The 2012 Hyundai Tucson ranks 8 out of 21 Affordable Compact SUVs. This ranking is based on our analysis of 19 published reviews and test drives of the Hyundai Tucson, and our analysis of reliability and safety data. Hyundai Tucson gets small changes designed to help boost fuel economy, including low-rolling-resistance tires and a new Active Eco system that modifies engine and transmission response. GLS models also get the same upgraded suspension and outside mirrors with built-in turn signals as the Limited. Hyundai has also retuned the suspension for a slightly better ride quality.
Over the years Hyundai has become known for delivering respectable bang for the buck, and this compact crossover is no exception. But in addition to the strengths the brand has built its reputation on, the 2012 Hyundai Tucson offers a couple more unexpected bonuses — namely distinctive styling and a fun-to-drive factor — that make it an appealing choice for a small crossover SUV.
Unlike the utilitarian driving experience common to many compact crossovers, time spent behind the wheel of the Tucson can actually be enjoyable. Credit for the Tucson’s handling goes to its Euro-tuned suspension and nicely weighted electric power steering. The engine choices aren’t quite as special — a 165-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder or a 176-hp 2.4-liter — but they’re generally competitive for the segment.
If there’s one area where the Tucson doesn’t shine, it would be its relatively small cabin. Compared to bigger rivals like the Chevy Equinox and the fully redesigned Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, the Tucson’s backseat offers less room and neither slides nor reclines. Cargo room is also significantly less than in those other crossover SUVs. Another issue with the Tucson is a ride quality that some may find to be on the firm side — especially with the available 18-inch wheels.
As such, the aforementioned larger crossovers would be better choices for families. However, those with less vital size requirements should find the 2012 Hyundai Tucson (as well as its mechanically similar cousin, the Kia Sportage) a keen choice.
The Hyundai Tucson isn’t the most powerful SUV in the class, but reviewers are pleased with the Tucson’s 2.4-liter optional engine because it’s practical for highway and city driving. It has plenty of power for passing and merging and handles pleasantly. The Tucson’s greatest performance strengths are available all-wheel drive and its competitive fuel economy ratings.
On Rankingsandreviews, the 2012 Tucson has several available powertrains. The base two-wheel drive GL trim has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission. A six-speed automatic transmission is optional. The more expensive GLS and Limited models have a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, but are only available with the six-speed automatic. Unlike the GL trim, these models have optional all-wheel drive. Of the two engines, reviewers prefer the 2.4-liter engine, saying its 176 horsepower make it a champ, and it has no trouble passing and merging.
Most reviewers have tested models with a 2.4-liter engine, so there are few comments regarding the base engine, but its 165 horsepower rating is low for the class. In exchange for less power, the Tucson provides higher fuel economy ratings than many of its competitors. The 2.0-liter base engine with a manual transmission gets 20/27 mpg city/highway, which isn’t particularly good, but with an automatic transmission, those figures jump to 23/31 mpg city/highway. The 2.4-liter engine has similar ratings of 22/32 mpg city/highway with an automatic and 21/29 mpg city/highway with a manual. All-wheel drive models get 21/28 mpg city/highway with an automatic transmission, according to the EPA, and 20/27 with a manual.
As shoppers can expect from any Hyundai product, the Tucson comes with all the essentials, as well as some extras, even on the base model. All versions have standard power windows, locks, and mirrors; cloth seats; remote keyless entry; air conditioning; and an AM/FM/XM/CD player with USB port.
On Thecarconnection, the options list has as many upscale features as some entry-luxury sedans. There’s Bluetooth; telescoping steering; leather seating; heated front seats; steering wheel audio controls; a power driver seat; 17-inch wheels; automatic headlights; and dual-zone automatic climate control.
More expensive options on the 2012 Tucson include a panoramic sunroof; premium audio; and a touchscreen navigation system fitted in tandem with Bluetooth streaming stereo audio and a rearview camera. Go whole-hog on the options, and the Tucson can reach $30,000.
Warranty coverage is also great–including five-year/60,000-mile, bumper-to-bumper coverage plus 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain coverage.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety names the 2012 Tucson a Top Safety Pick for receiving the highest score of “Good” in front, side, rear and roof strength tests.
The list of standard safety features on the 2012 Hyundai Tucson includes antilock disc brakes (with brake assist), stability and traction control, active front head restraints, front side airbags, side curtain airbags, hill holder and hill descent control. In Edmunds brake tests, the Tucson came to a stop from 60 mph in 123 feet, which is about average among crossover SUVs.
In government crash testing, the Tucson received four out of five stars for overall crash protection, with four stars for overall frontal impact protection and five stars for overall side impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave this Hyundai its top rating of “Good” in the frontal offset, side-impact and roof strength tests.
Gallery 2012 Hyundai Tucson
The 2012 Hyundai Sonata ranks 3 out of 19 Affordable Midsize Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of 13 published…
The 2012 Hyundai Tucson ranks 8 out of 21 Affordable Compact SUVs. This ranking is based on our analysis of 19 published…
2012 Hyundai Accent features a more powerful and efficient engine, a new four-door hatchback body style and upgraded int…