Being a car magazine and all, we get our fair share of vehicles coming through the MT HQ during any given week. Some stay for an extended visit, while others stop by for just a few days. In an effort to give you a better understanding of the lot from the inside, we're starting a new feature here on TT highlighting the interiors of some of the new vehicles that stop by the garage. For our inaugural installment of Interior Intro, we've got an all-new, fashionably designed 2010 Hyundai Tucson GLS FWD for you to check out. If couldn't already tell, the model's much-needed styling redo goes more than just skin deep.
Jump inside the Tucson and the first thing you'll notice are the prominent instruments highlighted by bright blue accent lighting. Looking like diagonally sliced pods, each gauge clearly displays all pertinent information behind the comfortable, leather-wrapped steering wheel. The wheel feels great to the touch: soft, highly graspable, and ready for action. Stereo, cruise control, and Bluetooth functions all work accordingly and easily.
Designers employed soft, less angular forms inside. Rubber and plastics are still the mainstay materials and mostly of the hard touch variety, but they're never found in any distasteful combination. The smooth exterior is translated seamlessly into passenger space, with both natural and modern inorganic shapes comprising the whole. Central dash functionality and user-friendliness is straight forward and not once did we find a faulty, confusingly labeled, or hard-to-reach button.
Below the GLS's manual air and heating controls are a standard iPod connection and DC power outlet. Big pats on the back to Hyundai product planners for including an iPod connection in the standard list of amenities. Simply plug it in and the music device starts streaming tunes through the crossover's speakers. The flowing forms continue into even the minutest of bits like the central storage bin. Leather also lines the shift knob as part of the $1700 "Popular Equipment Package."
During our drives throughout Socal, we took a liking to the leatherette-covered seats featuring cloth inserts. They're surprisingly supple, look good, and given their exterior material, most likely are a cinch to live with on a daily basis. Yes, we said we like leatherette. The faux-skin is used on the folding 60/40 rear seats as well. Out back, the accommodations are roomy enough for our 6-ft.-plus friends, and once folded down, provide enough clearance in the cargo area for extra-bulky holiday gifts. The tinted privacy glass (also included in the Popular Equipment Package) and extra storage bins were two other high points of the rear cabin.
As for low points, there was only one we could think of. Once we oohed and ahhed over the interior's coolness, we still had to get situated before we could get on our merry way. That's where some minor difficulties occurred. Maybe was the seat's final mounting position combined with the high steering wheel placement; we don't exactly know. But a few of our testers took a few minutes -- and not the usual seconds -- to get comfortable in the driver's seat after a bevy of mirror, seat, and steering wheel adjustments. One of our trusty analysts mentioned she could never get comfortable in the driver seat regardless of her tweaking. There was always something to fine tune even after exiting and immediately jumping back into the seat. Her slight 5-ft., 1-in. build might have something to do with the situation.
All and all, the 2010 Tucson's interior exemplifies the stylish progress an automaker can accomplish in one product cycle. From concept to reality, Hyundai has implemented many attractive elements into what was largely considered a previously bland compact SUV. Check back for our official First Test in the coming days.
Click here to see more photos of the 2010 Hyundai Tucson!