Hyundai had a terrible reputation in the past for cheap materials, less than ideal build quality, and unreliability. Over the last few years many of the old models were updated to reflect the vision of new engineers that put build quality and luxury at the forefront. The Hyundai Tucson was introduced in 2005 and proves that the new Hyundai is a real contender in the flooded SUV market place.
The Hyundai Tucson borrows heavily from other vehicles already on the market. The exterior styling is borrowed from the Sante Fe, including its curves and tire styling. The underpinnings of the Tucson are borrowed from the Elantra. These underpinnings give the Tucson a smooth ride that feels less like a massive SUV, and more like a large car.
Fuel economy is always a concern with SUVs, and the Tucson has some great ways to make it efficient. The four-wheel-drive system diverts power according to driving conditions between the front and back wheel set, preventing wastes of power and fuel. Locking allows you to keep four-wheel drive on during slick driving conditions.
Even the base model of the Tucson has a generous standard feature list. Safety is a major concern for Hyundai, so the Tucson gets lots of safety features for such an economy vehicle. If that wasn’t enough, Hyundai offers a 10-year/100,000 mile warranty. Even when purchasing a used vehicle, you can rest assured you’re covered if any built-in failures creep up on you.
Body Style: Four-door compact SUV
Engines: 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder, 2.7-liter V-6 engine
Transmissions: Five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Hyundai Tucson GL, GLS, Limited
The LX trim level was dropped in favor of the Limited model. Otherwise, the Hyundai Tucson remains unchanged in the 2007 model year.
The exterior of the Tucson is very attractive, boasting a smooth hood and other streamlined features. The body actually looks quite compact in comparison to other SUVs, probably because it does away with the big bulk and testosterone of its competitors.
The standard GL model has some fancy standard features including heated outside mirrors, roof rack side rails, and an intermittent wiper system. The GLS gets underside cladding, fog lamps, and wider utility tires.
The interior of the Hyundai Tucson is a bit of a surprise when you look at the price tag. The interior is quite roomy, especially considering how small the vehicle looks from the outside. Legroom is more than adequate for most adult passengers, although some extra legroom in the backseat wouldn’t hurt. The Tucson has 22.7 cubic feet of cargo space, enough for the groceries and more. The 60/40-split back seat and cargo cover are sometimes a hassle, but we can give that one to Tucson, especially since the second seat folds in providing a massive 65.5 cubic feet of cargo space.
The standard feature list is extensive. The base GL model gets 16-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, power accessories, keyless entry, cruise control, and a CD stereo. The GLS model gets a CD/MP3/Cassette player, better upholstery, and other goodies. The Limited model upgrades the audio system with a six-CD changer and subwoofer, as well as leather seating, and heated chairs in the front of the vehicle.
Performance & Handling
The Tucson comes with one of two engine types. The GS comes equipped with a 2.0-liter, inline four-cylinder engine creates 140 horsepower with 136 lb-ft of torque. A four-speed automatic or five-speed manual is available. A 2.7-liter V-6 engine produces 173 horsepower with 178 lb-ft of torque. The automatic transmission is only available with the V-6. All vehicles are available with front-wheel or all-wheel drive.
The ride quality is smooth due to the underpinning mechanics of the Elantra. The smooth suspension makes it handle like a sedan; this means it isn’t exactly the vehicle you want to take off-road, but it does nicely on the freeway. The only thing holding the Tucson back is the weak four-cylinder. The V-6 handles quite well, so it is likely a good idea to purchase this one instead.
The Hyundai Tucson comes equipped with lots of standard safety features including: anti-lock brakes, seat-mounted side-impact airbags, side curtain airbags for the front and back, traction and stability control, and other safety features. The Tucson received a five star rating all-around in government crash tests, making it one of the safest SUVs on the road.
EPA Fuel Economy
Hyundai Tuscon GL: 20/25 mpg city/highway
Hyundai Tuscon GLS: 18/24 mpg city/highway
Hyundai Tuscon Limited: 18/24 mpg city/highway
- Ten year warranty
- Standard anti-lock brakes
- Extra standard safety features
- Lots of cabin room and passenger comfort
- Fancy interior styling
You Won't Like
- Four-cylinder engine lacks power
- V-6 doesn’t accelerate well
- Plastic ruins otherwise slick interior styling
Attractive compact SUV for the price
If You Like This Vehicle