2021 Hyundai Tucson vs. 2020 Subaru Forester

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/21

The Tucson Limited/Ultimate has a standard Surround View Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Forester only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Compared to metal, the Tucson’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Subaru Forester has a metal gas tank.

Both the Tucson and the Forester have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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 and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Hyundai Tucson is safer than the Subaru Forester:

Tucson

Forester

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

172

186

Neck Injury Risk

21%

23%

Neck Stress

219 lbs.

326 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

64/54 lbs.

248/368 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

226

293

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.7 inches

Neck Stress

162 lbs.

213 lbs.

Neck Compression

50 lbs.

103 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

45/43 lbs.

105/93 lbs.

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

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH, results indicate that the Hyundai Tucson is safer than the Subaru Forester:

Tucson

Forester

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Abdominal Force

107 G’s

122 G’s

Hip Force

356 lbs.

389 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

241

246

Spine Acceleration

55 G’s

56 G’s

Hip Force

482 lbs.

670 lbs.

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

Warranty

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/21

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 Forester’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 Subaru covers the Forester. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Forester ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The Tucson’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Forester’s (7 vs. 5 years).

Hyundai pays for scheduled maintenance on the Tucson for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Hyundai will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Subaru doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Forester.

There are over 31 percent more Hyundai dealers than there are Subaru dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Tucson’s warranty.

Reliability

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/21

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Tucson first among compact SUVs in their 2020 Initial Quality Study. The Forester isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2020 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Hyundai vehicles are better in initial quality than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 34 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 27th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 14th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Subaru vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Hyundai 1 place higher in reliability than Subaru.

Engine

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/21

As tested in Motor Trend the Hyundai Tucson 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder is faster than the Subaru Forester:

Tucson

Forester

Zero to 30 MPH

2.9 sec

3.7 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

8.8 sec

9.6 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

15.2 sec

15.5 sec

Quarter Mile

16.7 sec

17.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

84.1 MPH

82.3 MPH

Environmental Friendliness

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/21

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies the Hyundai Tucson as a “Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle” (PZEV). The Subaru Forester is only certified to “Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (SULEV) standards.

Brakes and Stopping

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/21

For better stopping power the Tucson’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the Forester:

Tucson

Forester

Front Rotors

12 inches

11.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

11.2 inches

The Tucson stops much shorter than the Forester:

Tucson

Forester

60 to 0 MPH

118 feet

129 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/21

For better traction, the Tucson Sport’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Forester (245/45R19 vs. 225/60R17).

The Tucson Sport’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Forester Sport/Limited/Touring’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Tucson Sport has standard 19-inch wheels. The Forester’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Suspension and Handling

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For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Tucson is 1.6 inches wider in the front and 1.9 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Forester.

The Tucson SE handles at .82 G’s, while the Forester Touring pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Tucson Limited AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the Forester Touring (27.1 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

Chassis

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The Tucson is 5.7 inches shorter than the Forester, making the Tucson easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/21

The Tucson has 1.5 inches more front hip room and .9 inches more rear hip room than the Forester.

Cargo Capacity

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To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Tucson’s liftgate can be opened just by waiting momentarily behind the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Forester doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Towing

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Maximum trailer towing in the Subaru Forester is limited to 1500 pounds. The Tucson offers up to a 2000 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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The power windows standard on both the Tucson and the Forester have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Tucson is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Forester prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Tucson Ultimate’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Forester’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Tucson Ultimate keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The Forester doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Hyundai Tucson Sport/Limited/Ultimate has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Forester doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Model Availability

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The Tucson is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Forester doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Tucson owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Tucson will cost $140 less than the Forester over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Tucson is less expensive to operate than the Forester because it costs $54 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Tucson than the Forester, including $130 less for a water pump, $16 less for front brake pads, $254 less for a starter, $235 less for fuel injection, $131 less for a fuel pump, $151 less for front struts and $324 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/21

The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Hyundai Tucson, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels. The Subaru Forester isn't recommended.

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