2014 Hyundai Tucson

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Key Specs
Our Take
Road Test
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Key Specs

of the 2014 Hyundai Tucson. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Stylish looks
  • Refined interior
  • Nimble handling
  • Smooth ride
  • Strong acceleration

The Bad

  • Mediocre gas mileage
  • Small cargo area
  • Busy multimedia screens
  • Worrisome front crash-test ratings

Notable Features of the 2014 Hyundai Tucson

  • New engines, suspension tuning for 2014
  • Standard Bluetooth connectivity
  • Front-or all-wheel drive
  • Seats five

2014 Hyundai Tucson Road Test

Aaron Bragman

The 2014 Hyundai Tucson is a stylish, comfortable, surprisingly agile little SUV, but its size deficiency, mediocre gas mileage and worrisome crash-test ratings keep it from being a top choice.

Small sport utility vehicles continue to climb in popularity, and it's no secret why. Cars like the new 2014 Hyundai Tucson provide the fuel economy of a compact car with the space of a tall station wagon, combined with the commanding outward view of a pickup truck. One of the Tucson's competitors, the Nissan Rogue, has been at the top of our weekly most-read vehicle reviews post for months. Hyundai has updated its compact SUV for the 2014 model year, giving it some new direct-injection four-cylinder engines, new shock absorbers, standard Bluetooth, a reclining rear seat, LED accent lighting and a tilt/telescoping steering wheel with audio controls. See the changes from 2013 to 2014 here.

Exterior & Styling
The new Tucson doesn't look all that different from the prior model, aside from some new wheels and a slight revision to the grille. Hyundai instead chose to spend its money inside and under the hood, on equipment and engines. The styling is still fresh, following the Hyundai family look with similarities to the Elantra and Sonata sedans. Light-pipe LED accents are available around the headlights, while LED taillights are optional. My test vehicle was a loaded Tucson Limited, and the included LED lights really added some pizzazz to the tail end. The Tucson loo...

The 2014 Hyundai Tucson is a stylish, comfortable, surprisingly agile little SUV, but its size deficiency, mediocre gas mileage and worrisome crash-test ratings keep it from being a top choice.

Small sport utility vehicles continue to climb in popularity, and it's no secret why. Cars like the new 2014 Hyundai Tucson provide the fuel economy of a compact car with the space of a tall station wagon, combined with the commanding outward view of a pickup truck. One of the Tucson's competitors, the Nissan Rogue, has been at the top of our weekly most-read vehicle reviews post for months. Hyundai has updated its compact SUV for the 2014 model year, giving it some new direct-injection four-cylinder engines, new shock absorbers, standard Bluetooth, a reclining rear seat, LED accent lighting and a tilt/telescoping steering wheel with audio controls. See the changes from 2013 to 2014 here.

Exterior & Styling
The new Tucson doesn't look all that different from the prior model, aside from some new wheels and a slight revision to the grille. Hyundai instead chose to spend its money inside and under the hood, on equipment and engines. The styling is still fresh, following the Hyundai family look with similarities to the Elantra and Sonata sedans. Light-pipe LED accents are available around the headlights, while LED taillights are optional. My test vehicle was a loaded Tucson Limited, and the included LED lights really added some pizzazz to the tail end. The Tucson looks good overall; it's not as edgy as a Ford Escape or as butch as a Nissan Rogue, but it's a clean design that will neither excite nor offend.

How It Drives
Updates for 2014 bring two revised engines to the party. Standard is a 164-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that comes in the base GLS trim. Upgrading to an SE or Limited will earn you the more powerful 182-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder, which was the motor in my test car. Both are mated to a smooth six-speed automatic transmission, with either standard front- or optional all-wheel drive. Power numbers are up slightly from the previous year thanks to the addition of direct injection, and the result is brisk acceleration without sacrificing fuel economy. Initial accelerator response is a bit jerky, throwing passengers back in their seats until you get used to it. There's a bit of torque steer, as well, causing the steering wheel to pull left or right if you push hard on the gas from a stop. But with the smooth-shifting transmission and plentiful power, the Tucson never feels slow or ponderous, even with three full-size humans in it.

Ride and handling are astonishingly good. The Tucson drives like a larger, more expensive vehicle than it is. It's quiet around town and under acceleration, with wind noise on the highway the only noticeable fault. Bumps are soaked up with minimal disturbance, with only some choppy motions on truly broken highway pavement upsetting the ride. It rides better than the skittish Ford Escape but isn't quite as sophisticated as the Rogue's big-car feel. Handling is tight; the Tucson feels nimble and quick, easily manageable in city traffic, and easy to park in a lot or on the street. In this class, however, quick handling is becoming increasingly common: the Escape, Rogue, Mazda CX-5 and Honda CR-V all handle well.

The Tucson's gas mileage is not best-in-class; the front-wheel-drive Tucson I drove is EPA rated at 21/28/24 mpg city/highway/combined; my week with it included 300 miles of highway driving and netted only about 23 mpg overall. In comparison, the Ford Escape — with its much more powerful turbocharged 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine option — is rated 22/30/25 mpg. The Toyota RAV4 nets 24/31/26 mpg and the surprisingly miserly, yet fun-to-drive, Nissan Rogue comes in at 26/33/28 mpg (all figures are for front-wheel-drive models).

Interior
The most recent update to the Tucson brought a full interior upgrade, bringing it up to the latest level of Hyundai goodness, and it puts the little truck solidly among the segment's top competitors for comfort, style, utility and quality. The step-in height is surprisingly high, but the Tucson doesn't feel like a high-riding car. The seats are flat but comfortable over long trips, and they feel larger than those in the Escape (but not as supportive as those in the Rogue). Switches are well-laid-out, and everything is easy to use and easy to reach. Visibility is good in all directions except to the rear, where the belt line's stylish upturn results in small windows. This makes backing up challenging, especially if your Tucson doesn't have a backup camera, which isn't standard until you get up to the Limited trim.

