2008 Hyundai Tucson SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Hyundai Tucson SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Hyundai Tucson Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 140 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 19/25 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2008 Hyundai Tucson

  • With its outstanding warranty coverage and a longer list of standard features this year, the 2008 Hyundai Tucson compact SUV remains a solid choice for value-oriented consumers.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Stylish and functional interior, impressive warranty, plenty of standard safety features.

  • Cons

    Performance and fuel economy are noticeably lower than most competitors.

  • What's New for 2008

    All 2008 Hyundai Tucsons receive active front head restraints, satellite radio and auxiliary audio input as standard equipment. For the Limited trim, the six-CD changer is now standard as well.

Full 2008 Hyundai Tucson Review

What's New for 2008

All 2008 Hyundai Tucsons receive active front head restraints, satellite radio and auxiliary audio input as standard equipment. For the Limited trim, the six-CD changer is now standard as well.


Since its introduction three years ago, the Hyundai Tucson has been a solid choice for compact-SUV shoppers. It's generously equipped with lots of standard features and safety equipment, and its long warranty coverage is one of the best in the segment. Buyers have a choice between two engines and front- or all-wheel drive. And the Tucson delivers respectable carlike ride and handling dynamics that should satisfy most shoppers in this class.

As is common for the segment, buyers can choose between four- and six-cylinder power. But compared to rivals, the 2008 Tucson's power plants are both down on power -- the V6 makes only 173 horsepower, not much more than competitors' four-cylinders. Furthermore, the Kia must make do with a four-speed automatic, while some other compact SUVs offer five-speed automatics. These downsides are also true for the Tucson's sibling, the Kia Sportage.

With so many choices available for small SUVs these days, the 2008 Hyundai Tucson's detriments keep it from being one of our top picks. It's not as quick as the Toyota RAV4 V6, as sporty as the Mitsubishi Outlander or as refined as the Honda CR-V. However, its roomy passenger quarters, strong warranty and high value still make it worth considering, especially if you're on a tight budget.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Hyundai Tucson is a small crossover SUV available in three trim levels: base GLS, midlevel SE and top-of-the-line Limited. Standard features on the GLS include 16-inch alloy wheels, heated outside mirrors, full power accessories and a CD/MP3 stereo with an auxiliary audio jack and satellite radio. Air-conditioning is optional on GLS models with the manual transmission; otherwise, it's standard.

The Tucson SE adds premium cloth seat trim, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, cruise control, a trip computer and foglights. The Limited provides monochrome exterior trim, a windshield wiper de-icer, leather seating, heated front seats, automatic climate control and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Also standard for the Limited is a premium 200-watt six-disc CD changer audio system with a subwoofer. Significant options include a sunroof and Bluetooth connectivity.

Powertrains and Performance

The base GLS comes with a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine that puts out 140 hp and 136 pound-feet of torque. Power is transferred to the front wheels through a standard five-speed manual transmission or optional four-speed automatic with manual shift control. The Tucson SE and Limited provide a larger 2.7-liter V6 engine that generates 173 horses and 178 lb-ft of torque, coupled with the four-speed automatic. V6 models can be equipped with an all-wheel-drive system.

V6 models will accelerate to 60 mph in about 10.7 seconds, about a second or so off the quicker four-cylinders in the segment and more than three ticks off the class hot rod, the RAV4 V6. Fuel mileage estimates for a 2008 Sportage V6 with AWD are 17 mpg city and 23 mpg highway, a bit below the class average. The four-cylinder gets only a couple city mpg better.


The 2008 Hyundai Tucson offers a generous level of standard safety equipment for a vehicle in this class, including antilock disc brakes with brake assist, stability and traction control, front seat side-impact airbags, head curtain side airbags and active front head restraints. In government crash testing, Hyundai's compact SUV achieved a perfect five stars for both frontal- and side-impact protection. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the Tucson received a second-highest "Acceptable" rating for both frontal-offset and side impacts.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Hyundai Tucson features a modern cabin design with a straightforward layout and good build quality. The quality of materials is inconsistent, however, with a few too many hard plastic surfaces and standard cloth trim of questionable taste. There's a generous amount of legroom up front, though larger passengers may be a bit cramped in back. When it's time to really load up, the rear seats fold flat to reveal 66 cubic feet of total capacity -- about mid-pack for its segment. Additionally, the front passenger seat folds down to allow long objects to be carried within the cabin.

