front wheel drive includes all the GLS Standard Equipment plus the following:

18-inch alloy wheels with standard 225/55 R18 tires
Leather seating surfaces
Heated front seats
Power driver seat with power lumbar support
Dual front automatic temperature control with CleanAir Ionizer
Auto-dimming interior mirror with HomeLink®
Deluxe door scuff
Windshield wiper de-icer
Retractable cargo cover
Chrome grille and door handles
Automatic headlights
Fog lights

2012 Hyundai Tucson photo2012 Hyundai Tucson photo

Limited Options:

All Wheel Drive (AWD)

Premium Package includes
Panoramic sunroof (replaces roof side rails_
Navigation system with 6.5" touch-screen
Rearview camera
Premium audio with external amplifier & subwoofer

Find more new 2012 Hyundai Tucson (GLS, GL, Limited) pictures in our 2012 Hyundai Tucson (GLS, GL, Limited) photo gallery:

New 2012 Hyundai Tucson (GLS, GL, Limited) specifications, review, photos and images courtesy of Hyundai.

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