2020 Hyundai Tucson

2020 Hyundai Tucson Review: Nothing Wrong With Vanilla

Hyundai did a great job updating the Hyundai Tucson for 2019, and now the manufacturer seems to be resting on its hard-earned laurels. Almost nothing changes for the new year, and we're pretty okay with that. The affordable compact SUV strikes a near-perfect balance between comfort, handling, and utility. However, the 161-horsepower starter engine is so underwhelming that you feel almost pressured into opting for the stronger four-cylinder on the upper trims, which supplies a better-suited 181 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque. Sadly, this will still disappoint if you happen to test-drive a turbocharged Honda CR-V or Mazda CX-5 beforehand. But, the Tucson is redeemed by its well-built cabin, which comes equipped with all the necessities of modern living - or rather, modern driving. The SUV's comprehensive safety suite earned it the IIHS's Top Safety Pick Plus award last year, and the infotainment doesn't skimp either. With plenty of cargo room and surprisingly good handling, the Hyundai Tucson should make it onto any prospective SUV driver's shortlist.

2020 Hyundai Tucson Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2019 Tucson?

After numerous changes in 2019, Hyundai opted to keep things simple for the new year. The 2020 Tucson sees no subsurface alterations. The color palette has seen some changes with Molten Silver, Coliseum Gray, White Pearl, and Dazzling White swapped out for Stellar Silver, Magnetic Force, Cream White, and Winter White. Other aesthetic changes comprise the earlier access to a leather steering wheel and shift knob on the Sport trim.

Pros and Cons

  • Handsome, if somewhat uninspired exterior
  • Long list of available features
  • Excellent ride comfort
  • High-quality interior materials
  • Affordable price tag
  • High levels of safety
  • Impressive rear-seat space
  • Weak naturally aspirated four-cylinder engines
  • Poor fuel efficiency for the segment
  • Less trunk space than leading rivals

Best Deals on Tucson

2020 Hyundai Tucson Trims

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
SE
2.0-liter Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$23,550
Value
2.0-liter Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$25,000
SEL
2.4-liter Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$25,950
Sport
2.4-liter Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$28,100
Limited
2.4-liter Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$29,250

2020 Hyundai Tucson Exterior

Like many of the modern Hyundai models, the Tucson is handsomely dressed - but it won't stand out much in a lineup against its rivals. The trapezoidal grille is fronted by horizontal bars and the manufacturer's logo, while a pair of sharply angled, slim headlights curve around the hood. On the upper trims, LED headlights and taillights replace the standard fare. A pair of large, unusually broad fog lights are set within the lower bumper on the upper trim levels. The base SE and Value ride on 17-inch alloys, while the remaining trims get 18-inch alloys, except for the Sport, which gets imposing 19-inch wheels. The top-tier Ultimate gets exclusive access to a panoramic sunroof.

2020 Hyundai Tucson Front View Hyundai
2020 Hyundai Tucson Front View 1 Hyundai
2020 Hyundai Tucson Side View Hyundai
See All 2020 Hyundai Tucson Exterior Photos

Dimensions

The Tucson bears pretty average dimensions for a compact SUV, measuring only 176.4 inches in length, although it maintains a relatively long 105.1-inch wheelbase. It's quite slim, with a body width of 72.8 inches, but it still boasts the high profile that SUV's are known for with a height ranging between 64.8 and 65 inches, depending on whether or not you opt for the roof rails. The Hyundai starts off at a similar weight to its rivals at 3,309 lbs in FWD SE guise compared to the Honda CR-V's 3,307 lbs, but its top-most trim is much heavier at 3,732 lbs compared to 3,512 lbs. This maximum weight includes all-wheel-drive, which adds about 150 lbs over FWD-equipped models.

  • Length 176.4 in
  • Wheelbase 105.1 in
  • Height 64.8 in
  • Max Width 72.8 in
  • Front Width 63.3 in
  • Rear Width 63.8 in

Exterior Colors

Nine unrestricted colors comprise the color palette for the 2020 Hyundai Tucson, with four colors being swapped out for more modern variants. Coliseum Gray, White Pearl, Dazzling White, and Molten silver have been replaced by, Magnetic Force, Cream White, Winter White, and Stellar Silver. The remaining choices include Dusk Blue, Aqua Blue, Gemstone Red, Sage Brown, and Black Noir Pearl. With no premium paints, you won't have to pay more to get the color of your choice.

