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Hello, I’m currently interested in buying a 2016 awd Hyundai Tucson. The one I found is $20,777 with 22k miles on it. It has many features including blind spot detection, navigation, heated seats, and moon roof. Overall this sounds like a great deal BUT the car is a buyback/lemon. According to the dealer the car was bought back for having a overheating transmission which they said is a relatively common complaint with the 2016 model. The dealer has promised that this issue was fixed by the manufacturer. I did a test drive and the car seemed to drive perfectly. It actually was smoother than other TucsonsI had test driven. It also still has the original warranty on it with approx 23 months and 37k miles left on it. My question is is it worth it to buy a buyback car of this model with this kind of defect present in the past? What can I do to ensure this is a resolved issue especially if this is a common issue with this model? Are Hyundai’s themselves generally reliable vehicles?

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Jessica Howe, Automotive Expert & Coach at


Thank you for writing in. You have started to do one of the best things that you can, and that is researching the vehicle. Look up TSB's or technician service bulletins on the vehicle for a list of potential issues that are common with the vehicle. You can also have the another technician perform a pre-purchase inspection on the vehicle. These are bumper-to-bumper inspections done in order to determine if there is anything that looks suspicious with it. Considering the vehicle's past, you may want to find a technician that specializes in transmissions for the inspection. 

While it is great that there is still a warranty on the vehicle, that is just under two years, and you may want to aim a little higher. See if the dealer will negotiate a better warranty considering the history. You may be able to argue down the price a bit as well. Remember, you have control over the sale, and they want that sale. 

Hyundai's have a good reputation, and the Tucson is a well liked model. That being said, at only two years old its hard to tell what the car will run like in 5 or so years. Research what others are saying about their Hyundais. JD Power does excellent research on newer models, and uses real customer feedback. Good luck!

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