2009 Hyundai Tucson Review

Pros & Cons

  • Stylish and functional interior, impressive warranty, plenty of standard features.
  • Performance and fuel economy are noticeably lower than most competitors.
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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2009 Hyundai Tucson will appeal to those with value in mind, thanks to its affordable price, long list of standard features and generous warranty coverage.

Vehicle overview

If, like many people, you're now considering Keystone Light instead of Sapporo Reserve and Target instead of Bloomingdale's, you know that value-oriented alternatives start looking better and better in bleak economic times. By this reasoning, one could argue that the capable yet inexpensive 2009 Hyundai Tucson has never been more appealing.

Like all Hyundais, the Tucson has much to offer for buyers craving maximum bang for their recession-pinched bucks (this is also true of its corporate twin, the Kia Sportage). The Tucson is one of the most affordable choices in the compact-SUV segment, and for the money you get a long list of standard features. Satellite radio is included, along with safety features like side curtain airbags. Also, the Tucson's warranty -- which includes 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain coverage -- is among the most generous available.

Still, while it's a decent all-arounder, the Tucson falls short of being a major-league talent. It lacks the quickness of the Toyota RAV4 V6, the refinement of the Honda CR-V and the fun-to-drive nature of the Nissan Rogue and Saturn Vue. Also, its cargo capacity isn't anything to write home about. In the end, though, this competent, bargain-priced Hyundai has value on its side. It may not have the most compelling bundle of attributes, but it's got a very compelling price -- much like a 12-pack of Keystone Light.

2009 Hyundai Tucson models

A compact crossover SUV, the 2009 Hyundai Tucson comes in three trim levels: base GLS, midlevel SE and top-of-the-line Limited. GLS buyers enjoy standard features like 16-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, full power accessories, heated outside mirrors and a CD/MP3 stereo with satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack.

Step up to the Tucson SE and you get cruise control, premium cloth upholstery, a trip computer, foglights and a leather-wrapped steering wheel; SEs equipped with 4WD also feature heated front seats and a windshield de-icer as standard. The deluxe Limited trim adds a monochromatic exterior, leather upholstery, automatic climate control and an upgraded Kenwood audio and navigation system with a subwoofer and an SD memory card slot. Tucson Limiteds equipped with V6 engines also get a standard sunroof. Bluetooth connectivity is optional.

2009 Highlights

Engineering refinements to the transmission, torque converter, engine and steering-pump belt translate into an improvement in fuel economy of 4-6 percent for the 2009 Hyundai Tucson. The Tucson also gains a navigation system later in the model year; it's part of the new upgraded Kenwood audio system. Other upgrades this year include new wheels, a revised chrome grille and a B&M Racing Sport Shifter for models equipped with manual transmissions. Finally, the standard features list on SE Tucsons equipped with four-wheel drive now includes heated front seats and a windshield wiper de-icer, and Limited V6 models come standard with a sunroof.

Performance & mpg

Hyundai's Tucson is offered with two engines: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine good for 140 horsepower and 136 pound-feet of torque, and a 2.7-liter V6 that generates 173 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque. The GLS is available only with the inline-4, but SE and Limited Tucsons may be purchased with either the inline-4 or the V6. Buyers of the Tucson four-cylinder have their choice of a standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional four-speed automatic with manual shift control; the V6 comes standard with the automatic. An all-wheel-drive system is also available as an option on V6 models.

A Tucson V6 we tested went from zero to 60 mph in 10.2 seconds, which is pretty lethargic for a V6-powered small crossover -- the peppy RAV4 V6 will do the job a full 3 seconds quicker. Four-cylinder models are slower still. The EPA estimates that the four-cylinder Tucsons with an automatic transmission will get mileage of 20 mpg city/25 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined -- about average for its class. The 4WD V6 Tucson is rated at 18 mpg city/23 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined.


