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2021 Hyundai Tucson Performance

#8 out of 16 in Compact SUVs

U.S. News Best Price Program

2021 Hyundai Tucson Performance Review


Performance: 6.5

The 2021 Hyundai Tucson has decent performance. It feels stable and controlled around turns, and its suspension yields a comfortable ride, even over rough pavement. On the other hand, its engine lineup is underpowered, and it returns mediocre gas mileage.

  • "We do miss the spunky turbocharged engine from before; the new, larger naturally-aspirated four-cylinder doesn’t provide much passing power once you’re up to speed." -- Autoblog (2020)
  • "So while we think most drivers will appreciate the Tucson for its comfortable, smooth ride, those looking to have fun will probably want to consider another model with more power and improved handling." -- Autotrader (2019)
  • "While it's got lots of tech, the Tucson is a bit bland to drive. To be clear, it handles corners just fine and there's a smooth, quiet highway ride, but there isn't much excitement from the engine bay." -- Edmunds (2019)

Engine Options, Horsepower, and Acceleration

  • Base engine: 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 161 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque
  • Available engine: 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 181 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque
  • Drivetrain: standard front-wheel drive (FWD); available all-wheel drive (AWD)
  • Transmission: six-speed automatic

The standard 2.0-liter engine struggles to accelerate the Tucson with much authority. The available 2.4-liter engine is a bit more energetic, but it still feels short on power at higher speeds. The transmission operates smoothly and promptly, making the best out of what little horsepower is available.

  • "Despite a well-calibrated transmission, the engine's lack of power is noticeable. Small SUVs aren't known for rip-roaring acceleration, but even with this in mind, the Tucson feels sluggish. The standard 2.0-liter has even less oomph." -- Edmunds
  • "We’ve only driven a Tucson with the bigger four-cylinder engine and found the power to be on the lower side of adequate. The less powerful 2.0-liter will just feel even slower. We weren’t disappointed in the performance from the smooth and relatively responsive six-speed torque converter automatic." -- Autoblog (2020)
  • "The base SE comes with a 2.0-liter engine that's coupled with a conventional six-speed automatic. It delivers unobtrusive and predictable acceleration but feels underpowered." -- Consumer Reports (2018)

MPG Estimates

  • 2.0-liter, FWD: 23/28 mpg city/highway
  • 2.0-liter, AWD: 22/25 mpg
  • 2.4-liter, FWD: 22/28 mpg
  • 2.4-liter, AWD: 21/26 mpg

Handling and Braking

The Hyundai Tucson strikes a nice balance between ride quality and handling. The suspension soaks up rough road surfaces comfortably while keeping the SUV stable in turns. The steering is quick and lightly weighted, and it’s fairly easy to maneuver the Tucson in tight areas. The brakes provide sufficient stopping power as well.

  • "Braking and handling are more than competent and impart a better feeling of control than you find in other SUVs. It even has well-balanced steering — light at low speeds but with enough heft to give you confidence on the highway." -- Edmunds
  • "The Tucson touts a comfortable ride, predictable handling and, if you opt for the 2.4-liter engine (as most drivers will), a tremendously smooth engine-and-transmission combination. In all, we think the Tucson offers one of the most pleasurable, supple rides in the compact-crossover segment." -- Autotrader (2020)
  • "The Hyundai Tucson is generally pleasant to drive around town. Its handling is adequate, and while it’s not especially maneuverable at low speeds, it never feels big when winding through tight parking lots." -- Autoblog (2020)
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2021 Hyundai Tucson

MSRP: $23,700 - $33,450

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