The 2024 Hyundai Tucson compact SUV has two rows of seats accommodating up to five passengers. (Hyundai)

The 2024 Hyundai Tucson compact SUV has two rows of seats accommodating up to five passengers. (Hyundai)

2024 Hyundai Tucson compact SUV is big on standard features

The Hyundai Tucson is one of the best-looking members of the densely populated compact SUV market, and can also lay claim to one of the nicest interiors in its price range. Considering its generous number of standard features, $27,500 for the base SE model achieves bargain status.

I drove the XRT model, fourth out of five on the Tucson lineup ladder. The XRT’s attraction is a more outdoorsy-looking presence. It isn’t faster or more rugged than the others, but it looks the part with 19-inch wheels, exclusive body cladding, exclusive front and rear fascias, side steps, roof rails, and a tow hitch receiver. Those aren’t truly off-road items, but they sure made my test vehicle look great.

For the 2024 Tucson, Hyundai has added new safety equipment including rear side airbags, and steering-wheel haptic feedback that vibrates to alert the driver when lane-keeping assist or blind-spot monitoring systems are sensing possible danger.

The Tucson N-Line trim has been dropped from the lineup and moved into the Tucson Hybrid family.

A 2.5-liter 187-horsepower engine joined to an eight-speed automatic transmission remains the sole Tucson powertrain for all gasoline-only models. Front-wheel drive is standard across the board, with all-wheel drive available for an extra $1,500.

My test vehicle’s EPA fuel economy rating is 23 mpg city, 29 mpg highway, and 25 mpg combined.

Tucson’s engine is best enjoyed while driving around town or on the highway without blowing off the legal speed limit and pounding the gas pedal like someone who just lost in a divorce proceeding. Although, when I had to give the car extra gas to get up a hill, it strained the engine, which is forgivable, but the noise it made sounded like a soprano.

What Tucson lacks in brute force, it makes up for in a cabin with high-grade materials, comfort and convenience, advanced technology, safety, roominess, and a consistently tranquil ride.

The cargo area provides 38.7 square feet of room behind the second-row seats, one of the most spacious among compact SUVs.

The XRT’s 10.25-inch multimedia system includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, SiriusXM, navigation and more, all wrapped up in an intuitive package.

From a buyer’s perspective, the Hyundai Tucson is one of those gems that includes everything but the floor mats as standard equipment. Lots of new cars look attractively priced until you do some research and discover that most of the features you want are extra-cost options. You realize how high the total cost will be, and the attraction vaporizes.

Another Tucson benefit is Hyundai’s warranty program: a 5-year/60,000-mile New Vehicle Warranty, and 10-year/100,000-mile Powertrain Warranty.

2024 HYUNDAI TUCSON XRT AWD

Base price, including destination charge: $36,910

Price as driven: $37,120

Mary Lowry is a member of the Motor Press Guild and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. She lives in Snohomish County. Vehicles are provided by automotive manufacturers as a one-week loan for evaluation purposes only. Manufacturers do not control content of the reviews.

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