2010-2015 Hyundai Tucson
Upgrading the stereo system in your Tucson
2010 • 2011 • 2012 • 2013 • 2014 • 2015
In brief: This Crutchfield Research Garage article gives you an overview of your Tucson's stock stereo system and your aftermarket upgrade options. Use our vehicle selector to find the gear that will fit your SUV.
Overview of the Hyundai Tucson
Hyundai built their brand by offering a lot of value in a low-priced vehicle. Years later, the value is still there and the prices are still sane, but the vehicles are soooo much better. Back in the day, Hyundai competed with Yugo. Now they're competing with Honda. They've come a long way, baby.
The second-generation Tucson, for example, is a thoroughly competent compact SUV that gives you a lot of bang for your buck. It's attractive, spacious, economical, and does all the things you want a vehicle like this to do. Plus, the styling is so subtle that you probably could go on a three-state bank-robbing spree without anyone noticing your getaway car. Not that you should do that, of course. Seriously, don't.
A properly maintained Tucson should last quite a while, so installing an upgraded stereo system will make all those miles a lot more enjoyable.
The base radio is a nice-looking unit that doesn't sound terrible (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Factory stereo system
In keeping with Hyundai's "more for less" product philosophy, the stock stereos aren't lacking for features. There's an AM/FM/XM/CD/MP3 receiver with six speakers, or an optional AM/FM/CD/MP3/Navigation receiver with seven speakers. As factory stereos go, they're not awful, but you can do a lot better.
Detailed stereo and speaker removal instructions
The stock receivers can be replaced by single-DIN (2" tall) or double-DIN (4" tall) aftermarket stereos. You'll lose the standard satellite radio when you do the swap, but it's easy to find a new stereo that's SiriusXM Ready and keep your subscription going.
The optional navigation receiver isn't bad, but new maps are always better (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Replacing your factory radio
Removing the old receiver is a pretty simple process in the Tucson. You'll start by setting the parking brake and disconnecting the negative battery cable to prevent any electrical shorts. Once that's all done, you're ready to grab your tools and get to it.
Use a panel tool to pry out the hazard switch panel to release two retaining clips. You can let the panel hang by the harness while you remove the two exposed Phillips screws and do everything else.
Pry up the top dash panel to release four clips and pull it toward the rear of the vehicle to remove it. Remove the two Phillips screws exposed by the removal of that panel, then pull the receiver out of the dash, disconnect the harnesses, and set it aside.
Tools needed: Panel tool, Phillips screwdriver
Steering wheel audio controls
It's relatively easy to retain the steering wheel audio controls when you install a new stereo in your Tucson. When you enter your vehicle information, our database will choose the adapter you need to make your factory steering wheel controls work with your new receiver.
In many cases, you'll need to drill new mounting screw holes for the speaker adapter brackets included with your speaker purchase (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Replacing your factory speakers
The Tucson has speakers in the front sail panels, front doors, and rear doors. There was also an optional subwoofer.
The tweeters are attached to the sail panels, and they're not hard to remove (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Front door tweeters
The stock tweeters are roughly 1-1/2" in diameter and secured to the sail panels. They're not hard to get to, but you will have to use our universal backstraps (or hot glue or silicone) to secure their replacements. You'll also need Posi-Products speaker connectors, since there's no wiring harness available for this location.
The removal process is pretty simple. Starting at the top corner, pry out the sail panel to release the retaining clip, then disconnect the harness and lift the sail panel up to remove it. Remove the foam block, then remove the two Phillips screws securing the tweeter to the sail panel grille and remove the tweeter.
Tools needed: Panel tool, Phillips screwdriver
The front door speakers are up high, so you can hear them clearly. That's a good thing. (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Front door woofers
You've already removed the sail panel to get to the tweeters, so you're one step ahead when it comes to replacing the woofers with 6-1/2" or 6-3/4" aftermarket models. You'll need to remove the door panels next, and that's not hard to do.
Use your panel tool to pry open the screw cover behind the door release handle and remove one Phillips screw, then pull on the door release trim and remove it.
Pry out the rubber screw cover on the upper/front corner of the door panel and remove the exposed Phillips screw. Next, pry out the rubber screw cover inside the door pull cup and remove the Phillips screw from that location.
Pry out the two screw covers on the rear edge of the door panel and remove one Phillips screw under each cover. The screw collar will come off with the screw, so don't worry about that. Pry out the sides and bottom of the door panel to release the retaining clips, then disconnect the harnesses and remove the door panel. Remove the four Phillips screws securing the stock speaker to the door steel, then disconnect the harness and remove the speaker.
