Compact SUV; Built in South Korea
  • 4-door wagon
  • transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $5,900 – $17,000*

2005 Hyundai Tucson

2005 Hyundai Tucson

2005 Hyundai Tucson

2005 Hyundai Tucson

  • Cargo room
  • Acceleration (4-cyl)

Tucson is a fine light-duty people-mover with modest off-road capability but fine on-road manners. V6 models are preferred for their class-competitive power. An impressive list of standard features means there are no “stripped” models, which makes shopping for a used one easier. Note that only the 5/50 bumper-to-bumper warranty is transferable to a second owner; Hyundai’s highly touted 10/100 powertrain warranty is not.


Hyundai unveiled an all-new compact SUV for 2005. Tucson was slightly smaller and less expensive than Hyundai’s Santa Fe SUV, but built on a similar car-type platform. It offered 4- or 6-cyl engines and front- or all-wheel drive. GL, GLS, and LX models were available; all had a liftgate with separate-opening glass. GLs came with a 140-hp 4-cyl with a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. GLSs and LXs used a 173-hp V6 and the automatic transmission. Tucson came with either front-wheel drive or an AWD system that lacked low-range gearing but had a dashboard switch that locked in a 50/50 front/rear torque split. ABS, traction/antiskid control, and an antiskid system were standard. So were front side airbags and curtain side airbags. Leather upholstery and heated front seats were exclusive to LX models, where they were standard. A sunroof was available on GLS and LX. Tucson shares its design with the Kia Sportage.

Yearly Updates

2006 Tucson
Top-line LX was renamed Limited, adding automatic climate control in the bargain.
2007 Tuscon
Tucson carried over unchanged.
2008 Tuscon
The 2008 Hyundai Tucson was largely unchanged, but a new 4-cylinder Limited model became available.
2009 Tucson
Tucson got slightly freshened exterior styling.


transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive

A 2.0-liter 140-hp 4-cylinder engine with 136 lb-ft of torque was offered with 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. A 2.7-liter 173-hp V6 with 178 lb-ft of torque was available with the 4-speed automatic only.

dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.0/210.5
Engine HP 140
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 136
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.7/162
Engine HP 173
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 178
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic



Road Test

Four-cyl models are fine for normal commuting with a light load, but they lack power for confident highway passing. V6 models are stronger but also short on passing punch, and are no quicker than most 4-cyl rivals such as the Honda CR-V and Toyota Rav4. Test AWD V6 models averaged 20.8 mpg. Compared to other compact SUVs, Tucson’s ride is composed and comfortable around town, absorbent over all but sharp bumps at highway speeds. It’s quite agile at lower speeds, steering is responsive, and corners are taken with moderate body lean. On the freeway, tire noise intrudes on all but very smooth surfaces, but overall noise levels are moderate for the class. The 4-cyl engine is loud under acceleration, the V6 much more refined.

Interiors offer adequate head and leg room, though tall rear-seat passengers might find limited head room beneath the optional sunroof, and leg room tight with the front seat pushed far back. Rear passengers might also find the seatback a little too firm. Entry/exit is easy in front, but more difficult in back due to narrow door bottoms. Drivers face clearly marked, unobstructed gauges. Climate controls are mounted low, and thus can divert the driver’s eyes from the road, but they’re easy to reach, as are the high-mounted audio controls. Materials are attractive and well-assembled. Thick roof pillars compromise over-the-should visibility.

Rear seatbacks fold without removing headrests to create a flat load floor that’s covered by a removable, washable mat. A clever, segmented tray fits into the spare-tire compartment. A separate-opening tailgate window adds convenience, though the gate itself doesn’t open far enough to clear a 6-footer’s head. Besides the usual glovebox and console box, there’s little in-cabin storage space.


Model Tested: 2005 Hyundai Tucson AWD GLS

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 4
Fuel Economy - 5
Ride Quality - 5
Steering/Handling - 4
Quietness - 5


Controls/Materials - 6
Room/Comfort Front - 6
Room/Comfort Rear - 5
Cargo Room - 7


Value - 7

Total: 54


4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
103.5 170.3 70.7 66.1
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
65.5 17.2 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.3 38.8 42.1 37.2
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2005 Tuscon 4-door wagon


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Front Passenger Injury - 5

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Cold-starting problems
Description: Some 4WD vehicles may not start in cold weather due to water freezing in the exhaust pipe between the converter and muffler. (2005)
Engine noise
Description: Knocking noises from the 2.0L engine may be caused by some aftermarket oil filters. (2004-06)
Engine stalling
Description: In below freezing temperatures the engine may not start due to ice in the exhaust pipe, requiring replacement with one that does not have a dip. (2005)
Oil leak
Description: Oil may leak from the transaxle at the oil seals, but looks like a seam leak. (2005-07)
Steering noise
Description: Whining power steering is frequently caused by a restricted filter screen in the bottom of the fluid reservoir. (2007-09)
Description: The sunroof may rattle because the mounting screws vibrate loose requiring lock washers or Loctite. (2005)
Water leak
Description: Water may leak into the passenger compartment when raining or using a carwash if the blower is on high speed requiring sealing of the fresh air intake area. (2005)
Water leak
Description: Water may leak onto the front floor requiring installation of a deflector below the fresh air intake grille. (2005)
Description: The battery may go dead if vehicle not driven for several days due to problem with MP3
radio. (2006-07)
Description: Fresh air intake hose may detach from the airflow sensor on 2.7L engines requiring a redesigned clamp. (2005)
Description: The low tire pressure warning light may illuminate due to electromagnetic interference from transmitters near police stations, airports or other sources of electronic transmission, but will usually go out when moving out of range. The warning light may also be activated by some electronic devices plugged in the accessory power outlet. (2006-07)
Transmission problems
Description: Transmission may engage harshly or be delayed when shifting out of park due to a faulty engine control module or powertrain control module. (2005-07)
Transmission problems
Description: Harsh or late shifts may be corrected with a software update, but it that fails the transmission or transmission control module may need to be replaced. (2005-08)
Transmission problems
Description: The engine may not start due to transmission inhibitor switch failure. (2006)

Recall History

2005 Tuscon
Description: The antiskid system may inappropriately reduce power and apply the brakes while driving, resulting in a skid or crash. Dealer will reprogram the antiskid system hydraulic electronic control unit.
2005 Tuscon
Description: Defective parking-brake lever may not engage or may allow vehicle to roll when engaged. Dealer will replace parking-brake-lever assembly.
2005-07 Tuscon
Description: The stop lamp switch in the affected vehicles may malfunction and cause the brake lights to not illuminate when the brake pedal is depressed or may cause the brake lights to remain illuminated when the brake pedal is released. A stop lamp switch malfunction may also affect the operation of the brake-transmission shift interlock feature so the transmission shifter would not be able to be shifted out of the park position. Dealers will replace the stop lamp switch free of charge.
2007 Tuscon
Description: Safety testing indicated that if a small stature adult driver, not wearing a seat belt, is involved in a frontal or near frontal crash, deployment of the driver air bag may result in an insufficient margin of compliance as measured by the test dummy used in the NHTSA test. Dealers will replace the driver air bag module.
2007-2009 Tucson
Description: Stop-lamp switch may malfunction, preventing brake lights from functioning and potentially interfering with cruise control and the push-button starter.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.

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