I bought a 2008 GLS with 106k miles for $6,000 (US) in 2019. It has needed a lot of love to get it into shape: New throttle position sensor, ignition switch, front struts, front CV joint, starter, timing belt, water pump, door seals, battery, tires, spark plugs, bulbs, air filter, cabin air filter and headlight restoration. Two A/C recharges and a heater core flush needed to be done as well. It has cost about $5,000 for all of this. Time will tell if it's all been a worthwhile investment. Things just keep failing on it in the almost three years that I've owned it. The first gen Tucson offers a great driving position, although the seat gave me back pain until I got it adjusted properly. It's good now. The steering wheel blocks the gauges for a 6'2" adult. I have an Ultragauge digital display to see speed and other info instead. The 2.0L i4 engine is underpowered given the weight of the vehicle but it can be fairly fuel efficient in the city (17-22 MPG when driven hard, 27-34 MPG when hypermiled). A/C drops MPG by around 20%. Highway MPG is poor due to the ancient 4-speed auto transmission and bad aerodynamics, getting low-mid 20's. There's a lot of usable interior space for the size of the vehicle, making it pretty good for camping. I'm able to fit two folding tables, a family tent, a screen room, two large bins of gear and several bags while seating two adults and a toddler. Overall, the purchase cost plus maintenance has amounted to $305/month so far. There are better vehicle options for that kind of money. I can't say I recommend the 2008 Tucson right now based on my experience unless I get at least a couple of good years out of it going forward. It's no Toyota, that's for sure. There are worse vehicles though, so the 2008 Tucson is decent.
A honest and capable compact SUV
In South Am scenario, despite newer and more expensive suvs like Jeep Compass and the new Corolla crossover, the “classic” Series (2004-2017) Hyundai Tucson still delivers! Roomy, quiet, reliable almost no maintenance and fun to drive compact SUV that you can park in a chic mall without shame or fight mud snow and irregular roads with confidence! Note: mine was purchased last year (2020) with original 60k miles and is a lovely bespoke and B4/NIJ IllA armoured unit so I don’t think in trading it but conserve with me perhaps with a green one or a different toy in the future..
Powerful 5 speed.
Comfortable ride for a SUV. Plenty of power as you shift. Mobil and easy to drive. Cold AC in cabin. Great in adverse weather. Paint and clearcoat has held up over the years. Versatile fold down seats. Sharp looking with alloy rims. Bang for the buck.