In the United States, the Tucson is offered in base GLS, mid-line SE, and top-tier Limited (formerly LX) trim levels for 2007 models. Earlier 2005 and 2006 models were offered as GL/GLS/Limited. Standard equipment includes air conditioning, cruise control, six airbags, electronic stability control, a CD player, alloy wheels, remote keyless entry, and premium cloth seats. The SE adds to the roster with contrasting gray body cladding, a different alloy design, an AM/FM/Cassette/CD as well as fog lights and a front windshield wiper de-icing grid. The Limited adds leather seating surfaces, a 6-disc in dash CD changer, body-colored cladding, automatic climate control, and heated seats. The SE and Limited are only available with the 2.7-liter V6. The GLS comes only with the 2.0-liter four cylinder.
The Tucson offers modest cargo space but its easy-to-fold seats can expand this volume. Even the front passenger seat folds flat for extra-long cargo. All Tucsons come with this feature.
One major selling point of the Tucson is its safety feature content. There are dual-stage frontal impact airbags, torso side-impact airbags built into the front seats, and curtain airbags for side-impact protection for front and rear passengers. The front passenger airbag has a deactivation feature where if the seat is unoccupied, the airbag will not deploy in the event of a frontal collision, saving on repair costs.
The Tucson received accolades from Canadian Car of the Year Best New Crossover award for 2005.
Changes for 2006 were minimal. The LX became the Limited and got color-coded cladding, automatic climate control, and a high-performance sound system . The GLS retained the gray cladding but 'HYUNDAI' is no longer branded into the cladding on the front doors. The GLS also got improved cloth seats with the option of a heating element. Both GLS and Limited got redesigned alloy wheels. The base GL remains unchanged.
Changes for 2007 were also minimal. The GL and GLS trims were renamed to GLS and SE, respectively, to match the standard for all new Hyundai vehicles.