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2012 Hyundai Tucson

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2012 Hyundai Tucson Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 6.8

The 2012 Hyundai Tucson competes in the crowded compact SUV segment that includes such well-established nameplates as the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Subaru Forester, and Toyota RAV4. Available in both front-wheel drive (FWD) and all-wheel drive (AWD), the Hyundai Tucson distinguishes itself with eye-catching style and value. For 2012, the Tucson secured the #2 spot on Kelley Blue Book's Best Resale Value Awards list in the "Best Compact SUV" category, besting the stalwart CR-V and RAV4. The battleground heats up in 2012 as the Tucson faces fully-redesigned segment sales leaders Ford Escape and Honda CR-V, and the introduction of the all-new Mazda CX-5.

You'll Like This Car If...

The sculpted exterior of the 2012 Hyundai Tucson's design looks fresh and stands out among its boxy competitors. All Tucsons come well-equipped, so there is no confusing options list. Hyundai's legendary 5-year/60,000-mile new vehicle warranty and 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain coverage beats the competition and gives you additional peace of mind.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The 2012 Tucson's sloping roofline and small rear windows compromise visibility and reduce rear cargo capacity. If you need a third row seat to carry seven passengers, consider the Toyota RAV4. If you want a V6 engine, look at the Ford Escape or RAV4. Navigation and a rearview camera are available only on the high-end Limited trim.

What's New for 2012

For 2012, the Tucson receives a larger gas tank to extend your driving range.

Driving the Tucson

Driving Impressions You'll feel confident driving the 2012 Hyundai Tucson with its secure and responsive handling. The Tucson's maneuverability in parking lots and tight spaces is a big plus. Acceleration from the...

170-hp, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine is on par with the RAV4s, Escapes and Chevy Equinoxes in its class. The responsive 6-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly. The engine revs rather loudly when accelerating to freeway speeds or when passing other vehicles making it difficult to hear passenger conversations. The Hyundai's ride is a bit stiff and nervous so you feel even the small bumps, and, unfortunately, the little SUV's handling doesn't pay this off. Use extra caution when changing lanes as rear visibility is hampered by the Tucson's sloping roofline and small rear windows.

Value For The Money
Hyundai continues its "value-pricing" philosophy with the 2012 Hyundai Tucson, offering well-equipped vehicles for less money than the competition, as well as an ability to maintain its value over time.

Exterior Design
The 2012 Tucson's sculpted exterior shape still looks fresh after three years on the market and stands out among the crowd.

2012 Hyundai Tucson Details
Interior

Five passengers will find convenient access to the Tucson with its wide doors and low floor height. The dashboard and interior panels, although mainly hard plastic, are nicely textured. The controls are within easy reach, feel substantial - the beveled window switches are especially nice – and operate smoothly. Drivers will appreciate nicely shaped (and almost supportive) 6-way adjustable seat (8-way power in the Limited). Second-row passengers may feel a bit claustrophobic due to the low seat cushion height, sloping roof, and high beltline. The 60/40-split seatbacks do not recline and may be too erect for some passengers. Foot room, however, is abundant due to the nearly flat floor in the rear.

Exterior
2012 Hyundai Tucson photo

What distinguishes the 2012 Hyundai Tucson from the competition is its European sculpted styling. Although the Tucson is a utility vehicle, its shape is not boxy, but rather fresh and athletic. Up front, the Hyundai SUV sports a sculpted hood, aggressive 2-tier grille, and wrap-around headlights. From the side, the vehicle's aerodynamic shape includes a steeply raked windshield and sloping roofline with rear spoiler. On GLS and Limited models, the silver roof rails do double duty: They help accentuate the flowing lines of the vehicle and also carry cargo. Like most vehicles in this category, a large 1-piece rear liftgate allows easy access to the cargo area.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

