2019 Hyundai Tucson Performance

$23,200 - $32,950
Price Range (MSRP)

For 2019 Hyundai dropped the turbocharged 1.6-liter engine from the range, replacing all higher trim’s engines with the 2.4-liter that debuted in the Sport model last year. On the lower two derivatives, a lackluster 2.0-liter produces 161 horsepower, but the 181-horsepower 2.4 is the engine you want. Both engines are only available with a six-speed automatic gearbox, but buyers have the option of choosing drivetrains between front-wheel drive and permanent all-wheel drive solutions. The Tucson’s ride is exemplary, as is its braking and general demeanor. In fact it’s so composed all round that it’s sterile to drive, especially compared to options like the exciting Mazda CX-5. Economy does lag behind the estimates of some of the Tucson’s turbocharged rivals.

2019 Hyundai Tucson Engine and Transmission

The 2019 edition of the Hyundai Tucson is available with a choice of two engines, but just one transmission, a six-speed automatic gearbox. On the SE and Value models, a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder is found beneath the hood, developing 161 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque as it does in the Elantra GT. But due to the added weight and size of the Tucson the motor is even more gutless here and fails to get up to speed effectively or effect overtaking maneuvers concisely.

A second engine, available from SEL trim and all subsequent models, is a 2.4-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder developing 181 hp and 175 lb-ft. It makes use of the same six-speed automatic as the base engine, but the additional power and torque make it more effective when getting up to speed and overtaking, and the smooth torque delivery makes it easy to use around town. The automatic transmission is a notable upgrade compared to last year’s seven-speed dual-clutch which was clunky and had a period of delay when accelerating. In contrast, the six-speed slurs through gears quietly and quickly with minimal delay or interference. The 2.4-liter is the must have engine, and it’s why we recommend steering clear of the two most basic trims.

Hyundai Tucson
2.0-liter Gas Engine
Toyota RAV4
2.5-liter Gas Engine
Honda CR-V
2.4-liter Gas Engine
Horsepower 161 @ 6200 203 @ 6600 184 @ 6400
Torque 150 @ 4700 184 @ 5000 180 @ 3900
Transmission 6-Speed Automatic with SHIFTRONIC 8-Speed Automatic Continuously Variable with Sport Mode

Drivetrain

Like the engines, two drivetrains are available for the 2019 Hyundai Tucson as well. Both engines are by default mated to a front-wheel drive system that manages power well and isn’t overpowered by either engine offering. In warmer climates, and even in wet weather, the front-wheel drive system is effective enough to not need anything further. It’s also the most efficient drivetrain offering. For most climates and buyers, the front-wheel drive model will be more than sufficient. However, cold weather climates prone to snowfall will relish the $1,400 option to upgrade to a permanent all-wheel drive system on any trim and with either of the two available engines. The all-wheel drive setup gives surety in low grip scenarios and comes with a minimal penalty towards overall fuel economy.

MPG

The 2.0-liter engine, being lower in displacement and down on power is naturally the more fuel efficient motor in the Tucson line-up, with economy estimates of 23/30/26 mpg on city/highway/combined cycles for the front-wheel drive equipped model. The all-wheel drive versions gets weaker estimates of 22/25/23 miles per gallon. In front-wheel drive guise, the larger, more powerful 2.4-liter motor faces estimated consumption of 22/28/25 mpg, but when it comes to the all-wheel drive model it almost matches the lower-output motor with estimates of 21/26/23 mpg, making it even more appealing in cold climates. Both engines offer sub-par economy, with even the base engine from Honda beating them both by a comfortable margin.

Hyundai Tucson
2.0-liter Gas Engine
Toyota RAV4
2.5-liter Gas Engine
Honda CR-V
2.4-liter Gas Engine
Combined 26 mpg N/A 28 mpg
City 23 mpg N/A 26 mpg
Highway 30 mpg N/A 32 mpg
Fuel Tank Capacity 16 gallons 14 gallons 14 gallons