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What's New for 2018?
Nothing much has changed since last year, so you can expect almost everything to carry over from the 2017 Hyundai Tucson. The only major changes to the 2018 Hyundai Tucson are that the Popular Equipment package on the SE is now the SEL and the Value trim replaced the Sport trim.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2018 Hyundai Tucson – The Pros
1. The Turbocharged Engine
While the base engine does not offer a strong performance, the 1.6-L turbo-4 engine gives the 2018 Hyundai Tucson a good amount of power. Paired nicely with a 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission, this engine option generates up to 175 hp. Of course, there will be a slight drop in power if you load the vehicle up with passengers and cargo, but overall, the ride feels smooth and refined.
2. Tons of Safety and Tech Features
The Hyundai Tucson is loaded with a lot of great safety and infotainment features, many of which come standard. Standard safety features include electronic stability and traction control, hill-hold assist, and plenty of airbags throughout the cabin. If you upgrade to the higher-level trims, you can get blind spot monitoring and a forward collision warning with a mitigation system. As far as technology goes, Bluetooth, power features, and touchscreen infotainment systems all come standard.
3. Excellent Safety Ratings
The Tucsons have been highly scored in their government crash safety tests for quite a few years now, and the 2018 Hyundai Tucson is no exception. Last year's model just fell short of receiving IIHS' Top Safety Pick+ but was awarded the Top Safety Pick title.
4. Comfortable Interior
The Tucson has an incredibly comfortable cabin. There is sufficient head, shoulder, and legroom, even for taller individuals. While it is just slightly smaller than the 2018 Honda CR-V, the Tucson has a lot of space. Up front, the seats are well-bolstered, and drivers can find comfortable driving positions without a problem.
5. Standard Rearview Camera
Some automakers still haven't jumped on the standard rearview camera bandwagon, but Hyundai has. A rearview camera comes standard on all trim levels, whereas many competitors won't slap one onto their base trims or make it a pricey add-on feature.
6. Controls Are Laid Out Well On the Dash
The center stack has a very cut-and-dry control set-up. Every knob and button is clearly labeled and within arms-reach from the driver. There really are not any major glitches in the infotainment system, either. Hyundai leaves all the excessive graphic junk off of the dash, making the 2018 Hyundai Tucson very user-friendly.
7. Power Front Passenger Seat on Higher Trim Levels
If you opt for the SE Plus or Limited trims, you will get a power front passenger seat. This is a thoughtful addition on Hyundai's part since some higher-level trims on its competitors do not offer this feature. This makes it easy for the passenger to find a comfortable sitting position.
8. Hands-Free Power Liftgate
Having to lift a heavy, bulky trunk can be annoying and almost impossible for some people. The 2018 Hyundai Tucson comes with a hands-free power liftgate, which easily allows you to get your items into and out of the cargo space with just the push of a button.
9. Blue Link Telematics
Although it only comes standard on the line-topping Limited trim, the Blue Link telematics system is handy to have on the 2018 Hyundai Tucson. This suite is run off of the Blue Link app, which can be accessed from your smartphone. It includes emergency safety assistance and, with the Remote package added on, car finder and remote start.
10. Good Fuel Economy
The Tucson gets relatively good gas mileage, especially on the 1.6-L turbo-4 engine with FWD. While it can't touch the CR-V's through-the-roof EPA rating, the Hyundai is continuously improving the fuel economy on the Tucson, keeping it in line with most of its competitors.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2018 Hyundai Tucson – The Cons
1. The Base Engine is Sluggish
The base 2.0-L inline-4 engine is, to put it bluntly, way too slow and clunky. It is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission, and it's just not a good match. If you buy the base trim, this is the only engine you can get. You would be better off spending a little extra on upgrading to the 1.6-L engine.
2. The 7-Speed Transmission Doesn't Shift Well At Low Speeds
The 7-speed transmission performs extremely well at most speeds, but when you are going slow on main roads, you will notice that the shifting feels clunky. It seems like it is busy searching for gears, but this isn't a problem at all when going at higher speeds.
3. Many High-Tech Features Are Only Available on the Highest Trim Level
You will have to spend more to get more with the Tucson. Although these features work well and are worth the price, those who are shopping on a budget will have a hard time justifying the upgrades.
4. Not Much Cargo Space
The amount of cargo space on the Tucson falls short of others in its segment. With the rear seats in place, there are about 31 cubic feet of cargo space. This gets doubled when the seats are folded down. Unfortunately, this just doesn't compare to the over-70 cubic feet of space offered by the CR-V.
How it stacks up to the competition:
2018 Hyundai Tucson vs. 2018 Honda CR-V
At the top of the segment pack for 2018 is the Honda CR-V. The CR-V offers excellent gas mileage, a good amount of cargo space, and plenty of safety and infotainment features. The biggest drawback is that the touchscreen display is finicky and a bit confusing.
2018 Hyundai Tucson vs. 2018 Toyota RAV4
The RAV4 is another major competitor. It offers a ton of interior space, many standard active safety features even on the base trim, and a very fuel-efficient hybrid version. Its steering and handling, however, feel subpar.
The 2018 Hyundai Tucson is an extremely driver-friendly vehicle. While its base trim isn't much to gawk at, the upper-level trims are worth the money. Overall, this vehicle is comfortable and gives a smooth and quiet ride on the highway.
• Why buy a 2017 Hyundai Tucson? w/ pros vs cons