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2019 Hyundai Tucson: What You Need to Know

US News & World Report - Cars logo US News & World Report - Cars 1/31/2019 U.S. News & World Report
a car parked on the side of a road: 2019 Hyundai Tucson© Hyundai Motor America 2019 Hyundai Tucson

The 2019 Hyundai Tucson finishes in the middle of our compact SUV rankings. While it does not deliver the engaging performance of some competitors, it's a practical SUV with a comfortable interior and plenty of technology.

The 2019 Hyundai Tucson is ranked:

Is the Hyundai Tucson a Good SUV?

Yes, the Hyundai Tucson is a good SUV. It's quiet inside, and this 2-row SUV comfortably accommodates four adults. The cabin looks good, and plenty of tech and active safety features are available. On the road, it provides poised handling and a smooth ride. However, the Tucson trails many competitors when it comes to driving engagement and cargo capacity.

Should I Buy the Hyundai Tucson?

The Hyundai Tucson is an attractive choice in this class. It's a good pick for families and people who don't care about having a sporty vehicle, and the Tucson's below-average starting price makes it a solid value. Still, there are a lot of great compact SUVs, so you should shop around and see if you like the Tucson more than alternatives like the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5.

Should I Buy a New or Used Hyundai Tucson?

The 2019 Hyundai Tucson belongs to a generation that began with the 2016 model year. For 2019, the Tucson receives a refresh that includes styling updates and a powertrain change, replacing the formerly optional 1.6-liter turbo-four with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. New standard tech features for 2019 include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and an infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay.

For 2018, Hyundai updated the Tucson's trim lineup. 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.

You could likely save thousands of dollars by shopping for a used Tucson, though you would miss out on any recent updates. To do more research on used models in this generation, check out our reviews of the 2017 and 2018 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.

We Did the Research for You: 32 Reviews Analyzed

Our car reviews include everything you need to know before heading to the dealership. We combine the opinions of the automotive press with quantifiable data like crash test results and reliability ratings to form a complete picture of every vehicle we rank.

This review uses applicable research and data from all model years of the current Tucson generation, which runs from 2016 to 2019.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking vehicles since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. Our car reviews are objective. To keep them that way, our editorial staff doesn’t accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and a third party handles all the advertising on our site.

How Much Does the Hyundai Tucson Cost?

With a base price of a bit more than $23,000, the Tucson ranks among the least-expensive vehicles in the class. The top Tucson trim starts at under $32,000, which is also lower than what many competitors' top trims cost.

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?

The Honda CR-V finishes near the top of our class rankings every year for several reasons. Few other compact SUVs offer as much passenger and cargo space or can match the CR-V's upscale cabin. It gets better fuel economy than the Tucson and delivers a smooth ride. The only reason to consider the Tucson over the CR-V is the Hyundai’s lower base price. However, by many measures, the Honda is worth the extra money.

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

The Mazda CX-5 has two big positives, both of which help it finish above the Tucson in our class rankings. The first is its athleticism. The CX-5 features a peppier engine and handles significantly better than the Tucson, and it’s one of the most fun-to-drive small SUVs. The CX-5's other big plus is its cabin quality, as it has one of the most upscale cabins in the class. Although these are both good SUVs, the Mazda is the better overall vehicle.

Tucson Interior

How Many People Does the Tucson Seat?

The Tucson seats five people. The front seats have plenty of space and support. Some competitors have roomier back seats, but this Hyundai still provides enough room for two adults to ride comfortably in the rear.

Tucson and Car Seats

The Tucson provides two full sets of LATCH connectors for installing car seats. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the Tucson's LATCH system an Acceptable rating (the second-highest rating) for ease of use.

Tucson Interior Quality

This Hyundai looks decent inside and remains quiet at highway speeds. However, the lower trims feature a lot of hard plastics, and even the top trims aren't as upscale as some rivals.

Tucson Cargo Space

Behind the rear seats, you get 31 cubic feet of cargo space, which is enough room for picnic and tailgating gear or the family's vacation luggage. Folding the rear seats down gets you nearly 62 cubic feet of room. While the Tucson's cargo space is useful, many class rivals provide more space.