My loaded test vehicle also had an optional panoramic moonroof, which, when open, creates an amazingly light and airy feel in the cabin. The rear seats have decent width and headroom, even with the moonroof, and legroom is plentiful. The Tucson has more listed rear legroom than any competitor mentioned here, but the numbers seem hard to believe. While the Tucson feels more spacious in back than a RAV4 or Escape, the Rogue feels like it has much more rear legroom than the Tucson. This may be an example of manufacturers not using the same criteria to measure legroom, as we have already demonstrated is the case regarding cargo capacity. The only blemish on the very nice interior is the rear-window wiper motor, which is ridiculously loud and sounds like a sick cow when in operation.

Ergonomics & Electronics
Hyundai has made the latest version of its Blue Link app manager standard in the Tucson Limited, and my test vehicle came with the optional Technology Package, which includes a 7-inch touch-screen, navigation, premium audio and more. Blue Link is easy to use but poorly organized; the home screen in particular is packed with icons that are difficult to find on the fly. Navigation is easy to use — inputing data is a trouble-free experience — but the map itself needs an update: A rerouting of U.S. 24 through northern Indiana that was finished several years ago still doesn't appear in its present location on the navigation system. Bluetooth streaming audio is standard on the Limited, and my iPhone paired up without a problem.

Cargo & Storage
There's adequate room in the Tucson for bringing along a good-size suitcase plus a small duffel or two, but this car maximizes passenger space, not cargo room. It's a smaller car than its competitors, and it shows in the numbers: while the Tucson has 102 cubic feet of passenger room versus 98 in the Escape, 101 in the RAV4, and 100 in the two-row Rogue, it has just 25.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row, as opposed to 34.3 in the Escape, 38.4 in the RAV4, and 39.3 in the Rogue. Fold the rear seats down, and the deficit gets even bigger: You get only 55.8 cubic feet of cargo space in the Tucson, versus 67.8 in the Escape, 73.4 in the RAV4, and 70.0 in the Rogue. That's a difference that's noticeable in normal use.

Safety
Crash-test ratings aren't so hot for the Tucson. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Tucson a four-star safety rating overall, but the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety noted some front-impact issues, giving the Tucson a rating of poor in several categories, including overall front-crash safety. See the results of the organization's crash tests here and a list of the Tucson's standard and optional safety equipment here.

Value in Its Class
One area in which the Tucson shines is bang for the buck. A base Tucson GLS starts at $22,325, which is $1,670 less than the cheapest Ford Escape, more than $2,000 less than the cheapest Toyota RAV4 and about $1,300 less than the least expensive Nissan Rogue. My loaded Limited model started at $27,075 but added the Technology Package for $2,650 (which includes navigation and the panoramic moonroof). Once you add floormats and take into account package discounts, the total for my front-drive Tucson Limited was $29,835. Going the all-wheel-drive route would tack on another $1,500. Build a Tucson your way here.

The Ford Escape costs nearly $3,000 more for a comparable vehicle, but it does include more equipment, like a foot-triggered power liftgate (not available on the Tucson), premium audio, floormats and four one-touch up-and-down windows. Keep going and you can option up an Escape to a level well above what you can get in a Tucson, if you opt for the powerful turbo engine.

The RAV4 is also more expensive, with a comparable front-wheel-drive Limited trim starting at $29,180. There's only one powertrain offered for the RAV4, as the V-6 model was discontinued for 2013, and the RAV4 doesn't offer any special features over the Tucson. The Toyota is bigger and gets better fuel economy, but the Hyundai's multimedia system is superior.

The more difficult challenge comes against the Rogue, which beats the Hyundai in nearly every category except price and power. A Rogue SL starts at $29,140 and also comes with only one powertrain — one that's less powerful than the smaller Tucson's, which you'll really feel on the highway. Everywhere else, though, the Rogue outshines the Tucson: You can order a Rogue with three-row seating (in lesser trim levels), plus it has significantly better fuel economy, more comfortable seats, more interior space and considerably better crash-test results. The two are evenly matched on multimedia sophistication. Compare the Tucson with its competitors here.

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Latest 2014 Tucson Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.9)
Performance
(4.7)
Interior Design
(4.7)
Comfort
(4.7)
Reliability
(4.8)
Value For The Money
(4.7)

What Drivers Are Saying

(4.0)

I would like to buy this car for next one.

by Wonsang Yu from Sayreville nj on August 25, 2018

This car has everything what I need. I would like to introduce to friends and members of our family. And I will see them big smile after my suggested for sure. Read full review

(5.0)

Most reliable car I've owned

by Angie on August 23, 2018

I love it, meets all my needs and its safe for my baby. Love the way it rides and the gas mileage is good. Lots of space for my family Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2014 Hyundai Tucson currently has 1 recall

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2014 Hyundai Tucson GLS

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Hip/thigh
good
Lower leg/foot
marginal
Overall evaluation
poor
Retraints and dummy kinematics
poor
Structure and safety cage
poor

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
good
Overall Rear
good
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
acceptable
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Manufacturer Warranties

Backed by Hyundai
New Car Program Benefits
  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    60 months / 60,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    120 months / 100,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    60 months / unlimited distance

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits
  • Maximum Age/Mileage

    Newer than 5 model years/less than 60,000 miles

  • Basic Warranty Terms

    5 years/60,000 miles (from remainder of original)

  • Powertrain warranty

    10 years/100,000 miles and 10 years/100,000 miles for hybrid/electric vechicle batteries.

  • Dealer Certification Required

    150-point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All Program Details

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Tucson received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker