By KBB.com Editors
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.
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.
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.
For 2012, the Tucson receives a larger gas tank to extend your driving range.
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.
The 2012 Tucson's sculpted exterior shape still looks fresh after three years on the market and stands out among the crowd.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
176 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
168 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,000 rpm
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)
By red Tucson sunset on Friday, August 15, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 34,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This car has done and is doing more than we expected.Fun to drive, economical, and not a bad looker. Not the most powerful engine, but we weren't expecting power with a 4 cyl. But for a 4 cyl it does fine."
1 person out of 3 found this review helpful
By Lok on Thursday, August 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,600overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "I love it's price compared with its competitors"
Cons: "It has enough space for the cups for all 5 people"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I own 2013 Hyundai Gls front wheel drive that is purchased in July 2012. I bought it that time just Because I was looking for a nice looking crossover with good gas milage and comfortable ride and Tucson did satisfy my interest. I like it for everything like it has a very comfortable ride and attractive interior design. I love it driving on highway with normal drive and sometime with on cruse. It runs really good on both kind of drive. I also like its crear sound speakers. It looks kind of short but still is very roomy. Cargo space feels like not big enough but still not too bad compared with my brother's CR-V 2013, I'm satisfied with that too. When I need more room I fold the rear seats and that creates lot of cargo space. The only drawback I saw on this front wheel drive model is in when I drive on snowy day. It often is not very much on the right lane that I'm supposed to be as when I compare with other running cars. I had few bad driving experience with it even I did not had anything bad happened. Over all I still recommend it to others as I still love it even after I treaded with SUB as I need more room for my family size."
3 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Nate on Friday, August 01, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,500overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Stylish Exterior, Unbeatable Value, Just Works"
Cons: "Stiff Ride, Ok Steering, Engine Could Be Stronger"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"We just purchased this car not long ago for our newborn to be trucked around in and I can honestly say that this car is worth checking out. No, it's not wrapped in the best leather and the plastic dashboard is both a pro and a con. The front seat is a bit stiff but the heated seats on the GLS we got sort of make up for it I guess. It's just a nice standard amenity they added to the GLS. The ride is a little stiff as well and the steering is unimpressive. I know this probably doesn't sound like the ringing endorsement but this car is not for someone who is used to driving a Mercedes. The point of this car is to give you the best bang for your buck. And it does just that all while still hanging in the middle of the compact SUV pack in just about every category. Personally I think it's one of the best looking if not THE best looking compact SUV in its class. The AWD handles just fine on ours. Actually off road it's pretty impressive coming from a Hyundai. Expect a little better gas mileage if you opt for the FWD version. The XM Satellite radio is a nice feature too. If you have kids (or I guess if you don't have kids) and are wanting a newer car that does just about the exact same thing a more expensive car in it's class does for less money, and you don't want to be dragged up past the $25,000 range then I would highly recommend this vehicle. It will get you from point A to point B and you will feel safe and fairly comfortable. So far we've had no mechanical issues with our Tucson."
3 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By hawks1st on Friday, July 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,100overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Cons: "very poor value"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Very noisy, poor ride, no auto release/close on tailgate gas tank too small, very limited distance per tank of gas manual slide to show moon roof"
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By drchuckss on Monday, June 30, 2014
I owned and sold this car
Reason: I could afford to
Pros: "I liked it."
Cons: "See comments above."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"The clutch was a "bit touchy." I have driven a manual trans. car for over 50 years. Nonetheless, I would stall this car every so often. That shouldn't happen to an experienced driver, but it did. I had three Honda Civic's prior and never had that problem. Conclusion: it wasn't the fault of the driver."
8 people out of 15 found this review helpful
By Jonathan on Thursday, June 12, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "very good price, great gas mileage"
Cons: "there are no ashtrays or lighters"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have owned over ten vehicles in the past years that included AWD and 4WD. None of which have been a "car," but were either a SUV or like the Hyundai Tucson which is able to hold a lot more than the normal vehicle. I have yet to have a problem with the vehicle. Whether it be rain or snow, the Hyundai Tucson has driven perfectly through the seasons. I do not get the sense of "top-heaviness- that I have from other makes such us as Nissan or Toyota in the similar categories. What surprises me is the gas mileage. I receive better gas mileage with my 2.4L engine than my neighbor's 2.0L engine bought the same year. That allows me a little extra money in my pocket that the Mrs. does not need to know about *laugh*. I love this car so much because I had bought this car and within 30 minutes I was slammed into by an 18-wheeler on the interstate. The 18-wheeler must have been going close to 70 mph and I went over an embankment, finally landed, and proceeded to roll at least six times. I am alive today because of this car. I sustained scratches and bruises from the accident, but the majority of my injuries came from the air bags protecting my life. I was able to walk away from the scene of that accident without broken bones or needing stitches. I will always purchase a Hyundai from now on."
13 people out of 18 found this review helpful