Have you noticed the increased presence of Hyundais on Los Angeles streets? Savvy Angelenos have figured out that these nicely-styled, well-priced, and fuel efficient vehicles are a good choice in LA where many road warriors are in need of a comfortable gas-sipper. Hyundai offers a wide selection of vehicles ranging from the compact—and compact priced—Accent to the Genesis and Equus luxury chariots. For those who think buying a smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicle means forsaking amenities available in the luxury segment should check out the features present in the entry-level models. A perfect example of a small, feature-laden vehicle is the 2013 Tucson. It is the smallest of Hyundai’s three crossover utility vehicles (CUVs).
The spunky little Tucson is nicely fitted out with goodies, particularly if you opt for the Limited model. Although the 2012 model is no slouch, the 2013 version adds new standard luxury features such as heated front seats, fog lights, and automatic headlight control on the GLS. If you opt for the Limited model, you get proximity entry/push button start. The Tucson has a base MSRP of $19,245 for the GL, $22,595 for the GLS, and $25,445 for the Limited. Helping the Tucsons achieve their 32 MPG highway EPA are engineering features such as advanced weight saving technology and two eco-efficient Theta II four-cylinder engines. The GL power plant churns out 165 HP; the GLS and Limited engines produce 176 HP. For those who like a bit of off-roading and/or increased traction, all-wheel drive is available. In green states such as California, the 2013 Tucson GLS and Limited models are certified as Partial Zero Emission Vehicles (PZEV), which means they are as clean as many hybrids.
Most buyers opt for the automatic transmission; the Tucson automatic transmission features Hyundai’s Active ECO System. This system modifies engine and transmission control to smooth out throttle response. Hyundai claims that by turning on Active ECO, drivers can realize up to a 7% increase in real-world fuel economy. The GL manual transmission model has a shift indicator to inform drivers of the optimal time to upshift and downshift. According to Hyundai, fuel savings in the 7-9% range are attainable using the manual Eco Gear Shift Indicator.
The reason that I write Hyundai articles for this Website is from personal experience with Hyundai vehicles. Two years ago, I took my wife to a Hyundai dealership to check out a new 2010 Genesis. “Why do you want to look at one of THOSE CARS,” she sneered. After the test drive, she had nothing but kind things to say. The Genesis is smooth, quiet, powerful, and luxury-laden. I have owned a dozen Mercedes and the Genesis outshine them all for a significantly lower price. The only maintenance needed has been routine services such as oil changes.
I bought my wife a Tucson Limited last November for her birthday. We traded in an aging BMW 740IL that had ongoing, expensive maintenance issues. My wife climbed behind the wheel and never regretted the trade. She likes the great visibility, amenities, and great gas mileage. With the backseat folded down, she can make a major Costco run or I can transport my road bike.
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