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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

2016 Chevrolet Camaro - Review







► Edited by : Shahen Tharammal
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PRICE : For 2016 Chevrolet Camaro - $25,700


The biggest change for the new model year is the addition of a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder as the Camaro's base engine. Although small, the turbocharged mill cranks out 275 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, putting it nearly on par with the V8s offered in the Camaro during the 1990s

Shifting through either a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional eight-speed automatic, the Camaro 2.0L turbo can accelerate from 0-60 in as little as 5.4 seconds. Despite that strong performance, the four-cylinder-powered Camaro should return better than 30mpg on the highway.

A 3.6L V6 stands as the Camaro's step-up engine and includes many upgrades over last year's V6, including direct-injection and Active Fuel Management for better economy. Also available with a six-speed manual or eight-speed auto, the Camaro V6 pumps out 335 horsepower and 284 lb-ft of torque and is capable of running from 0-60 in 5.1 seconds. When equipped with the eight-speed auto the Camaro V6 returned 19mpg in the city and 28mpg on the highway.

All Camaro models ride on General Motors' latest Alpha rear-wheel drive platform borrowed from the Cadillac ATS. That new architecture means the Camaro is more rigid than before, but, perhaps more importantly, significantly lighter, too. A four-cylinder Camaro is 390 pounds lighter than last year's V6 while today's Camaro V6 is 294 pounds lighter than the model it replaces.

Exterior styling for the latest Camaro is all-new but isn't radically different from the last iteration of the iconic muscle car. The Camaro retains its long hood/short decklid design philosophy, with a sloping roofline adding to the car's sporting proportions. Rearward visibility remains a Camaro problem thanks to thick C-pillars and a relatively small rear window.

Like its exterior, the interior of the latest Camaro is new but still familiar. The pony car's center stack has been totally redesigned and now includes an available eight-inch high-resolution touchscreen (a seven-inch touchscreen is standard) running Chevrolet's latest MyLink infotainment system with WiFi connectivity. The system is also compatible with Apple's CarPlay. A second eight-inch screen resides in the Camaro's main gauge cluster and provides a wide range of information, from performance specs to direction from the optional navigation system.

The Camaro's climate control system has been totally redesigned and now features two large air vents in the center stack that also double as controls for the HVAC system. Storage in the Camaro is essentially limited to a small under-armrest cubby and the glove box.

The Camaro's front buckets offer a decent amount of space, but the car's high belt line and chopped roof don't make for an airy cabin. The Camaro's rear seats are extremely tight and are best suited for small children.



EXTERIOR










Although the 2016 Camaro isn’t radically different than its predecessor on the outside, it’s quite obvious that each panel and detail has been reworked. Less noticeable but back by the official specs is the fact that the new Camaro is a bit smaller than the previous car. It is about two inches shorter in length, mostly due to a shorter wheelbase, an inch slimmer in width, and an inch shorter in height. It also has shorter overhangs, which basically makes it seem less of a pony and more of a sports coupe.

Styling-wise, it remains recognizable as a Camaro. Up front, the grille/headlamps arrangement changed mildly in shape and size, sticking to the slim layout introduced by the previous model. The mesh for the grille received a new design, while the headlamps showcase a new LED pattern that circles beneath the main light bulb and into the turn signals. All models but the range-topping SS feature horizontal chrome strips between the "bowtie" emblem and the headlamps.

Bigger changes are noticeable below, where a larger intake replaces the previous unit. On the SS model, the trapezoidal gap uses the same mesh pattern from the upper grille, while the remaining trims feature horizontal bars and chrome inserts. Two additional vents with horizontal DRLs flank the SS’ grille, while other models use vertical LED strips. Both enhance the Camaro’s aggressiveness, but the SS’ layout is obviously the sportiest. The bulged engine hood continues with minor changes, which is great news if you ask me.

Around back, modifications include a nicely sculpted bumper and new taillights. The latter seem to have a bit of Corvette in them, sporting a quad-like appearance rather than the unitary look of the fifth-gen gen. This is an all-new design for the Camaro, which strays pretty far from the previous design that relied heavily on the first-gen Camaro’s taillights. Purists might not like it, but it’s a fresh look that suits a 21st century Camaro just fine.

