GLS models get a lot of new features this year—foglights, automatic headlamps, and heated front seats (now on all GLSs, not just all-wheel-drive ones)—but prices are basically the same as last year’s. A proximity key and push-button starting are newly standard on Limited models.
Hyundai’s smallest sport-ute has often been overshadowed in the marketplace, but its maker is continually improving the Tucson in hopes of turning it into a segment leader. This year sees some convenience features added to the upper trim levels, and last year saw tweaks to improve fuel mileage. The thriftiest Tucson—the 2.0-liter, automatic-transmission, front-wheel-drive model—earns a 23/32 mpg city/highway rating, but all Tucsons are pretty frugal, partly because the V-6 engine was dropped and the Tucson was redesigned as a slightly larger yet lighter vehicle in 2010. The 2.4-liter engine is powerful enough for most tasks. The interior has lots of hard plastic, but it’s nicely finished and the switchgear is well laid out. The base GL—the only Tucson available with the relatively powerful 2.0-liter four-cylinder or the five-speed manual—has cheap-feeling upholstery, but the GLS comes with a nice leatherette and cloth upgrade as well as heated front seats. The top-of-the-line Limited’s standard leather is better than what’s usually found at this price point, and that model comes with a proximity key and automatic climate control and offers a sunroof and navigation. The Tucson has shed the soggy chassis tuning that has characterized Korean cars, and it has merged into the small-crossover mainstream.
Front and front side air bags; side curtain air bags with rollover sensors; and active front head restraints are standard on all Tucsons, as are ABS, traction and stability control, electronic brake-force distribution, hill-start assist, downhill brake control, and tire-pressure monitors.
- Good fuel mileage
- Dynamic, attractive styling
- A decent handler
You won't like:
- Hyundai’s direct-injected 2.4-liter is unavailable
- Uncommunicative steering
Key Competitors For The 2013 Hyundai Tucson
- Ford Escape
- Honda CR-V
- Kia Sportage
- Toyota RAV4