What It Is
A crossover SUV with plenty of passenger and cargo room.
Handling and acceleration were top notch.
The engine noise was overpowering.
The 2014 Hyundai Tucson does everything well, but nothing great.
In the crossover segment, space and utility have become just as important as features and amenities. Technology has become the name of the game, whether that’s in terms of driver assist features or an easy-to-use infotainment system. We got behind the wheel of the Hyundai Tucson to see how it stacks up to some of its competitors. For just under $30,000, are we really getting our money's worth?
Read on to learn what we thought of the 2014 Hyundai Tucson.
What We DroveThe 2014 Hyundai Tucson comes with a price tag of $26,495 before the $875 destination charge, a price that we feel is relatively reasonable. However, our model also included a technology package ($2,650) and carpeted floor mats ($125), which brought the total price of our tester to $29,850. We would have preferred it also come with available blind spot monitoring or other driver safety assist features, but Hyundai doesn't offer them on the Tucson model.
Standard features include 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlight control with foglights, power heated mirrors, power driver seat with lumbar support, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a retractable cargo cover, rearview camera, and more. In government safety tests, the Hyundai Tucson earned a 4-Star overall safety rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has also tested this model, but thanks to a poor rating in the new small overlap front crash test, it didn't manage to earn a Top Safety Pick award.
The CommuteSitting in the soft leather seating of the 2014 Hyundai Tucson isn't a bad way to start the day, and when you're in bumper to bumper traffic, it definitely helps relieve some of that tension. Pair your phone for Bluetooth audio, and you can relax to the music of your choosing as you inch slowly to your final destination.
And perhaps the most important part of that daily morning traffic is to have a good set of brakes. The Tucson delivers, giving drivers the confidence that they will be able to stop before hitting the vehicle in front of them. We found the drive rather enjoyable, and the ease of use for the infotainment system was definitely something to be admired. For a non-luxe vehicle, it had the right feel. Too bad it was overshadowed by an increasingly loud engine and some hard plastics that were out of place when paired with the leather seating.
The Grocery RunIt seems like the SUV is the new minivan in today's market, and while the 2014 Hyundai Tucson may not offer three-row seating, it has a large enough trunk area to load up with sports gear or plenty of groceries for the whole family. Throw the seats down, and a cavernous interior can be loaded up with just about anything for an extended weekend getaway or road trip.
Thanks to a rearview camera, driving around parking lots and pulling in and out of spaces is a breeze. The Tucson is nimble and light on its feet, making owners more confident in its ability to squeeze in tighter spots with relative ease. For those who like a little added privacy, there is a cover in the back that hides the cargo area, whether its groceries or the latest buys from a shopping trip.
The Weekend FunIf we could change one thing about the 2014 Hyundai Tucson, we'd make it quieter. Entering the freeway, or even accelerating from a stop, the engine sounds like it's struggling to pull forward. But the overall drive feel is anything but difficult. It offers quick acceleration that makes it easy to pull away from a stop or get around slower traffic. Before you know it, you have to slow down or get pulled over. And no matter if you're going 35 mph or 75 mph, the engine noise permeates the cabin. We turned up the radio so we didn't have to constantly listen to it.
As we said, the handling was great. The steering was sharp and confident, and the brakes were sturdy and firm. It reminded us some of the Lexus RX, but with less refinement. Although this is not a luxury model, we'd say the quality and materials make it feel premium. However, for the price, we would have expected a little more feature content.
SummaryHyundai is trying to make its products feel more upscale and luxurious, and the Tucson is no different. While it doesn't compare to the level of the Equus, it offers a comfortable interior but not enough amenities to keep current with others in the segment.
But in terms of performance, price, and features, the 2014 Hyundai Tucson offers a good value. The driving dynamics are strong, the price is less than some competitors, and some standard features have been seen elsewhere as options. For those looking for a midsize crossover, we'd also recommend checking out the Toyota Rav4 or Mazda CX-5.
Spec BoxPrice-as-tested: $29,850
EPA City: 21
EPA Highway: 28
EPA Combined: 24
Cargo Space: 25.7 cubic feet with rear seats up/55.8 cubic feet with rear seats folded flat
Child Seat Fitment, Second Row: Excellent
Estimated Combined Range: 367 miles
Intellichoice Cost of Ownership: Average