2019 Hyundai Tucson

$23,200 - $32,950
Price Range (MSRP)

2019 Hyundai Tucson Review

by Roger Biermann

Four years into the third generation Hyundai Tucson, it’s now no longer the baby SUV in the line-up. It’s fresh-faced for 2019 with substantial revisions inside and out and a shake-up of the features and available engines. 164-horsepower 2.0-liter and 181-hp 2.4-liter engines now provide the power, with last year’s 1.6T dropped from the line-up altogether, while front-wheel drive remains standard with all-wheel drive optional. A six-speed automatic is still the only gearbox as the Tucson vies to become the last word in everyday SUV comfort against top rivals like the Mazda CX-5 and Honda CR-V. Priced from $23,200 to $32,950, there’s a good variety with six trims available and options like heated rear seats, wireless device charging, and smart cruise control now available.

What’s New For 2019?

For 2019, the Hyundai Tucson has had a substantial refresh with updated exterior and interior styling to keep things fresh after three years since its launch. The 1.6-liter turbocharged engine has been dropped from the line-up altogether with the higher-horsepower 2.4-liter naturally aspirated motor now on duty from the SEL trim upwards. Outside, there’s a new grille and a new headlights design, while new taillights also feature. Wheel designs ranging from 17- to 19-inches in size have been redesigned as well. Changes on the inside include a Kona-inspired dash design with a new seven-inch touchscreen display in the center stack with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay now standard across the range. Available on higher trims, new wireless charging and a second row USB outlet are available, as are rain-sensing wipers. Also included on all models are active safety features like forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist, compared to last year’s availability only on top trims. Pricing has increased by $745 for the base SE.

Pros and Cons

  • Quiet, refined interior
  • Smooth ride
  • Loads of features for the money on higher trims
  • Great safety features
  • Decent ride and handling balance
  • Average cargo and storage options below the best in class
  • Poor performance from base 2.0 engine
  • Fuel economy is below that of class leaders
  • No turbo-power for 2019
  • SE trim features bare essentials only

Tucson Exterior

For the 2019 MY, the exterior of the Hyundai has been extensively revised. A new front fascia features an updated version of Hyundai’s hexagonal Cascading Grille, framed on either side by newly designed projector headlights. LED accents are standard from the Value model onwards, while LED daytime running lights, LED headlights, and LED taillights become the standard for the Sport, Limited, and Ultimate trims, as do front fog lights.

17-inch wheels appear on the SE and Value models, 18-inch alloys on the SEL, Limited, and Ultimate trims, and 19-inch wheels on the Sport derivative, with all of the wheel designs revised for the new model year. On the Limited and Ultimate trims, turn signals are incorporated into the side mirrors, while door handles go from body-colored to chromed items. These top two trims also get a panoramic sunroof.

2019 Hyundai Tucson Front View
2019 Hyundai Tucson Front View
2019 Hyundai Tucson Front View

See All 2019 Hyundai Tucson Exterior Photos

Dimensions

Newly designed features are stretched over similar proportions to last year’s model, with the 2019 Tucson measuring 176.4-inches long with a 105.1-inch wheelbase. Measuring 72.8-inches wide and 64.8-inches tall without roof rails, the Tucson has 6.4-inches of ground clearance. Curb weight varies based on the specification and chosen drivetrain, with the lightest Tucson weighing 3,309 lbs and the heaviest coming in at 3,732 lbs.

Exterior Colors

The color palette for the exterior of the 2019 Tucson comprises nine colors, up from last years seven. Dazzling White, Molten Silver, Coliseum Gray, and Black Noir Pearl all carry over from the 2018 model, while Ruby Wine, Carribean Blue, and Sedona Sunset have been cut from the range. In their place, White Pearl, Aqua Blue, Dusk Blue, Sage Brown, and Gemstone Red, are new additions to the palette. All colors are available across the range and at no cost.

