Which Hyundai Tucson Years To Avoid and Why? (Explained)

Hyundai first introduced its compact crossover SUV named Tucson in 2004 as a 2005 model, and it immediately became one of the favorite budget-friendly consumers’ choices.

When you consider a decent quality crossover within a cheap price range, nothing can beat the excellent ground clearance and an additional All-Wheel Drive that Tucson cars deliver.

However, not all released Tucson models came with the same high built-in quality and trusted reliability.

Thus, let’s learn which years of Hyundai Tucson models are pretty problematic and which are not from today’s article to make the safest purchase decision-

Hyundai Tucson Years To Avoid (List of Years)

The Hyundai Tucson SUV series is an incredible choice that delivers outstanding drivability and performance, and some of its released models are considered as remarkable as any top brand’s high-quality SUV series.

Unfortunately, Hyundai failed to keep the standard intact in every year’s Tucson model. As a result, some Tucson models arrived with significant factory-built-up mistakes and structural flaws.

The following years’ models of Hyundai Tucson are considered pretty troublesome, and most consumers also end up encountering some significant issues with those models.

So, note these models and keep them aside from your consideration list-

  • 2011 Hyundai Tucson: Poor or inadequate gas mileage, transmission tends to lock up, engine failure, A/C or heater malfunctioning, faulty interior accessories, and drivetrain problem.
  • 2012 Hyundai Tucson: Transmission slipping, engine surges or complete failure, interior accessories problem, brakes, and electrical system error.
  • 2014 Hyundai Tucson: Struggles at acceleration, no acceleration when stopped on occasion, engine failure, broken OEM tires bands, transmission problem, faulty interior accessories, and electrical system problem.
  • 2015 Hyundai Tucson: Paint tends to peel or come off, engine stalls or abruptly dies while driving, faulty fuel gauge sensor, transmission problem, and wheels or hubs problem.
  • 2016 Hyundai Tucson: Engine tends to stall or shut off while driving, failed or dead engine, spring breaks during driving, transmission system problem, and body or paint problem.
  • 2017 Hyundai Tucson: vehicle stalls, clunking noise comes while starting up, excess oil consumption, drivetrain, and lights problem.
  • 2018 Hyundai Tucson: Engine stalls or shuts down while driving, premature stock tire wear or engine failure, electrical system malfunction, and A/C or heater problem.

According to the list published under the What Tucson Owners Complain About, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016, and 2017 are the most problematic years of Hyundai Tucson crossover SUV models.

What Makes These Hyundai Tucson Years Worth Avoiding? 

Based on the Hyundai Tucson Reliability Problems report, the Tucson series has some most common troubleshooting errors or problems, and in this section, I would like to discuss those common problems elaborately-

1. Hyundai Tucson Engine Failure:

According to Tucson consumers’ complaint reports mentioned on the carcomplaints.com  website, several engine-related issues are common in almost all Tucson models. But fortunately, most of them are minor issues and fixable.

Most engine problems arise in Hyundai Tucson’s models released in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. However, the majority of the consumers’ complaints were reported against its 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2017 released models.

Hyundai Tucson owners and users of those years’ models have reported issues such as engine stalls, surges, oil burns or leaks, significant power loss, no acceleration, white smoke emitting from the tailpipe, the vehicle tends to rev up while in parking, speed control failure or complete engine failure.

Reportedly, engine issues mostly arise after the vehicle reached around 100000 miles of operation, and in the worst scenario, you have to replace the entire engine to bring your vehicle back to its original usable state.

Also, remember, replacing any vehicle’s factory assembled engine entirely is a costly servicing.

So, it is better not to go for such models, which can eventually cause such potential issues.

2. Tucson’s Transmission System Problem:

One of the most common complaints against some Tucson models is transmission systems malfunctioning or failure.

According to the earlier mentioned website report, transmission problems are most common in Tucson’s 2011, 2012, 2016, 2017, and 2018, but things got serious with the 2016 and 2017 released Tucson models.

Consumers have reported common symptoms such as not engaging properly, shifting failure, hesitation, overheating, shuddering or slipping in acceleration, and unusually vibrating at high RPM.

Besides those, consumers also encountered issues like no acceleration from a stop on occasion, tend to lurch forward from a stop position, vehicles stuck in reverse gear, or complete failure.

Reportedly, in 2016 Hyundai had to recall some of its Tucson models due to severe transmission failure causing major acceleration issues. Later on, Hyundai claimed to fix the problem by reprogramming.

3. Tucson’s A/C Or Heater Malfunction:

Another noteworthy highlighted problem is the sudden A/C or heater malfunctioning, which several Tucson users have mentioned in their complaints.

Based on the Carcomplaints website report, 2011, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 released models of Hyundai Tucson tend to have minor A/C or heater-related issues.

But the 2016 Tucson model was reported to have the greatest number of A/C malfunctioning troubles, where consumers encountered symptoms such as A/C intermittently blowing warm air, A/C compressor failure, A/C or heater not working as they were supposed to or stop working, bad odor coming from vents while starting up, heater suddenly cuts out, and loud knocking noise while the Heat is On.

4. Other Tucson Problems:

Besides those above-discussed problem categories, the carcomplaints.com website has highlighted some other occasionally found minor issues based on the consumer reports, such as defective interior accessories, electrical systems errors or failure, and brakes malfunctioning.

Reportedly, users have experienced interior accessories issues such as Bluetooth not responding or working properly, key stuck on the ignition switch, Hill assists or stability lights keep illuminating, heated seat failure, the reverse assist display not working, and steering wheel tends to peel.

Users have also complained of several electrical issues like power window failure or door locks not working properly, locked ignition, soy-based wire coverings chewed by rodents, blind spot detection failing to detect correctly, battery dies prematurely, left turn signal not working, and radio short circuit.

Some Tucson owners have also mentioned encountering brake line leakage or brakes failure, and some even claimed that they had to replace the front brake.

Which Hyundai Tucson Years are Safe to Buy Used? 

According to the HYUNDAI TUCSON MODEL YEAR COMPARISON detailed graphical representation published on the CarComplaints.com website, you can count the following mentioned Tucson released years as the safe choices to purchase-  

  • 2005 -2010 Hyundai Tucson
  • 2013 Hyundai Tucson
  • 2019 -2021 Hyundai Tucson

Therefore, if you are interested in purchasing a used Hyundai Tucson model, choose a model from the above-mentioned safe years’ list and avoid experiencing any unpleasant incidents.


If you are looking for a new or used decent and reliable compact crossover within a budget-friendly pricing range, Hyundai Tucson can be your ideal choice.

But it will be a beneficial investment only if you are picking the Tucson year model with the less or zero problems, and the easiest way to ensure that is just avoiding all the problematic years mentioned in today’s article.

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