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  • 3/4 Front Glamour 2018 Hyundai Tucson
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Expert's Rating

3.4Good | Details

MPG

23 City / 28 Highway
Automotive Editor -

The Hyundai Tucson sticks to the brand’s modern-day playbook by providing a strong value with premium features, a long warranty, and looks that often exceed its price tag. However, in this hotly contested segment, this Hyundai needs to extend its focus to include power and overall refinement in order to rise to the top.

What's New for 2018

While there are no significant mechanical or styling updates, Hyundai has updated its trim hierarchy and feature content for the Tucson. The SE with Popular Equipment Package becomes the SEL, while the SE Plus becomes the SEL Plus. The Value and Limited nomenclatures remain, while the Eco, Sport, and Night trims have been discontinued for 2018.

Choosing Your Hyundai Tucson

Depending on the trim, Hyundai equips the Tucson with one of two powertrains while all-wheel drive is available on all trims for $1,400.

The base SE, mid-level SEL, and SEL Plus trims feature a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, rated at 164 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque, and a traditional six-speed automatic transmission.

The Value and Limited trims come standard with a 1.6-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. This combo develops 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque.

The EPA estimates the 2.0-liter with standard front-wheel drive achieves 23 miles per gallon city, 30 mpg highway, and 26 combined. The all-wheel-drive system lowers these estimates to 21 mpg city, 26 highway, and 23 combined, which is a significant penalty when compared to its competitors. The more powerful and efficient 1.6 liter turbo model achieves 25 mpg city, 30 highway, and 27 combined while AWD reduces these EPA estimates to 24 mpg, 28, and 25 combined.

Hyundai has reconfigured the trim levels and has built in some price and feature overlap between the mid-range SEL Plus and the Value packages - meaning, the turbocharged engine doesn’t necessarily correspond with the more luxuriously equipped vehicle.

There are no factory options available on any trim, except for the top-tier Limited trim.

SE

The base SE trim starts at $23,500 (including $950 destination charge) and features a rearview camera, 17-inch alloy wheels, a five-inch touchscreen audio interface, body-color heated mirrors, and a stain and odor resistant seat fabric when equipped with the gray and beige interiors.

SEL

Stepping up one level to the newly named SEL trim, priced at $24,750, the interior gains a larger seven-inch touchscreen audio interface interface that has SiriusXM, HD radio, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto capability, heated eight-way power seats, and illuminated vanity mirrors. Fog Lights, LED daytime running lights and and other exterior trim further sharpen the Tucson’s appearance.

SEL Plus

The SEL Plus, $27,650, is a bit of an oddity in the line-up. It sticks with the base 2.0-liter engine, but the level of standard equipment is second only to the Limited trim. Notable features and upgrades include an eight-inch touchscreen display, proximity entry with push-button start, eight-speaker premium audio, leather seating, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and stitching on the dash and door panels. From the active-safety arena, the SEL Plus features blind-spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert but lane keep assist and automatic emergency braking aren’t available until the Limited trim.

Value

Arguably the star of the Tucson line, the Value trim adds a turbocharged engine and plenty of equipment for less money than the SEL Plus, at $27,500. Highlights include 19-inch wheels, a hands-free power liftgate, and a panoramic sunroof. Its feature list is based on the SEL Plus but there are several features that didn’t meet Hyundai’s expectations for value: premium audio, power passenger seat, and the interior material upgrades. The absence of those items isn't enough to overshadow the Tucson Value's additional power, better fuel economy, or lower price, though.

Limited

The Limited trim starts at $30,375 and features all of the equipment included with the SEL Plus trim plus LED headlights and taillights, 19-inch wheels, and a heated steering wheel – new for 2018. There is an option package called the Ultimate Package for $2,500. It includes automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, ventilated front seats, HID headlights with dynamic bending, a panoramic sunroof, and parking sensors.

CarsDirect Tip

The Value trim is the least expensive trim available with basic active safety features. In fact, stepping up to this trim brings a fairly comprehensive feature list including the the upgraded powertrain. The Value trim, is indeed, the best in all around value - acting in the true sense of the word.

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