  • Black Noir Pearl
  • Dusk Blue
  • Molten Silver
  • Sage Brown
  • Aqua Blue
  • White Pearl
  • Coliseum Gray
  • Dazzling White
  • Gemstone Red

Tucson Performance

With two engine choices and no turbocharged offering for 2019, it’s the larger 2.4-liter naturally aspirated engine that gives the Tucson its greatest performance. The four-cylinder generates 181 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque, making it more powerful but marginally less torquey than the old 1.6T from last year. Although front-wheel drive is standard on all models, like many in this segment, all-wheel drive is also available. The 2.4 isn’t exactly a performance motor, but still enables a decent 0-60 mph sprint time of 9.1 seconds, but it’s some way off the efforts of turbocharged rivals like the Mazda CX-5. Towing capacity is however impressive, with a rated towing ability of 2,000 lbs compared to the 1,500 lbs on the base engine.

2019 Hyundai Tucson Front View Driving
2019 Hyundai Tucson Front View Driving
2019 Hyundai Tucson Wheel

Engine and Transmission

The 2019 edition of the Hyundai Tucson is available with a choice of two engines, but just one transmission, a six-speed automatic gearbox. On the SE and Value models, a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder is found beneath the hood, developing 161 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque as it does in the Elantra GT. But due to the added weight and size of the Tucson, the motor is even more gutless here and fails to get up to speed effectively or effect overtaking maneuvers concisely.

A second engine, available from SEL trim and all subsequent models, is a 2.4-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder developing 181 hp and 175 lb-ft. It makes use of the same six-speed automatic as the base engine, but the additional power and torque make it more effective when getting up to speed and overtaking, and the smooth torque delivery makes it easy to use around town. The automatic transmission is a notable upgrade compared to last year’s seven-speed dual-clutch which was clunky and had a period of delay when accelerating. In contrast, the six-speed slurs through gears quietly and quickly with minimal delay or interference. The 2.4-liter is the must-have engine, and it’s why we recommend steering clear of the two most basic trims.

  • Engines
    2.0-liter Inline-4 Gas, 2.4-liter Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmission
    6-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

The Hyundai Tucson is rather unremarkable to drive. To clarify, it’s not bad, not by any means, but it’s just unmemorable by most measures which may be exactly what endears it to some buyers who don’t want anything that lingers in the memory for too long.

The base engine is best avoided if you can afford a higher specification level, as it’s gutless and loathes being worked. The 2.4 is decent, with peppy low-down responses and it works well with the six-speed automatic to slur through gears in comfort while still providing decent performance and economy.

The Tucson handles well too, with suspension that balances comfort with support on changing surfaces quite well. It always maintains composure, is never unsettled, and filters out small bumps to perfection while minimizing the effects of larger bumps. Body roll is kept in check too, but it’s by no means a sporty SUV, especially when the Mazda CX-5 begs to be driven like a hot hatch. The steering is responsive and turn-in is sharp and direct, but because it’s an electrically power-assisted setup it has zero feedback, even if they did get the weighting pretty spot on. That’s about par for the course though as not many rivals offer steering setups dripping with feedback.

There’s nothing the Tucson does wrong, and in any circumstance, on just about any surface you’ll be pleased with the levels of comfort and refinement, and with next to no noise intrusion you’ll feel mighty relaxed when you climb out at the end of your journey. But there’s just no character to the Tucson. He’s a nice guy, and mom and dad would approve, but he’d make a very boring husband, and it’s that sort of attitude that makes the Tucson an appliance and nothing more.

