2016 Hyundai Tucson
So far, Hyundai has resisted taking a plunge into the rapidly expanding pool of pint-size subcompact crossovers. But, that’s understandable as their quart-size Tucson compact ute delivers a lot more space for about the same price. Well now there’s a new Tucson, and that more for less aptitude just got even bigger.
The Hyundai Tucson has been around long enough to play a major role in Hyundai’s growth, from upstart act to Broadway box office smash.
For 2016, introducing a little more razzle-dazzle to the audience is a good play, and one consistent with most recent Hyundais. The front looks very big and bold for a compact crossover ute, and there are lots of lines flowing from there to the rear.
It very much looks like a scaled down Santa Fe, and when in Limited trim, with 19-inch wheels and LED headlights, it should help reel in those “elusive but highly sought after” younger buyers.
Dimensions have been stretched over last year, it’s both longer and wider; and of course that translates to more room in the cabin for both people and parcels.
Base engine is a 2.0-liter I4 with 164-horsepower and 151 lb-ft. of torque. Up level trims get a smaller, but stronger, 1.6-liter I4 with turbo assistance that spins up 175-horsepower and 195 lb-ft. of torque.
It also adds a 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission, while the 2.0-liter makes do with a traditional 6-speed auto. Both engines can be had in front and lockable all-wheel drive with active cornering control.
At our test track, our turbo equipped Limited felt spirited, but far from muscular off the line; with trips to 60 taking a mundane 8.4-seconds. Torque is pretty good down low, running out of steam at the high end; but it’s certainly adequate for a compact ute. The ¼-mile pass took 16.5-seconds at 86 miles-per-hour.
As for the DCT transmission, it proved adequate, with some occasional hesitations to get going from a stop. We also got a “high transmission temp” warning during our track day. Braking distances averaged a short 120-feet from 60; but with a long travel from the squishy pedal.
The chassis feels willing and able, with a composed non-floaty feel that’s more firm than plush. But during hard corners, the “traction control monster” awakens easily, keeping you from exploiting that feeling too much.
Taking in the scenery at a more relaxed pace, the ride is surprising enjoyable. It’s noticeably quieter and more compliant than before. The last Tucson was in a word “rough”. So Hyundai’s, increased attention to ride and handling is really paying off.
As for the ever-important drive environment inside, ergonomics are great, as is seat comfort.
The smooth looking IP is dominated by either a 5.0 or 8.0-inch center touchscreen. Hyundai’s infotainment system works well, among the best in the business, and includes a standard back-up camera.
Despite numbers that indicate there’s a bit less legroom for rear seat passengers than before, it felt plenty roomy to us. And it enabled cargo space to go way up; now 31.0 cubic-ft. behind the standard split-folding rear seats, 61.9 cubic-ft. with them folded. That’s 20% more than the average subcompact ute.
Hyundai’s hands free smart lift gate is also available.
Despite the small stature, there’s full size safety here; with an automatic emergency braking system that worked flawlessly in our barrier test. Sudden stops were abrupt enough to leave some skid marks on the pavement.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 24-City, 28-Highway, and 26-Combined. So our average of 26.8 miles-per-gallon of Regular was right on. The Energy Impact Score is about average for all vehicles at 12.7-barrels of oil use and 5.8 tons of CO2 emissions yearly.
And now the fine print. Base Tucson stickers for $23,595. That’s a grand more than last year. The top Tucson Limited AWD starts at $32,195.
Those higher admission prices do put a crimp in our rave review, as they are now a good deal more than a comparably equipped subcompact ute, while still less than the bestselling compacts. Still, the Tucson is fresher and better equipped. Star qualities that should impress both the critics and the masses; keeping Hyundai’s marquee shining bright.
- Engine: 1.6 liter I4
- Horsepower: 175
- Torque: 195 lb-ft.
