There are five trim levels available: SE, SEL, XRT, N Line, and Limited. In addition to these trim lines, you can choose between three engine options, with three hybrid-specific trims coming in as HEV Blue, HEV SEL Convenience, and HEV Limited. The first powertrain, available only on the four main trims, is a naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter engine delivering 187 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque. This engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, sending power to the front wheels. An AWD system is available for all ICE models. If that doesn't appeal, Hyundai offers two hybrid models, both using the same 1.6-liter turbocharged engine with an electric motor housed in the six-speed automatic transmission. The standard hybrid uses a 59 hp/195 lb-ft motor and a 1.49-kWh battery to produce a total system output of 226 hp. A plug-in hybrid (PHEV) with a 90 hp/224 lb-ft electric motor is also available. In this model, you get 261 hp and an all-electric range of 28 miles.
Base SE specification gives you the essential equipment needed for a pleasant commute. Hyundai's main focus seems to be safety, as base models forfeit the larger touchscreen interface and Bose sound system in favor of a comprehensive active and passive safety suite.
Higher up the range, you get power-adjustable heated and ventilated front seats, a parking assistant, and a surround-view camera.
In order to be competitive in this segment, one needs to have a great product at an ever better price. Hyundai has ensured the Tucson is priced well for the segment, with the entry-level SE carrying a base MSRP of $26,450, while the SEL trim goes for $28,050. XRT models cost $33,275, while the N Line model retails for $33,325. The top-spec Limited Hyundai Tucson has a sticker price of $35,710. Adding an AWD system increases the price by another $1,500.
On the hybrid side, you have the Blue HEV AWD with an MSRP of $30,900. An SEL Convenience retails for $33,860, while the current top-spec Limited HEV costs $38,660. SEL plug-in hybrid models are priced at $37,050 with the Limited PHEV going for $44,310. All of these prices exclude a freight charge of $1,295.
Hyundai doesn't do optional packages, but there is the Convenience Package for the SEL, and it retails for $2,250. This package adds a hands-free power liftgate, power sunroof, a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, Hyundai digital key, wireless device charging, ambient interior lighting, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and dual-zone climate control. The Premium Package from last year is no longer available as the optional features have been distributed among the models as standard specifications.
For the money, the non-hybrid models offer excellent value in base SE and then SEL trim, and if financially viable, we would opt for SEL and add the driver assistance features, the power driver's seat, and heated front seats to the already long standard feature list. It's hard to justify the N Line appearance package on such an already bold-looking car, and, frankly, the Limited trim is just too expensive for the segment. It's strange to claim a car can be overloaded, but Hyundai has managed it at the top end of the Tucson range. With the SEL trim, we would be sorely tempted to add the Convenience Package 2 just for Hyundai's excellent digital key technology and the dual-zone climate control.
For the overall best value for money, we look towards the hybrid drivetrain model in Blue trim. It comes with all the features of the gas-only SEL trim but with a much stronger drivetrain and an excellent 38/38/38 MPGe fuel economy figure. The SEL Convenience starts to get pricey while the Limited is, like the gas-only model, too expensive. The Blue trim truly is the sweet spot for the all-new Tucson.