Driving Impressions

On the road, the 2008 Hyundai Tucson provides a carlike ride and relatively sporty handling that makes it a little more fun to drive than many other compact SUVs. It's capable of being both a good city runabout and a long-distance highway cruiser. Power from the standard four-cylinder is barely adequate, so we recommend you opt for the V6. The four-speed automatic isn't quite as smooth as the five-speed units offered by competitors, but it's alert enough to usually keep the V6 right in its power band.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Love this suv

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Hyundai Tucson GLS 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 4A)

I've only owned this vehicle for a couple of months and I'm very pleased. This is my very first SUV. My sister owns a Sonata and my dad owns a 2007 Tucson and I've never heard them complain so I got one. My Tucson is a 2.0L 4-cyl but I like it. Could do a lot better on gas.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Best vehicle i've driven

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Hyundai Tucson SE 4dr SUV (2.7L 6cyl 4A)

In driving cars since 1975 the Tucson is the best vehicle I've owned. Does it have shortcomings, of course. But, I knew that when I bought it. As of 8-16-10 I have 36,000 and not one problem. Tires are still very good, oil is changed every 3,000 to 4,000 and lubed. Preventive maintenance is key. The only thing I don't like it that it is noisy from a tire standpoint. Good mileage up to 27 mpg on the highway and about 22 in local traffic. It's just a nice vehicle.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Does what i want

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Hyundai Tucson SE 4dr SUV 4WD (2.7L 6cyl 4A)

We bought a used 2008 Hyundai Tucson 4x4, 2.7L V-6 last year from CarMax to replace our 2005 RAV4 after a wreck. So far, we are satisfied with the Tucson. I had a chance to try out the ABS, traction control, 4 wheel drive, and stability control several times this winter in New Mexico - it all works well. At 21k, the Bridgestones are already showing moderate wear, so we'll be looking at new tires probably by 30k or so. I'm not overly impressed with the 2.7L V-6. It's short on power and only averages around 19 to 20 mpg, giving us the power of a 4 and the mileage of a 6, the worst of both worlds. But it's reliable with no mechanical or quality issues. So far, so good.

Great buy!

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Hyundai Tucson GLS 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I bought my Hyndai Tucson in late '08 at a decent "end of model year" discount. This is by far the smallest, and only front wheel drive suv I have ever owned but it has proven it self very capable. I have taken it from Washington, to Utah, to Alaska, all the way up to Inuvik,NWT (look it up on a google) and then all the way to New York. It does amazingly well on snow (with some good snow tires)and even handles mud and dirt roads with ease. All around I'm sure glad I bought a Tucson!

Comfy but not practical

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Hyundai Tucson GLS 4dr SUV w/XM (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

Bought this 10 months ago and am looking to trade it in even though I know I will take a loss. has tons of cargo space and leg room, but the motor works too hard. Doesn't feel like it shifts properly. Not very darty--takes a long time to accelerate. Gas mileage for me has been consistently at 18 miles and less. I have never gotten even 19 mile per gallon as stated. 14 gallon tank is small--feels like I am always at the gas station. radio and amenities are positioned well for a comfy ride. Great heat and A?C but is hard to hear radio over it--not strong speakers

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Not a bad ride

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Hyundai Tucson SE 4dr SUV 4WD (2.7L 6cyl 4A)

As much legroom as a Ford Explorer but much better fuel economy...

Talk About The 2008 Tucson

2008 Hyundai Tucson Discussions See all Started By

Anyone have information on the 2008 Tucson. Colors, body changes, etc. The only thing I could find was on Cars.com which said the following:...

I just bought a 2008 Tucson v6 in slightly used condition. It had 6k miles on it. My major problem is that I can't get the darn thing up om the driveway- guess i should've gotten the 4WD! Any ideas......

Everything about the Tucson seems appropriate for my needs, but when I read the problems with the batteries, etc. and the lack of Hyundai's solving them, I'm put off....

Gas Mileage


  • 19
  • cty
  • 25
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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