When the Hyundai Tucson debuted for the 2005 model year, it represented Hyundai's first entry in the long-established small crossover SUV segment. The first-generation Tucson became Hyundai's official "entry-level" SUV, and it offered a favorable combination of attributes, including an available V6 engine, a generous list of standard equipment and a lengthy warranty. However, this Tucson looked rather dowdy, had a decidedly low-budget feel to its cabin and never really registered on most consumers' radar as a mainstream option.
That all changed with the second-generation Tucson, which arrived for 2010 with sharp exterior styling and a slick interior to match. There's no V6 option, but the current four-cylinder choices provide respectable performance along with greater fuel efficiency than the previous, considerably less powerful base four. Overall, the current Hyundai Tucson is a considerably more capable and interesting vehicle than before. A used first-generation Tucson isn't a bad idea if you're looking for no-frills transportation, but the second-generation Tucson is certainly more appealing overall.
Current Hyundai Tucson
The five-passenger Hyundai Tucson is a compact crossover SUV available in GLS, SE and Limited trim levels. The base GLS comes standard with a 2.0-liter engine that produces 164 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. The SE and Limited models get a 2.4-liter making 182 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. Both are matched to a six-speed automatic transmission. All trim levels offer a choice of front- or all-wheel drive.
The GLS comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, full power accessories, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a six-speaker audio system with an iPod/USB interface. The SE's added perks include automatic headlights, a rearview camera, a power driver seat, heated front seats and upgraded upholstery. The Limited sports 18-inch wheels, keyless ignition and entry, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control and Hyundai's Blue Link telematics. Optional on the Limited are a panoramic sunroof, an upgraded sound system and a navigation system.
In reviews, we've appreciated the Tucson's combination of style, sophistication and sharp road manners. The 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is peppy enough, and the Tucson's handling is European in character -- tight and composed, though a little harsh on rough pavement. Inside, controls are simple and easy to reach, and the contoured twin-cowl dash and available two-tone color schemes set the Tucson apart from competitors with plainer, less imaginative interiors. There's plenty of room for four adults and the backseat reclines, but maximum cargo capacity is down compared to competitors.
Overall, the Tucson is an appealing option that should be on any compact SUV shopper's short list, provided that ample power and cargo space are not required.
Read the most recent 2015 Hyundai Tucson review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Hyundai Tucson page.