By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 9/18/2012
Hyundai's 2013 Tucson compact crossover competes with such well-established names as the Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape and Honda CR-V. To play in this league, Hyundai equips the Tucson with numerous options including front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD), a choice of two engines and two transmissions and a healthy dose of standard equipment and styling bound to catch the youthful eye. The 2013 Tucson's value story doesn't end with its window sticker, however. Last year, the Tucson landed the #2 spot on Kelley Blue Book's list of best resale value in the compact SUV category. Still, with the launch of the new Mazda CX-5 and Ford Escape, dealers may have to work a little harder this year to keep sales on track.
In a field of boxy and sometimes bland crossovers, the 2013 Hyundai Tucson's edgy styling is a welcome sight. Hyundai loads the Tucson with standard features, yet keeps the price well below similarly equipped competitors. It even comes with a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Some may find the Tucson's dramatic styling a bit wild. The small rear windows and low roof diminish rearward views out and cargo capacity, and there is no third-row seat option. Oddly, the Tucson does not offer Hyundai's Blue-Link infotainment system, a big negative for the tech savvy buyer.What's New for 2013
The 2013 Hyundai Tucson adds more standard equipment, with the GLS gaining foglights, automatic headlight control and heated front seats. The Limited trim picks up a proximity-key entry system with push-button start.Driving It Driving Impressions
Driving the 2013 Hyundai Tucson instills the driver with a sense of confidence via its responsive handling and stable ride; the Tucson's maneuverability in parking lots and tight spaces is also 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, but the engine could be quieter at high revs, becoming annoyingly loud when accelerating to freeway speeds or when passing other vehicles. The Tucson's adept handling comes at the expense of ride comfort, with the tires seemingly transmitting every bump and road blemish into the passenger cabin. Due to the Tucson's sloping roofline and small rear windows, rear outward vision is hampered causing us to advise extra caution when changing lanes.
VALUE FOR THE MONEY
Hyundai continues its "value-pricing" philosophy with the 2013 Hyundai Tucson, offering well-equipped vehicles for less money than the competition, as well as an ability to maintain its value over time.
The 2013 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 the nicely shaped (and almost supportive) 6-way adjustable seat. 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.Exterior
What distinguishes the 2013 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 wraparound 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.
All Hyundai Tucsons for 2013 come well-equipped and include air conditioning, power windows and door locks, remote keyless entry, three 12-volt outlets for all your electronics, and iPod/USB and MP3 auxiliary input jacks. Moving up to the GLS adds 17-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, heated mirrors, cruise control, automatic headlights, foglights, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and Bluetooth. The top-of-the-line Limited brings 18-inch alloy wheels, leather seating, power 8-way driver seat with power lumbar support and automatic dual temperature controls. All Tucsons have a safety/security roster that includes downhill brake control and hill-start assist.Notable 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 and Limited models, providing extra security on wet roads. The Tucson SUV, however, is not meant for serious off-roading. The 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 2013 Hyundai Tucson offers two 4-cylinder engine choices: a 165-hp 2.0-liter in the base GL and a 2.4-liter on the mid-level GLS and top-level Limited models that produces 176 horsepower for ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) states and 170 horsepower for partial zero-emissions vehicle (PZEV) states. 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.
165 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
146 lb-ft of torque @ 4,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/26 mpg (manual), 22/29 mpg (automatic)
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)
The 2013 Hyundai Tucson has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just over $20,000 for the entry-level GL and topping out at around $30,500 for the high-level Limited with all-wheel drive and the Premium Package. Similarly equipped competitors such as the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4 not only cost more than the Tucson, but they do not have Hyundai's longer warranties. The Tucson excels in the area of resale, beating out historical favorites like the Forester and RAV4. A look at the Fair Purchase Price on kbb.com shows what others are paying for the 2013 Hyundai Tucson in your area, so be sure to check it out before you buy.