Tucson Gas Mileage

The 2.0-liter engine, being lower in displacement and down on power is naturally the more fuel efficient motor in the Tucson line-up, with economy estimates of 23/30/26 mpg on city/highway/combined cycles for the front-wheel drive equipped model. The all-wheel drive versions gets weaker estimates of 22/25/23 miles per gallon. In front-wheel drive guise, the larger, more powerful 2.4-liter motor faces estimated consumption of 22/28/25 mpg, but when it comes to the all-wheel drive model it almost matches the lower-output motor with estimates of 21/26/23 mpg, making it even more appealing in cold climates. Both engines offer sub-par economy, with even the base engine from Honda beating them both by a comfortable margin. With a 16.4-gallon fuel tank, the best possible range in mixed driving conditions comes from the base front-wheel drive derivative, with a maximum range of 426 miles.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    16.4 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 23/30 mpg
* 2019 Hyundai Tucson SE FWD

Tucson Interior

A mildly updated interior brings the 2019 Tucson more in line with other, newer Hyundai SUVs like the Kona, but doesn’t change any of the Tucson’s strong points that have endeared the current generation to buyers. On base models, you’ll still find some tacky plastic trimmings, but on the whole, the quality is decent, it feels solid, and the ergonomics are on point. Standard six-way adjustment for the driver’s seat makes it easy to find a comfortable driving position, while the seats are firm and supportive enough to be comfortable on long journeys. Comfort items like heated and ventilated seats are available on higher trims, with even heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel available on the Ultimate model. Space is of a premium in the Tucson, and even tall rear seat passengers will find the head and legroom rather generous, which is a surprise for the segment. Two sets of LATCH anchors feature and the generous space allows for rear-facing child seats to be equipped.

2019 Hyundai Tucson Dashboard
2019 Hyundai Tucson Infotainment System
2019 Hyundai Tucson Steering Wheel Controls

See All 2019 Hyundai Tucson Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

Five occupants can comfortably be seated in the 2019 Hyundai Tucson, with rear space large enough to squeeze three small adults without too much effort. The seating position is comfortable and standard minimum six-way adjustment along with height and reach adjustment on the steering wheel ensures its easy to find a comfortable driving positioning with a commanding view forward. Rear visibility is limited, but a rearview camera is standard across the Tucson range. The front of the cabin is spacious, but the rear is even more so, with even taller than average adults finding commodious head and legroom.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater

Interior Colors and Materials

Two interior finishes are available in three colors. On all models up to the Sport, cloth upholstery is the standard covering with no option to upgrade to leather aside from changing trim altogether. Cloth surfaces can be had in either beige, gray, or black on the SE, Value, SEL, and Sport trims, with color availability dependent on the choice of exterior paint. Color choices are accompanied by matching door upholstery and a color-matching lower dash. From the Limited model, leather is standard but is only available in either black or beige and the color availability is dependent on the exterior hue. On all models, the upper dash and door panels are black and feature chromed trim elements around the air vents and infotainment screen.

Tucson Trunk and Cargo Space

The cavernous amounts of rear passenger space in the Tucson had to come from somewhere, with the sacrifice being made behind the seats in the cargo area. Despite the sacrifice, Hyundai manages to pull off ample storage space for most families with an available 31 cubic feet behind the second row of seats. The space is made more practical by a dual-level cargo floor that can be removed as well for maximum depth. This space can be expanded by folding the rear seats, which fold in a 60/40 split and unlock up to 61.9 cubic feet. While space is still usable, it’s well below the best in class, with the Honda CR-V dominating proceedings with figures of 39.2 and 75.8 cubic feet respectively.

Within the cabin, there are a number of storage options, including relatively deep door pockets with molded bottleholders, numerous cupholders, and a number of smaller bins throughout the cabin that hold above average storage capacity for the segment.

2019 Hyundai Tucson Trunk Space with Seat Folded
2019 Hyundai Tucson Luggage Space
2019 Hyundai Tucson Second Seats  Down

Tucson Infotainment and Features

Features

With six trims, there’s a broad assortment of features on offer in the Tucson, although most are only to be found from the Value model up. While all models get a rearview camera, forward collision warning, and lane keeping assist, the Value adds heated front seats, keyless entry, power driver’s seat adjustment, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert, with dual-zone climate control added from the SEL. Higher up the trim ladder, you’ll find a panoramic sunroof, a hands-free liftgate, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, power front passenger seat adjustment, a heated steering wheel, and a surround-view camera, while the Ultimate trim adds adaptive cruise control, ventilated front seats, and heated rear seats to the mix.

