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Hyundai celebrates one millionth Tucson sale

Chris Teague

Chris Teague

Hyundai is celebrating a sales milestone with the Tucson.

It’s been 16 years since the first Hyundai Tucson arrived for sale in the U.S. Since then, it’s evolved with each of the three generations design delivering what customers are looking for – a safe and reliable, budget-friendly compact SUV. It’s named after Tucson, Arizona

First Generation (2004-2009)

2004 Hyundai Tucson

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The first generation of the Tucson competed directly with the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V, as it does today. Buyers could get it in their choice of two powertrains, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder (139 horsepower) or a 2.6-liter V6 (173 horsepower). A five-speed transmission was standard on the smaller engine and a four-speed automatic was available. V6 buyers all received the automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive was standard and four-wheel drive was available.

Hyundai offered the model in GLS, SE, and Limited trim levels by the time the generation was over though at the beginning it was a GL, GLS, GLS Limited grade ladder.

Standard equipment included air conditioning, six airbags, electronic stability control, a CD player, alloy wheels, keyless entry, and cloth upholstery. Upgrading your model got you access to premium features like a cassette player, body cladding, a six-disc CD player, automatic climate control, heated seats, and leather upholstery.

The SUV received accolades for its safety from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Similar praise was heaped by Consumer Reports for its reliability.

Second Generation (2010-2015)

2010 Hyundai Tucson

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The second-generation Tucson was unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. It received a complete overhaul, upping the amount of in-car tech and looks. The model retained its same focus on safety and reliability.

Hyundai sold the model in GL, GLS, and Limited trim levels. It was now available with either a 2.0-liter or 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that achieves 165 horsepower and 176 horsepower, respectively. GL models came standard with a manual transmission. A six-speed automatic transmission was available in the GL and standard in GLS and above SUVs.

The list of available features includes steering wheel-mounted audio controls, Bluetooth, navigation, and a standard iPod interface system.

In 2014, the model’s engine lineup received a significant upgrade gaining more power and lower emissions. Eventually the list of features included LED tail lights, stylish alloy rims, interior appointments, a panoramic sunroof, vehicle dynamics control, proximity key, and a better audio system.

The SUV earned a Top Safety Pick designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Third Generation (2015- present)

2019 Hyundai Tucson

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The third-generation Tucson was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 2015. For the U.S. market, Hyundai found that variety was the model’s key to success. They offered the Tucson in six trim levels (SE, Night, Eco, Sport, SE Plus, and Limited) at launch but the names and features changed over the course of the generation.

Standard equipment included a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that was paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, 17-inch alloy wheels, a 5-inch infotainment touch screen, CD player, Bluetooth, rearview camera, and iPod integration. The long list of available features included LED headlamps, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Blue Link services, navigation, premium interior surfaces, an ionizer, and automatic dimming rearview mirror.

A turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine is available. Both engines variants are available with all-wheel drive.

Hyundai is expected to introduce the next-generation Tucson soon.

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