Tucson Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features include an infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, USB ports, a six-speaker audio system, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. Available features include a panoramic sunroof, wireless device charging, an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, an eight-speaker Infinity audio system, and satellite radio.

The Tucson's infotainment features are easy to use, thanks to a straightforward interface and the convenient placement of most knobs and buttons. The touch screens work well and are easy to read, making the infotainment system seem user-friendly in general.

Tucson Performance

Tucson Engine: Keep Your Expectations Low

This Hyundai comes with a 164-horsepower four-cylinder engine, but higher trims feature a 181-horsepower four-cylinder. Both engines disappoint to some degree. They don't feel particularly energetic, but they do provide enough juice for most driving situations.

Tucson Gas Mileage: Lagging Behind

The Tucson's gas mileage numbers may look alright, but they trail the ratings of many other small crossovers. The Tucson gets 23 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway with its base engine and 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway with its larger four-cylinder. For comparison, rivals like the Honda CR-V 2019 Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 both get about 2 mpg more than the Tucson.

Tucson Ride and Handling: Nothing Too Exciting

Praised for its comfortable, easygoing nature, this crossover SUV feels composed on the highway, but driving enthusiasts may find its dynamics too laid back. Rivals like the Mazda CX-5 are much sportier.

Tucson Reliability

Is the Hyundai Tucson Reliable?

The 2019 Tucson belongs to a generation that typically gets above-average predicted reliability ratings from J.D. Power, though the 2019 model has not yet been rated.

Hyundai Tucson Warranty

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

Tucson Safety

Tucson Crash Test Results

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2019 Tucson a Top Safety Pick, and the Hyundai earned the highest rating of Good in all six crash tests performed. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Tucson an overall crash test rating of five out of five stars.

Tucson Safety Features

Standard driver assistance features include driver drowsiness monitoring, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, and a rearview camera. Available features include pedestrian detection, a surround-view parking camera, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and rear cross traffic alert.

Which Hyundai Tucson Model Is Right for Me?

There are six Tucson trims to choose from: SE, Value, SEL, Sport, Limited, and Ultimate. All trims come with a four-cylinder engine (though horsepower ratings vary), a six-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive. You can add all-wheel drive to any trim for $1,400.

There are no option packages, so you have to step up in trim level to get more features. If you don't care about getting the high-end available features, consider the Value trim, which makes a great choice for many buyers. It comes with some nice upgrades over the base trim without costing too much more. If you do want the top-notch tech, then you want the Limited or Ultimate trim, as they come with several features not available in lower trims.

Hyundai Tucson SE

The Tucson SE carries a base price of $23,200 and comes with a 164-horsepower four-cylinder engine. Standard features include driver drowsiness monitoring, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, a rearview camera, and an infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, USB ports, a six-speaker audio system, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay.

Hyundai Tucson Value

The Tucson Value starts at $24, 650. In addition to the base trim's features, the Value comes with blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, a power-adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, satellite radio, HD Radio, and Hyundai's Blue Link telematics system.

Hyundai Tucson SEL

The Tucson SEL starts at $25,600. The SEL comes with a 181-horsepower four-cylinder engine and some styling features not found in lower trims. Standard features include an additional USB port and dual-zone automatic climate control.

Hyundai Tucson Sport

The Tucson Sport has a starting price of $27,700. It adds a hands-free power liftgate, wireless device charging, an eight-speaker Infinity audio system, and Clari-Fi music restoration technology.

Hyundai Tucson Limited

The Tucson Limited sports a starting price of $28,900. The Limited's standard features include upgraded styling, a surround-view parking camera, leather upholstery, a power-adjustable passenger seat, and a heated steering wheel.

Hyundai Tucson Ultimate

The range-topping Tucson Ultimate starts at $31,550. It adds adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection, a panoramic sunroof, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and an upgraded infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen and navigation.

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.

The Final Call

The 2019 Hyundai Tucson may not get your blood pumping with dynamic athleticism, but this compact SUV is composed and easy to drive. Inside, it’s quiet, comfortable, and packed with technology. There are some drawbacks, which is why the Tucson finishes in the middle of our class rankings instead of near the top, but this Hyundai still makes a solid choice for many crossover SUV shoppers.

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

Read the full 2019 Hyundai Tucson review on U.S. News & World Report for more details, photos, specs and prices.

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