The black, diffuser-like piece is a lot thinner now, no longer extending into the license plate area of the bumper. It’s actually closer to an actual diffuser design-wise and improves the rear end’s look dramatically. Again, it’s an evolution toward that sports coupe appearance both Ford and Chevy are aiming for their muscle cars. All versions feature round exhaust tips. As usual, the SS employs a quad-pipe layout, while the rest feature one tip on each side.

When viewed from the side, the new Camaro stands out thanks to a more dramatic, fastback-like roofline and more muscular fenders. All these changes make the coupe more aerodynamic, a result Chevy says it obtained after 350 hours of wind tunnel testing.



INTERIOR











Step into the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro and you'll find a cockpit that blends themes of the previous-gen Camaro and current-gen Corvette. The flat-bottom steering wheel design is shared with the 2016 'Vette, and it includes fingertip paddles that shift through the gears in automatic-equipped cars and enable the rev-matching feature in Camaros with the manual transmission. Chevrolet also integrated the tachometer, speedometer and central driver information screen into one complete group for a cleaner, more modern look. Gone is the quartet of retro-inspired engine information gauges forward of the shifter; air-conditioning vents with knurled surrounds that control the temperature have replaced them.

While the exterior evokes the last-gen Camaro, the cabin is much more modern and contains references to the current Corvette.

Interior quality is a bit hit-or-miss, depending on what panel or trim piece you're checking out. GM's incorporation of its latest touchscreen interface is promising, however, especially considering the integration of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. We haven't fully tested it, but it will be interesting to see how the latest MyLink system compares to the Challenger's excellent Uconnect touchscreen and the Mustang's new Sync 3 system.

The front seats are more comfortable and supportive than before, but the dinky backseats are strictly for small children or contortionists. You also need to be a bit of a contortionist to see out of the thing. As with the last Camaro, a high beltline and low roof means outward visibility in all directions is sorely lacking. Plus, with a limited amount of light entering the cabin through the narrow windows, the interior can feel dark and claustrophobic. But hey, it's a Camaro, right? The point is to look good and turn heads, or so the logic goes.



SPECIFICATION


Year:2016
 Make:Chevrolet
 Model:Camaro
 Price:$ 25000 (Est.)
 Engine:inline-4
 Transmission:6-speed manual
 Horsepower @ RPM:275
 MPG(Hwy):30
 Torque @ RPM:295 @ 3000
 Displacement:2.0 L
 0-60 time:6 sec. (Est.)
 Top Speed:155 mph (Est.)



FEATURES


For its levels of performance and equipment, the Camaro is priced very well, and configuring one only takes a few steps through a simplified order sheet.

Coupes and convertibles come only in LT or SS trim—for now, at least.

Prices for the 2016 Chevy Camaro start at $26,695 for the turbo four coupe with a manual transmission, in the 1LT trim package. For the same car equipped with a V-6 engine, it's $28,490. The mighty V-8-powered 1SS with the 6.2-liter V-8 begins at $37,295.

Losing the roof pushes the entry price to $33,695 for a 1LT-equipped Camaro Convertible, with the top-end 2SS coming in at $49,295.

All Camaros come standard with power windows, locks, and mirrors; a rearview camera; cruise control; Bluetooth with audio streaming; an AM/FM audio system with a 7.0-inch color touchscreen, six speakers, two USB ports and an auxiliary jack; Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (late availability); keyless ignition; power front seats; hardware for in-car 4G LTE data services (subscription for data required separately); 18-inch wheels; and driver-selectable drive modes.

With the 2LT and 2SS packages comes a larger 8.0-inch touchscreen; dual-zone automatic climate control; Bose audio; and heated and ventilated front seats.

On SS models, Chevy adds standard 20-inch wheels; Brembo brakes; heavy-duty cooling for the engine and transmission; performance suspension settings; and a limited-slip differential.

Among the major options, a dual-mode exhaust runs $895; the automatic and the V-6 are $1,495 each; the RS package is $1,950; and on the SS, Magnetic Ride Control is $1,695.

