A midcycle freshening for 2019 didn’t go far enough to make the Tucson a stronger contender among the more competitive compact SUVs. It has a more modern interior and remains a fundamentally well-rounded compact SUV, but overall it trails the top vehicles in the class.
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Hyundai Tucson Road Test

A midcycle freshening for 2019 didn’t go far enough to make the Tucson a stronger contender among the more competitive compact SUVs. It has a more modern interior and remains a fundamentally well-rounded compact SUV, but overall it trails the top vehicles in the class.

The best news is that the previous uplevel 1.6-liter turbo engine and clunky, trouble-prone dual-clutch transmission were replaced with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder and a six-speed automatic transmission. The SUV now takes off from a stop without hesitation, and the shifts are smooth. Still, the Tucson’s 22 mpg overall is lackluster, with many competitors getting 25 mpg or better. The base 2.0-liter engine is buzzy and saddled with poky acceleration and an underwhelming 24 mpg overall that’s matched by other, quicker competitors.

The Tucson is a responsive handler with controlled body lean through turns, giving drivers confidence that it will hold the road well. The ride is mostly comfortable and settled, but it can feel a bit stiff at times. Several competitors absorb bumps better. Road and wind noise are noticeable, as is the case with most small SUVs, but the Tucson’s larger 2.4-liter engine isn’t as boisterous as what’s under the hood in many rivals.

Best Version to Get
The SEL is the wise choice for most buyers. We suggest avoiding the base SE trim, which comes with an underpowered 2.0-liter engine. Further, it is missing desirable features such as a power driver’s seat with lumbar support, heated front seats, and push-button start. Forward collision warning, ci...
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