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According to critics, the 2023 Hyundai Tucson is one of the best overall compact SUVs. It’s a safe, capable model with many standard features. For most people, buying the Hyundai SUV or a competitor from Honda, Toyota, or another automaker seems like the perfect option. However, any version of the 2023 Hyundai Tucson is a better option than expected. In fact, experts disagree on the best 2023 Hyundai Tucson trim. There are too many fantastic options to choose just one. Should you buy an SE, SEL, XRT, Limited, or another model? Is the hybrid powertrain worth buying?

Every 2023 Hyundai Tucson trim

2023 Hyundai Tucson on a dirt road
2023 Hyundai Tucson | Hyundai

First, knowing which options are available for the 2023 Hyundai Tucson is important. With so many trim levels to choose from, understanding the pricing is essential to making a suitable purchase. According to Car and Driver, the non-hybrid Tucson trims are SE, SEL, SEL Convenience, XRT, N-Line, and Limited. Alternatively, hybrid buyers can get the Blue Hybrid, SEL Convenience Hybrid, or Limited Hybrid. Finally, a few models are available with a plug-in hybrid powertrain, the SEL PHEV and Limited PHEV.

The main differences between many of these options are engine setup. If trims share the same name, but one is hybrid, there are likely very few differences other than the hybrid engine. Luckily, most of the lineup is affordable, and the entire list only spans about $18,000 from top to bottom.

2023 Hyundai Tucson trimPrice
SEL Convenience$31,595
Blue Hybrid$32,195
SEL Convenience Hybrid$35,155
SEL PHEV$38,345
Limited Hybrid$39,955
Limited PHEV$45,605
Prices and trims from Car and Driver.

Edmunds recommends a basic Hyundai Tucson trim

A red 2023 Hyundai Tucson small SJUV is parked, experts disagree about the best trim.
The 2023 Hyundai Tucson | Hyundai

One of the most trusted expert opinions comes from Edmunds. The publication recommends buying the 2023 Hyundai Tucson SEL over any other trim level. Edmunds says it provides the best balance of price to features by stacking its exclusives on top of the base SE standard items. In addition to Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, LED headlights, driver attention warning, and adaptive cruise control, the SEL is a big upgrade. It adds highlights like heated front seats, a wireless device charging pad, blind-spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot intervention, rear passenger vents, tinted rear windows, proximity keyless entry, and push-button start.

However, Edmunds has another recommendation if you wish to purchase a Tucson with a hybrid powertrain. It says the Blue Hybrid model is the one to buy for better efficiency. This is because its features are comparable to the standard SEL trim. However, it swaps out the 2.5-liter four-cylinder for a hybrid with a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. The latter makes 227 horsepower to the base engine’s 187.

Car and Driver say to go hybrid

Another of the most trusted expert opinions comes from Car and Driver. As a result, it’s important to weigh multiple opinions, despite the fact that these experts disagree. C/D says the best 2023 Hyundai Tucson trim to buy is the SEL Convenience Hybrid. This publication doesn’t see a reason to choose a non-hybrid powertrain. With better efficiency and more power, we can’t think of a reason, either.

“After sampling the Tucson’s various powertrains, we think the hybrid represents the sweet spot between performance, features, and price. We suggest the SEL Convenience Hybrid trim, which comes standard with heated front seats, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, a sunroof, and a 10.3-inch digital gauge display, among other niceties,” C/D said.

What is the best 2023 Hyundai Tucson trim?

In conclusion, we find it difficult to disagree with Car and Driver. Although every version of the 2023 Hyundai Tucson is a fine choice, we think the hybrid powertrain and SEL Convenience features offer the most bang for your buck. Edmunds’ recommendation of the SEL misses out on better fuel economy, more power, and more features from the Convenience package. A hands-free liftgate, 19-inch wheels, H-Tex synthetic leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, and other exclusive features make the Convenience package worth buying. Experts disagree on the best 2023 Hyundai Tucson trim.


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