Whenever I’m testing out a new car, I’m looking for different features that might be good for our family. Our family is small right now, but that doesn’t mean it always will be. So when the 2014 Hyundai Tuscon was delivered for me to review – I started looking for the features I normally would like in a vehicle and if it would work for a family like ours or even larger.
The only other experience I have driving Hyundai vehicles is when I was introduced to the 2013 Santa Fe last year. It was a comfortable car with a nice ride and a pleasing design. And that is what I hoped I would be getting when they delivered the Tuscon.
My initial thoughts when the Tuscon arrived – it was a lot smaller than I thought it would be and it was cute, the front actually almost has a smile to it. The Tuscon is considered a cross over vehicle, it’s not quite an SUV and it’s bigger than a standard sedan. The outside appearance seemed small, but inside was almost everything I was looking for in a sedan or even an SUV.
Like many other models, the trend is to have hands free controls, or at least buttons within a quick reach so you don’t have to remove your hands from the steering wheel. Hyundai took special care in placing the hands free calling options, volume and music selection buttons and even cruise control. They were easy to access, clearly marked and easy to use while driving. This allowed me to keep my focus on the road and not reaching over to the console to change the station.
The Tuscon also comes equipped with Active ECO mode. With a simple push of the button it keeps your engine running in ECO mode when you’re within certain speeds and driving conditions. This results in better fuel economy, and less wear and tear on your vehicle. I noticed this kicked on while I was driving around doing errands, but not as much while I was driving on the highway to and from work.
Although the central console looks complex, everything is extremely easy to find and symmetrically laid out. From heated seats, a CD player, GPS, Audio input, USB input, Satellite radio, and climate control – there is absolutely everything to make your ride in the Tuscon enjoyable. The arrangement was easy to find while driving, due to the lay out of everything. I personally love symmetry, so for me everything made sense. There was only one feature that seemed out of place – the Rear Defrost button. Now, I know this is because of the layout, but the button was the furthest round one on the far right side. This puts it well into the passengers side of the car, and a bit inconvenient to reach if you’re driving alone.
After the general features, the next features I look into are for safety. Not only is it important to make sure we’re safe in the vehicle, but our family as well. Of course one of the things that can help with that is the GPS and map system, so we know where we’re going to. But the 2014 Tuscon had something else I hadn’t experienced – Blue Link. This is a touch for help, assistance type system similar to others out there. But it has some great features for families as well. You can set up a boundary that the vehicle should stay in, so if a young driver goes into an area they shouldn’t you’ll get a notification.
The Tuscon also has one of my favorite safety features as well – a back up camera. This allows you to to double check your surroundings to make sure no one is hiding behind your car, stepped out or even check for toys that may have gotten in the way. It will beep at you if you get too close to an item that it feels is in danger, which not only saves the day – but saves you front hitting unexpected things as well!
Other safety features to note – 6 air bags to protect your whole family on the go. Traction control – great for the upcoming winter roads or even with the amount of rain we’ve been getting lately.
But it’s not all about features and safety. The first thing we look at when we’re looking at getting a new vehicle is always going to be the appearance. The Tuscon has a beautiful panoramic sunroof so you get a stunning view as you’re on the go. When you open the sunroof up, it has a baffle to help keep the wind from creating that “whomp whomp” sound that hurts all of our ears.
The lights on the Tuscon are the ultra bright LEDs, and they even are int he back of the mirrors. This allows oncoming drivers to see easily which direction you may be turning without causing to much of an issue.
Space is another important factor when we look at new cars. We actually put the Tuscon to the test and took it out to help us move a few last things from our last house. Since it is a crossover, not an SUV there is a bit less space than we’re use to. And in order to take advantage of the full back area and drop the seats you do have to remove the head rests. But since Hyundai realizes that people may want to haul items in their vehicle, they took an extra step that other manufactures should look into – the back seat belts can retract and be stored so they will not get in the way.
Overall the trunk space in the Tuscon is great, it even has the removable privacy bar to help conceal your items. It easily fit my work items and shopping items while I was on the go. And when we dropped the seats to haul some items – it held everything we put it in without any problems.
We loved our week with the Tuscon. Even though the vehicle seemed smaller than expected, it performed great with every thing we threw at it. It seats five easily and even has connections for two car seats in the back for the growing family. The trunk will handle day to day travel as well as a lot more as needed.
The Hyundai Tuscon starts at around $21,500 and averages 23 MPH city and 29 MPH highway. It’s a great vehicle for the family who doesn’t quite need the SUV or van yet.
Becky is an interior designer, an adjunct professor, a foodie, a product reviewer and a gluten free blogger in Detroit, Michigan. Week99er is a family friendly site featuring products, events and recipes for your family. Contact her at [email protected]