Crossover & Midsize

The 2020 Hyundai Tucson’s Lackluster Fuel Economy Could Be a Dealbreaker

Hyundai cars are making a splash in the automotive world. U.S. News currently ranks the Hyundai Palisade above the Kia Telluride, the former top dog in the midsize SUV segment. The automaker also redesigned its Sonata sedan this model year, looking to compete with popular rivals like the Honda Accord. However, not every Hyundai vehicle has proven itself to be a big success. Many critics are recommending that consumers avoid the Hyundai Tucson in favor of another SUV or wait for the next model.

Consumer Reports also wasn’t overly impressed with the Tucson, especially in the gas mileage department.

What the Hyundai Tucson has to offer

The Hyundai Tucson is definitely a good value for an SUV thanks to all its standard features. Bluetooth, smartphone integration, a six-speaker audio setup, and a few USB ports are included. It also comes with several onboard safety features like driver drowsiness warning, forward-collision warning, and lane-keep assist.

Five people can fit inside the Hyundai Tucson and the seats are generally very comfortable. Edmunds assures potential owners that there’s plenty of headroom and legroom in both rows for those shorter than six feet. It offers less cargo space than many competitors, but 62 cubic feet in total is still sufficient for most families.

You can choose from two different engines for the Hyundai Tucson. The standard one is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder capable of 161 hp. A 2.4-liter four-cylinder that can make up to 181 hp is also on tap. Both of these are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.

The Tucson comes with standard front-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is an option. Higher trims also come with a few fancy additions like 18-inch wheels, leather interior, and silver-plated exterior accents. An audio clarifying system is also available to improve the quality of your tunes.

The opinion of Consumer Reports

Overall, the Hyundai Tucson got a decent score on its road test from Consumer Reports. Testers recommended upgrading to the more powerful engine if you want the most passing power and the least cabin noise. They were also impressed with how smoothly the transmission operated, much better than the dual-clutch transmission of previous years.

The ride quality inside the Tucson is pleasant for the most part. The brakes work excellently, and it can handle corners or winding roads with surprising agility. However, the suspension’s performance is only average, and reviewers noted that things can get wobbly for backseat passengers on uneven pavement.

So-so interior quality

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CR testers definitely weren’t fans of the Hyundai Tucson’s cabin. Most of the interior elements are made from hard plastic, even in their middle-of-the-road SEL trim. Still, they felt that the interior was highly functional and well-constructed, and the infotainment system looks sharp.

The system’s menus are also intuitive and highly responsive to driver inputs. However, depending on how far back the driver sits, they may have problems reaching all the controls. Testers also noted that the seats in the back row are stiffer compared to the ones in the cabin.

The Hyundai Tucson’s disappointing fuel economy

Unfortunately, the Hyundai Tucson’s 2.4-liter engine is also the thirstiest option, averaging 22 mpg combined city/highway. As Consumer Reports mentions, that’s pretty bad considering many rivals score upwards of 25 mpg. Even the underpowered 2.0-liter engine only scored 24 mpg combined, much less than rivals like the Ford Escape.

Getting the best gas mileage is a priority for many shoppers, especially those with big families. Between trips to school, work, and various extracurricular activities, you’ll need to fuel up often. While the Hyundai Tucson is a great value overall, its fuel economy will definitely be a dealbreaker for some shoppers.