Hyundai Tucson vs Honda CR-V

Hyundai Tucson vs Honda CR-V

The Lowdown

The Hyundai Tucson offers a generous warranty and is slightly cheaper. But the Honda CR-V comes out on top, with more passenger space, more cargo volume, a better ride, and hybrid availability. Expect a closer battle soon, because Hyundai will release a redesigned Tucson in 2022.

2021 Hyundai Tucson SE

MSRP
$23,700
Body Type
SUV
Horsepower
161
Weight
3,309 lbs
Seating
5
MPG (City/Hwy)
23 / 28

2021 Honda CR-V LX

MSRP
$25,350
Body Type
SUV
Horsepower
190
Weight
3,337 lbs
Seating
5
MPG (City/Hwy)
28 / 34

Note: Images shown may not represent trims

Both the Hyundai Tucson and the Honda CR-V are top-rated SUVs in the compact crossover SUV segment.

Honda is renowned for its engineering expertise and market-leading reliability, while Korean automaker Hyundai is associated with great value for money.

The Hyundai Tucson and Honda CR-V share similar specs and price. But which compact SUV is the better buy right now?

Price

The Hyundai Tucson starts cheaper than the Honda CR-V, so those on tighter budgets might want to factor that into their decision.

The base SE model of the 2021 Hyundai Tucson starts at $23,700. Hyundai offers 5 further trims, and the range-topping Ultimate model starts off at a much higher price-point of $32,050. Our recommendation is the SEL trim, which costs $26,100 and gets you all the niceties we like to see on SUVs, like automatic climate control, heated front seats and silver exterior accents.

The 2021 Honda CR-V, on the other hand, starts off at $25,530 for the base LX trim and starts at $33,650 for the top-of-the-line Touring model. To get equivalent features as the SEL Tucson, we’d suggest the EX or EX-L trims which start at $27,860 and $30,450, respectively.

All the above pricing quotes exclude destination charges, and dealerships that sell them may also further inflate these prices.

Hybrid Availability

With increasing popularity in hybrids, many automakers offer hybrid variants of their existing cars. Honda offers the CR-V Hybrid, which manages a better gas mileage whether you’re driving in the city or on the highway. The hybrid version of the crossover costs more, though, with a starting sticker price of $30,560 for the base EX model.

Hyundai Tucson rear view
Tucson
Photo: Hyundai
Honda CR-V rear view
CR-V
Photo: Honda

Design

The Hyundai Tucson is a nice-looking car, but lacks the flair of the Hyundai Kona or Hyundai Palisade SUVs. The 2021 Tucson is starting to show its age and Hyundai are expected to give it a makeover in 2022.

In our opinion, the Honda is the better looking SUV. It’s not the most exciting car to look at, but it’s a handsome package with daring taillights that outshine the bog-standard ones on the back of the Tucson.

Size

The Honda CR-V is one of the largest compact SUVs in its segment. It is 180.6 inches long, 73 inches wide, and 66.1 inches high (66.5 inches high in the AWD models).

The Hyundai Tucson is marginally smaller, with a length of 176.4 inches, a width of 72.8 inches, and a height of 65 inches (when equipped with roof rack side rails). However, the Tucson’s 105.1-inch wheelbase is 0.4 inches longer than that of the CR-V.

Hyundai Tucson trunk
Photo: Hyundai
Hyundai Tucson with rear seats folded

Passenger And Cargo Space

In terms of interior space, the Honda CR-V is triumphant with a total passenger volume of 105.9 cubic feet. Honda treats passengers in the back well with more leg and headroom than the Tucson. The CR-V can seat up to 5, with a 40/20/40 configuration for the back row.

But the Hyundai Tucson is still fairly roomy with a total passenger volume of 102.2 cubic feet. Like the CR-V, the Tucson also seats up to 5.

For cargo, the CR-V offers 39.2 cubic feet of space at the back while the Tucson offers 31 cubic feet. To put that into perspective, with the CR-V you can potentially squeeze another medium sized suitcase in the back.

Note that if you go for the Hybrid CR-V, the battery will impact cargo volume slightly.

Interior Comfort

Both the Honda CR-V and the Hyundai Tucson offer cabins that do a great job of shutting out road, wind, and engine noise. However, the cabin of the CR-V holds the advantage in this area thanks to its active noise cancellation technology. Hyundai have not equipped the Tucson with any such feature.

In terms of interior materials, both SUVs look and feel refined on the inside.

