The Hyundai Tucson was announced in 2003, with sales beginning in 2004. The crossover SUV has been loved by hundreds of thousands of people around the globe.
With it currently being in its fourth generation, the manufacturer has made some pretty drastic changes to improve one of its most beloved SUVs.
With the SUV being almost two decades old, there have to be models that have not performed as well as others. Well, I have saved you hours of research to compile this article of the best and worst years for Hyundai Tucson.
All of the years will be discussed in detail but let’s first list them down!
Best Years for Hyundai Tucson:
Worst Years for Hyundai Tucson:
Now all of the years have been narrowed down. This article will be diverting its focus to every one of them, so you can know exactly why they have earned their respective positions.
So, without any further ado, let’s get straight into it!
List Of The Best Years For The Hyundai Tucson: What Years To Buy
After a lot of research, I have finally narrowed down the six models of the Hyundai Tucson that deserve praise.
You should consider one of these models if you want to buy one. These models have had fewer overall complaints and have proven reliable in the long term.
#1 Best Year: 2021 Hyundai Tucson
Taking up the first spot, and beating all current models, is the 2021 model of the Hyundai Tucson. This vehicle has been praised by thousands of people because it is packed to the brim with features and because it is one of the most reliable SUVs out there.
Tucson has a pretty satisfying drive. The HP it produces is more than enough for most people. The interior, however, is one of the best on the market. The manufacturer has not cut any corners while constructing the interior.
The suspension on this SUV is also pretty solid. You will not feel light bumps and shocks. The infotainment system also is pretty easy to use and navigate.
#2 Best Year: 2022 Hyundai Tucson
Coming up next is the successor of Tucson. The 2022 model has had a full redesign, making it more aggressive than ever. Although the first model of a newer generation is plagued with issues, the 2022 Tucson certainly is not one of those vehicles.
The 2022 Hyundai Tucson model had many improvements, with the manufacturer including hybrid and plug-in hybrid options.
The drive on this SUV is pretty decent, although it could have used a bit more power. The comfort level and the interior are on a whole other level. You will not complain about it at all.
Finally, this 2022 SUV is loaded with cutting-edge features that will make your driving experience easy and safe. This model has earned second place because Hyundai decided to increase prices for the 2022 models.
#3 Best Year: 2007 Hyundai Tucson
Well, only the recent models of the SUV are not the good ones. When we take a step back in time, the 2007 Hyundai Tucson dominated the used market segment.
It was one of the most reliable Tucson models that you can buy. The model was given many upgrades, which were loved by many.
There were two variants of the 2007 model, one being a 2.0L and the other featuring a 2.7L V6 engine under the hood. This variant has earned third place because it has an amazing engine under the hood while being extremely affordable.
Although this model is almost fifteen years old, the interior looks surprisingly modern. The vehicle is packed with safety features, such as airbags for all passengers. The driving experience is pretty good, regardless of the engine you choose.
#4 Best Year: 2009 Hyundai Tucson
Another decent option for users is the 2009 Hyundai Tucson. Although it is not as good as 2007 one, it comes pretty close.
It is perfect for people looking to buy something affordable while not missing out on any major features. It has received fourth place because there were complaints about feeling a bit underpowered.
The 2009 model underwent many refinements. The transmission system, the engine, and the infotainment system were revamped. This led to a decent 5-7% improvement in fuel economy.
The vehicle was offered in the same 2.0L and 2.7L V6 engine options. They both are great on the road. The interior looks modern, and you won’t have to worry about the plastics cracking up due to them being old.
#5 Best Year: 2020 Hyundai Tucson
Back to modern times, earning the fifth spot is the 2020 Hyundai Tucson. This model was praised by many users and is the same one as the 2021 model.
The only complaint people had with this model was that it had less cargo space than the competitors. This is why it has earned the fifth spot on this list.
If you are looking for a vehicle with a smooth drive and a lavish interior, this is the model to get. Although the acceleration is not very impressive, the handling of this vehicle is great, and you will love it.
The infotainment system has a straightforward design and is very easy to use. Even the fuel economy touches 25 mpg, which is pretty good for a crossover SUV.
#6 Best Year: 2010 Hyundai Tucson
Finally, coming in the tenth and final place is the 2010 Hyundai Tucson, the successor to 2009.
This model was also highly appreciated by everyone who bought it. The only con is that its drive may seem a bit stiff compared to other models, which is why it scored the lowest. But that falls to personal preference.
