2013 Hyundai Tucson Preview

Jeff Youngs | Jul 20, 2013
  • Keyless entry/ignition now standard on Limited trim level
  • Automatic headlights, fog lights, now standard on GLS trim level
  • Heated front seats now standard on GLS trim level
  • Steering and suspension give sporty feel to crossover SUV
  • 6-speed transmission features Shiftronic technology and Active Eco System


The Hyundai Tucson is a compact crossover SUV that seats five. It is little changed from the previous year, but several previously optional features are now standard on the upper trim levels, including heated front seats, automatic headlights, and fog lights on the Tucson GLS, and keyless entry and ignition on the Limited trim level. The Tucson is known as the ix35 in Europe, and as the JM in Japan, and was introduced to the U.S. market in 2004. It's available in three trim levels: GL, GLS, and Limited. The GL features front-wheel drive; the GLS and Limited offer a choice of front-wheel or all-wheel drive. The GLS and Limited trim levels also feature a larger and more powerful engine. The Hyundai Tucson is very similar to the Kia Sportage, as the two share a vehicle platform. Other competitors to the Tucson include the Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-5, Honda CR-V, and the Ford Escape.

Exterior Features

The 2013 Hyundai Tucson is offered in a total of nine colors, although not all colors are offered on all trim levels: Chai Bronze, Kiwi Green, Aurora Blue, Iris Blue, Garnet Red, black, grey, silver, and white. The base model features 17-inch steel wheels, while the GLS upgrades to alloy wheels, and the Limited has 18-inch alloy wheels. The GLS trim level features roof rails, heated side mirrors, automatic headlights, and fog lights, while the Limited adds keyless entry and ignition plus a front wiper de-icer. A panoramic sunroof is optional on the Tucson Limited.

Interior Features

Three interior colors are available on the 2013 Tucson--brown, taupe, and black--although not all are available with every exterior color. Standard interior features include air conditioning, full power accessories, adjustable driver's seat, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, and a 6-speaker stereo system with CD player, auxiliary jack, satellite radio, and iPod/USB interface. The GLS trim level adds cruise control, leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, upgraded cloth/vinyl upholstery, heated front seats, sportier suspension, and Bluetooth connectivity. The Limited offers dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery including a power-adjustable driver's seat, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a cargo cover. With the rear seats up, the 2013 Hyundai Tucson has 25.7 cubic feet of cargo space, and 55.8 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down.

Optional Features

An optional Premium package for the Limited trim level adds a touch-screen navigation system, rearview camera, and sunroof (which replaces the roof rails), as well as an upgraded audio system. Available accessories on all Tucsons include a first aid kit, cargo net, cargo mat, cargo tray, carpeted floor mats, roof cross rails, automatically dimming mirror, wheel locks, mud guards, tow hitch, and remote engine start.

Under the Hood

The Tucson GL features a 2.0-liter, inline 4-cylinder engine that delivers 165 horsepower and 146 lb.-ft. of torque, working with a 5-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive (FWD). A 6-speed automatic transmission that includes the fuel-saving Active Eco system is optional. The GLS and Limited trim levels employ a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that delivers 176 horsepower and 168 lb.-ft. of torque. On the upper trim levels, the 6-speed automatic transmission is standard, and all-wheel drive (AWD) is optional.

Fuel Economy

EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2013 Hyundai Tucson are:
  • Tucson GL with manual transmission: 20/26/22 mpg (city/highway/combined)
  • Tucson GL with automatic transmission: 22/29/25 mpg
  • Tucson GLS or Limited with FWD: 21/30/25 mpg
  • Tucson GLS or Limited with AWD: 20/27/23 mpg


Standard safety features on the Tucson include anti-lock disc brakes, traction and stability control, active front head restraints, front-seat and rear-seat side-impact air bags, and side curtain air bags, as well as a hill-hold/hill-descent function, front and rear park-assist sensors, lane-departure warning system, and a rearview camera.

In crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2013 Hyundai Tucson received an overall rating of 4 (out of 5) stars: 4 for frontal crash protection; 5 for side crash protection; and 4 for rollover protection. In tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the 2013 Hyundai Tucson received a rating of "Good"--the Institute's highest--for frontal offset and side-impact crash protection, and for roof strength.
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