2018 Hyundai Tucson

2018 Hyundai Tucson Review

The 2018 Tucson is sensible, stylish and value-oriented in equal parts.
3.5 star edmunds overall rating
author
by James Riswick
Edmunds Editor

There's a lot to like about the 2018 Hyundai Tucson. First and foremost is value. You get a ton of features for the money in the Tucson. A power driver seat, heated front seats, and a 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard on all but the base trim, for instance. The Tucson's top trim level, the Limited, includes features such as a panoramic sunroof, leather upholstery, ventilated seats, LED headlights and a navigation system, all for a price that's thousands less than what you'll pay for some comparably equipped rival crossovers.

Another top attribute for the Tucson is its cabin space. Though it doesn't have as much cargo room as a Honda CR-V or other more family-focused SUVs, it does have a comparable amount of backseat space for adults. Indeed, the Tucson is a pretty good choice for single folks or young couples looking for a little SUV that doesn't scream "Parenting!" It could also be a good choice for those on the opposite end of child-raising years.

On the downside, the 2018 Tucson comes up a little short in the "going the extra mile" department. It's a bit bland to drive, especially with the base engine, and the interior design isn't as luxurious as that of some rivals. Overall, though, we think the Tucson is a smart pick for a small crossover SUV.



what's new

For 2018, last year's SE Popular Equipment package has become a full-fledged trim level dubbed SEL. It also adds the 7-inch touchscreen interface standard along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The SE Plus trim, introduced midway through last model year, is renamed SEL Plus. Last year's Sport model becomes the Value trim for 2018, gaining a panoramic sunroof, dual-zone climate control and rear parking sensors in the process. The 2018 Sport model, added midway through the model year, is powered by a new 2.4-liter engine.

we recommend

We like the Value trim level. It lives up to its name by giving you a huge number of desirable features for an agreeable price. Its turbocharged engine also produces a pleasing amount of power. We also think that heated seats and the additional stain-resistant cloth make the absence of leather upholstery just fine.




trim levels & features

The 2018 Hyundai Tucson is a five-passenger compact crossover SUV. It is available in SE, SEL, Sport, SEL Plus, Value and Limited trim levels. The SE, SEL and SEL Plus come standard with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (164 horsepower, 151 pound-feet of torque). The Sport is exclusively powered by a 2.4-liter engine (181 hp, 175 lb-ft). Both engines are paired to a six-speed automatic. The Value and Limited have a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder (175 hp, 195 lb-ft) and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard on all trims, and all-wheel drive is optional.

The Tucson SE comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, a windshield wiper de-icer (AWD only), heated mirrors, an integrated blind-spot mirror, privacy glass, a rearview camera, a height-adjustable driver seat, stain-resistant cloth upholstery, a 60/40-split folding back seat, Bluetooth, one USB port, a 5-inch touchscreen, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player.

The SEL adds LED running lights, foglights, roof rails, a power-adjustable driver seat, heated front seats, a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and satellite radio.

Under the hood of the Sport is a 2.4-liter engine unique to this trim. Also included are 19-inch wheels, exterior styling enhancements, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems, lane keeping assist, keyless entry and ignition, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control and rear air vents.

The SEL Plus retains many of the Sport's upgrades though it reverts to the SEL's engine and wheels. The SEL Plus also adds a power-adjustable passenger seat, a sliding front center armrest, leather upholstery, upgraded door trim, Hyundai's Blue Link connected services, an 8-inch touchscreen, integrated navigation and an eight-speaker Infinity sound system.

The Value adds the turbocharged engine plus 19-inch wheels, a hands-free liftgate, a panoramic sunroof and different exterior trim. However, it reverts to the stain-resistant cloth upholstery and 7-inch touchscreen, and it does not include the power passenger seat, the integrated navigation system or the Infinity sound system.

