2019 Hyundai Tucson front driving

Update: Since this preview was originally published in March 2018, we have purchased and evaluated our own Tucson.

See the complete Hyundai Tucson road test.


The Hyundai Tucson compact SUV got a new look and new features for 2019, which should help it compete in a popular—but crowded—segment that includes best sellers like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.

Hyundai showed off the new vehicle at the 2018 New York Auto Show alongside the larger Santa Fe and smaller Kona.

2019 Hyundai Tucson

What it competes with: Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Kia Sportage, Nissan Rogue, Ford Escape, Volkswagen Tiguan, Mazda CX-5

What it looks like: A lot like the current Tucson, but with smaller headlights, a bigger grille, and more chrome trim

Powertrains: 2.0-liter, 164-hp four-cylinder (base); 2.4-liter, 181-hp four-cylinder (optional). A six-speed automatic transmission is standard.

On sale date: Fall 2018

Outside

The Tucson gets the same face as other Hyundais, with a larger grille and smaller LED daytime running lights. There’s a new taillight design, too, and the new vehicle gets more chrome trim and updated wheel choices.  

Inside

The biggest visual difference inside the 2019 Tucson is the placement of its 7-inch touch screen. It now sits above the dashboard, similar to the new Kona. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come standard, and Qi wireless smartphone charging is optional on the Limited trim. Although the rest of the dashboard is redesigned, it retains a standard shifter design and straightforward physical controls. 

2019 Hyundai Tucson interior

What Drives It

The base powertrain—a 2.0-liter four-cylinder and six-speed automatic transmission—is standard on the Value and SE trims. It replaces a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and seven-speed automated manual transmission, which our testers disliked because it was slow, noisy, and had a tendency to vibrate unpleasantly at low speeds. A 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that was new in 2018 carries over. It’s standard on the SEL, Sport, and Limited trims. 

Safety & Driver-Assist Systems

Forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane-keep assist come standard on the 2019 Tucson. Optional active safety and driver-assist systems include pedestrian detection, a surround-view camera, and adaptive cruise control. 

CR’s Take

We’re happy that Hyundai made driver-assist systems standard on the new Tucson. We’re also hopeful that the new engine and transmission option will solve some of the complaints our testers had with the outgoing car’s base powertrain. On paper, it sounds just like what we asked for in our road test. The freshening comes just in time to face redesigned models from Subaru and Toyota.  

2019 Hyundai Tucson rear


See the complete Hyundai Tucson road test.