Hyundai Tucson interior
Tucson
Photo: Hyundai
Honda CR-V interior
CR-V
Photo: Honda

In the Hyundai Tucson, the SE, Value, SEL, Sport, and Night trims you’ll get cloth seating surfaces, while the more luxurious Limited and Ultimate trims get leather upholstery.

The Tucson offers an available 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar support, available heated and ventilated front seats, available heated rear seats, an available dual-zone automatic climate control system, an available heated steering wheel, and much more.

In the CR-V, the LX and EX models get cloth upholstery while the EX-L and Touring models get leather upholstery. In terms of convenience features, the CR-V matches the Tucson, offering an available 12-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with 4-way power lumbar support, available heated front seats, an available dual-zone automatic climate control system, automatic-dimming rearview mirror and more options.

Performance And Fuel Economy

The Hyundai Tucson can be had with either a 164 horsepower 2.0-liter or 181 horsepower 2.4-liter engine. The latter delivers slightly better acceleration and responsiveness, but still feels sluggish. With a fuel economy of 23/28 mpg (city/hwy) on its smaller engine, the Tucson isn’t very fuel efficient in its class segment.

The petrol Honda CR-V, on the other hand, gets a 1.5-liter inline-4 that makes 190 horsepower. Thanks to its pairing with an excellent CVT, the Honda achieves a much better fuel economy of 28 mpg city and 34 mpg highway (in a front wheel drive configuration).

If you prefer the hybrid CR-V, you’ll get a 2.0-liter, four cylinder engine that combines with two electric motors that produce 212 horsepower.

Ride And Handling

The Hyundai Tucson delivers a smooth and floaty ride for passengers. For drivers, the car is competent but far from fun to drive.

The Honda delivers an equally smooth ride but offers a more inspired driving experience. Changing direction with confidence and featuring highly responsive brakes, it’s right up there with the class-leading Mazda CX-5. Driver visibility is also superior to the Tucson thanks to slim and thoughtfully placed A-pillars.

Reliability

According to JD Power, the Honda CR-V scores a perfect 10 in overall mechanical quality. The Hyundai Tucson has not been rated.

The Honda CR-V scores 20 points higher than the Tucson in reliability scores released by Consumer Reports.

It can be hard to assess the reliability of cars that have just been released. However these ratings, along with Honda’s superior history when it comes to reliability, gives the CR-V the edge.

Safety

Both the Honda and Hyundai can be optioned with advanced safety features such as AEB, lane departure warning, lane keeping assistance, and adaptive cruise control.

NHTSA safety testing concluded both crossovers are incredibly safe for passengers. Both the Tucson and CR-V were awarded perfect 5-star ratings in frontal and side crash testing. Both models received 4-star body rollover ratings, which assesses the risk of rolling the car over while driving.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded both SUVs with Top Safety Pick awards.

Warranty Coverage

Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia have become synonymous with generous covers, and this is the area where Honda is bested. The Hyundai Tucson offers an unrivaled 10-year or 100,000 mile powertrain basic warranty, whereas the Honda has a much more industry-standard 5-year or 60,000 mile powertrain warranty coverage.

Verdict

The extreme popularity of the Honda CR-V appears warranted, as it’s a strong, all-round compact crossover that delivers a better package than the Hyundai Tucson. Hyundai comes out of the fight with a lower sticker price and more generous warranty, but those aren’t enough to swing the result.

Expect a response from Hyundai though, as a new Hyundai Tucson is just round the corner.

Other noteworthy SUVs in the compact segment with comparable pricing are the Toyota RAV4, Nissan Rogue and Mazda CX-5.

