2015 Ford Edge Titanium AWD

2015 Ford Edge Titanium AWD

2.0L i4 EcoBoost Engine

Starting Price - $ 37,595

Price as tested - $ 43,190

My wife and I have been eyeing the new Ford Edge for some time and were hoping to have the chance to spend some quality time with one.  Eventually we will upgrade from our mid-size sedan to an SUV, and we’ve always though the Edge would be a perfect fit for us.  As luck would have it, we were able to review a 2015 Ford Edge Titanium AWD recently.  Though it was not a 2016, I would say there is no significant difference between the model years based on the research I’ve been able to do.    

I was delivered a beautiful Magnetic Metallic 2-15 Ford Edge Titanium AWD.   This is the 2nd generation of the Ford Edge, which was first introduced in 2006.  The Edge falls between the Escape and Explorer in the Ford SUV lineup.  I previously reviewed a 2014 model and I immediately noticed the 2015 had a definite upgrade in appearance.  The exterior presents with a whole new modern, sleek look. Though subtle, there is a bit more of a sport feel to it as well, which is a nice change in design.    

For 2015, Ford introduced a whole new exterior.  The sleek headlights nicely wrap around the fenders.  The grill was made slightly smaller to accommodate added accent lighting along the area where the fog lights would be.  The taillights also wrap around the rear fender and across into the rear tailgate.  This gives more visibility for drivers following behind you in inclement weather.  It also looks bigger, as Ford added about 4” to the wheel base, allowing more room for passengers and cargo space. 

The interior received a facelift as well, making it more driver friendly with upgraded technology, convenience features, and storage space.  Ford kept it simple for the dash by using push buttons to easily navigate through the settings.  Near the top of the dash is a nice sized display screen that both the driver and passengers can easily see.  The format is nicely laid out, and the touch screen allows for quick adjustments to climate, sound, etc.  It was very easy to figure it out and use on the road.  The steering wheel is wheel equipped with all your driving options right at the tip of your fingers, as well as the option to customize what pops up on the dash.  The seats felt really comfortable and overall the cabin felt very roomy.  One thing I did notice was how much storage space you have.  No lack in keeping valuables hidden.  I especially like the small storage tray just underneath the center dash.

Adding 4” to the Edge is nice for providing more room for the back passengers.  Having two children (1 & 4 years old) it makes it so convenient not having to fight to put in the toddler and infant baby seats.  Most of time front passengers tend to lose leg room with the seats installed, but there has been a trend around the crossover market in making the back seats with more room to accommodate those with children.  It’s very open and has a good amount of head room for those tall passengers.  I love seeing the option to charge whatever device you like.  If you’d like to charge your phone or your laptop, you can without messing with adapters.  I don’t know why manufacturers don’t just go ahead and add this great feature on vehicles that are ideal for long travels.  The rear seats recline and also fold down in a 60/40 split, giving you a massive amount of room.  For convenience, there are two release buttons that will automatically lower either of the rear seats down without having to manually go in the back seat and do it.  

The only real problem I had with the Edge was when it came time to install the toddler car seat.  The infant seat was fine as it used the traditional LATCH system like I use in other cars.  Our toddler seat is a Britax Frontier Click Tight (an amazing seat btw).  The seat has a flip up component that allows the shoulder belt to be fed through, then latches down to lock the seat belt and seat in place.   The problem arose when I noticed that the seat belt was equipped with air bags ON the shoulder belt.  Clearly that would not work with the seat, as an accident would cause it to inflate and push my son out of the seat or crush him between his seat and the front seat.  I was thinking I could use the LATCH for this seat as well, but then I remembered that the Britax rep who sold me the seat said the LATCH was only good for up to 40 pounds. The seat weighs 25 alone, and our son is around 35, so we are over the limit.  The other issue with the seat belt is that it keeps slack until the brakes are applied, so the car seat is never truly secured.  I was not comfortable using the seat in the truck so I didn’t take him on a ride.  I am sure that there is a solution, but my recommendation would be to decline the shoulder strap airbag option if you have a seat with the internal locking mechanism like ours.  

