2017 Hyundai Tucson: Moving Up The Charts In Hot Compact SUV Segment

Compact SUVs are not only the hottest-selling SUV segment, they are one of the hottest segments in the entire new vehicle market. Nearly a quarter-million of these vehicles were sold in March 2017. Familiar nameplates like the Nissan Rogue, Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape, and Chevrolet Equinox are the top five players. They dominate the market, taking a collective 62.6 percent of all the sales.

That leaves 31.4 percent for the remaining 12 nameplates. These include well-known and highly regarded vehicles like the Subaru Forester, Jeep Cherokee, Mazda CX-5, and the Hyundai Tucson.

Hyundai Tucson Is A Worthy Competitor

The Hyundai Tucson, currently in ninth place, should be a very competitive vehicle in this segment. It offers a fresh design, plus it provides excellent value for the money, as most Hyundai cars and SUVs do.

Tucson At A Glance

Here are some basic stats on the Hyundai Tucson and what it offers consumers in the market for a compact SUV:

Wheelbase                105.1”
Overall Length:            176.2”
Overall Height:              65.0”
Minimum Ground Clearance:        6.4”
EPA Total Interior Volume:        102.2 cu. ft.
Fuel Capacity:                  16.4 gal.
Engines:                2.0L/164 hp or 1.6L Turbo/175 hp
Drive Options:            Front-Wheel Drive or All-Wheel Drive
EPA-Rated MPG            City 21-26, Highway 26-32

The Tucson compares favorably with all the leading vehicles mentioned above. So what’s keeping it from the top five?

The problem is production. Hyundai dealers have been unable to get enough Tucsons to satisfy consumer demand. Hyundai has been producing too many cars and not enough SUVs for a significant amount of time. The result is a shortage of Hyundai SUVs and a glut of Hyundai cars. And that’s Not Good if you are a Hyundai dealer in a market where customers want more SUVs.

Tucson Sales Slowly Ramping Up

This problem is slowly being solved. More Tucsons are being produced and shipped to dealers, and sales are increasing. February 2017 saw 6,422 Tucson sales; this was up to 8,985 by March 2017. April 2017 produced 9,952 sales. But it could be better, much better. The Honda CR-V sold 32,671 units in April and the Toyota RAV4 sold 31,757. That’s over three times more than Tucson sold – for each of them. Tucson has a lot of ground to cover before it reaches the big leagues.

How The Top Dogs Do It

The sales statistics provide a major clue. For most of the leading compact SUV players, this vehicle is their biggest seller, period. The Honda CR-V outsells the Accord and the Civic. The RAV4 outsells the Camry and the Corolla. The Rogue outsells the Altima and the Sentra. The Escape outsells the Explorer and the Fusion.

But the Tucson was outsold by both the Elantra and the Sonata sedans. How can this be?

It’s simple really. If Tucsons are scarce and cars are overflowing the lots, then dealers will want to make generous deals to move the cars quickly, while trying to get top dollar for the few Tucsons they have on hand. It is supply and demand at work.

What It Will Take To Put The Tucson In The Top Tier

There needs to be a much greater supply of Tucsons, first and foremost. Then, once the dealers have large Tucson inventories, they will feel the need to move them faster. Sales will increase at a faster rate. The factories can keep cranking them out. Buyers have a better selection, get a better deal, and can take delivery sooner. Everybody is happy.

Of course, Honda, Toyota, and the other top compact SUV manufacturers will not let these events go unanswered. They will vigorously defend their market shares with promotions, incentives, and all-out war on competitors like Hyundai.

And the winner is…the consumer, who will get to choose from a wide variety of compact SUV brands at very attractive prices. Competition is a good thing!

About The Author

Stephen Fogel

Stephen follows the global automotive industry on a daily basis, including new model announcements, new technologies, sales trends, and the latest in "green" cars.