The Hyundai Tucson is a compact crossover that compares to vehicles like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Subaru Forester and Chevrolet Equinox. It seats five, and is available in either front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive form, and can be had with a 2.0-liter or 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine.

It sits right between the Kona and the Santa Fe in the Hyundai lineup, with styling cues that look more like the Elantra than the Kona. Its easily one of the more stylish choices in the segment, and is usually offered with an extremely competitive, if not class-leading list of equipment. Its been a hugely successful car for the automaker, surpassing 100,000 units sold in the US for a few years.

What makes the Hyundai Tucson such an interesting choice is that it’s full of features at a reasonable price. It’s also not the usual choice, like a Toyota RAV4, Nissan Rogue or Honda CR-V. Usually picking the less popular car means you may be getting a vehicle that’s lacking in some way, but that isn’t the case with the Hyundai Tucson.

This is only the third generation of Tucson, with the first model arriving in the US back in 2004. Even back then, the vehicle borrowed a platform from the Elantra sedan. When the third-gen Tucson first debuted at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, the automaker also showed it with a pair of hybrid powertrain concepts that have yet to make it to the production models. The Hyundai Tucson is assembled in South Korea.

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Hyundai Tucson Specs

Hyundai Tucson

SE and Value models

Engine: 2.0-liter four-cylinder
Output: 161 hp, 150 lb-ft of torque
Transmission: six-speed automatic
Fuel Economy (MPG): FWD: 23 city, 30 highway, 26 combined. AWD: 22 city, 25 highway, 23 combined
Cargo Space: Rear seats up: 31.0 cubic-feet. Rear seats down: 61.9 cubic-feet

Hyundai Tucson

SEL, Sport, Night, Limited and Ultimate models

Engine: 2.4-liter four-cylinder
Output: 181 hp, 175 lb-ft of torque
Transmission: six-speed automatic
Fuel Economy (MPG): FWD: 22 city, 28 highway, 25 combined. AWD: 21 city, 26 highway, 23 combined
Cargo Space: Rear seats up: 31.0 cubic-feet. Rear seats down: 61.9 cubic-feet

Hyundai Tucson Fuel Economy

Hyundai Tucson

The Hyundai Tucson has four different fuel economy ratings that correspond to four different powertrain arrangements. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder model that is found in SE and Value trim levels can be had with front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive. The FWD version fo the car earns 23 MPG in the city, 30 MPG on the highway and 26 MPG combined, while the AWD model is slightly less efficient with 22 MPG in the city, 25 MPG on the highway and 23 MPG combined.

You can also get a 2.4-liter engine in the SEL, Sport, Night, Limited and Ultimate version of the Hyundai Tucson. This engine earns 22 MPG in the city, 28 MPG on the highway and 25 combined in FWD models, while AWD models are less efficient earning: 21 MPG in the city, 26 MPG on the highway and 23 MPG combined. All models feature a six-speed automatic transmission.

Hyundai Tucson

Hyundai Tucson Safety Rating

Hyundai Tucson Safety Ratings

The 2019 Hyundai Tucson has earned a Top Safety Pick + rating, which is the highest award the IIHS gives out. The SUV earns top marks in all crash tests, even the notoriously difficult small and moderate front overlap tests, but the perfect record is marred a bit when it comes to the headlights. More basic models that use Halogen headlights received a poor rating when it comes to the effectiveness of its headlights, while Sport and Limited models that feature LED projector headlights earn good grades.

The IIHS also has a few notes about the LATCH child seat anchors. In particular, it says one seat proved to a difficult to install child seats, requiring too much force to attach.

Hyundai Tucson Safety Ratings

Hyundai Tucson Features

Hyundai Tucson Features

All Hyundai Tuscon models feature a four-cylinder engine that’s paired to a six-speed automatic. The base models come with a 2.0-liter engine that makes 161 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque, while a 2.4-liter engine is offered on higher trim levels. That engine makes 181 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque. Front-wheel-drive is standard, while all-wheel-drive is optional.

