Near-identical twin to the Hyundai Santa Fe, the 2018 Tucson is classed as a compact SUV. Scroll below to learn about the Tucson’s specs and defining features:

Somewhere between the wagon, minivan, and larger SUVs, the Tucson is still in a very competitive segment that has for some time catered to a vast audience. Whatever you’re looking to do with your SUV, you can be sure there are a number of options out there.

Hyundai offers a lot of great models and has really stepped up their game since first entering the market here in the U.S. Exterior styling has definitely improved, but will the 2018 Tucson measure up to these new standards and beat out the competition? Let’s take a look.

Performance Specifications

2018 Hyundai Tucson models are offered in either an inline-four 2.0L or turbo four 1.6L engine. In the 2.0L, customers will enjoy 164 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque, while customers who choose the turbo model will certainly have fun at 175 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. Models are offered with either a 6-speed automatic or a 7-speed dual clutch transmission, and all come in either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

Customers can choose from the following colors:

  • Ruby wine
  • Caribbean blue
  • Molten silver
  • Dazzling white
  • Black noir pearl
  • Sedona sunset
  • Dusk blue
  • Coliseum grey

Fuel Efficiency

The 2018 Hyundai Tucson comes in front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations and though you get more capabilities in the all-wheel drive models, it is the front-wheel drive vehicles that boast the best numbers.

AWD variants of the SE, SEL, and SEL Plus models are rated at 21 city and 26 highway EPA-estimated mpg. The Value and Limited models equipped with AWD come in at 24 city and 28 highway. FWD models in the SE, SEL, and SEL Plus climb to 23 city and 30 highway EPA-estimated mpg, with Value and Limited models ranking better in city with 25 but matching the 30 highway mpg rating.

Kelley Blue Book rates the 2018 Tucson nine out of 12 in terms of fuel efficiency. Consumer Reports, in their compilation list of SUVs with top fuel economy numbers, lists Toyota’s Rav4, Lexus’ RX and NX, and the Honda HR-V as leading the pack, all with numbers at or nearing 30 city and 40 highway EPA-estimated mpg. Still, whether it’s pennies or dimes, you’re still adding to your savings account each month — and leaving less at the gas pump.

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Entertainment and Safety Features

Named the 2018 IIHS Top Safety Pick, the 2018 Hyundai Tucson is equipped with many safety features, both standard and optional. Automatic Emergency Braking, HID headlights with Dynamic Bending lights, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Change Assist, Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, and Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert are all offered on 2018 Tucson models, varying of course by trim level.

Hyundai also offers customers a unique option. If you don’t remember whether or not you locked your car, you are able to do so remotely. Don’t worry if you’ve locked your keys in the car itself; “just use the MyHyundai with Blue Link mobile app on your smartphone.”

A rearview camera comes standard on all 2018 Tucson models. Customers can either choose from Apple’s CarPlay or Android’s Auto for their entertainment. Let’s look at each trim level for more on the Tucson’s entertainment features:

The base SE model starts at $22,050 and is powered by the 2.0L inline four engine, paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. Though FWD is standard, the AWD feature is an option. The SE model rides on 17-inch wheels. Cloth YES Essentials seats will repel even the most stubborn spills and stains. With a 5-inch touchscreen, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, and Bluetooth, the SE offers a lot of features for an entry model SUV.

SEL models keep the 2.0L four with six-speed auto, but customers who choose this option are able to select drive modes, and enjoy heated front seats and a larger — seven-inch to be exact — touchscreen. LED daytime running lights and front fog lights keep your road vision sharper.

With the SEL Plus, you’ll gain a suite of safety features, including Blind Sport Detection, Lane Change Assist, and Rear Cross-traffic Alert. The eight-inch touchscreen is great to have, especially for navigation. Leather, heated front seats round out this model.

Value models come with the smaller 1.6L turbo engine, still capable of more horsepower than the lower trims. Paired to a seven-speed dual clutch transmission, the Value rides on 19-inch wheels. A panoramic sunroof is featured on this model, along with a hands-free liftgate. Rear parking sensors, heated front seats, and a seven-inch touchscreen are also offered.

Limited models come in at just under $30,000 but offer a slew of features for the price. With HID headlights, rear parking sensors, a panoramic sunroof, heated and ventilated front seats and heated rear seats, and 19-inch wheels, the options don’t end there! A 4.2-inch color gauge cluster is accompanied by LED daytime running lights, a shark-fin roof antenna, and an eight-inch touchscreen. The Limited model also sports a heated steering wheel.

2018 Hyundai Tucson vs. the Competition

With as many competitors as there are in the SUV segment, it’s easy to compare and contrast the 2018 Tucson’s offerings; for every flaw, you’ll find a redeeming feature somewhere. There are hundreds of ways that you could classify the SUVs in this segment, but focus on those features you prioritize the most, and start comparing!

Jeep offers a lot of options in this segment, which is to be expected since they don’t really compete in any other segment. Still, the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee, along with the Renegade, Compass, and Patriot, offer capable alternatives. If you’re not looking to brave the rugged terrain, however, but still want a capable off-road vehicle, Subaru offers to you the Forester and Crosstrek. Honda’s CR-V and Toyota’s Rav4 are also strong competitors in this segment.

Other options include the Volkswagen Tiguan, Kai’s Sportage, Mazda’s CX-3 and CX-5, and the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. You might consider these to be the value options of the pack. Up one level, you’ll find the Ford Escape, Chevrolet Equinox, Nissan Rogue, and Infiniti QX30. Infiniti is known for offering luxury on top of Nissan’s platforms, but it also competes with the Audi Q3 and Q5.

Look to Land Rover, BMW, Mercedes, and Jaguar, to name a few, for more luxury content. You’ll inevitably pay more for these models, but for those who can afford them, they are a solid option.


  • Ride comfort and noise
  • Available options
  • 10-year/100,000-mile warranty
  • Exterior design


  • Generic styling
  • Fuel efficiency
  • Cargo space is smaller than competitors
  • Slow

While the 2018 Hyundai Tucson might not be the sleekest or fastest member of the SUV pack, it is certainly a viable option for those looking to cart their kids around on a dime.

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Rebecca Henderson has a Master's in German and a Bachelor's in Creative Writing. She alternates her time between writing and working on a variety of motorized projects. Most recently, she and her boyfriend have been building a custom drift trike. Rebecca believes that language, love, and a life worth living are only the first ingredients to happiness.