Also offered are navigation; a head-up display; remote start; a heated steering wheel; a sunroof; wireless phone charging; and color-keyed interior trim. Ambient lighting is also an option, and it can dazzle parking-lot crowds with a "car show" mode that cycles through a spectrum of colors when the car's parked



PERFORMANCE PART & ACCESSORIES


Just like its predecessor, the sixth-gen Camaro received its own share of performance parts and accessories.

In the performance department, both the Camaro SS and the Camaro LT get a performance exhaust kit. The axle-back system enhance the sound of the 6.2-liter V-8 and the 3.6-liter V-6 and, according to Chevy, offer "a premium appearance," which probably means the package also comes with custom exhaust pipes. But while the exhaust is a direct replacement for the factory system and maintains the warranty, it is not compatible with the optional dual-mode exhaust.

Chevy also offers a performance air intake that helps reduce air restriction. This item is only available for the SS. The list also includes four suspension lowering kits for both the LT and SS, which lower the vehicle by up to 0.8 inch. However, the kits aren’t compatible with the Magnetic Ride Control.

Those looking to upgrade the brakes in their Camaros, Chevy is offering four- and six-piston front Brembo packages. The former was developed for LT models, while the latter fits all versions, including the SS.

As far as visual enhancements go, Camaro owners can choose between a wide range of exterior components, as well as engine covers finished in red, blue or black. The catalog also includes three aluminum wheel designs in multiple finishes, grille kits, a blade-style rear spoiler and ground effects kit, four graphics packages, and various interior trim kits.

Competition



POWERTRAIN


The 2016 Chevrolet Camaro engine lineup is very similar to the Mustang’s, as it features a turbocharged four-cylinder and naturally aspirated V-6 and V-8 options, but the blown four will serve as the base motor in the Chevy. The two smaller engines will be available in both LT and 2LT guise (they’re the only two trims with those engines), while the eight-cylinder is again SS-exclusive. In contrast, the V-6 Mustang is the bottom feeder and available with very little in the way of options.

The four—the first in a Camaro in 30 years—and the six can be ordered bolted to a Tremec TR3160 six-speed manual transmission or GM’s 8L45 eight-speed automatic. The SS gets the same transmission types and gear counts, but the manual is the familiar Tremec TR6060 (now with active rev-matching) and the automatic is the 8L90 that’s also available in the latest Corvette.

The 2.0-liter turbocharged engine makes 275 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, just about equal with its output in the Cadillac ATS and CTS. Chevy says it’ll return more than 30 mpg on the highway and hustle the Camaro to 60 mph in less than six seconds, although the company doesn’t specify which transmission achieves those numbers. For reference, we’ve tested the EcoBoost Mustang and achieved zero to 60 mph in 5.5 (manual) and 5.2 seconds (automatic). GM’s 2.0-liter is too coarse and uneven in its Cadillac applications, but hopefully the Camaro wizards have found a way to smooth out the power delivery. We also wouldn’t mind if they made it rev a little more freely.



ENGINE


Standard is the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, which may go against the standard muscle-car formula that says more cylinders are better, but this engine packs a punch. The upgrade from that is a more powerful (but with less torque) 3.6-liter V6 engine, with advanced fuel injection and, for the first time, cylinder deactivation for better fuel economy. But the real news is the V8, of course, now with 6.2 liters pumping out 455 horsepower in new Camaro SS models, the most powerful Camaro SS ever made. Transmissions range from the standard 6-speed manual that includes automatic rev matching on V8 models to the new 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters. Fuel-economy numbers aren't yet available, but should improve thanks to the new engines and lighter body. 

► 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 
275 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm 
295 lb-ft of torque @ 3,000-4,500 rpm 
EPA city/highway fuel economy: NA 

► 3.6-liter V6 
335 horsepower @ 6,800 rpm 
284 lb-ft of torque @ 5,300 rpm 
EPA city/highway fuel economy: NA 

► 6.2-liter V8 
455 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm 



SAFETY


The Camaro is brand-new, and rides on a new architecture, which explains why crash-test data has yet to roll in.

