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Purchasing a new vehicle is usually a decision made with heavy scrutiny. Knowing you will likely commit to a particular model for years to come raises the stakes, and you don’t want to choose incorrectly. That’s especially true when there is a decent investment on the line when buying new. Drivers may even feel additional pressure when searching for a compact SUV, as the market is saturated with seemingly endless choices. Many shoppers have turned to the 2021 Hyundai Tucson, but was it love after first drive? Or do these consumers regret their decision? 

The Hyundai Tucson has been a mainstay for the South Korean automaker for years. Plus, it’s one of the brand’s most popular models. This fact alone would be enough to sway buyers to take the Tucson for a test drive, but Hyundai has even more in store for the SUV.  With the news that Hyundai is redesigning the Tucson for the 2022 model year, buyers may be tempted to forgo the 2021 Hyundai Tucson and wait for the newer and improved version. According to current owners of the 2021 model, this may be the right choice. 

Let’s take a closer look at what current Tucson owners have to say about the compact SUV. Should shoppers steer clear? We’re here to answer these burning questions. 

How do owners feel about the 2021 Hyundai Tucson?

A silver 2021 Hyundai Tucson parked on display
The 2021 Hyundai Tucson on display | Photo via Hyundai

Not everyone has the same story to tell about their experience with a particular vehicle. However, there are always common themes. This is the case for the 2021 Hyundai Tucson.

According to Consumer Reports, only 57% of owners said they would repurchase the 2021 Tucson. This number isn’t shockingly low, but it does bring about some significant concerns. The Mazda CX-5, Honda CR-V, and Toyota RAV4 all got better ratings by at least 10%.

What exactly do drivers not quite like about the 2021 Hyundai Tucson? Consumer Reports further broke down the data into categories. Tucson owners gave the compact SUV a 51/100 rating in the driving experience, likely due to its slow acceleration. Plus, they handed the 2021 Tucson a score of just 56/100 in value, indicating they didn’t get the most for their money.

The 2021 Hyundai Tucson’s lackluster performance extends to both of its engine options. The standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine dishes out just 161 hp, and the available 181-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine isn’t much more exciting. This lack of power isn’t offset by phenomenal fuel economy either. The base engine achieves an EPA-estimated 25 MPG city/highway combined, while the upgraded engine gets 23 MPG combined.

Does the SUV have any positives?

There are numerous reasons to pass on the 2021 Hyundai Tucson. Although, it’s easy to see how many shoppers are swayed into buying one. Hyundai loaded its compact SUV with an astounding array of features. Meanwhile, buyers can add an optional all-wheel-drive system to any trim for $1,400.

The base model starts at an MSRP of $23,700, making it a budget-friendly option. A seven-inch touchscreen display comes standard, and the top-tier Ultimate trim features an eight-inch display with a navigation system. Plus, both versions are compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Hyundai also made safety a priority, as the 2021 Hyundai Tucson has an impressive assortment of standard driver-assistance technologies. These include lane-departure warning, driver drowsiness monitoring, lane-keep assist, automatic emergency braking, and forward-collision warning systems. However, most of these features are also standard on rival models, such as the CR-V and RAV4.

Is the 2021 Hyundai Tucson a worthwhile investment? 

Despite the Tucson’s overall popularity and success, the 2021 model hasn’t fared the best in the eyes of owners. It falls short of other significant models in the compact SUV segment. With the arrival of the all-new 2022 Hyundai Tucson, it may be best to give the next-generation Tucson a shot instead of going with the outgoing model. Or you may be better off choosing a compact SUV from a different manufacturer altogether.


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