Tucson Earns Its Top Spot Amongst Hyundai SUVs

CHATHAM, Mass. – The compact-segment Tucson has been Hyundai’s best-selling sport-utility vehicle (SUV) since its 2004 introduction, something I completely understand following a recent week behind the wheel of a 2024 Hyundai Tucson Limited AWD.

Quiet, comfortable, responsive, roomy and in the Limited trim, full of modern technology and features at a value price, are characteristics of the Tucson Limited, a very livable vehicle in today’s SUV-dominant world.

Efficient, spunky powertrain

Hyundai provides Tucson buyers with a choice of a hybrid-electric, plug-in-hybrid-electric or internal-combustion-engine (ICE)-centered powertrain. My ride included the non-electrified Hyundai’s Smartstream 2.5-liter engine, with high-efficiency combustion, cooled EGR and an optimized ITMS cooling system, features which combined to help produce 187 horsepower at 6,100 rpm and 178 pounds-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm on regular unleaded fuel.

Putting the power to the pavement through an eight-speed automatic transmission (the Limited including steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters for manual gear selection) and the Korean automaker’s HTRAC AWD (all-wheel-drive) system, the Tucson feels more responsive than its numbers might indicate. Car and Driver recorded 0-60 mile-per-hour times of 8.8 seconds.

A number which turned out to be above expectations was the fuel economy figures. The federal Environmental Protection Agency rates the 2024 Tucson Limited AWD at 25 miles per gallon overall (23 urban, 29 highway) but in a reasonable mix of highway, suburban and tight-village driving around Cape Cod, I saw a consistent overall 30 mpg at week’s end! Very impressive to a large compact SUV and a major plus factor in the Tucson’s value story.

Modern platform underpins Tucson

The Tucson’s underpinnings have not changed since this generation made its debut for the 2022 model year. Up front, the suspension setup features MacPherson-type struts with coil springs, stabilizer bar and gas-pressurized shock absorbers, while the rear has an independent, multi-link setup with stabilizer bar and gas-pressurized shocks.

The power-assisted brake system includes 12.8×1.2-inch ventilated rotors in the front, 12.0×0.4-inch ones in the rear; anti-lock (ABS); electronic-brake-force distribution (EBD); brake assist;  downhill brake control, and hillstart-assist control.

A comprehensive list of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) is part of the Limited trim level including driving enhancers like electronic-stability control; vehicle-stability management; forward collision-avoidance assist with pedestrian, cyclist and junction-turning direction; blind-spot collision-avoidance assist; rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist; parking-collision avoidance assist – reverse; parking collision-avoidance assist front & rear; parking-distance warning; surround-view monitor; blind-spot view monitor; lane-keeping assist; lane-following assist (these two with steering-wheel haptic warning); highway-driving assist, and navigation-based smart cruise control with curve control.

The suspension components are not unique but, as is often the case when examining a vehicle through its specifications, the sum is often greater than the parts. The Tucson Limited is a joy to drive, even when pushed on challenging roads. It provides confidence to the driver and the control, along with comfortable seats and good sound insulation, resulted in a satisfying experience for my partner in the passenger seat regardless of our journey.

Nothing Limited about cabin features

Hyundai might not call the Tucson a premium model, leaving that designation to its Genesis brand, but the equipment included within the Limited version’s cabin belies that distinction. Leather trims the seats; the front ones equpped with heating, ventilation and power adjustment (the driver’s including memory and lumbar support), the rear’s with heating. The heated steering wheel, also leather wrapped, tilts and telescopes.

Occupant comfort is further enhanced with automatic dual-zone climate control.

A 10.25-inch color LCD touch screen dominates the top center of the dashboard where it acts as the central control unit for the Tucson’s infotainment system as well as the vehicle settings. The infotainment system includes SiriusXM satellite radio; HD Radio; Apple CarPlay; Android Auto and navigation with all of the sound coming through an eight-speaker Bose® Premium Audio System.

Topping off the numerous comfort, convenience and technology features is a power-adjustable panoramic moonroof.

Solid value for a premium compact SUV without a premium price

Hyundai offers American compact-SUV customers 14 different Tucson models, allowing them to find what fits their lifestyle, pocketbook and vehicle desires. The base Tucson SE FWD (front-wheel drive) begins the range at $27,500 which evolves to the Tucson Limited Plug-in Hybrid AWD at $45,450.

The Limited internal-combustion-engine version I drove brought all of the features outlined above (plus many more) for a base price of $36,760 plus $470 for its one option, Serenity White Pearl paint and $1,375 freight charge bringing the total to $38, 605.

The 2024 Tucson Limited AWD represents excellent value within the compact segment, equipped on par with a number of premium versions, but with a much lower price. Add in the superb fuel efficiency and it is no surprise the Tucson remains such a hot seller for Hyundai.

Next week TBR Drives the 2024 Ford Maverick XLT AWD with off-road package compact pickup truck.

Mike Geylin
Mike Geylin

Mike Geylin is the Editor-in-Chief at Hagman Media. Geylin has been in automotive communications for five decades working in all aspects of the industry from OEM to supplier to motorsports as well as reporting for both newspapers and magazines on the industry.