  • Black Noir Pearl
  • Dusk Blue
  • Gemstone Red
  • Stellar Silver
  • Sage Brown
  • Winter White
  • Magnetic Force Metallic
  • Aqua Blue
  • Cream White Pearl

Tucson Performance

By choosing not to offer any turbocharged engines, in a segment where rivals like Honda and Mazda have already set the trend, Hyundai hasn't done the Tucson any favors when it comes to beating the competition. The base 2.0-liter inline-four only supplies 161 hp and 150 lb-ft, with the optional 2.4-liter engine marginally increasing these outputs to 181 hp and 175 lb-ft. Neither engine offers the same level of quickness that the turbo-powered small SUVs on the road enjoy. With the stronger engine, the Tucson gets up to 60 mph in a leisurely nine seconds, according to testers, falling way behind the Honda CR-V, which can get past the 60 mph mark in 7.5 seconds. The six-speed automatic transmission doesn't do much to help the Hyundai accelerate, with Sport mode having little more effect than Comfort.

Even with every one of Hyundai's Tucson SUV models offering all-wheel-drive, it doesn't help it to stand out against the competition who do exactly the same. There is little reason to opt for it either, as the Tucson isn't particularly well-equipped to handle offroading, despite its ability to tow 500 lbs more than the Honda, with a 2,000-lb maximum capacity.

2020 Hyundai Tucson Front View Driving Hyundai
2020 Hyundai Tucson Front View Driving 1 Hyundai
2020 Hyundai Tucson Wheel Hyundai

Engine and Transmission

Hyundai has chosen to equip the entry-level Tucson models with a 2.0-liter GDI four-cylinder engine that develops 161 hp and 150 lb-ft for the front wheels, while all-wheel-drive is offered even at the lower trim levels. While this engine will move the SUV, the word "quickly" will never cross your mind. Still, it shouldn't be too much of a drag around town, but passing on the highway will require patience and effort.

Every trim above the Value gets the stronger 2.4-liter inline-four under its hood. This powertrain doesn't do much to improve the Tucson's athleticism, with only 181 hp and 175 lb-ft on tap. But when you consider that the SUV is relatively light, this is enough power to make it feel at least moderately capable on the highway. Passing won't be quick, but it won't feel like such a chore.

Both engines come mated to a six-speed automatic transmission that doesn't do anything to bring attention to itself, for better or worse. As stated, four-wheel-drive is added as an option on every trim level, but front-wheel-drive is always the standard.

  • Engines
    2.0-liter Inline-4 Gas, 2.4-liter Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmission
    6-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

The Tucson is well-mannered on the road, to the point of being almost boring. But the SUV wasn't designed to excite; it was designed as an affordable means to get around town while offering superior levels of utility, with just the right amount of focus on luxury and convenience.

To this end, the suspension is well-equipped to handle all but the harshest of bumps with ease, and even those won't jar you too much. Every other aspect of the driving experience seems equally well-designed, if a little uninspired.

The steering is light but picks up weight well as the car accelerates. This makes it perfectly suited for navigating packed parking lots while being equally capable on the highway. It will never have the heft of a sports vehicle, though, and we're okay with that. It definitely suits the purposes of a town car. The brakes are just as effective, with progressive power output as the pedal is applied without ever feeling overeager. Stopping power is on par with the segment average.

Around corners, the Tucson handles remarkably well, leaning ever so slightly as you take a corner a bit faster than you might have intended. This informs you that you are pushing the SUV's limits, but it never gives the sense that it will lose control. Overall, the Hyundai strikes an almost perfect balance between sporty handling and cruising that manages to impress us, but it won't thrill us.

Tucson Gas Mileage

Despite the value the Tucson SUV offers on almost every other front, it disappoints when it comes to gas mileage. In its more efficient front-wheel-drive guise, the 2.0-liter inline-four powertrain can only cover an EPA-estimated 23/28/25 mpg across the city/highway/combined cycles. The optional 2.4-liter four-cylinder provides a bit of extra power for a marginal drop in mileage efficiency, getting 22/28/25 mpg with front-wheel-drive. The all-wheel-drive variants of each powertrain get 22/25/23 mpg and 21/26/23 mpg, respectively. When weighed up against leading rivals like the Honda CR-V (28/34/30 mpg) or the Mazda CX-5 (25/31/28 mpg), the Hyundai will cost a fair amount more to run, even with regular-type gas. The 16.4-gallon tank means that the Tucson can travel for up to 410 miles between gas station visits.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    16.4 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 23/28 mpg
* 2020 Hyundai Tucson SE FWD

2020 Hyundai Tucson Interior

Hyundai vehicles of the past used to prioritize economy of style or comfort, but new Hyundai Tucson models have evolved to balance the two perfectly. For a small SUV, the interior is extremely spacious, and the appointments consist of high-quality materials, with leather upholstery available on the upper trims. The base model comes well-equipped with modern features, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, all of which are laid out in a user-friendly manner.

