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#12

in Affordable Compact SUVs

MSRP: $21,450 - $27,700
Invoice: $20,633 - $26,297
MPG: 22 City / 29 Hwy
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Hyundai Tucson Performance

Reviewers like the 2014 Hyundai Tucson's easy maneuverability and say that although the suspension is firm, it manages road imperfections with ease. The Tucson's transmission earns praise for its smooth shifts and responsiveness. Test drivers prefer the Tucson's optional 2.4-liter engine and say it delivers plenty of power, but they note that both engine choices can be noisy when strong acceleration is needed.

  • "It's refreshing to hop into a Tucson and remember how fun a genuinely compact crossover can be." -- AutoTrader
  • "Ride comfort is another area where the Tucson takes a backseat to the CR-V and Forester, which both offer a less jarring response to rough-road conditions." -- Kelley Blue Book

Acceleration and Power

The 2014 Hyundai Tucson offers two four-cylinder engines. The base model comes with a 2.0-liter engine that produces 164 horsepower, while a 2.4-liter engine that produces 182 horsepower is optional. Both engines are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The Tucson gets up to an EPA-estimated 23/29 mpg city/highway, which is typical for the class, though compact SUVs like the Mazda CX-5 and Subaru Forester use less fuel.

The base engine disappoints test drivers who say it doesn't provide adequate power for passing. However, reviewers agree that the Tucson performs well with the optional 2.4-liter engine. They say it accelerates swiftly off the line and produces class-competitive power. Still, critics say both engines are noisy when hard acceleration is required. Test drivers are impressed with the Hyundai Tucson's transmission and say it shifts smoothly.

  • "Acceleration is best with the 2.4-liter engine that delivers power on par with the Ford Escape and Honda CR-V, but lags a bit behind the Subaru Forester XT and VW Tiguan. We found the Tucson's 6-speed automatic shifted smoothly and was fairly responsive to manual input. The Tucson's engines are not the quietest we've tested and can become downright rude under hard acceleration." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Our only consistent complaint concerns what's under the hood, as the base 2.0-liter engine fails to provide confident passing power, even with an overhaul for 2014 that adds direct fuel injection. The 2.4-liter engine, which receives a similar overhaul this year, remains the pick of the litter." -- AutoTrader

Handling and Braking

Test drivers agree that the Tucson's compact size and small turning radius make it easily maneuverable in tight spaces and around curves. Reviewers also like the Tucson's handling and say that despite its firmness, the impact of rugged roads is barely noticeable.

  • "Responsive handling and a firm suspension make the 2014 Hyundai Tucson a pleasure when driving aggressively on all types of roads. In small spaces, the Tucson's compact size and tight turning radius make it easy to maneuver, although the narrow rear quarter windows create noticeable blind spots when changing lanes." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "With its 103.9-in wheelbase and 173.2-in overall length, the Tucson is actually smaller than the compact Elantra sedan, so it's no wonder that this thing drives like a hatchback on its tiptoes. The Tucson does ride rather firmly, but we're not offended. Impact harshness rarely registers, and the payoff is that this little crossover can actually dance in the curves." -- AutoTrader
Review Last Updated: 12/9/13

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