2020 Kia Sportage vs. 2019 Hyundai Tucson

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Sportage and the Tucson 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, plastic fuel tanks, 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, blind spot warning systems, front and rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Kia Sportage is safer than the Hyundai Tucson:

Sportage

Tucson

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Sportage first among small SUVs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Tucson was rated second.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Kia vehicles are better in initial quality than Hyundai vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 1 more problems per 100 vehicles, Hyundai is ranked third.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Hyundai vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 5 places higher in reliability than Hyundai.

Engine

The Sportage has more powerful engines than the Tucson:

Horsepower

Torque

Sportage 2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

181 HP

175 lbs.-ft.

Sportage SX Turbo AWD 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

237 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

Sportage SX Turbo FWD 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

240 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

Tucson SE/Value 2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

164 HP

151 lbs.-ft.

Tucson SEL/Sport/Limited/Ultimate 2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

181 HP

175 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the Kia Sportage 2.4 4-cylinder is faster than the Hyundai Tucson:

Sportage

Tucson 2.0

Tucson 2.4

Zero to 60 MPH

8 sec

9.7 sec

8.8 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3 sec

17.2 sec

16.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

86.4 MPH

81.1 MPH

84.1 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Sportage gets better fuel mileage than the Tucson:

MPG

Sportage

FWD

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

23 city/30 hwy

SX 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/28 hwy

AWD

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

22 city/26 hwy

SX 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

19 city/24 hwy

Tucson

FWD

2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

23 city/30 hwy

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

AWD

2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

22 city/25 hwy

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

21 city/26 hwy

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Sportage SX Turbo’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Tucson:

Sportage SX Turbo

Tucson

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

12 inches

The Sportage stops much shorter than the Tucson:

Sportage

Tucson

60 to 0 MPH

118 feet

128 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

131 feet

142 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling

The Sportage SX Turbo AWD handles at .83 G’s, while the Tucson Limited AWD pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Sportage SX Turbo AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.1 seconds quicker than the Tucson SE (26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 27.9 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Sportage has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Tucson (6.8 vs. 6.4 inches), allowing the Sportage to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Towing

The Sportage’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Tucson’s (2000 vs. 1500 pounds).

Ergonomics

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the Sportage to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Tucson doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

Consumer Reports rated the Sportage’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Tucson’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

Both the Sportage and the Tucson offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Sportage has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Tucson doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Sportage owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Sportage with a number “8” insurance rate while the Tucson is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Sportage is less expensive to operate than the Tucson because it costs $46 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Sportage than the Tucson, including $126 less for a starter, $71 less for fuel injection and $6 less for a fuel pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Kia Sportage, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Hyundai Tucson isn't recommended.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Sportage third among small SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Tucson isn’t in the top three.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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