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Shopping around the compact SUV segment without narrowing the list to a few models that best suit your needs can feel like drinking from a firehose. Fortunately, some models stand out in the flooded segment, and among them is the 2023 Hyundai Tucson.

The Tucson delivers on the key aspects of the class—practicality, comfort, efficiency, technology, and refinement—for an entirely agreeable price. Like any model, it has its share of downsides, but not all of them could be considered just.

Front angle view of silver 2023 Hyundai Tucson compact crossover SUV.
2023 Hyundai Tucson | Hyundai

The 2023 Hyundai Tucson gets knocked for its passing power

U.S. News & World Report’s review of the 2023 Tucson heaps plenty of praise onto the compact SUV. The publication notes its ride comfort, poised road manners, efficient powertrain, long list of standard features, upscale interior and generous pragmaticism.

Among the massive 19 models listed in the publication’s top compact SUVs, the Tucson ranks No. 2, beating out stalwarts like the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V and Nissan Rogue.

U.S. News & World Report goes as far as to name the Tucson the ‘Best Compact SUV for Families’ and ‘Best Compact SUV for the Money‘ for 2023.

The Tucson’s only real flaw noted by the publication is its “modest passing power.” The review states its standard powertrain, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder delivering 187 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque, results in a “leisurely” nine-second 0-60 time, and “passing other vehicles on the highway requires patience.”

But to critique a criticism, this could be considered unjust given most buyers in the market for the Tucson and its mainstream, small SUV ilk aren’t exactly demanding their family hauler or daily commuter blow the doors of everything else on the road.

It’s reasonably safe to surmise most looking to put a compact crossover in their garage are far more interested in other aspects—how much stuff fits in the cargo area, how comfortable is it, will the kids be stuffed like sardines in the rear seats or how many miles can I stretch out of a single gallon?

It’s also reasonable some buyers will crave more oomph from the Tucson. Still, its overall success in other crucial areas will be more than enough to help prospective buyers overlook its lack of passing power.

A standout small SUV

One of the Tucson’s strongest suits is a lineup in which almost all buyers will find a model fitting their needs. The Tucson is available in a staggering 11 trims, and those craving more passing power can opt for one of the two more powerful, and more fuel-efficient, hybrid models.

The Tucson Hybrid is fitted with a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine and electric motor for a combined output of 226 horsepower while the plug-in hybrid offers 261-hp with an all-electric range of up to 33 miles.

Underneath its futuristic-styled body is a spacious cabin that provides a whopping 39 cubic feet of storage space behind the rear seats and ample passenger space in both rows. No matter the trim, the Tucson comes well-equipped with a bevy of safety features and creature comforts. Opt for one of the higher trims and the appointments and features practicality infringe into luxury territory.

Coupled with an intuitive infotainment system, poised handling, comfortable seats, Hyundai’s leading warranties, and a respectable starting MSRP of $28,235, there’s plenty to help overlook it standard engine’s subpar power.


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