As of this writing, neither the NHTSA nor the IIHS have put the new pony car through their regimen of testing. Past Camaros have performed very well under both series of tests.

The 2016 Camaro is built on an entirely new platform, though. It's shared with the Cadillac CTS and ATS, which have also aced their crash tests.

The Camaro offers some of GM's latest safety technology. A rearview camera and Bluetooth are standard, and blind-spot monitors, forward-collision warnings and rear parking sensors are available. The Camaro doesn't heap on other new technologies like lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control, though.

The Camaro's an ode to high-strength steel, and what it can do for safer car design. Slimmer pillars have cleared up the view out of the Camaro’s front glass, while a look backward suggests the lower seating position and high tail practically mandated the now-standard rearview camera. A surround-view set would be welcome, too.

We'll update this page and this score as information rolls in.
455 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm 
EPA city/highway fuel economy: NA



FUEL ECONOMY


Fuel economy for the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro predictably swings depending on engine configuration, and is largely in line with its main competitor, the Ford Mustang.

The turbocharged inline-4 Camaro manages 22 mpg city, 31 highway, 25 combined when equipped with an automatic transmission, according to the EPA. Those figures dip slightly with a manual: 21/30/24 mpg.

For the V-6-powered Camaro, the automatic-equipped model is rated at 19/28/23 mpg. With the manual shifter, it drops to 18/27/21 mpg.

With the massively powerful V-8 in the Camaro SS, fuel economy isn't as atrocious as you might expect. The EPA pegs it at 17/28/20 mpg for automatic-transmission cars, and 16/25/19 mpg for manual versions.



VIDEO





► Edited by : Shahen Tharammal
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Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza - Price in India, Review & Photos





 Edited by : Shahen Tharammal
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PRICE & OPTIONS :

Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza LDI - RS: 8,42,870
Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza LDI (O) - RS: 8,58,390
Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza VDI - RS: 9,37,182
Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza VDI (O - RS:) 9,52,701
Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza ZDI - RS: 10,33,223
Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza ZDI Plus - RS: 11,51,415
Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza ZDI Plus (Dual Tone) - RS: 11,68,129


Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza is MSI’s first offering in the compact SUV space and is slotted below S-Cross in the line-up. Maruti Suzuki India’s reign in Indian market is unmatchable and it looks firmly at acquiring zenith in segments untouched so far. The term ‘compact’ had been humming around for a while post success of SUVs such as Ford EcoSport and Mahindra TUV300. Built from the ground up, the only thing that seems a tad familiar is the prefix Vitara that has been taken from the phased out model. That said, the styling cues too have been borrowed from the phased out model sold in international markets. Considering the high level of localisation (around 98%) and its positioning beneath S-Cross, Maruti Vitara Brezza price in India had to be competitive. One more aspect that we should take in contemplation is that the compact SUV is currently available only in diesel variants, hence the Maruti Viatara Brezza price for the base variant has been placed aggressively. Feature list is likely to be rich with some of the segment first comfort goodies and prominent safety equipment adding up to the credibility of the vehicle.



EXTERIOR






In terms of exterior design and styling, the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza seems inspired from two concepts – Maruti XA Alpha and iV-4 concepts – showcased at the 2012 Auto Expo Delhi and 2014 Frankfurt Motor Show respectively. With balanced proportion and a high ground clearance, the Maruti Vitara Brezza looks quite aggressive and sporty. What further enhance its SUV-ish appeal are upright hood, square wheel arches, high shoulder line, short overhangs and bold stance. The vehicle’s aggressive front fascia is accentuated by an upright hood marked by a pair of signature bull horn LED lights with projector headlamps and LED daytime running lights, signature ‘S’ badge, stylish body-coloured bumper and a retro-styled honeycomb airdam.

The body-coloured bumper strongly underlines its vertically slats radiator grille and fuses with slightly prominent square wheel arches on both ends. Though, the side profile of the sub-4 metre SUV looks identical to the Suzuki iV-4 concept that was unveiled at the 2014 Frankfurt Motor Show. While the lower variants are assembled with the 5-spoke, 15-inch steel wheels and 205/60 tyres, higher trims get larger 16-inch alloy wheels and 215/60 R16 tyres. The car also features high shoulder line, bold creases, a sharply raked windscreen, short overhangs, etc.