Moving under the hood.  Not only did Ford redesign the Edge, but they also added a new more efficient engine to its line-up.  The Edge I reviewed has a 2.0L 4 cylinder Eco-boost pushing out 245hp.  This is quite a bit of power from a small motor.  At first I thought it would be too small of a motor to push this SUV around, but I was wrong.  It did great and was easy to drive around.  You can upgrade to a 3.5L V6 with 280hp, or purchase the Sport model with a 2.7 Twin Turbo V6 with 315hp.  All models have a 6 speed automatic transmission that really shifts smoothly.  Suspension was smooth driving around in the wonderful roads Chicago has to offer.  The sporty 19” premium wheels on 245/55/19 tires really gripped the road and provided great handling, though it was a little loud at times in heavy acceleration.  I wasn’t getting the best gas efficiency, averaging about 15mpg in city and 24mpg on the highway.  I do live in downtown Chicago though, so gas mileage usually on the low side.  I would have liked to get a little more out of a 4cyl, but it is a heavy SUV and you typically need to give it little more gas to get up and going.  

Overall this is a nice truck.  I did enjoy driving around but the shoulder airbag in the backseat threw me for a loop.  I didn’t install my toddler seat but did drive with my infant running errands around town.  Personally I would prefer to purchase the bigger V6 motor.  I do love all the safety and technology upgrades that went into this generation.  Adaptive cruise control, blind spot sensors, parking assist and my favorite, it can park itself.  Not only parallel but also backs in.  If you are concerned with pulling out of a parking spot, no worries it can do that for you too.  This is a huge improvement from previous generation in a very competitive market.  This model will compete with Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, Nissan Murano, and the Chevrolet Traverse to name a few.  I’d like to thank Ford for the opportunity to review this vehicle.  

 

2016 Toyota Land Cruiser

Words by: Bogdan Poplacean
Photography by: Mark Scire II

I’m sitting in my favorite armchair. It’s a sort of smoking chair with large, dark, thick leather cushions. There is a heavy, early 20th century style to this chair, something which you would more likely see in a cigar smoking lounge with dark wood paneling and Tiffany lamps. The Toyota Land Cruiser is a lot like this chair. It has been around for what is an automotive eternity, and has driven all over the world, including into the Jungles of South America. While this 2016 model is a far departure from the canvas roof versions of the 1950’s, there is no mistaking the lineage of this model. Toyota has given the Land Cruiser a series of updates and improvements for the 2016 re-design including an 8-speed transmission, LED headlights, styling updates and, many new safety features. At $83,825 it’s the most expensive and well-appointed Toyota you can currently purchase. The Land Cruiser is also one of the most reliable and off-road capable suv’s for sale.

 

Powertrain

Toyota powered this 5,800lb behemoth with a 5.7 liter V8, mated to an 8 speed automatic transmission. While 381 horsepower is adequate, it would do better at the 500hp level. The power delivery is smooth, and at times you even hear the faint growl of a V8 through the well-insulated cabin.

 

Interior

All of the usual accoutrements are present including heated and cooled seats and a heated steering wheel. Navigation, a nice JBL stereo loud enough to disturb your neighbors, and separate temperature controls for the back seat are present. Unfortunately, the back seat on long trips gets cramped with 3 average sized adults. There is a 3rd row seat that splits and folds out of the way, that is best left for the 12 and under crowd since it’s short on space for “adults.” A pleasant-smelling leather interior, wood accents, and buttons make up the Land Cruiser’s interior.

 

Features

Buttons, lots of buttons to press, many that have letters that mean something, and do stuff.  I wish I could tell you more about all the buttons, but on the long hours of our road trip, we spent more time trying to avoid the constant warnings from the lane departure system. A function that was difficult to get used to was accessing the fan speed through the main nav/radio/climate control screen. The automatic climate control works well, but we wished for an easier to access layout. On the drive, we found ourselves wanting for more power outlets, however we also carry around more battery-powered items than most people. Most importantly, the 4wd system works extremely well. It snowed for part of our trip, and even on an icy parking lot, it was a challenge to induce a prolonged slide.

 

IMG_8268.JPG

Exterior

There’s nothing shocking or off-putting about the outside. We liked the subtle chrome accents around the outside, and appreciated the bold statement the large front grille makes.

 

Driving impressions

It’s a pleasant truck to drive, but never mistaken for a sports car. Toyota has added a feature called KDSS. The sway bars are aided by computers, and make this top-heavy body on frame truck handle tighter corners and crosswinds with much more confidence than previous models. Despite the large size, added front, side, and rear view cameras make it easy to see around the bumpers. Highway manners are sedate, and the Land Cruiser never feels unstable or high-centered.