In many cases, you'll need to drill new mounting screw holes for the speaker adapter bracket included with your speaker purchase. This isn't hard, but work carefully, know what's around the area you're drilling into, and wear eye protection.
You'll also need some more Posi-Products speaker connectors, because there's no wiring harness adapter for this location, either.
Tools needed: Panel tool, Phillips screwdriver, hook tool
The full-range rear door speakrs are very easy to reach and replace (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Rear door speakers
The rear door speakers are full-range models that can be replaced by 6-1/2" or 6-3/4" aftermarket speakers. They're pretty easy to deal with, and you won't have to do any drilling back here.
Starting at top corner, pry out the sail panel to release the retaining clip, then lift the sail panel up to remove it.
Pry open the screw cover behind the door release handle and remove one Phillips screw, then pull out the door release trim. Next, you'll need to pry out the screw cover on the upper/front corner of the door panel and remove the exposed Phillips screw, which will be accompanied by the screw collar.
Still have that panel tool handy? Good. Pry out the rubber screw cover inside the door pull cup and remove one Phillips screw, then pry out the two screw covers on the rear edge of the door panel and remove the Phillips screw under each one. These screw collars will come along, too.
All that's left is to pry out the sides and bottom of the door panel, disconnect the harnesses, and remove the door panel. Remove the four Phillips screws securing the speaker to the door steel, then disconnect it and remove it.
You'll also need Posi-Products speaker connectors here, too, since there's no wiring harness available for the rear door speakers. A speaker adapter bracket will be used for any aftermarket speaker, and it's included free with your Crutchfield order.
Tools needed: Panel tool, Phillips screw driver, hook tool
Getting to the stock subwoofer is a challenge, but it's still do-able for the DIY-er (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Bass in your Tucson
The Tucson's upgraded audio package included an 8" subwoofer with dual 2-ohm voice coils that's located in the right rear side panel, along with an amp.
Removing and replacing this sub isn't the hardest thing ever, but there are a lot of steps involved, including the removal of the rear seat and a lot of panels. You'll be removing a lot of screws, too, so keep those straight, because you'll need to use them when you're putting everything together again. You can do this job (with a helper, probably), but you'll need to work carefully and stay organized.
In some cases, you'll need to drill new mounting holes for the new sub. Remember to scout the area you're drilling into, work smart, and wear eye protection. Complete, step-by-step instructions for all sixteen steps of this subwoofer removal process can be found in your Crutchfield MasterSheet.
The stock sub is a low-impedance (1-2 ohms) model, so you'll want to replace it with a low-impedance aftermarket model. If you replace it with a higher-impedance sub, you'll notice a unpleasant drop-off in volume levels.
Tools needed: Panel tool, Phillips screwdriver, 10mm, 12mm, & 14mm sockets, ratchet and extension
Adding a subwoofer box
If you want even more base, the Tucson offers gobs of room for a subwoofer enclosure. With a 40" W x 16" H x 23"/33" D space to work with, you can add plenty of pulse-pounding bass to your SUV. If you have more practical uses in mind for that cargo area, a powered subwoofer can work nicely back here.
This is a stock photo, but your custom-fit liners will look just as good in your Tucson
Other options for your Tucson
Here are some other fun and/or smart upgrade ideas for your Tucson.
Life has a funny way of happening in small SUVs, and sometimes life is messy. When that happens, it's a good idea to have a set of WeatherTech Floor Liners on the floors. These incredibly durable mats trap moisture and spills, contain dirt, and help keep your factory carpets looking good.
The Tucson isn't as blocky as some of its competitors, but it can be a bit noisy on the highway. A Dynamat Xtreme Door Kit is the perfect way to seal in sound. This heavy-duty insulating material is easy to install, and it really makes a difference. One kit will take care of the front doors in your Tucson. The rear doors and the rear hatch are also good areas to target if you build a serious sound system.
The Tucson has plenty of room for an aftermarket amplifier, so if you want to take your sound to the next level, you won't have to worry about space in most cases. Our Crutchfield Advisors can help you find the right amp for your system.
Installing a security system in your Tucson isn't easy (security systems rarely are), but it's less complicated than it could be. Our Crutchfield Advisors can help figure out what you need to get the job done, but we usually recommend taking your car and your new security gear to a professional installer.
Find the audio gear that fits your car or truck
Visit our Outfit My Car page and enter your vehicle information to see stereos, speakers, subs, and other audio accessories that will work in your vehicle.