Hyundai Tucson Years To Avoid (4 Key Problems)

The Hyundai Tucson is a compact crossover SUV with a “plushy” interior, fortified with luxurious components and sophisticated techs. This SUV is undoubtedly one of the best crossover SUVs to buy as it comes with best-in-the-class in-car techs, and it lasts long.

But, not all Hyundai Tucson models are worth buying; some Hyundai Tucson SUVs produced in specific years are problematic, and you should stay away from them. But what are the worst Hyundai Tucson years to avoid and why?

The 2016 and 2017 Hyundai Tucson models had the highest number of complaints on CarComplaints, so they are flagged as the worst model years to buy. However, getting flagged as the “worst” years isn’t just enough; there are other things you should know about these cars, which we’ll highlight below.

Hyundai Tucson Overview

Produced by Hyundai, the Tucson is a sturdy off-road capable SUV that can take you anywhere and get you back safely. It comes new with multiple engines and transmission options, including a  diesel engine option available on most models.

The Hyundai Tucson is currently in its fourth generation, which started with the 2020 model. One impressive thing about Hyundai Tucson is that they are equipped with so many smart techs; US News & World Reports ranks this SUV as the #1 in its category of compact SUVs.

See Also: Hyundai Sonata Years To Avoid

Worst Hyundai Tucson Years To Avoid

While virtually all Hyundai Tucson models are recommendable, you should think twice before buying any model made in the following years. Why? Hyundai Tucsons made in the indicated years are typically problematic, and the repair cost is seemingly high.

  • 2011 Hyundai Tucson
  • 2012 Hyundai Tucson
  • 2016 Hyundai Tucson
  • 2017 Hyundai Tucson
  • 2018 Hyundai Tucson

Before you ask, hereunder are the most common reasons why avoiding the above-listed Hyundai Tucson model years is advisable.

Common Problems With Hyundai Tucson

1. Transmission Problems

  • Affected Years: 2016 and 2017 Hyundai Tucson

The owners of the 2016/2017 Hyundai Tucson models allege that the transmission of the SUV gives a lot of problems even when they haven’t done 30k miles. Commonly reported problems include transmission not accelerating from a stop, transmission hesitating from a stop, and shifting problems.

Well, there are other reports, such as the transmission not engaging or slips during acceleration. The most concerning thing here is that these transmission problems were reported at low mileage – below 30k, and the average repair cost is $1,500.

2. Engine Problems

  • Affected Years: Reported on 2012 thru 2018 Hyundai Tucson models

Quite several Hyundai Tucson model years reportedly had engine problems, ranging from minor faults such as power loss, acceleration problems, and engine lights coming on when not supposed to fatal engine problems that may require a complete overhaul of the engine.

Well, the reported critical problems typically occurred within the 90k – 120k miles range. The average cost of fixing the detected problem is $4,500; of course, the cost is higher for most critical issues.

3. AC and Heater Problems

  • Affected Years: Mostly reported on the 2016 Hyundai Tucson

The 2016 Tucson is reported to have an AC/heater system that is malfunctioning out of the blue. Reported problems include the AC blowing warm air intermittently and the AC system shutting down completely – requiring a complete change.

The average cost of fixing Hyundai Tucson AC/heater problems is $800.

4. Interior Accessories Problems

  • Affected Years: 2011, 2014, 2016, and 2008 Hyundai Tucson models

The interior accessories on the indicated Hyundai Tucson models were reported to stop working after a few thousand miles.

This includes radio/infotainment system failure, heated seat malfunctioning, and direction lights staying on all the time. The alleged average repair cost of these problems is $1,000.

Best Hyundai Tucson Years To Buy

Okay, we have talked about the worst Hyundai Tucson years. Now let’s talk about the best model years. Well, the Hyundai Tucson has a good number of remarkably “decent” model years you could choose from when buying a used one.

Hereunder are the best recommended years of the Hyundai Tucson SUV.

  • 2005 to 2010 Hyundai Tucson
  • 2013 to 2015 Hyundai Tucson
  • 2018 to 2022 Hyundai Tucson

These model years are more liable and last up to 250,000 miles before needing serious repairs. You’d get a great value buying from these model years as against the ones mentioned among the “Worst” years.

See Also: Hyundai Elantra Years To Avoid


The Hyundai Tucson is a cool, decent, and smart SUV that gives you all the good things you can expect from a crossover SUV of its class.

This article has simply explained the worst Hyundai Tucson years to avoid and lists the best years to buy – now you can make a perfect choice for a new/used Hyundai Tucson.

Typically, Hyundai Tucson lasts long, and they are pretty affordable. If you would like to know other decent alternatives to try out, the Toyota Highlander and Kia Sportage are pretty good options – priced within the same range.

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