 

Positives:

-Toyota reliability

-One of the most capable 4wd systems available

-Smooth ride, even fully laden

-Excellent outward visibility; LED headlights perform flawlessly

-Many cameras around the car help confidence in maneuvering

 

Negatives:

-Could use more power

-No remote start

-Same key fob as a Prius

-Rear seat room is lacking leg room if over 5’8” tall

-User interface with entertainment, navigation, and climate control is outdated and lags at times

Mischief.tv photographs provided by Mark Scire II and Chris Chavez Photography. 



2015 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited

Since the birth of our second son, my wife and I have considered purchasing an SUV to accommodate an extra person and all of the additional stuff we haul around with us.  It’s been a struggle for us as there are so many great SUV’s currently on the market.  The new 2015 Toyota Highlander Hybrid has made the struggle even harder, as we found this to be an excellent vehicle to throw into the running.  Most of you know by now that we live in Chicago, where side roads are small and parking is pretty much a nightmare.  We are fortunate to have a garage, but we always need to consider the size of the vehicle as the bigger it is, the harder it is to find parking and maneuver around narrow streets. 

We had the opportunity to spend some time with the Highlander, which opened our eyes to a model that we had only briefly considered before.  This vehicle impressed us on all levels, especially with the miles per gallon.  I had a hard time believing that a hybrid would work the way I expect on a vehicle of the Highlander’s size.  We currently own a hybrid sedan and we love it, so it was exciting to be able to test out how a hybrid SUV would actually perform.  Would we get the gas mileage we hope for and still have the capacity to tow jet skis or a small boat?  Would we still have all of the room we desire without feeling like we’ve given up power?   After spending a week with the vehicle, I have no doubt that the answer to both of these questions is a resounding yes. 

The Highlander hybrid, which was first available in 2010 and received a facelift in 2013, has been increasing in popularity every year.  It is considered a mid-size SUV, but it’s a bit on the larger side, which I noticed and personally enjoyed.  As the exterior goes, I’ve always found Toyota to be great in offering a very attractive SUV.  The Highlander has a very clean and conservative appearance.  The wrap around HID projector headlights give it a clean look and complement the good sized front grill.  The fog lights are low and towards the end of the bumper.  The body looks to have good clearance and will tackle the harsh Chicago winters with beefy tires on 19” rims. 

The interior appears similar to the rest of the Toyota line-up.  Nothing too elaborate but very attractive.  It’s a really clean and subtle look with lots of room to store items.  The dash is very open and all of the controls are easy to navigate.  The large touch screen monitor at times felt too sensitive, but I think it’s just a learning curve to overcome.  I really liked the small 3 inch gap below the dual climate controls where you can store cell phones, sunglasses, pens and pretty much anything small that you need within reach.  The center console is wide with plenty of room in the storage compartment to fit a small laptop.  Toyota really took care in making sure there was sufficient room and storage since many people would likely use this as a family vehicle.  Visibility is good sitting in the driver’s seat, but I could see the big hood becoming a sight problem for shorter drivers.  One surprise feature that I enjoyed was the flip down curved mirror, which let me keep an eye on the two kids in the back. 

The back seating area is pretty big.  I am able to fit back there comfortably without the front passengers having to sacrifice leg room.  The big test was installing our massive baby seats and it was a breeze.  There was still plenty of room with them in, and honestly room to spare.  This vehicle is also equipped with 3rd row seating.  I usually find it difficult trying to get to the 3rd row, but not in this case.  The back seat are captain’s chairs with open space between them, making it convenient to get back there.  You also have separate climate controls for the rear, which are easy to access right behind the center console.  

I’ve always thought of a SUV as a vehicle with a tough engine to provide enough power to hold its own.  I never thought a hybrid motor would work, but the Highlander proved me wrong.  As technology has gotten better, so has efficiency.  Yes, this is a hybrid, but also has a 3.5-liter V6 and an electric motor to produce 280hp along with a 3,500lb towing capacity.  So this answers my question as to having enough power to tow.  The more I drove the Highlander, the more I liked it.  Driving in downtown Chicago, I was averaging 24mpg.  This is a little below the advertised 27mpg, but I was also driving in a congested area with constant stop and go traffic.  It was really smooth but I did find an obvious transition going from electric to motor.  Those not used to a hybrid would notice it more but I expected it and didn’t think of it as a big deal.  This was an AWD model, and the instant torque from being a hybrid really added to the performance.  I drove it on the highway as well, and enjoyed a smooth ride averaging the suggested 28mpg.

