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MSRP: $22,550 - 30,825

8.4

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.5
Performance: 7.8
Interior: 7.8
Safety: 9.8
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 Hyundai Tucson Review

If safety and security are at the top of your priority list, the 2018 Hyundai Tucson is one of the best compact SUVs you can buy. This well-rounded SUV has a strong predicted reliability rating and few major drawbacks, earning it a place in the top half of our ranking.

Pros & Cons

  • Comfortable and quiet
  • Longer warranty than most
  • Great safety and predicted reliability ratings

 

  • Mediocre cabin materials in lower trim levels
  • Base engine provides slow acceleration

 

New for 2018

  • Eco and Sport trims discontinued
  • Reshuffling of trim levels and features

 

Is the Hyundai Tucson a Good SUV?

The Tucson is a good SUV – it covers all the basics of a compact SUV but without lots of frills. You won't get class-leading cargo volume or passenger space, but the Tucson is still safe, solid, and convenient. It offers optional goodies like Apple CarPlay, a hands-free liftgate, and an array of advanced safety features. All Tucsons come with Hyundai's warranty, which is longer than what most other brands offer. The Tucson was a finalist for our 2018 Best Compact SUV for the Money award thanks to its appealing blend of quality and value.

Should I Buy the Hyundai Tucson?

With one of the lowest starting prices in the class, the Tucson a great value. It gives you outstanding safety and predicted reliability wrapped up in a comfortable, affordable package. There are some other intriguing options in the class, though. Both the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 outrank the Tucson. The CR-V has an impressive amount of passenger and cargo space, while the CX-5 delivers class-leading performance.

Compare the Tucson, CR-V, and CX-5 »

Should I Buy a New or Used Hyundai Tucson?

For 2018, Hyundai discontinued the Tucson's midrange Eco and Sport trims. These models are replaced by the SEL, SEL Plus, and Value trims that slot between the base SE and top Limited models. There were no major changes to equipment availability, so you can get all the same features in 2017 or 2018 models. The SUV underwent a full redesign for the 2016 model year, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto became optional for 2017.

If you're open to driving a used SUV, consider shopping used. Recent models are very similar and could likely save you thousands of dollars over a new Tucson. To do more research on used models in this generation, check out our reviews of the 2016 and 2017 Hyundai Tucson. If you decide an older model is right for you, check out our Used Car Deals page for savings and incentives on used vehicles.

Compare the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Hyundai Tucson »
We Did the Research for You: 27 Reviews Analyzed

Our goal is to make shopping for your next car as easy as possible. You'll find everything you need to know about the Hyundai Tucson in our comprehensive full review. It combines concrete data (like fuel economy estimates, horsepower specs, and cargo space dimensions) with 27 professional Hyundai Tucson reviews. This 2018 Hyundai Tucson full review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which spans the 2016 through 2018 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

The Best Cars team – a division of U.S. News & World Report – has been reviewing new cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007. With more than 75 years of combined automotive experience, our editors, writers, and analysts rank a wide variety of new and used cars and issue three annual awards: Best Cars for the Money, Best Cars for Families, and Best Vehicle Brands. To keep our recommendations unbiased, we decline expensive gifts from carmakers, and a third party handles our advertising.

How Much Does the Hyundai Tucson Cost?

For 2018, the MSRP of a new Hyundai Tucson starts at $22,550. That's one of the lowest retail prices in our best compact SUV rankings. Starting prices stretch as high as $29,425 (for the top-of-the-line Tucson Limited). The Tucson comes standard with front-wheel drive, and you can add all-wheel drive to any trim level for $1,400.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Hyundai dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Hyundai deals page.

Hyundai Tucson Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Hyundai Tucson or Honda CR-V?

There are tons of reasons why the Honda CR-V is among our top-rated compact SUVs. It has a voluminous cabin that offers more rear-seat legroom and cargo space than the Tucson. It also comes with peppier turbocharged engine options and more driver assistance features. The CR-V gets a little pricey as you move up to the higher trims, but if you can afford them, you'll find a lot to love. We named the CR-V our 2018 Best Compact SUV for the Money and 2018 Best Compact SUV for Families.

