When the 2018 Tucson lineup debuted, it appeared as if the beloved Sport trim had been replaced by the Value trim. Fast-forward just a few months and now the Sport is back with one odd change: a new engine.
While a new engine is typically a good thing, this one seems like a numbers game to me. In 2017, the Tucson Sport came with a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produced 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. Sure, its horsepower was a bit below some of its competition, but this engine delivered an above-average sub-eight-second sprint to 60 mph.
Of course, much of this acceleration was courtesy of the 195 pound-feet of torque that kicked in at the bottom of the rev band. Now, the 2018 Tucson Sport replaces that turbo powerplant with an exclusive 2.4-liter four-cylinder has 181 ponies and 175 pound-feet of torque.
Allow me to roll my eyes for a second here… So you swapped 20 pound-feet of low-end torque for 6 extra horsepower at the top of the rev band. Clearly, Hyundai is marketing the Tucson Sport to the spec readers and not those who actually know cars. It even specifically called out the RAV4 and Rogue, saying the new Tucson was more powerful.
Oh well… Otherwise, the Tucson Sport will hit showrooms at $25,150 and will add upgraded front and rear fascias, chrome exhaust tips, mirror-mounted turn signals, dual-zone climate control, 19-inch wheels, blind-spot detection, lane-change assist, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and more to the SEL trim.
The 2018 Tucson Sport is in showrooms now.