Maruti Vitara Brezza compact SUV
Based on the Suzuki Global ‘C’ platform, the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza measures 3,995mm in length, 1,790mm in width and 1,640mm in height. While a wheelbase of 2,500mm offers a generous cabin space, the ground clearance of 198mm ensures stable drive and handling on all sorts of terrains. The vehicle has a turning radius of 5.2 meters. The Maruti Brezza is the first car in its segment to come with dual-tone color scheme. The Maruti Brezza is available in a total of 9 different exterior color options – Blazing Red with Midnight Black, Fiery Yellow with Pearl Arctic White, Cerulean Blue with Pearl Arctic White, Pearl Arctic White, Premium Silver, Granite Grey, Blazing Red, Cerulean Blue and Fiery Yellow. One must note that the aforementioned exterior shades vary model-wise.



INTERIOR




There is nothing to write home about the interior and the Brezza’s cabin is as conventional as it comes. The dashboard is minimalistic and we wish Maruti employed some chunky knobs or other bits to compliment the exterior. The familiar CarPlay enabled touchscreen dominates proceedings has a high-quality display and feels very modern. Plastic quality and fit and finish though decent is not as nice as the bigger Creta. It does feel slightly better than its chief rival the EcoSport. Lower down and on the door pads it’s apparent that Maruti has cut corners and the plastics feel hard and shiny. Weight saving, however, doesn’t make the car feel as solid as it should. The light doors shut with a shallow thunk and it lacks the solidity of the EcoSport. There are many bits shared with the cheaper Swift too, like the power window switches, steering wheel, stalks etc.

As the Brezza has a compact footprint, Maruti has cleverly used vertical space to give the Brezza as much room as possible. Unlike an SUV you sit quite low in the Brezza so getting in and out through the large doors is extremely easy. The front seats are big, supportive and have acres of legroom. But, the Brezza really surprises as far as rear space is concerned. There is enough knee room for an average-sized adult and even headroom is generous. The backrest is set quite upright and there is enough thigh support to make you comfortable. The boot at 328litres  though slightly smaller than the EcoSport’s, feels much more usable thanks to the hatch opening and well-shaped bay. You also get 60:40 split seats for added convenience.

In the top ZDi + trim the Vitara comes loaded with features. It gets a touchscreen infotainment system which houses the Apple CarPlay, navigation, auto climate control, keyless go, reverse camera with sensors, auto headlamps, rain sensing wipers, daytime running lamps and a comprehensive trip computer with five different mood lighting for the instrumentation. In terms of safety, Maruti offers two airbags and ABS as optional across the range. We just wished it was standard as in the Baleno.



SPECIFICATION



► Engine  – 1.3-litre Multijet Diesel
► Maximum Power – 89bhp @ 4,000rpm
► Maximum Torque – 200Nm @ 2,000rpm.
► Transmission – 5-speed manual gearbox



TO DRIVE




For now, the Brezza packs the familiar 1248cc diesel motor in 89bhp guise. Press the starter button and the engine settles into an accustomed smooth albeit gravely idle. Like experienced before there is initial turbo lag at low revs and you need to constantly shift gears at slow speeds to keep the motor on the boil. 

Post 2000rpm though, the engine really awakens and the strong mid-range makes driving effortless. The motor feels free revving too but past 4000rpm power starts to tail off and there is no point stretching it to its 5200rpm redline as the engine becomes really vocal. Maruti has also employed shorter gear ratios as compared to the Ciaz to aid drivability. As a result, the Brezza recorded some decent figures in our acceleration tests. 100kph is reached in a brisk 12.7 seconds and even its in-gear times of 12.87 seconds for 20-80kph in third and 15.98seconds for 40-100kph in fourth are quite impressive too. The short throw gearbox though could have been a bit smoother in operation.

