Compact SUV; Built in South Korea
  • 4-door wagon
  • transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $9,000 – $22,400*


2010 Hyundai Tucson front


2010 Hyundai Tucson rear


2010 Hyundai Tucson interior


2010 Hyundai Tucson


2010 Hyundai Tucson

Pros:
  • Fuel economy
  • Maneuverability
  • Passenger and cargo room
  • Ride (except Limited)
Cons:
  • Manual-transmission operation
  • Engine noise
  • Rear visibility
  • Road noise

With this redesign, Tucson remains a strong value in the compact-SUV class, earning Recommended (2011) and Best Buy (2012) designations. Its blend of maneuverability, comfortable interior accommodations, and level of standard features make it a competitive player in this segment. Though the new four-cylinder engine isn’t as refined as others in the class, there’s no lack of power, and it delivers decent fuel economy. Avoid the aggravating manual transmission in favor of the slick automatic. Looking for a V6? Though Tucson’s is gone, you’ll still find one in the larger Santa Fe.

Overview

Redesigned for 2010, Hyundai’s Tucson gained freshened styling, a new engine, and new features. Seating five, this compact crossover SUV was about 3 inches longer and an inch wider than the 2009 model. Tucson came in base GLS and uplevel Limited trim levels. The sole engine for all models was a new 176-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder, teamed with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain replaced prior 140-horsepower four-cylinder and 173-horsepower V6 engines. Front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive were available on both trim levels. Standard safety features included antilock braking, traction control, an antiskid system with rollover sensing, curtain-side airbags, and front-side airbags. Newly standard on the 2010 Tucson was Downhill Brake Control, designed to maintain constant speed when traveling downhill. Also standard was Hillstart Assist Control, which was designed to keep the vehicle from rolling backward down an incline. Leather upholstery and heated front seats were Limited-exclusive standard features. A navigation system and rearview camera were new features for Tucson and optional on both GLS and Limited. A panoramic sunroof was optional on the Limited. Tucson competitors included the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester, and Toyota RAV4.

Yearly Updates

2011 Tucson
Volume GLS and top-line Limited trim levels were joined for 2011 by a base GL. Offered only with front-drive, the new model had a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, rated at 165 horsepower. GLS and Limited models retained the 176-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder. The GL could have a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. All GLS and Limited models now held a six-speed automatic; manual shift disappeared. A premium suspension became standard on the Limited, and all AWD models now had heated front seats. GLS models gained a Popular Equipment package, which had previously been optional.
2012 Tucson
Only minor changes marked the 2012 edition of the Hyundai Tucson.
2013 Tucson
The Hyundai Tucson got more standard equipment such as heated front seats on the front-wheel-drive GLS model, fog lights and automatic climate control on all GLS models, and keyless entry/engine start on the Limited trim level. The 2013 Tucson was largely unchanged otherwise.
2014 Tucson
For 2014, both the 2.0-liter and 2.4-liter engines gained direct injection for better performance. A manual transmission was no longer available. The entry level GL model was also dropped. A GLS powered by the 2.0-liter engine became the base model.

Engines

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

Hyundai’s 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine developed 176 horsepower, mating with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission (automatic-only after 2010). The 2.0-liter four-cylinder, added for 2011, produced 165 horsepower. The 2.0-liter could have either a five-speed manual gearbox or six-speed automatic transmission.

dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.0/122
Engine HP 164-165
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 146-151
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
6-speed automatic
20/27
23/31
dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.4/146
Engine HP 176-182
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 165-177
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual
6-speed automatic
22/31
21/28
23.0
23.8

Road Test

Tucson’s 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine delivers plenty of gusto from a stop, but mid-range power is just adequate and hill climbs can feel taxing. The gas pedal lacks a firm feel. The automatic transmission delivers crisp, well-timed shifts. Manual shift, on the other hand, is an exercise in frustration, with long shifter throws and inconsistent clutch engagement.

Fuel economy is a plus point. In Consumer Guide testing, front-drive models with the 2.4-liter engine have averaged 23.8 mpg. Tucson uses regular-grade gas.

Ride quality is another benefit. A GLS is pleasant overall, owing to its standard 17-inch wheels. Its ride is generally composed and comfortable around town and absorbent at highway speeds. Only large bumps register sharply. Limiteds have 18-inch wheels and a sport suspension, making them more jittery and nervous over rough pavement.