Which Is Better: Hyundai Tucson or Mazda CX-5?

If piloting the Tucson feels too dull, you may prefer the athletic Mazda CX-5. Though there's only one available engine, it delivers decent acceleration. The real attraction is the Mazda's athleticism through turns. Inside, the CX-5's materials quality is among the best in the class. However, the CX-5’s starting price is a couple thousand higher than the Tucson’s.

Compare the Tucson, CR-V, and CX-5 »

Tucson Interior

How Many People Does the Tucson Seat?

The Tucson has two rows of seats and can hold up to five people. Its dimensions are typical for a 2-row SUV of this size, and its cushions are reasonably comfortable. For a dose of luxury, leather upholstery and power-adjustable front seats with heat and ventilation are available.

Tucson and Car Seats

Comprising three tether anchors and two sets of lower anchors, the Tucson's LATCH hardware is easier to use than most. With the exception of one set of lower anchors (which take extra force to secure), all the hardware is easy to locate and use.

Tucson Interior Quality

The Tucson's cabin is modest, with clearly labeled controls and a layout that puts most controls within easy reach of the driver. This isn't the swankiest interior, however, and some reviewers object to the amount of hard plastics present. 

Tucson Cargo Space

The Tucson has 31 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and 61.9 cubic feet overall. That's about the same amount of room that most compact SUVs offer (though the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 outshine both dimensions). Test drivers rave about the Tucson's available hands-free tailgate, which automatically opens when you stand behind the vehicle with the key in your pocket.

Tucson Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Every Tucson includes basic entertainment features: a touch-screen display, Bluetooth, and a USB port. We recommend advancing to any trim above the base model for the best tech features. These come with a larger infotainment screen (which are easier to read) along with user favorites such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and satellite radio.

Read more about interior »

Tucson Performance

Tucson Engine: 2 Powertrain Choices

The base Tucson engine (found in the SE, SEL, and SEL Plus trims) is a 164-horsepower four-cylinder paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Power delivery is adequate for running around town, but models with this engine aren't very quick. If you enjoy brisk acceleration, you'll want to pick a Tucson Value or Tucson Limited trim. These come with a turbocharged engine (rated at 175 horsepower) and a sublime seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Tucson Gas Mileage: Average

The Tucson gets an EPA-estimated 23 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway with the base engine. That's a typical fuel economy rating for a compact crossover SUV. Selecting a model with the turbocharged engine brings the city rating up to 25 mpg and keeps the highway rating the same.

Tucson Ride and Handling: Polished and Predictable

The Tucson feels sure-footed and comfortable on the road. It isn't an athletic SUV (like the Mazda CX-5), but body movements are kept nicely in check, and its nimble steering makes parking a piece of cake.

Read more about performance »

Tucson Reliability

Is the Hyundai Tucson Reliable?

The Tucson has an above-average predicted reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.

Hyundai Tucson Warranty

Hyundai covers the Tucson with a five-year/60,000-mile limited warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Tucson Safety

Tucson Crash Test Results

The 2018 Tucson earns a Top Safety Pick designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, passing every IIHS crash test with flying colors. The Tucson also earns the highest rating of Superior for its front crash prevention when outfitted with automatic emergency braking. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives the Tucson a five-star overall crash test rating, five stars in the frontal and side crash tests, and four out of five stars in the rollover test.

Tucson Safety Features

Every Tucson comes with a rearview camera. Additional safety features available for 2018 include lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, rear cross traffic alert, and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.

Read more about safety »

Which Hyundai Tucson Model Is Right for Me?

The 2018 Tucson comes in five trim levels with two powertrain choices. A 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission powers the SE, SEL, and SEL Plus trims. The Value and Limited trims have a little more gusto, thanks to a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. All trims come standard with front-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive is a $1,400 option.

