2018 Tucson New Car Test Drive
The Hyundai Tucson is the smallest of the brand's compact crossovers. Last redesigned for the 2016 model year, Tucson is in its third generation.
Some equipment groups have been adjusted for the 2018 model year. What had been the SE Popular Equipment Package has been renamed SEL, adding a 7.0-inch display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. SE Plus, introduced during 2017, is now SEL Plus. During 2017, Sport trim was replaced by Value trim. SiriusXM radio is now included with SEL trim, rather than SE. HD radio now is standard in SEL trim and up. Only the SE edition now gets a CD player. Limited AWD models include a heated steering wheel.
Focusing on utility rather than passion, the South Korean automaker maintains a relatively simple, yet engaging design theme. Blending refined ride quality with quiet dependability, the Tucson doesn't necessarily excel in any specific attribute. Passenger space and performance might trail some rivals, but a Tucson can be counted on to simply accomplish its mission effectively.
Hyundai offers five Tucson trim levels: SE, SEL, Value, Eco, and Limited. In base Tucsons, a 164-horsepower four-cylinder engine mates with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Also available is a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder, producing 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. A 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission couples with the turbo. Front-drive is standard, with all-wheel drive an option.
Tucson Eco is rated by EPA at 26/32/28 mpg City/Highway/Combined.
Every Tucson has a rearview camera, but advanced safety technology is largely restricted to the Limited trim level, at best.
Crash-test scores have been good, though ratings are not yet available for 2018 models. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2017 Tucson a five-star overall rating, with five stars for both frontal and side impacts. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave Tucson a Top Safety Pick award. A weaker score for headlights kept the Tucson from earning Top Safety Pick+ status.
Only the most costly model includes forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking. Both Value and Limited editions feature blind-spot monitoring, and the Limited adds lane-departure warning and parking sensors.
Rather than offer option packages, Hyundai bundles a number of features into specific trim levels. They include leather upholstery, navigation, a panoramic sunroof, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Tucson SE ($22,700) comes with the 164-hp 2.0-liter engine and 6-speed automatic, plus air conditioning, cruise control, a rearview camera, Bluetooth with audio streaming, a 5.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, CD player, and 17-inch alloy wheels.
Tucson Eco ($24,150) gets the turbo-four engine, dual-clutch transmission, special wheels and tires.
Tucson Value Edition ($26,550) upgrades to the turbocharged engine and adds rear parking sensors, dual-zone automatic climate control, pushbutton start, a hands-free power liftgate, panoramic sunroof, and 19-inch wheels.
Tucson Limited ($29,775) features leather seating surfaces, power front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a hands-free liftgate, 8.0-inch touchscreen with navigation, and 19-inch wheels. The Ultimate option package includes active-safety features. (Prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge.).