Tucson maneuvers through traffic with ease, but body lean comes on quickly, even during moderate cornering. The steering is responsive, if a bit heavy at low speeds. Standard Downhill Brake Control can be turned on to help the driver maintain a constant vehicle speed while traversing steep downgrades.

Wind rush is well checked, and tire thrum and road noise are present, though not annoying, at highway speeds. Tucson’s cabin is not very well insulated from its buzzy, often loud engine. Though engine noise is very noticeable during takeoffs and highway acceleration, it fades at cruising speeds.

Climate-control dials are large and logically placed. The standard audio deck is a marvel of convenience. Tucson’s navigation system features a large, clear touchscreen that makes controlling its functions easy. Audio controls are absorbed into the navigation system, yet are not overly complicated to master. Digital-music-player integration is nearly seamless. Tucson’s cabin is far more refined than the previous generation’s, especially with the optional Popular Equipment Package on the GLS (standard for 2011). Versions so equipped are trimmed with soft-touch materials and brushed-chrome bits. The seats’ cloth/vinyl material is rich and convincing; patterned-cloth seat inserts add some personality to the cabin. Models without this package have a more drab interior, with materials that are nothing special. Despite having leather upholstery, Limited versions look and feel little different.

Though headroom in the new-generation Tucson shrunk by an inch, there’s still plenty of front-seat space even for taller drivers. Legroom also is generous. Some testers have praised the buckets as long-haul comfortable, while others found them too hard. Thick rear roof pillars hinder visibility to the aft corners. A tilt/telescopic steering wheel and extendable driver and front-passenger sun visors add to the comfort of the front cabin. The design of the front door sills allows grime to collect, which can cause pant legs to get dirty upon entry or exit.

Rear-seat headroom is quite good, and legroom is decent for tall folks, even with the front seats set far back. Wide-opening doors and a fairly large aperture mean entry and exit are easy.

Tucson’s seatbacks fold nearly flat, though we wish Hyundai would include some sort of under-floor storage. A separate-opening glass liftgate window is no longer available, which is a bit disappointing. Generous small-items storage space includes a good-sized glove box, a deep center-console bin, and large front-door pockets. The back seat’s smaller door pockets offer added space for items such as water bottles.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2011 Hyundai Tucson GLS AWD w/auto.

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.

Performance

Acceleration - 5
50%
Fuel Economy - 6
60%
Ride Quality - 6
60%
Steering/Handling - 5
50%
Quietness - 5
50%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Front - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Rear - 6
60%
Cargo Room - 8
80%

Other

Value - 7
70%

Total: 62

Specifications

4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
103.9 173.2 71.7 65.2
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
55.8 14.5 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.4 39.1 42.1 38.7
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2012 Hyundai Tucson 4-door wagon

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
80%
Front Passenger Injury - 4
80%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Rear Passenger Injury - 5
100%

HLDI

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

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

Trouble Spots

Suspension problems
Description: On AWD models, the front axle shaft s may need replacement. (2010-14)
Electrical problem
Description: Multiple electrical problems including no dome light, inoperative door locks, door ajar warning light and others due to problem with junction box (fuse block) behind dash. (2010)
Transmission problems
Description: The 6-speed automatic transmission may revert to limp-in mode due to damaged wiring between the transmission control module and transmission requiring wiring harness replacement. (2010)
Transmission problems
Description: Transmission may revert to limp-in mode due to failure of the input-output speed sensor. (2010)

Recall History

2010
Description: Properly seated adult in right front seat who weighs more than 240 pounds (approx.) may cause “airbag” warning light to illuminate; airbag will then not be deactivated if a child is in the right front seating position.
2010 Tucson vehicles manufactured from February 27, 2010, through April 17, 2010
Description: For failing to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108, “Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment,” for the photometry requirements of the rear reflector assemblies installed in the rear bumpers. This could lead to reduced visibility of the rear of the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash. Dealers will replace the rear reflector assemblies, free of charge.
2010-11 Tucson
Description: A faulty stop-lamp switch could fail to illuminate the brake lights when the brakes are applied. Also cruise control might fail to disengage. In addition, the shifter could be moved out of Park without first applying the brakes.
2011-14 Tuscon
Description: The steering-wheel airbag could come loose from its mounting, increasing the risk of injury in a crash.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

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.