Crossover & Midsize

Trash or Treasure: 2017 Hyundai Tucson Leaves Critics Divided

Everyone loves a good bargain. American mainstream culture is saturated with content all about finding the best deal and making your dollar go farther. Plus, there’s nothing more exciting than finding that hidden diamond in the rough. It’s no different when searching for your next vehicle. Could the 2017 Hyundai Tucson be that vehicle?

Many consumers take to reviews before making such a large purchase. However, buyers can find themselves confused with mixed messages when considering the 2017 Hyundai Tucson. Did critics just get their signals crossed, or is there something to why there is such a disparity between different outlets?

Let’s take a deeper dive into the difference in opinion between notable reviewers and everyday owners.

The 2017 Hyundai Tucson is a darling amongst critics

The 2017 Hyundai Tucson driving down a winding road.
A 2017 Hyundai Tucson in action | Photo via Hyundai

U.S. News & World Report ranked the Hyundai Tucson as its top affordable compact SUV for 2017. The publication later doubled-down on its praise of the 2017 Tucson by naming it 2020’s Best Used Small SUV for Teens.

The 2017 Hyundai Tucson packs in enough modern features without being too expensive. U.S. News & World Report calculated an average price of $17,541-$24,225 for the used SUV. Drivers, new and old, will appreciate the value it offers.

Many shoppers may wonder if it comes with popular new technologies like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Those people are in luck. The 2017 Tucson is the first edition of the SUV to include these smartphone mirroring systems as available features. Well-equipped trim levels also add luxuries like navigation, an eight-inch touchscreen display, and a premium audio system.

As always, safety should be paramount in choosing a vehicle. Thankfully, the 2017 Hyundai Tucson comes in clutch with an impressive selection of driver-assistance features. The base model only comes standard with a rearview camera and brake assist. 

However, upgrading to the Sport trim – which is much easier to do on the used car market – affords you lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alert.

Additionally, safety trickles down into reliability. According to J.D. Power, which is the source U.S. News relies on when calculating reliability metrics, the 2017 Hyundai Tucson ranks well in this category.

Owners tell another story

The narrative certainly seems to read that the 2017 Hyundai Tucson is a fantastic used SUV option. However, that may not be the case according to some data from Consumer Reports. 

Its reliability rating is just 19% – nearly the polar opposite of the 76% rating given by J.D. Power. Meanwhile, the most telling sign of the 2017 Tucson’s questionability might be its 46% rating in ownership satisfaction.

Why might U.S. News & World Report and Consumer Reports differ so much in opinion? Perhaps it comes down to the importance drivers put on everyday factors like comfort and drivability. Consumer Reports gave the 2017 Tucson mediocre ratings in both categories.

This compact SUV features some lower-quality materials throughout the cabin, and the base-level model doesn’t bring much to the table. Additionally, its standard 164-hp four-cylinder engine lacks the juice most drivers desire. All other trims come with a 176-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine that delivers better fuel efficiency than the base-level engine.

Which assessment is correct?

RELATED: How Safe Is the Hyundai Tucson?

How do you know which publication has it right? That’s easy; take a test drive. You’ll be able to tell if Consumer Reports’ concerns will apply to you when you’re behind the wheel rather than staring at the computer screen. 

There’s undoubtedly value to be had in this compact SUV, but it’s not the right fit for everyone. It’s worth the time to take to the open road and find out for yourself if the 2017 Hyundai Tucson is a darling or a dud.