The 2010 model had an engine upgrade. The 2.4L inline engine is better than the V6 on the 2009 one. It is pretty decent on the road. The fuel economy has also improved, with it touching 23 mpg.
Although it is over a decade old, the 2009 Tucson has excellent safety features, such as airbags and anti-lock disk brakes.
List Of The Worst Years For The Hyundai Tucson: What Years To Avoid
Tucson, surprisingly, has had a relatively stable past. There have been models that have caused issues for users, but most of them can still be relied on.
So, if you do want to choose from this list, you can do so, except for the first two models.
#1 Worst Year: 2016 Hyundai Tucson
The 2016 Hyundai Tucson was one of the most complained about models of the SUV in more than two decades. It was plagued with engine and transmission issues, which were sources of frustration for buyers.
Transmission issues included the vehicle’s inability to accelerate after coming to a full stop, such as at a traffic light. There were also complaints about the gears not shifting properly, which resulted in the vehicle being unable to be driven correctly.
There were reports of some of the engines using oil excessively, which would result in quicker engine failure due to overheating. The AC system would also glitch out and would not work at all. The same was the case with the heater.
#2 Worst Year: 2017 Hyundai Tucson
Although the AC problems had not been reported that much with the 2017 Hyundai Tucson, the transmission and engine issues were still present, this would make the vehicle unreliable in everyday scenarios.
There were also complaints about the transmission hesitating while accelerating. The manufacturer did fix the vehicle’s problem by not accelerating after stopping, but it would still hesitate when pressing on the pedal. Hence this model has earned the second spot.
Engine issues included the SUV suddenly dying while driving, which is serious and dangerous, especially on highways. The sunroof would also stop working at times, which can be fixed, making owning the vehicle inconvenient.
#3 Worst Year: 2011 Hyundai Tucson
The older models also had many issues, which were not cheap to fix. The most-reported problem was related to the electrical system and the accessories.
The Bluetooth would fail, which would result in the infotainment system not being able to connect to the phone. Sometimes, the key would also get stuck in the ignition of the 2011 model.
The electrical system would malfunction and reset the clock and the radio. The cruise control would also stop working. The 2011 model of Hyundai Tucson was known for its transmission failures.
The system would lock up, resulting in the vehicle not accelerating. The fuel economy was also not great, which was a source of contention for many people. These issues are not as serious as the previous ones. Hence, they have taken the third spot on the list.
#4 Worst Year: 2012 Hyundai Tucson
The 2012 Hyundai Tucson came a year later. There were supposed to be many improvements, but that was not the case.
Although the electrical issues had been fixed, there were still transmission and engine problems. The engine would fail or lose power completely, resulting in the vehicle shutting down while driving. This has earned it the fourth spot on this article.
The transmission system on this model was also not reliable. It would often slip, resulting in the vehicle jerking when driving.
This is again a serious issue and renders the vehicle in unusable condition. There were reports of brake failure too, which could only be fixed by a replacement. The front brakes were the ones that mostly failed.
#5 Worst Year: 2015 Hyundai Tucson
The 2015 model of the Hyundai Tucson can be considered. Although it had its fair share of issues, the model can still be considered.
The most common problem reported by users was that the engine would shake excessively when idling. There were reports of engine failure too, but they were not too common.
Fuel system issues were found in the 2015 model of Tucson only. It does not end there. There were issues such as the fuel pump failing and the fuel sensor not working.
Some users complained about the unique issue of the vehicle not permitting the gas tank from being filled. These problems can be fixed, but the repair will not be cheap. It deserves this spot on the list.
#6 Worst Year: 2018 Hyundai Tucson
Finally, coming in the sixth and final place is the 2018 Hyundai Tucson. This model can be considered because its problems are not too common.
But if you are one of the unlucky people to get one of those issues, you will have to spend a lot to get your vehicle back in usable condition.
A similar issue of the engine hesitating while accelerating was seen in this model. There were reports of engine failure too, because there were no warnings when the oil level became too low.
There were also reports of the 2018 model not accelerating, but they were pretty few. As no major problems are commonly reported, the model is the best of the worst ones that you can buy.
What Are The Most Common Problems With The Hyundai Tucson?
Now that I’ve discussed, in detail, all of the important models of the Hyundai Tucson, I’ll now be looking at the most common problems that have been found in various models of the crossover SUV.
Let’s get straight into it!
1. Acceleration Issues
One of the most frustrating issues that users of the Hyundai Tucson faced was acceleration. There were many complaints that the SUV would not accelerate after a complete stop. This was seen when the vehicle would stop in traffic or at a signal.
