The 2015 Hyundai Tucson compact crossoverSUV gives established players like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape a solid run for their money in style, technology and fuel economy. Available in front- and all-wheel drive (FWD, AWD), its sharp good looks remain modern and fresh, despite the Tucson's many years on the market. Inside there are plenty of high-tech features and a long list of standard equipment at an impressively competitive price, and with Hyundai's industry-leading 10-year/100,000-mile warranty. This year, Hyundai introduces the Tucson FCEV zero-emissions vehicle to limited markets. This electric version doesn't use batteries to store electricity, but is instead refueled with hydrogen to power the fuel cells. The result is EV driving, with only water vapor dripping from the tailpipe.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you want a sense of style to go with your compact crossover SUV, then the 2015 Hyundai Tucson definitely should be on your shopping list. Nicely equipped and affordable, there's also the undeniable nerd appeal of the available fuel-cell model for Southern California buyers.
You May Not Like This Car If...
If you plan on hauling cargo with your compact SUV, or if you think your ride should be open and airy-feeling, then the Tucson may not be the best bet. Instead, check out the Subaru Forester, which also gets better gas mileage, or the Honda CR-V for cargo hauling.
For 2015 the Hyundai Tucson GLS gets a new popular equipment package, while Limited models get standard LED taillights. Southern California buyers can lease a Tucson FCEV for $499 per month, with unlimited free hydrogen refueling and free maintenance.
Driving the Tucson
The 2015 Tucson offers surprisingly responsive handling, with its firm suspension making it fun to drive on all kinds of roads, although some might find it too firm for day-to-day...
... driving. The small size also makes it easy to maneuver in tight parking lots or in city traffic, although you'll want to double-check those huge blind spots before changing lanes. Both 4-cylinder engines tend to be noisy, and we'd skip the base 2.0-liter 4-cylinder for the more powerful 2.4-liter engine so that there's at least competitive acceleration to go with the din. We found the Tucson's 6-speed automatic shifted smoothly and was fairly responsive to manual input. The fuel-cell-powered Tucson FCEV is an electric car that stores its energy in hydrogen instead of batteries, making refueling almost as simple as pumping gas. It drives a lot like other EVs, with lots of low-end torque off the line.
VALUE FOR THE MONEY The 2015 Hyundai Tucson continues to be a very good value compared to many of its competitors, offering a nicely equipped vehicle right out of the box, with a warranty that's virtually unmatched.
EXPRESSIVE DESIGN Even though it's been on sale since the 2010 model year, we still think the Hyundai Tucson is one of the best-looking cars in its class.
2015 Hyundai Tucson Details
The Hyundai Tucson offers wide doors and a low floor, making it easy for its five passengers to get in and out. Once inside, the nicely textured and designed interior panels are easy on the eyes, even if they are mostly hard plastic. All the interior's controls are easy to reach and use, and the upscale feel of the beveled window switches is especially nice. The nicely shaped driver's seat is almost as supportive as it looks, but despite the reclining seatbacks, rear-seat passengers might find the low seat cushion height, sloping roof and small windows claustrophobic.
Despite its utility mission, the 2015 Hyundai Tucson is anything but boxy. Its styling looks downright European, with 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 SE and Limited models, the silver roof rails do double duty: They help accentuate the flowing lines of the vehicle and also carry cargo. This year, Limited models get standard LED taillights.
The base 2015 Hyundai Tucson GLS comes standard with air conditioning, keyless entry, Bluetooth, USB, a tilt/telescopic steering wheel with audio and cruise-control buttons, 17-inch wheels, three 12-volt outlets...and the weak-kneed 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine. We prefer the mid-level SE, which offers the larger 2.4-liter engine, plus roof rails, heated front seats, heated mirrors, automatic headlights, fog lights, a rearview camera, and a power driver's seat. The top-of-the-line Limited adds leather seats, Blue Link, proximity key with push-button start, and automatic dual temperature controls. All Tucsons come with safety equipment that includes downhill brake control and hill-start assist.
There aren't many stand-alone options on the Hyundai Tucson, with Hyundai preferring to divide its upscale equipment into different trim levels. A Technology Package on Limited models adds a panoramic sunroof, navigation system and upgraded audio system, while a new Popular Equipment Package dresses up the base GLS with a rearview camera, power driver's seat and Leatherette on the seat bolsters. Although all-wheel drive is available across the range, it's meant to improve foul-weather traction. The Tucson is no off-roader.
Under the Hood
The base Hyundai Tucson GLS comes with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that, to be honest, isn't really up to pulling this compact SUV around. A better bet is stepping up to the SE or Limited, both of which come with a more powerful 2.4-liter 4-cylinder. Both engines benefit from advanced fuel-injection technology, which improves horsepower and fuel economy, and the 2.4-liter engine can be ordered as a PZEV or Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle, but it comes with a slight reduction in horsepower and torque. A 6-speed automatic is standard on all models, and all Tucsons can be equipped with a part-time all-wheel-drive system.
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2015 Hyundai Tucson starts at about $22,500, including the $875 destination charge. The mid-level SE – our preferred model – starts at about $24,500, while the Limited starts a little over $27,000. AWD adds about $1,500 to the price of any Tucson, and if you check every option on the Limited, you'll top out right over the $30,000 mark. Not only do competitors like the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4 cost more, but they lack the Hyundai's warranty. If you're looking at the Tucson FCEV, you'll pay $499 per month for the lease. The Hyundai even wins at resale time, beating out historical favorites like the Escape and RAV4. A look at the Fair Purchase Price on KBB.com shows what others are paying for the 2015 Hyundai Tucson in your area, so be sure to check it out before you buy.
"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."
"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."
"Car has lots of blinds spots. I had an explorer - and it was great but I wanted better mileage - but this car has horrible blind spots. I always feel like I am one lane change away from a crash - I have been driving it for 2 years and it hasn't gotten better as I have gotten used to the car. The eco function is a joke I get better mileage when I don't use it. When you do use it - what you get is really really poor acceleration. The brake system is grabby - you get nothing unless you really get on them - then they grab - and the car has preformed like this since I got it - over all it's just a cheaply made car. I can't wait to get something else."