2017 Hyundai Tucson Review

2017 Hyundai Tucson - The 2017 Hyundai Tucson Night is a factory mild custom SUV


Prices: $27,800-$29,200

Customized factory vehicles with more than such things as added paint stripes once were rare. But more began to appear to make standard models stand out when the market became increasingly crowded. The 2017 Tucson "Night" is a good example of a mildly customized factory offering.

Like the regular Tucson, the Tucson Night is a worthy compact-but-roomy four-door hatchback SUV with a distinctive look. List prices are $27,800 for the front-drive model and $29,200 for the all-wheel-drive Night version I tested. It was powered by a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with 175 horsepower. The entire regular Tucson range goes from $22,700-$32,175.

The other available Tucson engine is a 2.4-liter four with 164 horsepower, but the turbo engine provides superior, lively performance. The 2.4 comes with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The turbo works with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic that should be smoother at stop-go low-speed driving, but otherwise performs adequately.

Hyundai says the Tucson Night has a "new blackout monotone attitude."  How so? Well, it features 19-inch black finish alloy wheels with black lug nuts and red valve stem covers, panoramic sunroof with dark tinted glass for a blackout look, black cladding, aluminum pedals and heated gloss black side mirrors with turn signal indicators.

The Night version's exterior colors are (mostly) romantically named Caribbean Blue, Dazzling White, Coliseum Gray and Black Noir Pearl. My test Tucson Night had Caribbean Blue paint, but by far the best looking color is-you've probably guessed-Black Noir Pearl. It simply goes best with this Tucson's "Night" description. To my eyes, anyway, the black-finish wheels looked rather odd on my test Tucson Night  

The Tucson Night AWD gets an estimated 24 miles per gallon in the city and 28 on highways, which is so-so for a compact turbo SUV. Top Tucson estimated economy is 26 and 32 for the front-drive "Eco"model.

The Tucson Night is fairly well-equipped with items including a  perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel, power locks and windows, air conditioning, push-button start, AM/FM/CD audio system, power driver's seat, tilt/telescopic wheel with audio, cruise and phone controls, 12-volt power outlets and a 3.5-inch LCD multi-information display, reclining rear seats and a good amount of storage areas.
The Tucson Night's floor height calls for a little extra effort to enter, but occupants sit high. The quiet interior has supportive front seats and comfortable space for four to five tall adults, although the center of the rear seat is stiff and best accommodates a fold-down armrest with dual cupholders.

The spacious cargo area has a hands-free power hatch and a low, wide opening. Fold down the backs of the reclining rear seats and the cargo area becomes very impressive.

Gauges can be quickly read in the quiet interior, and the mix of small and large clearly marked controls is easy to use. However, the 5-inch dashboard touch screen is rather small, although not complicated to use.

The agile Tucson has decent steering, a supple ride and anti-lock brakes controlled by a firm pedal. There's downhill brake control and also hill start-assist control. Assisting handling are the on-demand all-wheel-drive system, stability and traction controls.

Safety features include blind spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert. There's also front, front-side, and side-curtain air bags with rollover sensors.

The Tucson Night with the turbo engine is a good package. Just remember that it looks best with black paint.

Dan Jedlicka

Dan Jedlicka's Website

Dan Jedlicka joined the Chicago Sun-Times in February 1968 as a business news reporter and was named auto editor later that year. He has reviewed more than 4,000 new vehicles for the Sun-Times--far more than any newspaper auto writer in the country. Jedlicka also reviewed vehicles for Microsoft Corp.'s MSN Autos Internet site from January, 1996, to June, 2008.

Jedlicka remained auto editor at the Sun-Times until October, 2008, and continued writing for the newspaper's AutoTimes section, which he started in 1992, until February, 2009. While continuing his auto writings at the Sun-Times, he served as assistant financial editor of that newspaper from 1970 to 1973, when he began his automotive column.

He has appeared on numerous radio and television shows, including NBC's "Today," ABC's "20/20" and "The CBS Evening News." He was a host, consultant and writer for Fox-TV Channel 32's 1991 New Car Preview show and that Chicago-based station's 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1995 Chicago Auto Show Previews.

Jedlicka's auto articles have been printed in national magazines, including Esquire and Harper's. His auto columns have been reprinted in U.S. government publications and economic textbooks and he is profiled in the "World's Greatest Auto Show" history book about the Chicago Auto Show. In late 1975, Jedlicka was host and technical advisor for three one-hour television specials, "Auto Test 76," which aired nationally on PBS and were the first nationally televised auto road test shows.

In 1995, Jedlicka was the recipient of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois Inc.'s Consumer Education Award, given annually to a person who has gained distinction in the field of consumer education. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award in the Media category and inducted into the Legends of Motorsports Guild at the Carquest World of wheels custom car show in Chicago in January, 2006.

Jedlicka was a member of the North American Car and Truck of the Year jury, composed of a select number of auto journalists from throughout the country, from 1995 until 2009. From 2010 to 2012, he was a member of Consumer Digest magazine's auto experts panel that gave Best Buy new vehicle recommendations.

He is a 1987 graduate of the Bob Bondurant Race Drivers School and later of the BMW "M" and Skip Barber Advanced Driving schools. He was a member of the U.S. team that participated in the 1987 1,000-mile Mille Miglia race/rally in Italy and has been a race winner at the Chicago area's Santa Fe Speedway.

Jedlicka has owned 25 classic cars, including 1950s and 1960s Ferraris and 1950s and 1960s Porsches, a 1965 Corvette, a 1967 Maserati and a 1957 Studebaker supercharged Golden Hawk. Jedlicka resides with his wife, Suzanne, in the Frank Lloyd Wright historic district of Oak Park. They have two children, James and Michele.

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