The latest hot trend in automotive marketing is towards black-accented Night models that give your everyday car or crossover a slightly more sinister look. The 2017 Hyundai Tucson Night AWD is typical of the genre, sporting 19-inch Rays black alloy wheels, additional black accents on the grille, mirror caps, lower rocker panels and low front and rear fascias to go along with the standard black fender flares.

Other elements of the package, which was introduced last year at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas include tinted windows and panoramic sunroof, black roof rails and on the inside, aluminum sport pedals, perforated leather wrapped sport steering wheel and LED map lights. Our Caribbean Blue model is one of four colors offered that also includes a gray, white and black.

These modest enhancements are primarily cosmetic in nature and the equipment levels and mechanicals place the Night versions squarely between the Sport and Limited models in the Tucson range. Power comes from a turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine that makes 175 horses and 195 lb ft of torque, a step up from the normally aspirated 2.0-liter 4-cylinder in lower trim grades that makes 164 horsepower and 151 lb ft of torque. The difference in twist is most welcome in the Night, which accelerates smartly and sends power to all four wheels through a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.

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High equipment levels

Priced at $29,200 ($1,400 less if you opt for just front-drive), the 2017 Hyundai Tucson Night AWD has a fairly high level of equipment and sports such features as automatic headlamps, power liftgate, 8-way power driver’s seat, blind spot detection and warning, two USB ports, keyless entry and start, heated seats and outside mirrors along with a backup camera. Perhaps the only shortcoming in this subcompact crossover is the lack of a decent-size center screen and infotainment options for a vehicle that costs around $30,000 delivered. The 5-inch color touchscreen lacks Apply CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, along with navigation.

Besides projecting attitude, the Tucson Night offers a decent amount of interior space in a compact footprint, including ample load space behind the second row. The small turbo engine delivers good fuel economy given its output with a combined EPA rating of 25 mpg off of 24 city/28 highway mpg. Arguably one of the key virtues of the new Tucson Night is its enticing combination of features and value. Save for the standard infotainment setup, this new Tucson variant is a well-rounded package that delivers both style and substance for not a lot of green. 


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