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The Tucson has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
The Tucson’s optional driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the Tucson and the Rav4 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.
For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Good” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Tucson the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 62 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Rav4 has not been tested, yet.
The Tucson comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Rav4’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.
Hyundai’s powertrain warranty covers the Tucson 5 years and 40,000 miles longer than Toyota covers the Rav4. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Rav4 ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.
The Tucson’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Rav4’s (7 vs. 5 years).
J.D. Power and Associates rated the Tucson first among small suvs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Rav4 isn’t in the top three in its category.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Hyundai vehicles are better in initial quality than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 22 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 17th, below the industry average.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 8th.
The Tucson has 1.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Rav4 (16.4 vs. 14.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
The Tucson offers an available sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Rav4 doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.
The Tucson stops much shorter than the Rav4:
60 to 0 MPH
For better traction, the Tucson Sport/Limited’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Rav4 (245/45R19 vs. 235/55R19).
The Tucson SE/Value’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Rav4 LE/XLE’s standard 65 series tires. The Tucson Sport/Limited’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Rav4 XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited’s 55 series tires.
The Tucson has vehicle speed-sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Rav4 doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.
The Tucson SE handles at .82 G’s, while the Rav4 Limited pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.
The Tucson Limited AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.8 seconds quicker than the Rav4 Limited (27.1 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.9 seconds @ .57 average G’s).
For better maneuverability, the Tucson’s turning circle is 1.2 feet tighter than the Rav4 LE/XLE’s (34.9 feet vs. 36.1 feet). The Tucson’s turning circle is 2.5 feet tighter than the Rav4 XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited’s (34.9 feet vs. 37.4 feet).
The Tucson is 4.7 inches shorter than the Rav4, making the Tucson easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The Tucson has 3.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Rav4 (102.2 vs. 98.9).
The Tucson has .1 inches more front headroom, .5 inches more front legroom, 1.3 inches more front hip room, .4 inches more rear legroom and 6.8 inches more rear hip room than the Rav4.
The Tucson’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The Rav4’s swing out door blocks loading from the driver’s side.
The Tucson’s standard variable intermittent wipers have an adjustable delay to allow the driver to choose a setting that best clears the windshield during light rain or mist. The Rav4 LE’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent.
The Tucson has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Rav4 has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the XLE/XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited.
To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Tucson Limited offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Rav4 doesn’t offer cornering lights.
The Tucson’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Toyota charges extra for heated mirrors on the Rav4.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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