Around corners the Brezza behaves like a normal hatchback which is a good thing. It displays good stability at speed and handling is very safe and predictable, with no nasty surprises. As a family car, meant for sedate driving, the direct and precise steering and easy controls make it a stress-free car to drive. But the steering feels over assisted and it weighs up inconsistently as you pick up speed. Though body-roll is well contained, it doesn’t have the willingness to change direction as the EcoSport and it’s certainly not a car that enjoys being hustled. 

As for the ride, due to the light weight it does feels a bit jiggly at low speeds and not very adept at handling sharp bumps, and you can feel the suspension thump through the light body especially at the rear. Though it never gets to the point of being uncomfortable, it is something you can live with. However, as you go faster, it settles down to offer a fairly flat and consistent ride. The brakes, on the other hand, offer good bite and stopping power, but a more linear pedal feel would have been welcomed.


FUEL ECONOMY



Powered with a 1.30-litre DDiS 200 engine that also does duty on the Baleno, S-Cross & Swift, the Maruti Vitara Brezza is claimed to be more fuel efficient than its siblings. Maruti Suzuki claims that the Vitara Brezza offers an impressive mileage of 24.3kmpl. And what makes it to achieve such impressive mileage figures is its more compact and lighter body-built.



VIDEO





 Edited by : Shahen Tharammal
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2016 Hyundai Tucson - Review





► Edited by : Shahen Tharammal
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PRICE : For 2016 Hyundai Tucson - $23,595



The Tucson is Hyundai's smallest crossover offering, based on the midsize Sonata and sporting a nearly identical two-row, five-passenger layout.

The Tucson comes in four trim levels, which have been re-arranged for the new model to align it more closely to Hyundai's new product tiers and simplify purchasing decisions for customers. The base model is the SE; one step up from that is the Eco model, followed by the all-new Sport and the range-topping Limited.

SE models are available with a two-liter, naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine making 164 horsepower at 6,200 RPM and 151 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 RPM. This engine is paired to a conventional, six-speed automatic transmission. Eco, Sport and Limited models all come standard with Hyundai's revised, 1.6-liter turbo. This four-cylinder makes 175 horsepower at 5,500 RPM and 195 lb-ft of torque from 1,500 to 4,500 RPM, and is paired with Hyundai's new seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission. All-wheel-drive is available on all trims.

The SE model's powertrain combination is good for 23 mpg in the city, 31 on the highway and 26 combined in front-wheel drive guise. All-wheel-drive models are rated at 21 mpg city, 26 highway and 23 combined.

The Eco model is the fuel economy all-star, with a 26 mpg city rating, 33 mpg highway and 29 combined with front-wheel drive. AWD drops those to 25/31/27. Jumping to the Sport or Limited model means heavier 19" wheels and stickier tires, which put noticeable drags on the 1.6L's efficiency. Both are rated at 25 mpg city, 30 mpg high and 27 mpg combined in the city with just the front wheels powered or 24/28/26 through all four.

The Tucson's sedan roots also carry over in its suspension, which is a MacPherson Strut setup in the front and a conventional multi-link independent configuration in the rear.



EXTERIOR











For the 2016 model year, the Tucson receives a complete redesign, giving the crossover a bolder and more upscale look. Aside from the obvious exterior lighting changes made from Euro- to U.S.-spec, the Tucson unveiled in New York is identical to the one that debuted in Geneva.

Up front, Hyundai added in its now-signature hexagonal grille with vertical slats. On top of the new grille, the entire fascia has a more upright look, and the lower apron gains a set of horizontally oriented fog lights and surrounds, which help give the model a wider look. The LED headlights also add to the wider look, and the wing-like lower section of the bumper adds a dab of sportiness.

From the profile, you’ll notice that the A-pillar is pushed rearward compared to the 2015 model. This adds some separation between the hood and the A-pillar, helping to lengthen the look of the hood. Additionally, a sharp, rising accent line shoots rearward from the front wheel arch to eventually meet with the outermost part of the taillight.

Around back, slimmer taillights and redesigned tailgate and lower bumper continue the more adult theme of the small SUV.

On the whole, Hyundai basically took its small SUV and brought it up to date with the rest of its lineup. With hot-sellers like the Sonata boasting this new, more refined look, these changes can mean only good things for the Tucson.