Those items are included on the top Limited trim, which also tacks on LED headlights and taillights, chrome exterior trim, leather upholstery and the 8-inch touchscreen. The panoramic sunroof is not standard. The Tucson's only factory options are included in the Limited Ultimate package, which adds adaptive xenon headlights (in place of the fixed LED headlights), lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear parking sensors, the panoramic sunroof, an upgraded driver information display, ventilated front seats and heated rear seats.



trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2016 Hyundai Tucson Limited (turbo 1.6L inline-4 | 7-speed dual-clutch automatic | FWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the Tucson Limited has only gained some extra equipment, so our impressions remain the same.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall3.5 / 5.0

Driving

3.0 / 5.0

Acceleration3.0 / 5.0
Braking4.0 / 5.0
Steering3.0 / 5.0
Handling3.0 / 5.0
Drivability2.0 / 5.0

Comfort

3.0 / 5.0

Seat comfort3.0 / 5.0
Ride comfort4.0 / 5.0
Noise & vibration3.5 / 5.0

Interior

3.0 / 5.0

Getting in/getting out3.5 / 5.0
Roominess4.5 / 5.0
Visibility2.5 / 5.0
Quality3.0 / 5.0

Driving

edmunds rating
The turbocharged engine's automatic transmission exhibits some hesitation when you first get going, unlike the base engine's conventional automatic. This delay can be alarming if you need to quickly clear an intersection. Otherwise, the Tucson is a competent SUV.

Acceleration

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Our test Tucson needed 7.9 seconds to accelerate from zero to 60 mph. This is quick for the class, but in normal driving there's a pronounced delay right off the line, and the upshifts from the seven-speed automatic transmission can sometimes be rough.

Braking

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Stopping from 60 mph required 121 feet, which is an average distance. Distances stayed consistent even after several runs.

Steering

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The Tucson turns in quickly. There's not much feedback for the driver, but that is the case for most SUVs in this class.

Handling

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Take the Tucson on a twisty mountain road and it feels confident and sure-footed. Body roll is kept under control, and midcorner bumps have little effect on its composure. It's not a sporty SUV, though.

Drivability

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The initial hesitation on acceleration tops our list of complaints, followed by the lane departure warning system's tendency to trigger false alarms from seams or other random visual cues on the highway. Neither complaint applies to the SE, SEL or SEL Plus.

Comfort

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The Tucson has no notable missteps when it comes to overall comfort. Typical touch points for elbows and knees are padded, and the quantity and range of adjustments for front seats ensure that both tall and short occupants will find an optimal position.

Seat comfort

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The front seats provide ample support and cushioning for long-distance trips. The rear seats are firmer and flatter but can accommodate the average adult passenger. The 60/40-split folding seats also feature a slight recline adjustment.

Ride comfort

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The Tucson's suspension does a nice job balancing control against a soft, compliant ride. Ruts and bumps are felt but not intrusive, and the ride quality isn't too floaty or disconnected.

Noise & vibration

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Road and wind noise is barely noticeable on the highway. The engine is rather loud and sounds coarse under hard acceleration, but it stays quiet when cruising or when you're more gentle with the gas pedal.

Interior

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Overall, the Tucson's interior is pleasant and spacious. The controls are simple, and it has slightly more passenger room than many of its competitors. Its rear visibility is compromised, though, and interior quality is unremarkable, especially on lower trims.

Ease of use

Hyundais are typically easy to use, and the Tucson is no different. Basic controls are logically placed. The climate controls, whether manual or automatic, are simple, and the touchscreen is user-friendly.

Getting in/getting out

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Accessing the front seats is easy thanks to tall doors that are short in length. Taller rear passengers will need to stoop a bit in order to clear the forward-angled window frame, but overall it's as easy to get in and out of as any compact crossover.

Roominess

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The Tucson has an abundance of space inside, in some areas exceeding what's offered by its primary competition. Even taller rear passengers will have plenty of head- and legroom in the back.

Visibility

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The small rear window and thick rear roof pillars inhibit rear visibility. A rearview camera is standard on all trims, and the Limited is further bolstered by parking sensors and blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems.

Quality

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There's lots of hard plastic inside, especially on the SE and SEL, and even the softer-touch plastic doesn't look as nice as what competitor SUVs use. It's just acceptable inside. The build quality is fine, with minimal creaks and squeaks.

Utility

The Tucson puts an emphasis on passenger space rather than cargo space. For many, that'll be fine. Max cargo capacity of 61.9 cubic feet is at least 10 fewer cubes than class leaders offer. Its 31 cubic feet with the back seat raised should be sufficient. Small-item storage is above average.

Technology

Every Tucson comes with a user-friendly touchscreen — the size and number of functions go up with each trim level. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and satellite radio are included on all but the base SE. Safety tech is mostly restricted to the top trim level.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.