- 0-60 mph: 8.4 seconds
- 1/4 mile: 16.5 seconds @ 86 mph
- EPA: 24 mpg city / 28 mpg highway
- Energy Impact: 12.7 barrels of oil/yr
- CO2 Emissions: 5.8 tons/yr
2023 BMW X7
Should Keep The BMW Faithful Coming Back For More
While BMW got serious about their SUV game around the same time as most other luxury brands, it took them until just a few years ago to deliver a 3-row example. This year, that X7 is updated with new style and new tech. So, let’s see if that makes it the ultimate premium 3-row family machine.
When it comes to utility vehicles, bigger seems to be better for a lot of people. So, for BMW, there’s none bigger or better than the X7 3-row utility, which for 2023 gets a comprehensive update after just 4-years on the market. That includes a facelift to bring it more in line with the new 7-series carline, which is to say joins the more vertical, aggressive grille party. Also, the actual headlights have been moved lower in the front fascia, with squinty DRLs above for the first time on a BMW. In back, taillights take on a 3D posture, with a new chrome bar connecting them.
There are also multiple new M Sport packages to choose from to spice up the exterior, with larger air intakes up front, high-gloss black trim, upgraded exhaust, cascade grille lighting, and 22-inch wheels, as well as M Sport brakes…
…and the interior too, with aluminum trim and exclusive steering wheel. But, by far the biggest change inside for ‘23 is a new dashtop curved display that eliminates the typical BMW well-hooded gauge pod and blends 12-inch Live Cockpit Pro into the 15-inch infotainment touchscreen, which now features iDrive8. Both a Head-Up Display and a large panoramic sunroof are standard.
Whether set up for 2 or 3 passengers, 2nd row seat room remains plentiful, and though the X7 doesn’t look ungainly large like many of its competitors, access to the 3rd row is quite good. Cargo space is reached through a fairly unique, Range Rover-style, split tailgate, which is quite oddly satisfying to watch unfold. There’s room for 48.6 cubic-ft. of goods behind the 2nd row, with a max of 90.4 cu.-ft.
The base xDrive40i has always been the sensible choice, even more so now with a new inline-6 turbo getting a significant bump in horsepower from 335 to 375, and a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that results in a total of 398 lb-ft. of torque.
At our Mason Dixon test track, there was enough to blast this big beast to 60 in just 5.4-seconds. That’s only about half a second slower than the V8 did the deed back in 2019. Making that optional 523-horsepower V8 simply overkill at this point. Our best ¼-mile pass was 13.9-seconds at 100 miles-per-hour. All X7s get a quick shifting sport-tuned 8-speed automatic transmission, which adds a new Sprint Function that finds the lowest usable gear instantly and maxes electric boost with a hold of the left shift paddle. What fun!
New looks and updated tech are cool, but BMW has also addressed dynamics as well, with a retuning of all chassis systems, including the optional Dynamic Handling Package which adds adaptive suspension with roll stabilization and uses GPS and camera data to prepare for what’s coming. We’re not sure if our slalom course was anticipated, but the X7 sure felt well-equipped to handle it. All-wheel drive is standard on all X7s, along with comprehensive drive modes.
In our braking runs, the pads bit down hard quickly, stopping us from 60 in just 115-feet with very little nosedive.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the 6-cylinder are 21-City, 25-Highway, and 22-Combined. We averaged just 21.0 miles-per-gallon on Premium.
There’s an average Energy Impact Score; 13.5-barrels of oil yearly, with CO2 emissions of 6.5-tons.
Pricing starts at $78,845, and it’s a significant step up from there to $104,095 if you want the V8. Even more reason to stick with the 6-cylinder as far as we’re concerned.
It took the ultimate driving machine folks quite a bit of time to enter the 3-row family crossover segment, but when they did, they were able to create their largest utility ever and keep it consistent with their values. For 2023, the BMW X7 gets even more dynamic, embraces new tech, and looks better too. All things that should keep the BMW faithful coming back for more.
- Engine: I-6
- Horsepower: 375
- 0-60 mph: 5.4 seconds
- 60-0 Braking: 115 feet (avg)
- MW Fuel Economy: 21.0 MPG
- Transmission: 8-speed automatic
- Torque: 398 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 13.9-seconds at 100 mph
- EPA: 21 City / 25 Highway / 22 Combined