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. Overall, it offers a great value with few drawbacks.






















Is the Hyundai Tucson a Good SUV?

The Tucson doesn't deliver a lot of pomp and circumstance. Instead, it covers all the basics and does so very well. While you won't get class-leading cargo storage or passenger space, you will get a vehicle that's safe, solid, and convenient. The base model has one of the lowest MSRPs in our compact SUV rankings. Moving up the trim levels gets you goodies like Apple CarPlay, a hands-free liftgate, and a nice selection of advanced safety features. And no matter which edition you land on, you'll get Hyundai's impressive warranty, which is longer than most other carmakers' warranties. Its appealing blend of quality and value make it a finalist for our Best Compact SUV for the Money award.


Should I Buy the Hyundai Tucson?

The 2018 Tucson is a great crossover SUV to buy if you value safety and reliability buttoned up in a comfortable, affordable package. It doesn't have the name recognition of a Toyota RAV4 or the off-road abilities of the Jeep Cherokee, and it lacks the fun-to-drive dynamics of the Mazda CX-5. That said, when it comes to the essentials of a family-friendly SUV, the Tucson triumphs.

We Did the Research for You: 25 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 review. It combines concrete data (like fuel economy estimates, horsepower specs, and cargo space dimensions) with 25 professional Hyundai Tucson reviews. The 2018 Tucson is part of a generation that was launched for the 2016 model year. Because there have been few major changes since then, this overview includes applicable research and reviews from the 2016 through 2018 model years.


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.


Hyundai Tucson Versus the Competition

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

There are ample reasons why the Honda CR-V is among our top-rated compact SUVs. Its cavernous cabin has more rear-seat legroom and more cargo space than the Tucson, and it comes with peppier engine options. The CR-V gets a little pricey when you move past the base trim level, but if you can afford it, you'll find a lot to love.

Which Is Better: Hyundai Tucson or Ford Escape?

If piloting the Hyundai Tucson feels too dull, you may prefer the Ford Escape. It features lively acceleration, and it's athletic through turns while maintaining a smooth ride. Additionally, the Edge's interior feels more upscale than the Tucson's.


Tucson Interior

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.



















Tucson Performance
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.


Tucson Reliability

  1. Is the Hyundai Tucson Reliable? The Tucson is expected to be more reliable than most new cars on the market. The 2018 model is still awaiting its reliability score from J.D. Power, but the comparable 2017 Tucson earned an above-average predicted reliability score of four out of five.


Tucson Safety

  1. 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 provides a Superior level of front crash prevention when outfitted with automatic emergency braking.
  2. 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.



















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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.




Pros & Cons


  • Excellent crash test scores
  • Longer warranty than most
  • Comfortable and quiet



  • 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


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