Overall I really enjoyed the vehicle.  At first I didn’t know if I would like it, but both my wife and I ended the test period really considering purchasing this model.  It has everything we need to accommodate our growing family, not to mention it drove very nice and comfortable.  Yes, it’s slightly on the bigger side but it’s not bad at all.  I didn’t have any problems maneuvering around town.  My 4 year old loved the panoramic roof and rear captain’s chairs, and the three zone automatic climate control really made it convenient for everyone to stay comfortable throughout the entire cabin.

The Highlander starts out at $29,990 and the Hybrid at $47,870.  The increase in price for the hybrid model does pay off in the long run with the good gas mileage.  Other models I have tested in its class averaged about 6-8 mpg less.  The fully loaded model we tested retails at $52,042.  I’d like to thank Toyota for the opportunity to spend some time with this model and make our decision when it comes to purchasing an SUV that much harder.  Please visit your local Toyota Dealership for more information. 

2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR

Many of you in the automotive industry have heard the news that Mitsubishi Motors is removing the Lancer Evolution from their lineup.  The Evolution first went on sale in 1992 and was intended for the Japanese market.  Its demand quickly skyrocketed and the Evo became the car to own.  This was the first vehicle having a 2.0L 4G63T I4 Turbocharged engine, pushing 247ps for approximate 243hp.  It was a race car right out of the box, and was used in many races around the world, mainly World Rally Championship events.    

In 2003, seven generations later, the Lancer Evolution VIII became available for sale in the U.S market.  This was pretty much a stripped down version of the models sold in the Japanese market, but still came equipped with Recaroseats, Brembo brakes, Bilstein shocks, a front mount intercooler, Enkie wheels, and many other upgrades you wouldn’t see in other vehicles like it.  The Evo proved to be an excellent platform for aftermarket modifications.  The sky was the limit, making it a favorite of many automotive enthusiasts.  Pushing 247hp, the Evo was tested and outperformed the Audi RS4, and Porsche 911 Carrera 4S.  This was a huge accomplishment and cemented its status as the car to buy.

Now, only two generations later, Mitsubishi has decided to pull the Evo from its lineup worldwide. We were fortunate to have the opportunity to test drive the last normal production Evo X MR edition.  Having previously owning an Evo VIII, I was familiar with the car, but had never driven the MR automatic.  Knowing that it would be the last time I’d be able to review or likely even drive an Evo, I valued the time I spent with it more and enjoyed every moment.  As it turns out, I was the last person to be able to review this vehicle in the Chicago market before it was shipped away to its new home. 

I was delivered a Wicked White 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR edition.  You can certainly pick it out from the rest with its unique appearance and sound.  The massive front intercooler really fills up the front lower bumper.  The sleek projector headlights wrap around towards the fender and fog lights follow the same path.  The two tone white and black combo was nice but I wasn’t too thrilled about the turn signal changes.  There were moved from the side fenders to the mirrors, which was fine, but for some reason chrome inserts filled the void, and I thought it looked ridiculous.  Many of the air vents were painted the body color, but I would have preferred for them to have been kept black to flow with the car, giving it a better contrast and more aggressive look. 

I liked the split seven spoke 18” BBS forged alloy wheels wrapped with 245/40/18R Yokohama Advan tires.  It’s a nice upgrade from what I had on my Evo.  I am so used to seeing the traditional high rear spoiler, but honestly it was a cleaner look without it.  It was also easier to drive without it; in past I have had problems looking out the rear view mirror only to see the spoiler.  To round out the exterior, Mitsubishi kept the dual rear exhaust with rear defuser. 

The interior wasn’t the same as I remembered.  In 2014, the Recaro racing seats were replaced with more traditional driver and passenger seats.  This model was equipped with black leather seats, but I would have rather had the two tone cloth seats.  They were comfortable, but I found myself missing the Recaros.  Being pretty much a race car out of the box, to some it might seem to be outdated compared to today’s vehicles in its class.  Personally, as a driver, I’m not really concerned with the comfort features of the vehicle or the way it looks so much as tackling the drive, which was enhanced by the ability to be able to change the road condition settings with a touch of a button.  This is an automatic (which my wife was not happy about, “It’s an Evo, it should be a stick!”), but it had pedal shifters at 10 and 3.  A sunroof finishes off the interior, while the rest of the details kind of blend in to the background. 