INTERIOR











The 2016 Hyundai Tucson's interior has a more grown-up look than its predecessor, featuring a restrained dashboard design with sensibly arrayed controls. The materials aren't optimal, however, as hard plastic surfaces remain the norm. That's fortunately less of an issue for the Limited, which gets upgraded trim that includes padded dashboard and door inserts with accent stitching. In any event, the Tucson has plenty of storage nooks for your stuff, particularly for front passengers.

On the technology front, the standard 5-inch touchscreen won't blow you away with its size or resolution, but it's quite user-friendly thanks to readily accessible virtual buttons and an intuitive layout. Not surprisingly, the Limited's 8-inch version is both more capable and prettier to look at; pity it's not offered on at least one of the other trims. On the bright side, USB connectivity, Bluetooth and satellite radio come standard on every Tucson, so there's no shortage of musical fun to be had.

Front seat comfort is satisfactory, and it's worth noting that the Tucson stands apart from other compact crossovers by offering a power passenger seat (Limited only). The rear seat doesn't slide fore and aft, which strikes us as a missed opportunity in this segment, but it's mounted higher than before and can now accommodate a couple of 6-footers without issue.

Cargo capacity has also improved. With 31 cubic feet behind the rear seatbacks and 61.9 cubes with those seatbacks folded down, the Tucson is close enough to the CR-V (35.2 and 70.9 cubes, respectively) to provoke thoughts about how important that maximum number really is. Sweetening the deal is the hands-free power liftgate that comes standard on Sport and Limited. Unlike the Ford Escape's version of this technology, which works via a foot sensor that you need to kick at, the Tucson employs a proximity sensor that opens the liftgate automatically if it senses you're standing in the vicinity with the key in your pocket.



SPECIFICATION


► Year:2016
► Make:Hyundai
► Model:Tucson
► Price:$ 22700 (Est.)
► Engine:inline-4 (Est.)
► Transmission:6-speed automatic
► Horsepower @ RPM:164 (Est.)
► Torque @ RPM:151
► Displacement:2.0 L (Est.)
► 0-60 time:8.2 sec. (Est.)
► Top Speed:110 mph (Est.)



FEATURES


Hyundai has slightly revised its trim levels for 2016. The entry-level SE is most notable for a unique drivetrain that combines a direct-injected 2.0-liter four-cylinder with a 6-speed automatic transmission. It includes nice touches like a tilt-and-telescope steering wheel, automatic headlights, a rearview camera, and special cloth upholstery—available only in beige—that resists odors and stains. Standard and optional equipment is otherwise fairly basic.

The Eco gains a direct-injected 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4 that's matched to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. Like the SE, it wears 17-inch wheels.

New this year is a Sport trim that builds on the Eco's specifications with 19-inch wheels, keyless ignition, a variety of driver assists, and heated front seats. The Sport also gets an innovative feature that opens the liftgate automatically when the key fob has been in proximity for three seconds; it will work only if the Tucson is locked, and the range of its motion can be programmed to avoid hitting garage doors and the like.

The range-topping Limited adds a host of luxury features like leather upholstery, upgraded interior trim, dual-zone automatic climate control, 8.0-inch touchscreen navigation, and Hyundai's telematics system. An Ultimate Package for the Limited throws in extras like a panoramic sunroof, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, HID headlights, and an automatic emergency braking system with pedestrian detection.

Pricing is generally competitive. On its introduction, the Tucson had base prices ranging from around $23,000 to $33,000. All-wheel drive, available at all trim levels, adds about $1,500, and there's a destination charge of $895.



PERFORMANCE


Tucson buyers choose between two drivetrains. The base SE is the only trim level powered by a direct-injection 2.0-liter inline-4 that makes 164 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. It's mated to a traditional 6-speed automatic transmission, and rated for 23 mpg city, 31 highway, 26 combined with front-wheel drive.

The Eco, Sport, and Limited all use a direct-injection 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4 paired with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT). It's rated for 175 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. So why the difference when they share a drivetrain? According to Hyundai, much of the blame goes to the 19-inch wheels used by the Sport and the Limited -- like the SE, the Eco rides on 17-inch wheels.

