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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 is not only more powerful than the old V6 but also more fuel-efficient than the previous base four. Overall, the current 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.
Used Hyundai Tucson Models
The current, second-generation Hyundai Tucson debuted for the 2010 model year. In that first year, only the GLS and Limited trim levels were available. The entry-level GL trim was introduced (along with its smaller engine) for 2011. For the first two years of this Tucson, the ride quality was a bit firmer than the current model's. Fuel economy was also a bit lower.
The first-generation Tucson was produced from 2005-'09. In '05, Hyundai called the top-line model the LX rather than Limited, but from 2006 on there were three constant trim levels: GL, GLS and Limited. Other notable changes were limited to the 2008 addition of active head restraints, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack. Every first-generation Hyundai Tucson had antilock brakes, stability control, front seat-mounted side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags.
The base GL was powered by a 140-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine mated to either a five-speed manual (mandatory on AWD models) or a four-speed automatic transmission. Standard equipment included four-wheel disc brakes, alloy wheels and heated outside mirrors. The GLS had a 173-hp, 2.7-liter V6 and a four-speed automatic transmission as well as additional accoutrements. The top-shelf Limited model boasted items such as a sunroof, leather seats, automatic climate control and an upgraded audio system. As of 2009, a navigation system and a Kenwood audio system upgrade were optional.
In reviews, we praised the first-generation Tucson for its roomy interior and generous list of standard comfort and safety features. When the 60/40-split rear seat was folded flat, it opened up a respectable 65 cubic feet of cargo space -- more than the second-generation Tucson. On the downside, the four-cylinder simply didn't have enough power to move the Tucson with any authority, and the V6 was barely better than the four-cylinder engines found in some competing SUVs. Bland styling and inconsistent interior quality were also lowlights.
If you are looking for newer years, visit our new Hyundai Tucson page.