After further research, it was found out that the problem came when the accelerator was pressed more than once. The problem was so serious that Hyundai, in 2016, had to issue a recall. They reprogrammed the transmission module to fix the issue. A service bulletin was also issued.
If you are out of warranty or the recall does not apply to you, it can get pretty expensive to repair. You can expect to pay more than $1000 to reprogram the transmission control module.
2. Engine Failure
Engine failure is an issue that has been present to some extent in all Tucson models. It was most commonly seen in the 2010 and later variants.
Unfortunate owners complained that the engine would seize up and then shut down. They also reported that the issue could only be fixed by replacing the entire engine.
I have found out that the problem was most commonly seen after the SUV had been driven for around 100000 miles. Replacing the engine is pretty expensive, and you can expect to pay around $5000 to get your vehicle back in usable condition.
Although this problem is one of the most serious, it was not too common. That is why it has earned the second spot on this list.
3. False Advertising Of MPG
Although Hyundai makes some solid vehicles, it has been caught more than once for not revealing the true fuel efficiency of its vehicles. The problem got so serious that the manufacturer had to reimburse many buyers because they believed in its claims.
The problem was seen in 2012 and the 2013 Hyundai Tucson. The mpg rating was one or two points higher than what was possible. Although the manufacturer did fix it, it did cause some controversy.
So, if you are looking up the specifications of your desired Tucson models online, make sure that you choose to read from more recent articles, those that were updated with the correct information.
Related: Why Won’t My Hyundai Tucson Start?
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Is Hyundai Tucson Sluggish?
Yes, it is. This has been reported by many buyers. They complained that the vehicle’s performance was not great, and it would be slow to accelerate. This has been complained about since 2007, when the first V6 engine was introduced in Tucson.
With the SUV reaching 60mph in 10 seconds, it did not impress many owners. There were also reports of engine hesitation when stepping on the pedal. This problem can be fixed via tuning.
Q2. Is Hyundai Tucson Good In Snow?
The recent models of the Hyundai Tucson are actually great on snow. The vehicle is equipped with the popular HTRAC system that allows for better handling of snow and ice.
What this means is that you will have full control over your vehicle in such weather, and there will be little to no risk of it sliding. So, if you frequently drive on snow, then you should opt for an AWD variant, which will provide a much better experience.
Q3. Is Santa Fe Better Than Tucson?
Both of these vehicles have been designed for different usage. Santa Fe is more spacious and has more headroom as compared to Tucson. When comparing the rest of the features, they mostly trade blows.
The performance of Santa Fe is more than Tucson. It can produce 20 more HP as compared to the compact SUV. So, if you compare everything, Santa Fe pulls ahead from Tucson.
Q4. How Many Miles Will A Hyundai Tucson Last?
Tucson can last easily for 200000 miles. This is on par with other SUVs in this class. So, if you use your vehicle for around 15000 miles annually, then you can expect more than ten years of service from this crossover.
The number can increase but only if it is taken care of properly. This means that maintenance must be done on time, and all issues should be fixed as soon as possible.
Related: How Long Do Hyundai Tucson Last?
Q5. Is Hyundai Tucson Good On Gas?
For a compact SUV, the fuel consumption of the Hyundai Tucson does not impress. The latest models can touch around 25 mpg. This is lower than what the competition offers. Plus, this number decreases with AWD variants.
The hybrid variant, however, can touch up to 38 mpg, which is far more impressive. So, if saving fuel is your top priority, you should go for the hybrid variant.
The Hyundai Tucson is an SUV that has been in the market for a long time, and it has had some great models over the years.
While the latest models have been exceptionally reliable, there are still some older years to consider if you’re looking for a reliable one.
But, if you take my recommendation, then the 2021 variant of the SUV takes the overall lead models. It is not only one of the latest models, as of writing this article but wins the comparison of the best and worst years for Hyundai Tucson.
I hope this article helped you in deciding which model of the famous SUV will be suitable for you.
Hi there! I am Tahir Azam, and this is my blog. WVDOT Automotive is a website dedicated to creating high-quality content for car enthusiasts. I am also an avid car driver. I own and drive a Porsche for my daily tasks. It is the perfect vehicle for my family. I am a proud father of two boys. I spend my mornings and evenings catering to clients at my very own software hub. After getting home, I dedicate a few hours of my time to creating an article every day. Well, this is a short introduction about me and I am also a publisher on Amazon. I hope you enjoy reading through my articles, and I also hope that I may have helped you choose an upgrade for your vehicle.