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2008 Hyundai Tucson Review

Note: This review was created when the 2008 Hyundai Tucson was new.

The Tucson is a good value and ranks in the top half of its class, but it lags behind competitors in overall driving performance and refinement.

7.7

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.8
Performance: 6.1
Interior: 6.7
Safety: 9.7
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Roomy for four passengers, although tight for five
  • Competitive warranties
  • Sluggish base four-cylinder engine
  • Some cheap-looking interior materials
  • Road noise may disturb passengers

2008 Hyundai Tucson Overview

The value-priced 2008 Hyundai Tucson gets high marks for affordability, but is otherwise just considered an "adequate" option in the compact SUV segment. Though it ranks in the top half of its class, it only places in the bottom half when compared to other affordable crossovers. In a comparison test with nine other competitors, including the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V, the Tucson placed eighth. Car and Driver concludes: "In the end, the Hyundai felt old and too willing to remind that it's an entry-level ute, making no attempt to trade on any emotional attraction. Noted one editor, 'It seems aimed at folks who frequent bingo parlors.'" On the plus side, Hyundai's five-year/60,000 basic warranty far surpasses those available from the CR-V or RAV4. The 2008 Tucson has changed little since its 2005 debut and adds a few new features this year.

Despite reviewer complaints that the Tucson is underpowered, it places in the bottom half of its class for fuel efficiency.  With gas prices reaching record highs in 2008, sales figures show that mpg considerations are driving many buyers away from Hyundai's smallest SUV.

The Tucson comes in three trims -- GLS, SE and Limited -- in either front- or four-wheel drive.

  • "Ride quality and body control are noteworthy only in relation to other Hyundais." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "While it breaks no new ground in design, performance or looks, [the Tucson is] a well-conceived little wagon at a bargain price, with a combination of practicality and on-road manners." -- Newsday
  • "The Hyundai Tucson is a budget friendly way for small families to get it all - or close to it." -- Mother Proof
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