Used Car Review

2010 Hyundai Tucson: Used Car Review

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author photo by Joe Tralongo July 2015

Slightly smaller than the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, the 2010 Hyundai Tucson compact SUV makes up for its size deficiency by offering expressive styling and a feature-rich interior. Available with front-wheel or all-wheel drive, the Tucson makes a great used car, and it's capable of carrying up to five adults or just two and a week's worth of outdoor gear. The 2010 Tucson also offers a number of features that sometimes aren't even available on its competition.

The Tucson's standard 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder engine rates about midlevel for performance and fuel economy, and the car's repair and reliability ratings fall between fair and good. Although it's not as roomy inside as the Honda CR-V, Chevrolet Equinox or Subaru Forester, the Tucson is still a comfortable fit. As good as the Tucson is, there are some drawbacks that are worth mentioning. Ride quality can be harsh on bad roads, and the front seats have been roundly criticized for not having much support on long trips. If these are major areas of concern, you may want to look elsewhere. Furthermore, although the 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty drops to 5 years/60,000 miles on a used model, buying a certified pre-owned car restores the full warranty from the time of its original purchase.

What We Like

Unique styling; lots of standard equipment; good fuel economy; less expensive than a comparable Honda or Toyota compact SUV

What We Don't

Engine could use a bit more power and refinement; big blind spots toward the rear; stiff ride; uncomfortable front-seat bottoms; small cargo space with rear seat up

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The 2010 Tucson is powered by a 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder engine that's good for 176 horsepower and 168 lb-ft of torque. These figures are slightly lower in states that require the California PZEV standards. The base GLS front-wheel-drive model comes standard with a 6-speed manual transmission, but all other models use a 6-speed automatic with manual shift mode. The Environmental Protection Agency rates fuel economy for the manual transmission at 22 miles per gallon in the city, 30 mpg on the highway and 25 mpg combined. When equipped with the automatic transmission, the front-drive Tucson earns 23 mpg city, 31 mpg hwy and 26 mpg combined. All-wheel-drive models see fuel economy dip to 21 mpg city, 28 mpg hwy and 24 mpg combined.

Standard Features & Options

The 2010 Tucson is offered in two trims: GLS and Limited. Both can be equipped with all-wheel drive.

The Tucson GLS includes a 6-speed manual transmission, rpm-sensitive power steering, 17-inch steel wheels with plastic covers, power windows, power door locks, power mirrors, remote keyless entry, tilt wheel, hill holder and hill descent control, AM/FM/CD stereo with satellite capability, AUX input and USB/iPod port, rear wiper/washer, air-conditioning, three 12-volt outlets (two up front and one in the cargo bay) and a manual height-adjustable driver's seat.

The Tucson GLS AWD adds a 6-speed automatic transmission.

Options for the GLS include the Popular Equipment package that adds a tilt-telescopic steering wheel, 17-in alloy wheels, driver auto up/down power window, leatherette and cloth seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, Bluetooth, steering wheel audio and cruise controls, heated side mirrors, privacy glass, a roof rack plus body color for the mirror caps and door handles. The Navigation package adds a 6.5-in navigation radio, rear backup camera, automatic headlights and a 360-watt, 7-speaker premium audio system with a powered subwoofer.

The Tucson Limited trim includes all the features in the Popular Equipment package plus leather seating, heated front seats, an 8-way power driver's seat with power lumbar support, front windshield wiper de-icers and dual-zone automatic climate control.

The Limited's Premium package adds navigation, the upgraded audio system, a panoramic glass sunroof (deletes the roof rails) and a rear backup camera.


Although the 2010 Tucson holds strong resale values, finding a low-mileage model for a good price shouldn't be too difficult. When new, the Tucson cost a bit less than the class-leading Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, and it offered more standard and optional equipment. To get a good idea of the Tucson's price range, we suggest using the used-car values at You can also search the Autotrader Classifieds to see what models are currently for sale in your area.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, has issued the following recalls for the 2010 Hyundai Tucson:

A recall was issued for a possible problem with a malfunctioning stop lamp switch that could lead to the brake lights failing to illuminate.

A recall was issued to replace the rear reflector assemblies, as they did not meet federal standards.

A recall was issued for a defective passenger-seat sensor. If the passenger weight is approximately 240 pounds or more, the Passive Occupant Protection System module can activate the airbag warning lamp.

Recall repairs are required by law even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed, and if not, will fix the car at no charge to you.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

As for safety, the Tucson performs fairly well in NHTSA's crash tests, scoring four out of five stars in the frontal crash test for driver and passenger, and five stars for driver and front passenger in the side-impact crash test. The Tucson also scored four out of five in the rollover test. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the Tucson its best rating of Good in all but the small-overlap front crash test, which earned it a Poor rating

The 2010 Tucson has a 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile transferable powertrain warranty. The 10-year/100,000-mile original powertrain warranty is not transferable, and applies only to the original owner. However, Hyundai also offers certified pre-owned cars, which are sold through Hyundai dealers after undergoing a 150-point inspection. Certified pre-owned cars are given a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty from the original date the car was placed into service (basically giving you the original owner's warranty), plus the remainder of the original bumper-to-bumper warranty.

Other Cars to Consider

2010 Honda CR-V -- The CR-V has more interior room, better resale and reliability ratings, and a more comfortable ride. But the CR-V only offers features such as a rear backup camera and Bluetooth on the most expensive trim, and don't bother looking for a panoramic sunroof or front wiper de-icers.

2010 Nissan Rogue -- The Rogue has a slightly lower resale value, but also cost less when new. The Rogue also isn't as nicely equipped as the Tucson, and its fuel economy lags behind the Tucson's by a few mpgs.

2010 Subaru Forester -- The Forester comes standard with all-wheel drive, has excellent safety, reliability and resale numbers, and offers more interior room. But the Forester's interior is Spartan by comparison and its old-fashioned 4-speed automatic isn't very efficient or fun. You can, however, get the Forester with all-wheel drive and a 5-speed manual.

Autotrader's Advice

If you live where snow makes a regular appearance, we'd opt for the GLS with all-wheel drive and the Popular Equipment package. It's all you need in a vehicle, unless you absolutely must have heated seats, leather interior and a panoramic sunroof, in which case it's a loaded Limited for you.

Find a Hyundai Tucson for sale

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2010 Hyundai Tucson: Used Car Review - Autotrader