We drove a few hundred miles in Limiteds equipped with the turbocharged 1.6 and the DCT. The engine feels adequately powerful in most situations and the transmission shifts nearly imperceptibly, but hard acceleration reveals a somewhat surprising sluggishness. Three driving modes (normal, eco, and sport) seem to have little impact on performance or behavior.

A direct comparison with the 2.0-liter and 6-speed in the SE is difficult, as our short drive was composed primarily of stop-and-go city traffic, but in that setting the SE feels quicker and less hesitant off the line, especially in that model's sport mode.

The Tucson uses MacPherson struts up front and a multi-link independent rear suspension. Handling is predictable and safe rather than sporty, and steering feel is equally pragmatic—communicating well without encouraging spirited driving. Paired with refined ride and a serenely quiet cabin at highway speeds, the crossover's driving dynamics probably deliver exactly what its buyers want. One caveat, though: The smooth ride can be momentarily jarred when the Tucson's 19-inch wheels come into contact with pavement joints and the like.

All trims levels come with front-wheel drive as standard, but an all-wheel-drive system is available across the range. It includes a driver-selectable lock for differentiated torque split between front and rear wheels in off-road and extremely slippery conditions, and torque vectoring that improves cornering performance by braking the inside rear wheel and delivering additional torque to the outside rear wheel.



ENGINE


Two drivetrains are available in the 2016 Hyundai Tucson. The base SE model uses the carryover 2.0-liter naturally aspirated (non-turbocharged) 4-cylinder and 6-speed automatic transmission, while the rest come with the fresh 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder and a 7-speed automatic dual-clutch transmission. All-wheel drive (AWD) is available with either engine in lieu of the standard front-wheel-drive (FWD) setup. The AWD Tucson has a "lock" feature that grants up to a 50/50 torque split between the front and rear wheels for better traction in slippery or off-road conditions. While you may equate turbocharging with speed, the application here is more for fuel economy, which allows the Tucson's smaller engine to be rated up to 33 mpg, a 5-mpg gain over the past 2.4-liter engine. In other welcome news, this turbo engine does just fine running on regular gasoline. 

► 2.0-liter inline-4 
164 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm 
151 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm 
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/31 mpg (FWD), 21/26 mpg (AWD) 

► 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4 
175 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm 
195 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-4,500 rpm 
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/30 mpg (FWD), 24/28 mpg (AWD), 26/33 mpg (Tucson Eco, FWD), 25/31mpg (Tucson ECO, AWD)



SAFETY


Standard safety items on the 2016 Hyundai Tucson include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, active front head restraints, front side airbags, side curtain airbags, hill-hold assist and hill descent control.

All trims provide a rearview camera as standard, while the Sport gets standard blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. The Limited features all of those items plus standard rear parking sensors and a couple optional items via the Ultimate package (lane-departure warning and a forward collision mitigation system with automatic braking and pedestrian detection).

The Blue Link telematics suite is standard on the Limited but unavailable on the other trims. It includes emergency safety assistance and other smartphone-based features via the Blue Link mobile app. If you upgrade to the Remote package, you also get stolen vehicle recovery, a car finder and electronic parameter settings (geo-fencing, speed/curfew alerts and valet alert) and remote ignition and accessory operation via a smartphone or even smartwatch.



FUEL ECONOMY


Hyundai's updated the powertrains in the Tucson crossover SUV, and swapped in a new transmission on the priciest versions, to boost its fuel economy.

Base Tucsons get a 2.0-liter inline-4 with 164 horsepower. Coupled to a 6-speed automatic, this version is rated at 23 mpg city, 31 highway, 26 combined with front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive trims fuel economy to 21/26/31 mpg.

Other versions come with a turbocharged 1.6-liter four with 175 hp, and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Sport and Limited versions are rated at 25/30/27 mpg, while the Eco is rated for 26/33/29 mpg. Hyundai attributes most of the difference to wheel and tire sizes.

For comparison, the front-drive Honda CR-V is rated at 27/34/29 mpg.



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► Edited by : Shahen Tharammal
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