September 30th marks one year with the 2016 Hyundai Tucson. Before I give you my final thoughts, let me give you some updates. First of all, we’ve replaced the tires. The Tucson came stock with Yokohama tires which were not all that good as they are all season tires, which really means every season but winter tires. As I mentioned in my first update, we were planning on switching them to Nokian WRG3 all weather tires as these are tires that you can use in all four seasons and they have the severe service emblem which means that you can use them in snow safely and they are legal in places like the Province of Quebec. Now these tires are usually only available exclusively through Kal Tire in Canada. But my preferred tire shop is Tires 23 managed to source these tires for me at $300 less than what Kal Tire was asking for a set of four. My early impressions are that they are much quieter than the stock tires and they have great rain performance. The real test will be in the winter when my wife and I go skiing and we have to negotiate snow covered roads. The only thing that needed to be done is to get a four wheel alignment as that helps the tires last longer and wear evenly. Not to mention that it helps the vehicle drive better. In fact, I recommend that you do a four wheel alignment done yearly for those reasons. As I am typing this, I am watching the 4 wheel alignment being performed at Hyundai Of Oakville.
Another change that I made was to get a tray for the center console storage area. Now Hyundai did a great job of having a great area to store stuff. The problem with that is that you just end up having to rummage through whatever is there to get to whatever it is you’re looking for. Thus having a tray for stuff you need to access frequent is handy. Now a member of the Hyundai Forums that goes by the name of “Didit” made some trays himself and sold a few of them to members of the forum. I bought one from him and here’s what it looks like in the Tucson:
I’ve got my gas cards, pens, and coins (handy for parking meters and for a quick coffee) all at hand. If I lift it up, the stuff that I use far less frequently is below this tray. It works quite well. The price was $35 US plus shipping. If you have a Tucson, I’d recommend one. Another thing that I’ve done is address the fact that the Tucson has only one USB port which is something that I brought up here. I’ve addressed that by using the Zus which is a high speed USB charger that plugs into your 12v outlet and gives you two additional USB outlets that can keep your devices charged. That’s important as the sole USB port in the Tucson doesn’t charge anywhere near as fast as the Zus and you can only charge one device at a time. It also has the additional trick of working with an app that is installed on your smartphone to capture the location of your car so that you can find it later. My wife and I were using that feature until iOS 10 came out as that has the same functionality as I described here. But we continue to use the charger along with a pair of ZUS Super Duty USB-A to Lightning Cables which are built to last.
I also had the chance to ride the PWC GTA Epic Tour 80K route. The Tucson was able to hold my bike along with a bag carrying my helmet, bike shoes, and a change of clothes with plenty of space to spare. The Tucson’s AWD system was also able to handle the fact that my wife and I had to drive on gravel and grass to park with ease. Plus it was a very comfortable place to relax for my wife while she waited for me, and for yours truly on the drive home after four hours of effort. Speaking of which, here are my stats using Strava of my 80K ride with roughly 3000 of my closest friends:
That’s not bad as my pace was a lot slower last year. One of the reasons why it took me four hours to complete this ride was all the climbing. How much climbing? Here how much:
You can see that I did 558m of climbing, but only 379m of going downhill. Now 558m is 1830 feet which is a lot of climbing. That’s really a lot of climbing on a bike if you don’t live in someplace like the French Alps.
Finally, I needed to have the Tucson detailed. So I took advantage that I had to do Jury Duty at the courthouse in Downtown Toronto to have it detailed at a place called @ Your Cars Service which is in the parking garage of First Canadian Place. The reason why I like this place is that they detail high end cars routinely. The day I was there an Audi R8, a Porsche Cayenne GTS, a Maserati, and a Lamborghini were being detailed. If they can do those types of vehicles, my Tucson shouldn’t be a problem for them. Interior cleaning along with a wash and wax cost me $180 plus tip. I always recommend that you do some sort of detailing as it will keep your car looking new, and help you to keep the trade in value high as the appearance of the car inside and out always matters when it comes to trading in your car. Here’s what the Tucson looked immediately afterwards:
So, after a year and all the experiences we’ve had with the Tucson, including a road trip to Prince Edward County, would we buy one if we had it to do all over again?
The answer is yes.
The Hyundai Tucson has really proven that Hyundai as a company has grown up and is now capable of producing products that are a great value and have a very upscale feel to them as our Tucson has lots of features that you find on luxury cars and it has great fuel economy (10 L/100 KMs or less is what we tend to average) for a very good price tag. It handles great, it’s roomy, comfortable and very versatile for all our adventures. Not only that, most people who see it think that the Tucson is way more expensive than it is. Also, it is often mistaken for something German. Hyundai can likely thank influence of Peter Schreyer who is the chief designer at Hyundai-Kia for that.
Now are there areas where Hyundai can improve? Yes:
- Hyundai Canada needs to step up its game in terms of parts availability as demonstrated when the BSD system went on the fritz. Waiting two weeks for parts when most of their competition can get parts in a day or two is a #fail in this day and age.
- And they likely need to have greater attention to detail when it comes to avoiding a situation like when they didn’t enable the “welcome lights” on a bunch of Tucsons. Now to be fair, Hyundai finished third in this year’s JD Power Initial Quality Study ahead of BMW, Lexus, Audi and Mercedes Benz. But this was a hell of a miss on that front for them that doesn’t help them on that front.
- One other area that Hyundai Canada could improve upon is their handling of the availability of upgrades to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in their vehicles as that caused far more drama than it should have. To be fair, Hyundai Canada now seems to be getting a handle on that and I hope to be able to communicate some positive news on that front soon. Though, if you check the comments in the various stories that I have written on the topic, there’s a lot of unhappy people that Hyundai Canada are going to have to deal with, and it will not likely be pretty.
- Two things that Hyundai Canada could do that would push the Tucson to being the choice in the compact SUV space would be to have tire pressure monitoring like they do in the American version of the Tucson, as well as having radar based cruise control which would allow the vehicle to slow down and speed upon its own depending on traffic conditions available as options.
- Another USB port would be really nice.
- One last thing that Hyundai Canada should consider is taking their more advanced safety features like autonomous emergency braking, and make it available at lower trim levels. I say that because some people that like our Tucson have been put off by the fact that autonomous emergency braking is only available in the “Ultimate” trim level. Compare that to Toyota who plan on making this among other safety features standard on their vehicles in 2017. The flipside to that is that other manufacturers do the same thing as Hyundai Canada in terms of keeping the really cool safety stuff for the top trim level. But with Toyota upping the ante, this will likely change and that may place Hyundai Canada in a space where it is perceived as not being competitive or forward thinking relative to those it competes against if they don’t change along with it.
But on the plus side, they have addressed three potential issues proactively which earns kudos in my book:
- One was done three months in via a software update for the engine control module as apparently there was an issue where the engine control module thinks that the engine is not warming up quickly enough, and therefore it would throw an error code which could result in the Check Engine Light being turned on.
- The other two were done recently which were to address an issue with the secondary hood latch and to update the shift logic of the dual clutch transmission. The latter one was a big win for Hyundai as some Tucson owners had complained about the performance of the dual clutch transmission. But as evidenced by this thread on the Hyundai Forums, most people who get the software update love the results.
In closing, our experience overall with the 2016 Hyundai Tucson has been very positive. In short, buying the Tucson was a good decision on the part of my wife and I. And it is a decision that we do not regret.