All 2012 Hyundai Tucsons come well-equipped. The base Tucson GL has standard air conditioning, power windows and door locks, remote keyless entry, three 12-volt outlets for all your electronics, trip computer, iPod/USB and MP3 auxiliary input jacks. Moving up to the GLS adds a larger 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine with slightly more power, a 6-speed automatic transmission, 17-inch alloy wheels, and silver roof rails. The GLS also adds heated mirrors, cruise control, heated front seats (AWD), and tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with integrated audio, cruise control, and Bluetooth hands-free phone controls. The top-of-the-line Limited brings 18-inch alloy wheels, leather seating, power 8-way driver seat with power lumbar support, heated front seats, automatic dual temperature controls, automatic headlights, and front fog lights. All Tucsons have a safety/security roster that includes six airbags, stability and traction control, 4-wheel antilock disc brakes, electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist, downhill brake control, and hill-start assist.

Optional Equipment

Few options are available as all Hyundai Tucsons come generously equipped. An automatic transmission is $1,000 on the base GL trim. All-wheel drive is an option on the GLS ($1,650) and Limited ($1,500) models, providing extra security on wet roads. The Tucson SUV, however, is not meant for serious off-roading. The $2,850 Premium Package on the high-line Limited includes a panoramic sunroof, navigation system, rearview camera, and premium audio system for the driver who wants it all.

Under the Hood

The 2012 Hyundai Tucson offers two 4-cylinder engine choices: a 165-hp 2.0-liter in the base GL and a 176-hp (for ULEV states), 170-hp (for PZEV states) 2.4-liter on the mid-level GLS and top-level Limited models. A 5-speed manual transmission is standard on the GL, while a 6-speed automatic is standard on the GLS and Limited. Drivers can opt for all-wheel drive on the Tucson GLS or Limited.

Hyundai Tucson GL

2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder
165 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
146 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/26 mpg (manual transmission), 22/29 mpg (automatic)

Hyundai Tucson GLS, Limited

2.4-liter inline 4-cylinder

ULEV:
176 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
168 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,000 rpm

PZEV:
170 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
163 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/30 mpg (FWD), 20/27 mpg (AWD)

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2012 Hyundai Tucson Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.1
Out of 10

Based on 130 Ratings for the 2010 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    8.3/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    7.9/10
  • Comfort
    8.2/10
    Styling
    8.6/10

Luv my little SUV

By on Thursday, August 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Good price, quick response, fun to drive"

Cons: "Road noise-little loud"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have had my Tucson for 6 mo. & luv it. I love the quick response and easy handling. The interior is very user-friendly. All controls easy to reach. I am 5'9" with long legs and there is plenty of room in the front and back. With bad knees, it is easy to get in & out of and don't have to bend over to get groceries out of the back. I have the GLS model and will keep it many years, however one day would love to upgrade to Limited Edition."

So far - so good

By on Sunday, August 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,300

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Great standard features and value"