If you're searching for an appealing mix of amenities at a good price, we recommend the Tucson SEL. It adds only $1,250 to the base price and comes with additional advanced safety features. Its upgraded infotainment system features not only a larger touch screen but also enhanced smartphone integration. 

Hyundai Tucson SE

The Tucson SE ($22,550) comes with a 5-inch touch-screen infotainment display, Bluetooth, a USB port, keyless entry, and a rearview camera.

Hyundai Tucson SEL

For $1,250 more than the base price, the Tucson SEL features a power-adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, a 7-inch touch screen, satellite radio, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, and rear cross traffic alert.

Hyundai Tucson SEL Plus

Standard features in the $26,700 Tucson SEL Plus include dual-zone automatic climate control, leather seats, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a proximity key, an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, and an Infinity audio system.

Hyundai Tucson Value

The Tucson Value loses amenities such as leather upholstery and navigation but gains the turbocharged engine, a panoramic sunroof, and a hands-free liftgate. Prices start at $26,550.

Hyundai Tucson Limited

The top-of-the-line Tucson Limited ($29,425) comes with the turbocharged engine, a heated steering wheel, a hands-free liftgate, and most options included in the SEL Plus trim. It's the only trim available with the $2,500 Ultimate Package, which contains automatic emergency braking, a panoramic sunroof, ventilated front seats, and heated rear seats.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Hyundai dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Hyundai deals page.

See 2018 Hyundai Tucson specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2018 Hyundai Tucson is a stellar example of a low-worry SUV. Peace of mind comes from its excellent warranty coverage, outstanding crash test scores, and superb predicted reliability rating. A spacious, quiet, and nicely equipped cabin adds to its appeal. The Tucson doesn't try to be overly sporty – a trait only spirited drivers will miss – but it feels composed and comfortable out on the road.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "Unexciting but practical. Solid transportation that gets you from point A to point B. Those are the damn-with-faint-praise platitudes that some auto enthusiasts use to dismiss vehicles like the Hyundai Tucson. But many consumers don't want -- let alone need -- the 'wow' factor. They seek a competent, workmanlike ride and a headache-free ownership experience. That everyday reassurance is what made Toyota the powerhouse that it is. Now Hyundai is trying on those same sensible shoes. Although the exterior design of the Tucson hints at flash, the rest of this compact SUV is as generic as store-brand soda. But basic doesn't mean bad. The Tucson's 2016 redesign lifts it from a perennial also-ran right up to the forefront. It's a centerfold for sensibility." -- Consumer Reports
  • "In the 2017 Hyundai Tucson, you'll find a very stylish compact SUV with a choice of two fuel-efficient engines, available all-wheel drive and a long list of features to meet just about any need. Although newer rivals like the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 offer a bit more in terms of fuel economy, ride and handling, the Tucson can tout its available turbocharged engine, excellent resale values and impressive standard 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. Yet while the Tucson has proven itself worthy on paved roads, it can't really tackle off-road obstacles in the same manner as the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk or Subaru Forester, something to consider if you do a lot of outdoor activities." -- Autotrader (2017)
  • "The 2017 Hyundai Tucson is one of the small crossovers out there vying for your attention and has a number of traits that place it high on our list of recommended models. Redesigned just last year, the Tucson grew in size and gained sharp, new styling and lots of modern technology. These upgrades, along with the new turbocharged 1.6-liter engine, made the Tucson much more competitive. With even more creature comforts and tech added this year, owning a Tucson is even better." -- Edmunds (2017)

Buying

Expert Advice

Last Updated: November 15, 2018

Improving Sales: Sales of the Hyundai Tucson are in the bottom third of the compact SUV class, with rivals like the Toyota RAV4 and Nissan Rogue each outselling the Tucson about 3 to 1. However, sales are improving drastically versus this same point in 2017; demand for the Tucson is up 25.6 percent.

Research more buying advice »
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