The drive was exactly what I expected…the Evo did not like to go slow.  I felt everything thanks to the tight suspension and quick acceleration. I found myself using the pedal shift manual more than the standard automatic.  In automatic, it seemed that the shifting points were off and I could feel a huge delay between gears changing.  Having control of the transmission was a plus and made it more enjoyable to drive around the city.  It was a little loud but that is to be expected from a rally car.  It’s not your typical sedan.  This Evo was equipped with a 2.0L Turbo MIVEC DOCH 16-valve 4 cylinder engine pushing out 291hp.  It definitely had get up and go, and hugged the road thanks to the AWD.  The tight suspension was achieved with McPherson inverted struts, Eibach lowering springs and Bilstein shocks.  The transmission shifted quickly (in manual mode more than automatic) with its 6 speed twin clutch sportronics and super all-wheel drive control.  It was definitely nice having the extra gear for the highway.  Something I had fun with was the ability to change your road conditions setting between tarmac, snow and gravel, adjusting the level of traction on the road.  I wish we could have had a little snow to have some fun but it was just as enjoyable driving on a dry tarmac. 

Overall this car really is catered to a specific driver.  Not a vehicle you’ll like to have your grandma drive every day, but a car for those automotive enthusiasts that like to take cars to the limit.  It’s a very subtle design, with the most important focus on the technology of the motor, transmission and suspension.  I enjoyed driving around with it and even installed both my kids’ toddler and infant seats.  Nice that Mitsubishi thought about making it easy to locate the LATCH hooks for easy installation.   Though the cabin had decent room, the trunk space was very limited.  It could have maybe held one piece of luggage and a backpack before being maxed out. 

The Evo is one of my personal favorites, and it had a great 10 generation life.  I’m very happy that three of them were available to us here in the US.  I’m now curious as to what Mitsubishi has up its sleeves next.  Perhaps a return with some sort of electric base motor?  I guess we’ll have to wait and see.  I’d like to thank Mitsubishi USA for the opportunity to review this vehicle.  Make sure to visit your local dealer if you’d like to get your hand on one of the last Evos in production. 

Click Image to be redirected to photo album

Click Image to be redirected to photo album

Below is a video from Top Gear where Tanner Foust took the Evo in a competition to see who could make it from A to B in various road conditions. 

With 2015 being the last model year for the Lancer Evolution, Mitsubishi decided to make one final run of 1,600 Final Editions.  They are now stateside, and you can visit your local Mitsubishi dealership to inquire about it and get more information. It’s going to follow the GSR platform but with extra goodies as in special badging, Enkie Wheels, gloss black accents on the bumper and hood outlets, red and black stitching on the seats, steering wheel, floor mats, e-brake and shift knob.  They are also increasing the horsepower to 303.  It will be available in only Pearl White, Rally Red, Mercury Gray and Octane Blue.  Each model will have a special stamp inside displaying the vehicle production number.  Want a chance to get your hands on number 1 of 1,600?  Mitsubishi has decided to sell the first Final Edition Evo for charity on eBay.  All proceeds will be given to the Multiple Sclerosis Society Pacific South Coast Chapter.  The auction runs from November 11, 2015 until November 21, 2015.  There will be a MS dinner in Coronado, CA to celebrate the conclusion of the bidding, and those in attendance have the opportunity to bid right to the end.  Below is the link to the eBay listing.  Good luck!

2016 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR - Photo provided by Mitsubishi

2016 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR - Photo provided by Mitsubishi

2016 Hyundai Tucson Limited 1.6T AWD

2016 Hyundai Tucson 1.6t Limited AWD

The newly redesigned 2016 Hyundai Tucson is taking the automotive world by storm.  I had the opportunity to spend some time with the Limited 1.6t AWD model, and how fun it was. This is a vehicle that has a luxury sport look, good power, many comfort features, convenient size, good gas mileage and most importantly, an affordable price.  This is Hyundai’s entry level SUV, but don’t mistake that for anything basic.  It’s a perfect vehicle for those who would like a little extra room than a sedan but not feel like they are driving a huge truck.

The 2016 model is the third generation of Tucson dating back to 2004.  Named after Tucson, Arizona this model has been growing in popularity throughout the years thanks to its reliability, comfort, safety, warranty and price.  I would dare say this is one of the best warranties in the industry, with a 10 year 100,000 powertrain warranty.  Living in a big, heavily populated city with many road obstacles like Chicago, I would say that is an amazing plus to offer on a vehicle that seems made for the city.    