2020 Hyundai Tucson Dashboard Hyundai
2020 Hyundai Tucson Infotainment System Hyundai
2020 Hyundai Tucson Steering Wheel Controls Hyundai
See All 2020 Hyundai Tucson Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

Seating appointments for up to five passengers are provided, and you may very well be able to fit that many, although three adults in the back would be asking a bit too much of the compact SUV. Headroom is quite generous in both rows, though particularly tall adults may walk away with a case of bed-head after a long drive, especially if you get the sunroof on the Ultimate trim, which eats a couple of inches. Legroom should be ample enough to accommodate even the most gangly of passengers. As standard, the driver's seat only provides six-way manual adjustment, but this increases to eight-way power-adjustability with lumbar support on all other trims, so you shouldn't have trouble finding a good driving position. The seats are also well-positioned within the body, so entering and exiting is a simple task. Visibility is excellent, with minimal blind spots, making the blind-spot warning on the upper trims feel almost unnecessary.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 41.5 in
  • Front Head Room 39.6 in
  • Rear Leg Room 38.2 in
  • Rear Head Room 39.2 in

Interior Colors and Materials

The quality of the Hyundai Tucson's interior won't wow those with more discerning tastes, but the Tucson's cabin is well-built with higher quality materials than you might expect. The styling is a bit bland, though, especially with the lack of interior color and trim choices. Cloth upholstery comes standard on the SE, Value, SEL, and Sport trim, with a choice of either Black, Beige, or Gray, depending on the exterior color you choose. A bit of extra comfort and style is presented in the Limited and Ultimate trims as they replace the cloth with leather. Here, only Black or Beige are presented as options. And, once again, the options you are given will depend on the body color you opted for.

2020 Hyundai Tucson SUV Trunk and Cargo Space

Cargo space is by no means a disappointment in the Tucson, but the small SUV isn't the best either, and is thrashed by some rivals in this department nonetheless. With the rear seats in place, the Hyundai supplies 31 cubic feet of room up to the roof, which means taller items can be packed in the trunk, or a number of suitcases can be stacked. For everyday use, the trunk should supply plenty of utility, but if you need to transport excessive amounts of cargo regularly, the Honda CR-V, with 39.2 cubic feet, might be more appealing. The CR-V also provides 75.8 cubic feet when you fold the rear seats down, beating the Tucson's 61.9 cubic feet by double digits.

Small-item storage is as generous as we have come to expect from family-oriented SUVs, even smaller ones like this. Hyundai doesn't balk the trend, with practical front and rear door pockets, a large cupholder beside the shifter, and a couple of bins in the center console all complementing the already spacious glove compartment and center armrest cubby.

2020 Hyundai Tucson Trunk Space with Seat Folded Hyundai
2020 Hyundai Tucson Luggage Space Hyundai
2020 Hyundai Tucson Right Side View Hyundai

Tucson Infotainment and Features

Features

Hyundai has a habit of packing a lot of standard features into even its most affordable vehicles, and the Tucson is no exception to this rule. Cloth upholstered seats with a six-way manual driver's seat and a tilt-and-telescoping steering column will keep you comfy as you drive around town, while the standard air conditioning will keep the rest of the passengers cool on hot days. Safety is covered by the rearview camera, lane-keeping assist, forward collision avoidance, and driver attention system, while the electronic parking brake keeps the SUV secure on any surface. Keyless entry, a 3.5-inch multi-function display, and three 12-volt power outlets are also included. The Value spec upgrades the driver's seat with eight-way power-adjustability and lumbar support while providing heating for both front seats. Keyless ignition is added, while blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert bulk up the safety suite. Dual-zone climate control and rear air conditioning vents are standard from the SEL up, and the Sport wraps the gear shifter and steering wheel in leather while installing a hands-free liftgate. The Limited heats your steering wheel and offers the front passenger the same range of seat adjustment as the driver. The cloth upholstery is replaced with leather, and a surround-view camera makes parking a lot easier. The premium Ultimate trim ventilates the front seats, heats the rear seats, and supplies rain-sense wipers, pedestrian detection, and adaptive cruise control for driver convenience and peace of mind.

Infotainment

The infotainment suite isn't overly elaborate, and it is extremely easy to navigate. But that's not to say it isn't comprehensive. Even on the base model, you get a seven-inch touchscreen interface through which you can access Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth hands-free. A USB data port and auxiliary input jack are also provided if your device isn't supported by the apps. The standard six-speaker sound system supports AM/FM/MP3 playback. SiriusXM and HD Radio expand your audio options when you upgrade to the Value trim, while Blue Link is provided with the first three years of subscription comped. The SEL adds a rear USB charging port, while a wireless charging pad is equipped in the Sport. From the Sport trim up, you also get an eight-speaker Infinity Audio sound system, while the Ultimate upgrades the touchscreen to an eight-inch model with built-in navigation.

