Our long-term 2017 Hyundai Tucson has been with us for a year, and its departure is now imminent. During its time with us, the turbocharged crossover served mainly as a commuter car, but it’s also done multiple trips out of the City of Angels, to beautiful Palm Springs, Northern California, and Texas. Our bright orange Tucson was a reliable companion, faithfully taking us to work or play; however, it wasn’t without its quirks.
Our Tucson spent time with two chaperones: Former digital director Chris Clonts had it for the first half, and I took over for the second. Most of the staff found the Tucson to be a comfortable daily driver with supportive seats and a reasonably large cargo area for hauling groceries and luggage. Associate online editor Michael Cantu and web producer Erika Pizano took the Tucson out on road trips, and they both found it cozy for long drives. Pizano also noted after her trip to Yosemite National Park that three people and their gear will easily fit in the Tucson. Between commuting and road trips, staffers who drove the Tucson found that it rode well even with the 19-inch alloy wheels that come standard on the Limited trim.
There weren’t many complaints about the Tucson’s driving experience when traffic flows smoothly, but when you find yourself in stop-and-go traffic, things start to get awkward thanks to the tuning of the seven-speed twin-clutch automatic transmission. When combined with the sluggish throttle response, the gearbox was clunky in traffic because it tries to hold the highest gear it can get away with even in gridlock, causing it to feel like it’s going to stall. Heavy traffic is where you also notice the transmission getting confused and hunting through gears. All is not lost ,though, thanks to the 175-hp 1.6-liter turbo-four. It produces 195 lb-ft of torque at low revs, so the transmission rarely needs to downshift to get you some passing power. The engine itself is smooth and has plenty of pep for the average consumer.
Transmission aside, the Tucson was easy to live with. Kudos to Hyundai for providing an easy-to-use, stress-free multimedia system and center stack controls. The learning curve isn’t big; it only takes a few seconds to figure out how everything works. Our long-termer also came with the larger 8.0-inch touchscreen, which was responsive and had a logical icon layout. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are also well integrated, so it’s easy to have Google or Siri take over multimedia duties or access apps such as Waze and Spotify. The only downside that I can note about the infotainment system is that it only has a single USB port. Crossovers should have at least two, considering most people can’t live without their phones these days.
We serviced the Tucson three times during its stay with us. We spent a total of $389.88 on maintenance, which included three oil changes, one cabin air filter, and one oil filter replacement. Overall, that wasn’t too bad but was more than the maintenance costs of our last long-term Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5, at $349.50 and $320.37, respectively. However, our long-departed 2014 Nissan Rogue SL was more expensive to service than the Tucson at $648.61 while covering similar mileage.
Near the end of our loan period, Hyundai introduced the refreshed 2019 Tucson. In the update, the 1.6-liter turbocharged I-4 and seven-speed twin-clutch automatic have been replaced with a 181-hp 2.4-liter I-4 paired to a conventional six-speed automatic. The 2019 Tucson gets revisions inside and out; among the additions are full LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, and a 360-degree camera, features that were originally not available on this model. There are also two additional USB ports, so you don’t need to compromise passenger charging in favor of CarPlay usage.
During its time with us, the 2017 Hyundai Tucson proved to be reliable; we never had a major issue. The interior still feels solid, and there are no squeaks or rattles to report after roughly 22,000 hard miles on the odometer. The infotainment system still works as well as it did when the Tucson first arrived, and the leather seats show little sign of wear even after serving as a photo support vehicle a number of times.
With the refreshed model’s arrival, we’re interested to see how its more conventional powertrain improves refinement and whether the added tech features make it a stronger proposition. As for the 2018 and earlier model, though, its clunky transmission makes it difficult to recommend if your typical routine includes much stop-and-go driving. If the Tucson’s strengths nonetheless appeal to you, consider instead waiting for the refreshed model or opt for the less powerful (and slower) models equipped with the base 164-hp 2.0-liter I-4.
Read more about our 2017 Hyundai Tucson Limited AWD:
|SERVICE LIFE||13 mo / 22,096 mi|
|OPTIONS||Carpeted floor mats ($125)|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$32,195|
|AVG ECON/CO2||24.0 mpg / 0.81 lb/mi|
|MAINTENANCE COST||$389.88 (3-oil change, inspection; 1-tire rotation, air filter, in-cabin air filter)|
|3-YEAR RESIDUAL VALUE*||$22,200|
|*IntelliChoice data; assumes 42,000 miles at the end of 3-years|
|2017 Hyundai Tucson Limited AWD|
|DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT||Front-engine, AWD|
|ENGINE TYPE||Turbocharged I-4, alum block/head|
|VALVETRAIN||DOHC, 4 valves/cyl|
|DISPLACEMENT||97.1 cu in/1,591 cc|
|POWER (SAE NET)||175 hp @ 5,500 rpm|
|TORQUE (SAE NET)||195 lb-ft @ 1,500 rpm|
|WEIGHT TO POWER||20.5 lb/hp|
|TRANSMISSION||7-speed twin-clutch auto|
|AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO||4.88:1 (1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th); 3.58:1 (3rd, 6th, 7th, R) /2.58:1|
|SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR||Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar|
|BRAKES, F; R||12.0-in vented disc; 11.9-in disc, ABS|
|WHEELS||7.5 x 19-in cast aluminum|
|TIRES||245/45R19 98H M+S Hankook Kinergy GT|
|TRACK, F/R||63.1/63.6 in|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||176.2 x 72.8 x 64.8 in|
|GROUND CLEARANCE||6.4 in|
|APPRCH/DEPART ANGLE||17.2/23.9 deg|
|TURNING CIRCLE||34.9 ft|
|CURB WEIGHT||3,586 lb|
|WEIGHT DIST, F/R||58/42%|
|TOWING CAPACITY||1,500 lb|
|HEADROOM, F/R||39.6/39.2 in|
|LEGROOM, F/R||41.5/38.2 in|
|SHOULDER ROOM, F/R||57.1/55.1 in|
|CARGO VOLUME BEH F/R||61.9/31.0 cu ft|
|ACCELERATION TO MPH|
|PASSING, 45-65 MPH||4.1|
|QUARTER MILE||16.2 sec @ 85.5 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||120 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.83 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||27.1 sec @ 0.64 g (avg)|
|TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH||1,850 rpm|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$32,195|
|AIRBAGS||6: Dual front, front side, f/r curtain|
|BASIC WARRANTY||5 yrs/60,000 miles|
|POWERTRAIN WARRANTY||10 yrs/100,000 miles|
|ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE||5 yrs/Unlimited miles|
|FUEL CAPACITY||16.4 gal|
|REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB||24.9/32.9/28.0 mpg|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON||24/28/25 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY||140/120 kW-hrs/100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||0.76 lb/mile|
|RECOMMENDED FUEL||Unleaded regular|