The 2017 Hyundai Tucson definitely has an advantage over other compact crossover SUVs with a top-of-the-line warranty, but there are other factors to consider as well. If you choose the right trim level, you will appreciate the classy styling and interior, but entry-level models can feel cheap at times.
Under the Hood
The powertrain for the 2017 Tucson depends on the trim you choose. Going with the SE or SE Plus puts you in control of 164 horsepower from a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder. The other trims use a 175-horsepoewr 1.6-liter 4-cylinder. While the base engine is enough, we suggest upgrading to the turbo. You will notice a slight boost in efficiency in addition to the increase in horsepower. The turbocharged engine also feels more refined and delivers the smooth drive you are searching for. Those who want to maximize efficiency should go with the Eco trim to enjoy 28 mpg combined with front-wheel drive or 27 combined for all-wheel drive. Because of their larger wheels, the Sport and Limited do slightly worse.
Appreciating Its Versatility
Compared to some of the other compact SUVs on the market, the cargo space in the 2017 Hyundai Tucson is still tighter than you may want. You can get 61.9 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down or 31 cubes with them upright. While this is likely to be enough for most people, most competitors have more. The CR-V, for example, has 70.9 or 35.2 cubic feet of space, which is a reasonable difference.
To make up for its slightly smaller cargo area, the Tucson does have a cargo floor that can lower two inches, making it easier to load and unload heavier items. You can also get a power liftgate that opens automatically when the key fob is within a few feet for a set time. Some will find the gate accidentally opening more than they want, but we feel this is incredibly easy to get used to. We also prefer this type of automatic opening over competitors that require you to balance on a single foot and wave your other one under the liftgate.
Standard and Available Features
We’re impressed with the features found on the base Tucson SE, particularly given its low starting price. Essentials like Bluetooth are joined by features we’d expect to pay more for, such as satellite radio. The base touchscreen is only 5.0 inches, however, with the ability to get a larger one on higher trims. There are a total of six trims to choose from, and we suggest opting for one of the top four choices to avoid purchasing an economy interior that detracts from the driving and owning experience. Keep in mind that while the Tucson starts off incredibly affordable at $22,700, by the time you reach the top-of-the-line Limited model, the starting price is $29,775 without options added. Ultimately, the $26,750 SE Plus seems to offer the right balance of features and feeling, but bumps the MSRP up to a significantly higher price point. We’d wait for incentives or start cross-shopping the competition before committing to what is otherwise a decent competitor in a tough segment.