Hyundai Tucson Common Problems and Reliability

The 2020 Tucson inherits its J.D. Power reliability score of 82 out of 100 from last year's model, and has not been subjected to any recalls, as yet. We don't expect this to change, as the small SUV has not seen a recall issued since 2016, a testament to its dependability. Hyundai also offers an excellent warranty plan to ensure your Tucson stays in tip-top shape. The limited warranty is valid for 60,000 miles/60 months, with the powertrain is covered for 100,000 miles/120 months. You also get unlimited roadside assistance for the first 60 months after purchase.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    10 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    7 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles

Hyundai Tucson Safety

The SUV enjoys a class-leading safety review, with the NHTSA awarding it a five-star rating. The IIHS has not yet subjected the Tucson to review, but with no serious changes made for 2020, we expect it to, once again, be awarded the organization's Top Safety Pick Plus award (conditional to being equipped with forward-collision avoidance and LED headlights) that was achieved in 2019.

US NHTSA crash test result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Hyundai Tucson Key Safety Features

All the basic mechanical safety features you'd expect on a modern family vehicle are present on the Tucson: ABS, stability and traction control, and six airbags: dual front, front side, and side curtain. The advanced safety features that come standard on the base model comprise a rearview camera, forward collision avoidance, and lane-keeping assist. The upper trims expand this suite, adding high-beam assist, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, pedestrian detection, and a surround-view camera.

Verdict: 🏁Is the Hyundai Tucson a Good Car?

"Why fix what ain't broke?" seems to be Hyundai's motto for 2020. Almost nothing changes other than a few aesthetic options and, for the most part, we are happy about that. The engine choices, either a 161-hp or 181-hp four-cylinder, are a bit disappointing when rivals like the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 are making the jump to turbocharged inline-fours, but this doesn't hurt the Tucson's appeal as much as you might think.

The small SUV comes packed with features, including a comprehensive safety suite that includes forward collision avoidance and lane-keeping assist as standard, while blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are options. The infotainment is up to scratch, too, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto equipped at even the base level. Combine this with a well-built cabin and plenty of upscale materials, and you have a recipe for success.

It's true that Hyundai's SUV will never be as athletic on the road as its rivals, but its good manners and superb ride comfort do a great job of making up for it. When you add in that it has more than enough cargo room for most daily applications, even if the CR-V offers more than ten cubic feet extra, the Tucson certainly has a lot of appeal to town drivers who want to keep their families safe. Yes, it will never lead the segment with its lackluster powertrain, but it should definitely be on your shortlist - and the Hyundai Tucson's low starting price doesn't hurt its appeal either.

🚘What’s the Price of 2020 Hyundai Tucson?

The Hyundai Tucson is a bargain, even when compared to rival compact SUVs for sale in the USA. But what makes it so appealing is the excellent value that goes hand-in-hand with the low price tag. Getting behind the wheel of the Hyundai Tucson SE will cost you a low $23,350 - it comes standard with the infotainment and safety systems. Adding a feature here and there, the Value trim remains true to name at $24,800, while the SEL asks for $25,750 to get its improved creature comforts. If you want to ride in style on the 19-inch alloys of the Tucson Sport, you will need to invest $27,900, while the leather-appointed Limited starts just shy of the $30k mark at $29,050. The Ultimate trim barely breaks that mark to bring you its host of high-tech safety and comfort features, requiring a budget of $31,700. If you want to get behind the wheel of any of these models in their AWD configurations, you will need to set aside an additional $1,400. These are MSRP prices and do not include tax, registration, licensing, or Hyundai's $1,095 handling fee.

Hyundai Tucson Models

The new year sees the Hyundai Tucson presented to buyers in six trim levels: the SE, Value, SEL, Sport, Limited, and Ultimate. A 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, developing 161 hp and 150 lb-ft, powers the lower trim levels. From the SEL upwards, the SUV is pulled along by a 2.4-liter inline-four that develops 181 hp and 175 lb-ft. Both engine choices come mated to the same six-speed Shiftronic automatic transmission, with your choice of front- or all-wheel-drive.

The entry-level SE rides on 17-inch alloys and comes equipped with automatic halogen headlights. Inside, it gets cloth-appointed seats, a six-way manual driver's seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, and three 12-volt power outlets. A seven-inch touchscreen controls the Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth features, while a six-speaker sound system plays the music.