Full Comparison Table

2021 Hyundai Tucson SE2021 Honda CR-V LX
Performance
Engine2.0-liter Inline-4 Gas1.5-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
Horsepower161 hp @ 6200 rpm190 hp @ 5600 rpm
Torque150 lb-ft @ 4700 rpm179 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm
Transmission6-Speed AutomaticContinuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
DrivetrainFront-Wheel DriveFront-Wheel Drive
Max. Towing Capacity (lbs.)10001500
Handling
Steering TypeRack-PinionRack-Pinion
Turning Diameter (ft.)34.937.4
Front SuspensionStrutStrut
Rear SuspensionMulti-LinkMulti-Link
Front Wheel Size17" x 7"17" x 7.5"
Rear Wheel Size17" x 7"17" x 7.5"
Front TireP225/60HR17P235/65HR17
Rear TireP225/60HR17P235/65HR17
Fuel Economy
MPG - Combined2530
MPG - City2328
MPG - Hwy2834
Gas Tank Size (gallons)16.414
Cruising Range - City (miles)377.2392
Cruising Range - Hwy (miles)459.2476
CO2 Emissions, 15K mi/year (tons)7.15.9
Exterior Dimensions
Length (in.)176.4182.1
Height (in.)64.866.1
Max Width (in.)72.873
Front Width (in.)63.363
Rear Width (in.)63.863.7
Wheelbase (in.)105.1104.8
Weight (lbs.)33093337
Interior Dimensions
Passenger Capacity55
Legroom - front (in.)41.541.3
Headroom - front (in.)39.640.1
Hip Room - front (in.)55.655.1
Shoulder Room - front (in.)57.157.9
Legroom - rear (in.)38.240.4
Headroom - rear (in.)39.239.2
Hip Room - rear (in.)54.549.5
Shoulder Room - rear (in.)55.555.6
Infotainment
BluetoothStandardStandard
Hard Disk DriveNot AvailableNot Available
HD RadioNot AvailableNot Available
Satellite RadioNot AvailableNot Available
MP 3 PlayerStandardStandard
Premium Sound SystemNot AvailableNot Available
Wifi HotspotNot AvailableNot Available
Aux Audio InStandardStandard
Entertainment SystemNot AvailableNot Available
Comfort
Head Up DisplayNot AvailableNot Available
Navigation SystemNot AvailableNot Available
Steering Wheel Audio ControlsStandardStandard
Power LiftgateNot AvailableNot Available
Power Mirror SStandardStandard
A CStandardStandard
Adaptive Cruise ControlNot AvailableStandard
Automatic ParkingNot AvailableNot Available
Climate ControlNot AvailableStandard
Cooled Front Seat SNot AvailableNot Available
Cooled Rear Seat SNot AvailableNot Available
Cruise ControlStandardStandard
Hands Free LiftgateNot AvailableNot Available
Heated Front Seat SNot AvailableNot Available
Heated Rear Seat SNot AvailableNot Available
Heated Steering WheelNot AvailableNot Available
Keyless EntryStandardStandard
Multi Zone A CNot AvailableNot Available
Power Driver SeatNot AvailableNot Available
Power Passenger SeatNot AvailableNot Available
Remote Engine StartNot AvailableNot Available
Remote Trunk ReleaseNot AvailableNot Available
Seat MemoryNot AvailableNot Available
Universal Garage Door OpenerNot AvailableNot Available
Seat MassageNot AvailableNot Available
Rear A CNot AvailableNot Available
Keyless StartNot AvailableNot Available
Navigation From TelematicsNot AvailableNot Available
TelematicsNot AvailableNot Available
Interior Trim
Bucket SeatsStandardStandard
Cloth SeatsStandardStandard
Leather SeatsStandardStandard
Leather Steering WheelNot AvailableNot Available
Premium Synthetic SeatsStandardStandard
Vinyl SeatsStandardStandard
Woodgrain Interior TrimNot AvailableNot Available
Sun MoonroofNot AvailableNot Available
Safety
Back Up CameraStandardStandard
Cross Traffic AlertNot AvailableNot Available
Rear Parking AidNot AvailableNot Available
Blind Spot MonitorNot AvailableNot Available
Lane Departure WarningStandardStandard
Lane Keeping AssistStandardStandard
ABSStandardStandard
Night VisionNot AvailableNot Available
Tire Pressure MonitorStandardStandard
Brake AssistStandardStandard
Stability ControlStandardStandard
Traction ControlStandardStandard
Airbags
Driver Air BagStandardStandard
Front Head Air BagStandardStandard
Front Side Air BagStandardStandard
Knee Air BagNot AvailableNot Available
Passenger Air BagStandardStandard
Rear Head Air BagStandardStandard
Rear Side Air BagNot AvailableNot Available
Seatbelt Air BagNot AvailableNot Available
Warranty
Basic5 Years / 60,000 Miles3 Years / 36,000 Miles
Corrosion7 Years / Unlimited Miles5 Years / Unlimited Miles
Drivetrain10 Years / 100,000 Miles5 Years / 60,000 Miles
Maintenance3 Years / 36,000 Miles-
Roadside Assistance5 Years / Unlimited Miles3 Years / 36,000 Miles