While the previous generation Hyundai Tucson compact crossover SUV is said to have been a bit of a yawn-factor, the refreshed 2014 model is just better. Handling has improved, and so have the two engines, which now feature direct fuel injection, and offer more power. Overall, it has more “gut.”
Tucson and the competition
With all its improvements, the 2014 Hyundai Tucson is still up against some tough competitors. The Subaru Forester, for example, dominates in the winter driving category with its renowned all-wheel drive system. The Honda CR-V carries with it the automakers history of reliability and good resale value, and the redesigned Mazda CX-5 is more attractive, powerful, and fuel efficient than ever. It also provides an engaging driving experience, as does the Ford Escape, that is overall, an intriguing package.
So why consider the 2014 Tucson at all?
The 2014 Tucson has certainly improved over its predecessor, and should fit the bill for consumers searching for a compact SUV with expressive styling and eye-catching design. Its car-like handling, available AWD system, storage options, and long list of features will also attract the attention of many buyers, and a relatively affordable base price and long warranty should also play well in its favour.
Power and performance
Our test vehicle, the 2014 Hyundai Tucson 2.4L GLS AWD is equipped with the stronger 2.4-litre inline-four cylinder engine, capable of producing 182 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque, which provides better acceleration and more power than the base 2.0-litre inline-four engine.
Also, when opting for the GLS AWD trim, the engine is mated to a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic. Otherwise, a six-speed manual is standard on the GL Manual trim.
When it comes to driving dynamics, Hyundai’s compact crossover SUV scores some points with its responsive handling and nimble movements, which will serve you well when taking sharp turns or entering a curve. The 2014 Tucson has more personality than the 2014 CR-V, but offers a harsher ride than its competitor. It is also downright noisy when under hard acceleration, and more so as it makes its way up steep hills.
Style and features
We have to give it to Hyundai for its ability to create a good-looking SUV. The 2014 Tucson, with its panda-like nose, aggressively-shaped headlights, and sleek body shape serve to enhance the sporty vibe of the vehicle.
On the inside, the automaker continues its fine job by creating a comfortable and appealing interior. Its stylish cabin, slick dashboard, nice texture, leatherette door inserts, and chrome door handles offered on the GLS AWD trim are certainly pleasing to the eye.
In addition to the Tucson’s attractive interior, Hyundai tends to offer a long list of features with its vehicles, something we highly enjoy. For example, the GLS AWD comes standard with dual-zone automatic climate control with a clean air ionizer, heated front seats, heated rear seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and a rearview camera (look up at the rearview mirror for it), among others.
Satellite radio, and iPod/ USB input jacks are included. Cloth inserts with leatherette bolster seats should also prove quite comfortable.
When it comes to interior space and versatility, rivals like the CR-V are an exceptional choice in this category due in part to Honda’s Magic Seats, and the Forester will please as well.
In fact, if roominess trumps sleek exterior styling and available features, the 2014 Hyundai Tucson, although still comfortable and spacious, will likely not meet your needs in this regard. Rear passengers may feel a bit cramped, and cargo room is only decent.
Of course, you can always fold the rear seats for more space.
To buy or not to buy?
For the everyday commute, we have no reason to dislike the 2014 Hyundai Tucson GLS AWD in any way. Its car-like handling and ability to handle tight turns are enjoyable, and its interior is comfortable and spacious enough for daily back-and-forth drives to work, the grocery store, and so on. There are also plenty of available features, and its comprehensive limited, powertrain, and basic emissions 5-years/ 100,000km warranties are indeed nice incentives.
As for the Tucson’s AWD system, we tested the vehicle on dry, wet and ice-covered surfaces, and although it is not up to par with the Subaru Forester, it will manage just fine during winter.
Our main concern is more with regards to fuel economy, which gets an estimated 11.6/ 9.3 litres per 100 kilometres (city/highway), and a combined 10.6 L/100km via the automaker. Our observed, combined fuel consumption rating is 11.0 L/100km, over 300 km. You will likely get a better rating with the Mazda CX-5, Honda CR-V, and even the Subaru Forester.
Whatever the case, the 2014 Hyundai Tucson GLS AWD remains a compact crossover SUV to consider due to everything it has to offer, which include (namely) slick styling, lots of features, available AWD, and responsive handling and nimble movements. The starting price for this model is $29,449 MSRP.
2014 Hyundai Tucson gallery