The Value trim upgrades the driver's seat with eight-way power-adjustability and heats both front seats. Blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert make the SUV that much safer, while SiriusXM and HD Radio expand your infotainment options.

The SEL focuses on performance and comfort by equipping the stronger 181-hp engine and adding dual-zone climate control and rear A/C vents inside the cabin. The rear passengers also get a USB charging port.

Next, the Sport rides on imposing 19-inch wheels and comes equipped with a convenient hands-free liftgate. The interior gets a touch more class when the steering wheel and shifter are wrapped in leather, while the new eight-speaker Infinity sound system offers premium audio quality.

The penultimate Limited upholsters the seats in leather, heats the steering wheel, and adds a surround-view camera.

At the top of the range, the Ultimate trim further improves the safety suite with pedestrian detection and rain-sense wipers. At this premium level, the front seats are ventilated and the rear seats heated. The touchscreen is upgraded to an eight-inch model with built-in navigation.

See All 2020 Hyundai Tucson Trims and Specs

Hyundai Tucson Additional Packages

Keeping things simple when it comes to its affordable small SUV, Hyundai doesn't offer many options to customize the Tucson. No comprehensive feature packages are available at any trim level, but a few standalone add-ons are available. Some worthy mentions include an auto-dimming mirror ($295) for lower trims that don't get one standard, all-weather mats and mud flaps ($250), a tow hitch ($350), and a collection of cargo area features ($195): a first aid kit, a cargo tray, and a cargo net.

🚗What New Hyundai Tucson Model Should I Buy?

Even the top-tier Ultimate trim is surprisingly affordable at $31,700, but the $10k price hike from the base model might be asking a bit much of those on a budget. We suggest skipping over the Value trim, despite its tempting name, in favor of the SEL. The mid-tier trim is only $2,000 more than the base model and comes with the stronger 2.4-liter inline-four as well as blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert. The dual-zone climate control and rear air conditioning vents are certainly hard to pass up for those long trips on summer days, and the SiriusXM and HD Radio upgrades to the infotainment suite are just the frosting on the top of the cake. There isn't much need to opt for the optional all-wheel-drive, as it makes little difference to daily performance and slightly lowers fuel economy, so unless you live in a snow-prone state, we'd steer clear.

2020 Hyundai Tucson Comparisons

Hyundai Santa Fe Hyundai
Kia Sportage Kia
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Hyundai Tucson161 hp23/28 mpg$23,700
Hyundai Santa Fe 185 hp22/29 mpg$26,275
Kia Sportage 181 hp23/30 mpg$23,990

2020 Hyundai Tucson vs Hyundai Santa Fe

The Santa Fe is basically a plus-size clone of the Tucson. It also comes equipped with a naturally aspirated in-line four as the standard engine, developing 185 hp and 178 lb-ft, but it does offer a turbo option that produces a much more desirable 235 hp and 260 lb-ft. Inside the Santa Fe supplies almost identical passenger space, which is surprising considering how much smaller the Tucson is. The larger SUV also narrowly wins out on the cargo capacity from, offering 35.9 cubic feet to the Tucson's 31.9 cubic feet. With similar quality interiors, safety suites, and infotainment packages, the two Hyundai SUVs both have a lot to offer. The deciding factors here will be whether or not you really need the slightly larger cargo capacity, and whether or not you can afford the higher price tag for the bigger Santa Fe, which asks for $6k more when comparing top-tier trims.

See Hyundai Santa Fe Review

2020 Hyundai Tucson vs Kia Sportage

The Kia Sportage enters the fray with its cousin's optional 2.4-liter inline-four engine as its standard powertrain, delivering 181 hp and 175 lb-ft to your choice of front or all four wheels. But Kia doesn't settle for the uninspiring naturally aspirated engine, offering a turbocharged option that develops a more impressive 240 hp and 260 lb-ft. Also, true to its nameplate, the Sportage presents buyers with a much more athletic exterior that helps to advertise its better driving experience. However, Kia's SUV does make a few sacrifices, such as lower cargo capacity (30.7 cubic feet) and less comprehensive safety and infotainment suites. Smartphone integration is not standard on the Sportage, although it can be equipped to the base model via packages, and it doesn't get forward collision avoidance as standard. Both SUVs share similar price tags and fuel economy, so it comes down to where your priorities lie. The Sportage offers a fun driving experience but sacrifices practicality and security, while the Tucson will get you safe and comfortable, but it won't excite you no matter how hard it tries.

See Kia Sportage Review

Hyundai Tucson Popular Comparisons

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2020 Hyundai Tucson Video Reviews

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