Hyundai has done a ton of marketing on this new model and of course they should.  To me, it goes a long way in making Hyundai’s a household name since there is now so much competition in the small SUV class.  My first impression of the Tucson was awe…this is a stellar vehicle.  It really stood out from the rest of the vehicles in my neighborhood.  Being a newly redesigned model for 2016, it’s a huge night and day difference from previous years. As only the 3rd generation in 12 years, we should see this model stick around for a while, which I think is great because it seems that many manufacturers tend to change the models every other year.  The vehicle just has a luxury look all over it.  Its sleek projector headlights, wrap around fog lights, and LED day time running lights really give the Tucson a bright appearance.  The big grill seems to be a trend around the industry and really adds an aggressive edge. 

The LED rear taillights are a big plus.  Great safety feature for those following you by making sure they are bright enough for day and nighttime. The bumper is not huge, but flows well with the rest of the vehicle and includes two good size reflectors on the corners.  As I walked around the Tucson, I felt the size was larger than I was expecting, but still a perfect size for a small SUV.  The 19” alloy wheels and dual chrome exhaust finished the exterior nicely. 

Having previously reviewed other Hyundai models, I wasn’t expecting too many interior differences.  This model was the fully loaded Limited edition, so it was equipped with all the bells and whistles you would want.  I am a big fan of all the features Hyundai offers in most of their vehicles, and this one continues in offering everything you need - dual climate control, push start, massive panoramic roof, heated and cool front seats, convenient settings for drivers, dual stitching on the dash with slight padding and steering wheel that offers all your basic needs while driving.  Despite being an entry level model, there is no entry level feel whatsoever.  Everything just flows from my perspective sitting in the driver seat.  A 5” touch screen is standard but the limited offers an incredible 8” touch screen.  As an added bonus to your passengers, the rear seats are also heated.

The main thing I wanted to concentrate on for this review was the size of the vehicle.  I have tested out small SUV’s in the past and have noticed that it gets a little cramped, especially since both my wife and I are pretty tall we have two kids to think about.  Typically, once the toddler and infant car seats are installed, there is not much leg room left for us in the front.  Thankfully, this was not the case with the Tucson.  I was really comfortable and even had to move the seat forward a bit because there was so much room.  At no time did we feel jammed in there or uncomfortable.  The massive panoramic roof added to the feeling of a roomy interior, and it’s practically a requirement for any of our future personal vehicles now that my wife and kids have experienced it.  The trunk area is decent but here is where you see the size difference from other models.  It’s perfect for a couple and one child or furry friend.  Plenty of room in that case but when you add a second child, I see a loss of room; there is just a lot of stuff to think about with each added kid.  Both seats fold down 60/40 or completely down giving you a little more than 61 cubic feet of cargo room. 

Living in downtown Chicago, I usually get way below the suggested mpg in the city, but in this case it actually did pretty well.  I honestly didn’t think it would being a 1.6L turbo model.  I averaged 18mpg and Hyundai advertises 24mpg, but take in consideration that my average speed was barely 15mph.  On the highway it did close to what it advertised of 28mpg.  The vehicle drove great and had plenty of power to get up and go.   I was pleased that it was equipped with blind side sensors and lane departure warning.  This is something you mostly see on a higher model.  What really surprised me is that it was equipped with brake assist.  I found this out by cruising through a parking garage exit and when the gate didn’t fully open, the Tucson immediately stopped for me.  Great safety feature especially in a busy congested city.  Add in the standard back up camera, and the Tucson has you covered on all sides.  The suspension absorbed the great roads Chicago has to offer, potholes and all.  When driving on the highway, road noise was at a minimum and the 7 speed dual clutch automatic transmission was really smooth.  You couldn’t tell you were shifting unless you were in a heavy acceleration. 

Click on image to check out the full photo album.  

Click on image to check out the full photo album.  

Overall I really enjoyed this model.  Perfect for a couple or small family.  Easy to maneuver around the city and with the standard back up camera, easy to fit in small parking spots.  The interior was really roomy, and the ride was smooth and comfortable.  Vehicle starts out at $22,700, the one we tested lists at $32,510.  Toyota Rav4, Nissan Rogue, Honda CRV & Ford Escape all fall in the same class.  Already the 2016 Hyundai Tucson has won the J.D Power Highest Initial Quality for a Small SUV.  Please visit your local Hyundai Dealership and test drive one today.   You won’t be disappointed!  Would like to thank Hyundai USA for the opportunity to review this vehicle.