When it comes to wheels, the SE and Value models come with 17-inch wheels, while the SEL, Limited and Ultimate trim models feature 18-inch wheels. Sport and Night trimmed models feature aggressive looking 19-inch wheels.

You’ll find projector halogen headlights on SE, Value and SEL models, while all other models feature LED daytime running lights, LED headlights and LED taillights. Automatic headlights are standard, while the Ultimate trim model features automatic high-beam assistance. The side-view mirrors on the Limited and Ultimate models also feature turn-signal lighting. You’ll find special chrome accents on the window beltline, grille and door handle on the Limited and Ultimate models. You will find a panoramic sunroof on the Night and Ultimate trimmed models.

Taking a look at the interior features of the Hyundai Tucson, you’ll find that all models come with air-conditioning, power windows, and power locks as well as BlueTooth connectivity and steering-wheel-mounted controls. All models except the SE and Value models feature automatic dual-zone climate control. While the SE features a manually adjusted driver’s seat, all other models feature a power adjustable seat as well as heated front seats. Leather seats are found on the Limited and Ultimate models, the latter of which also includes heated rear seats. All models except the SE feature a push-button start.

When it comes to infotainment, all models feature Android Auto and Apple Car Play support. Limited and Ultimate models come with an 8-inch color screen and include navigation as well as a 315-watt, 8-speaker Infinity-branded sound system. All other models make do with a seven-inch screen with six speakers.

Hyundai Tucson Pricing

Hyundai Tucson Pricing

The Hyundai Tucson starts at $24,245 including destination. That price is for a SE model with front-wheel drive. All-wheel-drive versions of this trim level start at $25,645. One step up from the SE model is the Value trim, which starts at $25,695 with FWD and $27,095 with all-wheel-drive.

Stepping up into the SEL trim from the Value model means you get a bigger engine. This model starts at $26,645 with FWD, while AWD models start at $28,045.

Next from the SEL is the Sport model, which commands a $28,745 asking price for FWD models and $30,145 for AWD trims.

One level above the Sport is Limited. Getting into one of these models starts at $29,945 with FWD and $31,345 for AWD models.

There is a special Night trim level that starts at $31,695 when equipped with FWD and $33,095 with AWD.

Finally, the Ultimate trim level of the Hyundai Tucson starts at $32,595 with FWD and $33,995 with AWD.

Hyundai Tucson Pricing

Hyundai Tucson Competitors

Hyundai Tucson Competitors

The Hyundai Tucson competes in a tightly contested segment of small crossovers. Vehicles like the Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, and Nissan Rogue rule the segment, but the Tucson is still a solid choice among them. It’s definitely a more attractive option than other rivals like the Chevy Equinox, Jeep Compass/Cherokee and the Kia Sportage.

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Future Hyundai Tucson Plans

Hyundai Tucson Future

Hyundai just released a mid-cycle refresh of the Hyundai Tucson back in 2019, so we can expect a completely new redesign of the compact crossover in at least three or four years. When it comes, it’ll feature unique styling, more in line with other new Hyundais like the Sonata. It may even feature an advanced alternative fuel powertrain like hydrogen, electric or hybrid gas-electric. And as usual, the Tucson will have next-generation technology like a head-up display and side-view camera feeds to go along with family-friendly tech like fast charging USB ports.

Detailed Specs

Engine: / 2.0-liter (base engine) 2.4-liter (most models)
Horsepower / 2.0L: 161 hp. 2.4L: 181 hp
Torque: / 2.0L: 150 lb-ft. 2.4L: 175 lb-ft
Transmission: / Six-speed automatic
Drivetrain / front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive

Our Final Verdict

The Tuscon is a smart alternative to the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. It keeps up very easily with those two well-regarded nameplates, and offers a lot of equipment at a reasonable price. There are plenty of models to choose from, and the compact crossover is even considered a Top Safety Pick +. The only noticeable downside to the Tucson is that it comes with a choice of fairly weak engines.