Infotainment

For 2019, the standard interior equipment has been upgraded right from the base SE derivative. Infotainment is now taken care of by a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with AM/FM/MP3 capabilities and with built-in Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality. Six speakers are standard on the lower trims, and media inputs include Bluetooth streaming, USB, and auxiliary inputs. From the Value trim, SiriusXM satellite radio and HD radio are made standard as well, and from the SEL trim, a rear USB port is added. From the Tucson Sport, a QI wireless charging pad is made standard for charging of compatible devices and Hyundai installs an eight-speaker Infinity audio system with Clari-Fi music restoration technology. The top-of-the-line Ultimate trim receives an upgraded infotainment system with an eight-inch display and built-in navigation. The Blue Link Connected Car System is standard on all models but the base SE.

Tucson Problems and Reliability

While the 2019 model has yet to be rated, in 2018 the Hyundai Tucson had an above average rating with a J.D. Power and Associates giving it a predicted reliability score of four out of five. Little has changed mechanically, which should bode well for the model, and the build feels solid enough to back this up. The current generation Tucson has only faced one recall last year for a minor electrical fault pertaining to trailer brake lights. Other than that there have been no major recorded issues with the Tucson and the 2019 model has had no complaints lodged against it. Hyundai’s stellar warranties remain class-leading in this segment.

Tucson Safety

The IIHS awarded the Hyundai Tucson as a 2019 Top Safety Pick with superior front crash prevention thanks to additional equipment. The NHTSA rates the 2019 Tucson equally as high, with five stars out of five ratings overall and a four-star rating for only rollover protection.

Key Safety Features

While the Tucson has benefited from upgraded safety features across the entire line-up, Limited and Ultimate models get advanced features like a 360-degree parking camera, advanced forward collision mitigation systems with adaptive cruise control and stop-go functionality. Blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert are crucial safety features that are included from the Value trim up. All models receive six airbags, including dual front, side, and side curtain airbags.

Verdict: Is the 2019 Hyundai Tucson a good SUV?

The Hyundai Tucson’s 2019 upgrade has given it a stylish new face and increased safety and specification across the range without compromising on the comfort, affordability, and practicality we’ve always liked about it. It’s not the most exciting to drive, but it is supremely comfortable, and taller passengers will appreciate the copious amounts of space in the rear of the cabin. If you’re after a driver’s SUV, the Mazda CX-5 should get your hard-earned cash, and if it’s cargo space and top quality materials you’re after, then look at a Honda CR-V, but if comfort, reliability, and getting from A to B with all the necessary features at a decent price is high on your priority list, a Tucson SEL is one of the best possible ways to get around. As an established player in this segment, the Tucson continues to prove Hyundai is right up there with the best of the established brands.

What's the Price of the 2019 Hyundai Tucson?

With six trims offering various levels of equipment, and a choice between front- and all-wheel drive, there are numerous ways to equip and price a 2019 Hyundai Tucson. A base Tucson SE in front-wheel drive, for example, will set you back $23,200 before freight charges and any applicable deals or negotiations, while the addition of a second driven axle adds $1,400 to the MSRP across the range. From there you can up the price with five other trims, from the $23,150 starting MSRP of the Tucson Value to the $24,100 SEL which is similarly equipped to the Value but packs a bigger, more powerful engine. The Sport will set you back $26,200, while a Limited model costs $27,400. The range-topping Tucson Ultimate has a starting MSRP of $31,550 in front-wheel drive.

2019 Hyundai Tucson Models

There are six trims available for the 2019 Tucson: SE, Value, SEL, Sport, Limited, and Premium.

The base Tucson SE features a 2.0-liter motor, six-speed automatic gearbox, 17-inch alloys, automatic headlights, a rearview camera, height adjustable driver’s seat, a six-speaker sound system, and a seven-inch touchscreen featuring Bluetooth and USB inputs as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality in addition to the AM/FM/MP3 abilities.