An impressive complement of standard safety features is offered in the 2009 Hyundai Tucson. Included are antilock disc brakes with brake assist, stability and traction control, front-seat side impact airbags, head side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. The Tucson excelled in government crash tests, scoring a perfect five stars for both frontal and side impact protection. Hyundai's compact SUV earned an "Acceptable" rating (the second highest) in frontal offset and side impact crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.


Get behind the wheel and you'll find that the 2009 Hyundai Tucson feels carlike on the road; while not exactly sporty, its driving dynamics are pleasant enough. Ride quality is smooth without being too isolating. Recent power hikes in other small crossovers have left the Tucson at a bit of a power deficit, however. The standard four-cylinder is anemic, so we recommend you opt for the V6, even though it can barely keep up with four-cylinder rivals. While the four-speed automatic isn't quite as fluid as the five-speed units offered by other compact SUVs, it's alert enough to keep the V6 in its power band, such as it is.


In its favor, the Tucson's cabin boasts modern design and good build quality. Front passengers have ample legroom, but larger passengers may feel cramped in the second row. This year's new navigation system has a display screen smaller than that of most other factory systems -- it's more the size of a portable navigation system -- but it's still an inexpensive way to get a built-in system.

This Hyundai's rear seats fold flat to offer up to 66 cubic feet of total capacity -- about average for a small crossover SUV. If you're carrying longer items, the Tucson's front passenger seat will fold down to accommodate the load.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2009 Hyundai Tucson.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Lady Driver loves Tucson
Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (2.7L 6cyl 4A)
Just a great car. At 80K miles now, with no problems whatsoever (even in scorching Arizona). Averages 22-25MPG, which I think is good compared to other 2009 SUVs. A comfortable vehicle, even on long road trips. Fun to drive, quiet, lots of interior cup holders, and the last year of this beautiful model. A perfectly not-too-big SUV that still elevates the driver. Comparable to the old (wonderful) Isuzu Rodeo.
not enough power
I love the look of it. my main complaint is lack of power. Even though it is a 4 cyl I expected a little more power. hard to make hills and inclines if you don't get a good head start. I don;t know if the streets around here are real bad because you can feel all the bumps & uneven surfaces.
Love my stick shift Tucson!
former Saturn owner,09/03/2010
Wasn't planning to purchase this but the stick shift sold us. I love the driving experience and Hyundai's attention to detail. Warranty a big plus. I've never driven an SUV so it's been a learning experience, but I love this car. It's pretty quiet and handles very well.
Great Car
Car feels solid. Turns on a dime. No noise. When you step on the gas it goes. Radio and disc player good. When it rains keep windows up or you will get wet. Friends are impressed with the smooth ride. Not a huge SUV but just enough. Back hatch door a bit heavy to close but I guess they all are. Bought it with no frills and am happy with it. I would buy another one.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2009 Hyundai Tucson features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2009 Hyundai Tucson

Used 2009 Hyundai Tucson Overview

The Used 2009 Hyundai Tucson is offered in the following submodels: Tucson SUV. Available styles include GLS 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 4A), Limited 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 4A), SE 4dr SUV (2.7L 6cyl 4A), SE 4dr SUV 4WD (2.7L 6cyl 4A), Limited 4dr SUV (2.7L 6cyl 4A), Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (2.7L 6cyl 4A), and GLS 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 5M).

What's a good price on a Used 2009 Hyundai Tucson?

Price comparisons for Used 2009 Hyundai Tucson trim styles:

  • The Used 2009 Hyundai Tucson GLS is priced between $7,495 and$7,495 with odometer readings between 90566 and90566 miles.

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Which used 2009 Hyundai Tucsons are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2009 Hyundai Tucson for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 2009 Tucsons listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $7,495 and mileage as low as 90566 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2009 Hyundai Tucson.

Can't find a used 2009 Hyundai Tucsons you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Hyundai Tucson for sale - 2 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $17,782.

Find a used Hyundai for sale - 5 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $10,611.

Find a used certified pre-owned Hyundai Tucson for sale - 6 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $18,111.

Find a used certified pre-owned Hyundai for sale - 4 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $12,473.

Should I lease or buy a 2009 Hyundai Tucson?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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