7.19.2014

Why The 2014 Hyundai Tucson Is Going Away

2014 Hyundai Tucson front 3/4 view
2014 Hyundai Tucson.
We're on a bit of a roll here at TireKicker when it comes to small crossovers, or what they used to call "Cute-Utes".  The Phoenix Bureau just posted its review of the 2014 Nissan Rogue this afternoon, I updated my review of the 2014 Toyota RAV4 earlier in the week, and it was about a month ago that I reviewed the 2015 Mazda CX-5.

So where does the 2014 Hyundai Tucson fit in that incredibly competitive segment that also includes the Honda CR-V, Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Escape and Kia Sportage?



2014 Hyundai Tucson side view
2014 Hyundai Tucson.
Pretty much at the bottom. It feels five years out of date. Not exactly its fault, since it has been on the market for five years, and in that time, the competition has rolled out new and improved competitors.  I drove the 2014 Hyundai Tucson one week after driving the new RAV4 and it wasn't even close.

2014 Hyundai Tucson interior
2014 Hyundai Tucson interior.
By 2010 standards, the Tucson is a fine piece.  Ours, a top-of-the-line Limited model,  had a base price of $26,200 which gets you a long list of standard equipment (click here), and ours had options including the Technology Package, which brings a panoramic sunroof, LED taillights, navigation with a 7-inch touchscreen display and a premium audio system with a subwoofer and amplifier for $2,650.

Add the $875 inland freight and handling charge and the bottom line was $29,835.  EPA mileage 21 city/28 highway. And at that price in mid-2014, it's just been left in the dust in terms of styling, refinement and even gas mileage by the competition.

The good news is that there's an all-new Hyundai Tucson coming for 2015. What worries me is that this is the first time in many years that Hyundai's product cadence has slowed to the point that their product didn't feel like it was roaring up the tailpipe of the competition. There was a period there where the brand was gaining ground so fast, there was a real question as to whether anyone could possibly stay ahead of them. It has to be expensive to keep that up (especially with a product lineup as diverse as Hyundai's). But to slow it down to the point where your contender in a hot segment can feel this far behind isn't good.

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