As a mid-size SUV, the 2021 Hyundai Tucson is a practical vehicle to own. It has the amount of size that many people are looking for, and it treats passengers to a lot of technology. Some of the technology is simply fun and entertaining, while other components play important roles in safety. The Tucson feels like it should be a little more expensive that it actually is, and it should definitely be an SUV to consider.
What's New for 2021?
The 2021 Hyundai Tucson is essentially the same as the 2020 Hyundai Tucson. It's likely that there have been no major changes because the 2022 model year is slated to be the start of a new generation of Tucsons. One thing that has been altered is the type of exterior paint colors available. Gemstone Red has replaced Red Crimson, Ash Black has taken the place of Blank Noir Pearl, and Coliseum Gray is a new choice while Sage Brown has been eliminated from the lineup.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2021 Hyundai Tucson – The Pros
1. Six Available Trims
Hyundai was strategic in designing the Tucson to have six different trims. This gives a customer a lot of options, and it can make the SUV feel more customized. The SE trim is the base model, and it's followed by the Value. Both of these run on a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine. At the SEL level, the Tucson is upgraded with a 2.4-liter engine. The Sport, Limited, and Ultimate trims round out the lineup. As the trims increase, there is a noticeable difference in exterior and interior features.
2. Competitive Pricing
The 2021 Hyundai Tucson starts out at $23,700. This is a great price for an SUV that feels far from basic with its high-tech components. Even the Value and SEL are priced competitively, with prices around $25,000 and $26,000, respectively. The Sport and Limited approach the $30,000-mark and the Ultimate surpasses it, but these trims are still reasonably priced considering all that they offer. The Ultimate, for instance, comes with a lot of upscale amenities, and its cost is much lower than SUVs made by luxury brands with some comparable features.
3. An Array of Safety Systems
In recent years, Hyundai has really concentrated on safety. Vehicles have the potential to do so much on their own in terms of keeping themselves on course and protecting passengers, and the Tucson is a perfect example of this. A number of driver-assist technologies are standard on the SUV, to include lane keeping assist, frontal collision warning, and automatic emergency braking. A standard driver attention warning system can send out a warning if the driver's eyes aren't focused on the road.
Starting with the Value trim, the Tucson has blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic warning. Higher trims come with pedestrian detection and a 360-degree camera monitoring system. All of these features are intended to help drivers be more aware of their surroundings.
4. All-Wheel Drive Is An Option
For most situations, front-wheel drive is absolutely fine. However, there are times when all-wheel drive is more preferable, and some people find themselves in such situations more often than others do. Each of the 2021 Hyundai Tucson trims can be equipped with all-wheel drive. This is notable because some other vehicles don't offer this option with their base trims.
5. Ready to Tow Cargo
Adventurers will be happy to hear that the Tucson can be set up to tow a trailer. Towing capacity on the SE and Value trims is 1,500 pounds. On the other trims, towing capacity increases to 2,000 pounds because they have larger, more powerful engines. This isn't a tremendous amount of capacity, but it is sufficient for items like jet skis and motorcycles. With the Tucson, people can go on all sorts of excursions.
6. A Sophisticated Cabin
The Hyundai Tucson can be nicely appointed, and some might be surprised at what can be found inside the SUV. Leather seating surfaces are available, and both front seats can be power operated. Many trims have heated front seats, and some have ventilation in these seats and heated second-row seats. Also available on the SUV are a leather-wrapped shift knob and leather-wrapped, heated steering wheel.
7. Can Connect to a Smartphone
It seems like everyone has their smartphones in their hands or at least close to them at all times of the day. In the Tucson, people can stay connected to their networks, and most importantly, do so safely. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard on the Hyundai, which comes with either a seven-inch or eight-inch touchscreen. This smartphone compatibility makes it easy to send/receive a text, take a phone call, play a podcast, or stream a favorite music channel. Wireless charging and multiple USB charging outlets are available.
8. Stylish Exterior
The Tucson can stand out on the roads. Not only does it have an attractive, streamlined frame, but it also has many details that give it a more modern aesthetic. For example, it can come with LED accents and LED Daytime Running Lights, headlights, and taillights. Front fog lights, a chrome accent grille, and chrome door handles are other enhancements that can add to the style of the new Tucson.
9. Smart Liftgate
The available hands-free smart liftgate is one of the reasons why some customers choose to upgrade to the Sport trim. It's just so convenient to have, as it can save people from a lot of trouble when their hands are full. To access the cargo hold, someone simply has to stand in front of the gate (with the key in a pocket or bag) and wait for it to open. Unlike a smart liftgate that opens when people kick underneath a sensor, this liftgate doesn't require any movements. People with mobility issues will definitely appreciate this.
10. Let the Light In
In the Ultimate trim, a panoramic sunroof makes the cabin feel more spacious. It actually extends past the rear seats, giving the SUV a pseudo-open-air feel. It can be refreshing to be able to look up and see the blue sky or the stars at night. In this vehicle, this can be done even while on the road.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2021 Hyundai Tucson – The Cons
1. Efficiency Isn't a Strength
Front-wheel-drive Hyundai Tucsons can earn up to 23 miles per gallon in the city and 28 miles per gallon on the highway. When equipped with all-wheel drive, the Tucson's efficiency is slightly lower. AWD models can achieve up to 22 miles per gallon in the city and 25 miles per gallon on the highway. Given the recent innovations in the field, one would think that the Tucson could have a more efficient powertrain. There are many vehicles in the market that do much better than what the Tucson can do in this area.
2. Cabin Could Be Bigger
SUVs are popular for many reasons, and their size is generally considered a positive. The size of the Tucson can be considered ideal, but some people might run into situations where they would benefit from having more space. The cargo space behind the second row has a volume of 31 cubic feet, and it can expand to 61.9 cubic feet when the seats are lowered. This is fine, but it's less storage space than what some rivals have to offer.
3. Could Use More Horsepower
The two available engines on the Tucson don't pack too much of a punch. The 2.0-liter engine on the lower trims only has 161 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque, and the 2.4-liter engine on the higher trims boosts horsepower to 181 and torque to 175 pound-feet. These numbers aren't "bad", but they aren't that impressive either. For some drivers, the ideal amount of horsepower is over 200, and these people will have to look elsewhere.
How it Stacks Up to the Competition:
The two-row SUV is a common type of vehicle, and there are many competitors in the field to meet the demand from consumers.
2021 Hyundai Tucson vs 2021 Honda HR-V
Compared with the Honda HR-V, the Hyundai Tucson seems like a powerhouse if outfitted with the larger engine. The technology package on the Tucson is also better than the one found on the HR-V, as the Honda's base model doesn't come with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, or a touchscreen. Further, the safety features on the HR-V are great, but they're not standard in the lower trims as they are in the Tucson.
2021 Hyundai Tucson vs 2021 Ford Escape
Since affordability is a major concern of most consumers, it's important to note that the Ford Escape is more expensive than the Hyundai Tucson. In some ways, its cabin feels less refined than the Tucson's, and again, smartphone connectivity is not a standard component on the base model of this SUV. It looks like Hyundai made a good move when it built advanced technology into its lowest Tucson trim.
It's clear that the Hyundai Tucson has excellent value when taking everything into consideration. For a great price, a customer can get the keys to a new SUV with high-tech elements, multiple safety features, convenient amenities, and stylish details. The Hyundai Tucson may be especially intriguing because it comes in so many different trims. It can appeal to people with more limited budgets as well as consumers who feel like splurging on a premium trim.
• Why buy a 2020 Hyundai Tucson? w/ pros vs cons