A step up to Value adds power adjustment for the driver’s seat, heated front seats, keyless access and push-button start, SiriusXM satellite radio, and Blue Link communication services, along with added safety in the form of blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.

The Tucson SEL is similarly equipped to the Value, but upgrades to the 181-hp 2.4-liter engine, equips 18-inch alloy wheels, upgraded exterior trimmings, and gets dual-zone climate control and a second row USB port.

A Tucson Sport equips the Tucson with a range of exterior upgrades such as 19-inch alloy wheels, LED head- and taillights, Sport-specific exterior trim elements, foglights, and a hands-free liftgate. An auto-dimming rearview mirror and wireless smartphone charging with compatible devices are also included.

The Limited trim adds leather upholstery, upgraded door trimmings, a heated steering wheel, 360-degree parking camera and a power adjustable passenger seat to the Tucson package.

The range-topping Ultimate trim includes features such as a panoramic sunroof, automatic high beams, an upgraded forward collision mitigation system, adaptive cruise control, a color TFT driver display screen, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and an upgraded eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with built-in navigation.

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
SE
2.0-liter Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front Wheel Drive
All Wheel Drive
$23,200
Value
2.0-liter Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front Wheel Drive
All Wheel Drive
$24,650
SEL
2.4-liter Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front Wheel Drive
All Wheel Drive
$25,600
Sport
2.4-liter Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front Wheel Drive
All Wheel Drive
$27,700
Limited
2.4-liter Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front Wheel Drive
All Wheel Drive
$28,900

See All 2019 Hyundai Tucson Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

Hyundai typically doesn’t offer many packages and options for its vehicles, and the 2019 Hyundai Tucson is no different. Upgrades and even engines are linked to trims rather than available packages, and options are limited to the aforementioned minor accessories. The only real option is a $1,400 box to tick that upgrades your Tucson to all-wheel drive.

What Hyundai Tucson Model Should I Buy?

The top of the Tucson range starts getting very expensive, so the recommended trims come from lower down in the ranks. While the Value edition adds a range of impressive features, it, unfortunately, misses out on the larger engine, which is why we recommend the Tucson SEL. The SEL gets all the specification upgrades of the Value, including heated front seats, keyless access, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert, but it equips the 2.4-liter engine, 18-inch alloy wheels, and dual-zone climate control to make it worth the modest outlay of $25,600.

Check other Hyundai Tucson Styles

2019 Hyundai Tucson Comparisons

2019 Hyundai Tucson vs 2019 Mazda CX-5

The Mazda CX-5 caters to those who enjoy driving, with an endearing chassis, thrilling dynamics, supple ride, and a new, potent turbocharged engine. It performs better than the Tucson but remains more economical as well. It’s also just as well equipped, if not more so at base level, but carries with it a slightly higher asking price. The CX-5 is equipped with a premium feeling interior that the Tucson can’t match, but the Tucson’s infotainment is more intuitive and feels more modern. Where the Tucson is better, however, is in the rear passenger space, where it boasts space for tall adults compared to the CX-5’s cramped quarters. Both models have comparable cargo space. Overall, the CX-5 is more premium, more refined, and better to drive, and we’d recommend it over the Tucson.

See 2019 Mazda CX-5 Review

2019 Hyundai Tucson vs 2019 Honda CR-V

The Honda CR-V is one of the best crossovers in its segment, and for a number of good reasons. It’s the most practical by far, with an abundance of cargo volume the Tucson can’t match. However, the Tucson forgoes storage capacity in favor of rear passenger legroom and is one of the only vehicles in this segment capable of rivaling the CR-V in this regard. But the Honda feels nicer inside, is equipped better across the range, and is more involving to drive. Its engines are more willing and the suspension and chassis cater to those who enjoy being behind the wheel, unlike the Tucson which divorces occupants from the road around them. The Honda is reliable and carries great gas mileage estimates, making it better in most aspects. The only aspect in which the Tucson has the CR-V beaten is its infotainment system which is vastly more intuitive.

See 2019 Honda CR-V Review

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