Cons: "Not yet sure about seat comfort on legs"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I've put 1300 miles on the 2015 Tucson SE. Here is what I can tell you. Gas mileage thru the first 1300 miles has averaged around 28 in mixed driving but a little more highway than city so far.The computer shows it getting about 28.6 so that's close enough to my calculations that I'm beginning to trust the computer. The SE has the larger engine, a 2.4 and it has plenty of pep to suit me. It is noticeably quicker than the 2.0 The ride is very smooth on decent roads but I do notice the harsher bumps more than I did on my Sonata. Overall I'm satisfied with the ride. Road noise and wind noise seem about average to me. Neither is a problem. This is my first SUV and I had been concerned about visibility after reading reviews. It hasn't been a problem for me. Admittedly there is a little more of a blind spot than the average family sedan but not as much as I was led to believe. Forward visibility is excellent and the seating position is high. I can actually see the hood while I'm driving. There is ample legroom, front and back. I had a problem with my right knee hitting the center console on most of the SUV's I tested. The RAV4 had the most knee room followed by the Tucson. I am 5' 10" and when I adjust the driver seat to give myself plenty of legroom there is still about 3"-4" inches of knee room in the back seat. Now, if the front passenger has the seat back reclined a good bit to take a nap then an adult will lose that knee room in the back, but a child will still be fine. On my test drive of 20 minutes and on subsequent trips of 45 minutes or less the seats have seemed comfortable. The one trip that lasted about an hour and 10 minutes started to hurt my legs up high by the hips. The sides of the front seats go up at a very steep angle and the foam seems very stiff. I'll have to see if this breaks in with use but I would pay attention to it when test driving. My butt and back have been comfortable. The SE has power seats and a power lumbar adjustment so you should be able to find a position that's comfortable on your back. The GLS does not have a lumbar adjustment. The controls for windows, locks, mirrors, AC, radio, etc have been easy enough to get used to. The touch screen for the radio is a bit small to suit me at about 4.3 inches. The Limited has a bigger screen I believe. This is my first touch screen radio and if you use your fingers it gets really smudged really quick. Luckily there are steering wheel controls and voice activated controls even on the mid level SE so you don't have to touch the screen once you become familiar with them. You just press a button and say XM channel 65 or FM channel 104.5 and it happens. About once every 10 tries it will say it didn't understand but if you speak clearly it works well. The Tucson is a little shorter than most of it's competitors and has a smaller cargo area. Not a problem for me but be aware of that. I didn't notice the cargo area lighting when I test drove so I don't know how it compares to other SUV's but now that I have the Tucson I can tell you the cargo lighting is on the left side and is basically worthless if you need to see back there at night. I feel a retractable cargo cover should be standard but it is not except on the Limited. I bought an aftermarket cover for about 75.00 and it works well. The list of standard equipment on the SE is long. Power drivers seat. Heated front seats. Heated mirrors. Map lights and visor lights in addition to the dome light. Of course XM radio is standard on all trim levels with 3 free months. In summary, the SE has a MSRP of 24,800 and I bought mine for 21,800 + TTL for a total of 23,400. Substantially less than any similarly equipped SUV. Time will tell about the reliability and I'll try to post again when it has more miles on it."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Will buy another on or up grade to Santa Fe

By on Monday, August 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great price for all the equipment I have"

Cons: "wheel well screws came loose 2 times"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Have loved the vehicle since purchase never had any what I would consider real problems only a couple cosmetic, I have kept up with the required maintenance."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Reliability has been very surprisingly good

By on Sunday, August 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 93,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Spunky"

Cons: "could use a few more horses"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"When I purchased the vehicle in 2011 I was skeptical about Hundai. After 93000 miles I would consider another one. The reliability has been very good. I replaced the usual; tires, breakes, and a battery, and nothing else. The drivers seat is showing its wear (so am I) but, over all, I would rate it very high. The "big three" would be lucky to match this mid size trooper. I need to mention that I did have the Tuson serviced as recommend by the manufacturer. Regards"

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

My favorite car so far

By on Monday, July 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 87,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "great in snow, tons of cargo room in back"

Cons: "so-so gas mileage, bumpy ride"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"This is the perfect car when you need room for four passengers and the ability to haul things (the back seat folds down flat). Gas mileage is not great (mid 20s with the AWD) and it rides a bit rough, but overall this has been a great car for me. I didn't want a monster SUV and couldn't afford a luxury one, so the Tucson is the perfect size and price. Has been very reliable--no mechanical issues at all, just general maintenance. (knock on wood) Zips around town and has good power to merge/pass on the interstate."

8 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Extremely satisfied until last week

By on Sunday, July 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Reliable and comfortable to drive"

Cons: "Radio stopped working after 4 years"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"i have been very happy with my Tucson until the radio stopped working, which also means no Bluetooth. The dealer said not covered under warranty and only replaces and wanted to charge $1000. Took the car to an electronics place who said the motherboard was fried. How can that happen in a car that is 4 years old? It will cost $400 to replace and 2 weeks to wait for the part. I have no choice since I planned to keep the car for a long time. Crossing fingers nothing else goes wrong."

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