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.
"There are several reasons that I would not buy the car again.
The advertised gas mileage is higher than it actually gets.
Hyundai tested several years ( not 2010 ) and admitted their stated mileage was wrong.
They sent an apology letter to owners of 2011 and 2012 and offered to compensate them somewhat for the difference they had to spend on gasoline.
They did not offer me the same courtesy when I called saying they did not test 2010 models.
My guess is all models have this problem.
Also, the Bluetooth is unusable because no one can understand me when I make or receive a call.
They finally, after about 10 trips to the dealership, replaced the microphone. That did solve the problem at all. Never would have bought this car or any Hyundai because of these two reasons.
Shame on Hyundai for being unwilling to do anything to right these wrongs.
Car is too high when getting in."
"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."
"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."