2019 Hyundai Tucson vs Honda CR-V
The 2019 Tucson and CR-V are both nice options for anyone in the market for a five-seater SUV. With a compact size, they feel sporty and sleek, and they have comfortable cabins with plenty of room in the back. They're priced at the right level to be attractive to many buyers, starting out below $25,000. With more bells and whistles included on the available trims, these offerings by Hyundai and Honda can feel somewhat high-end. The bottom line is that both are reliable, stylish, and easy to drive.
There are two different engines available on the Tucson. The first is an inline four-cylinder that puts out up to 161 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque. This type of engine come on the SE and Value trims. The others (SEL, Sport, Limited, Night, and Ultimate) all run on a similar engine, but with a displacement of 2.4 liters instead of 2.0 liters. The result is more power; these can achieve 181 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque. Both engines come with direct gasoline injection, six-speed automatic transmissions, and available all-wheel drive.
Towing capacity on the smaller engine is 1,500 pounds, which is identical to what the CR-V can achieve. The bigger engine can tow up to 2,000 pounds. This isn't an amazing stat, but it at least gives people some flexibility in terms of transporting equipment.
The engine in the CR-V outperforms that in the Tucson, even at the base level. The Honda LX drives on an in-line four-cylinder engine with 184 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. Those capabilities are increased to 190 horsepower and 179 pound-feet on the other trims (EX, EX-L, and Touring), which run on in-line four-cylinder engines with turbochargers. Both types of engine use direct fuel injection and continuously variable transmission, and with all the trims, all-wheel drive is available.
The CR-V includes an electric parking brake, automatic brake hold, hill start assist to help when drivers stop and start on inclines, and active noise cancellation to make the ride a bit more pleasant.
The Eco Assist system encourages eco-friendly driving through visual cues. When the meter shows green, the car is being used efficiently. Light green and white means that improvements can be made, such as accelerating and decelerating more smoothly.
The Tucson has various drive modes that can achieve the same purpose. Drivers can choose from Normal, Eco, or Sport modes depending on whether they want to maximize fuel economy, be slightly more aggressive, or keep things standard.
Honda has done pretty well in terms of mileage with the CR-V. The standard engine gets 26/32 (city/highway) mpg with 2WD and 25/31 mpg with AWD. The turbocharged engine does even better, achieving an estimated 28/34 mpg with 2WD and 27/33 mpg with AWD. The turbocharged engine comes with a remote engine start capability for greater convenience.
In comparison, the 2.0-liter Tucson achieves an estimated 23/30 mpg with FWD and 22/25 with AWD. The 2.4-liter versions get 22/28 mpg with FWD and 21/26 with AWD.
With seating for five, both vehicles offer sufficient space for larger passengers in the back. The Tucson has 41.5 inches of leg room in the front and 38.2 inches in the back. That compares pretty evenly with the CR-V's 41.3 inches and 40.4 inches in the front and back. Cargo volume is either 31.0 or 61.9 cubic feet in the Hyundai (depending on whether the back seats are up or down) and 39.2 or 75.8 cubic feet in the Honda.
The usuals like power locks and windows, interior lights, cup holders, and interior storage compartments are included in both types of car. In the Tucson, cloth seating is standard, and leather comes with the Limited and Ultimate. The SE is the only trim that has a manually adjustable driver's seat instead of a power-adjustable one. Likewise, it's the only one without heated front seats. When you move up to the Limited and Ultimate, the front passenger seat has power adjustments as well. The Ultimate is the only one with ventilated front seats and heated rear seats.
Manual air conditioning is present on the SE and Value, and the other shave dual automatic climate control with an automatic defogger and CleanAir Ionizer. Push button start and a Blue Link connected system are included on all trims with the exception of the SE.
In the CR-V, the LX comes with an automatic climate control system, and that's upgraded to a dual-zone automatic climate system in the other trims. The higher three trims in the Honda come with push button start, making it simple to just get in and go. Their power windows are of the automatic up/down style up front, and the back area can be covered by a retractable cover. The EX-L and Touring go further with convenience by adding rearview mirrors that can automatically dim when bright headlights are detected.
Seating is basic at the LX trim. It has a six-way manual driver's seat, a 60/40 split bench in the back, and head restraints even in the middle position in the rear. The other trims have heated front seats that can be really appreciated on cold winter mornings and 12-way power adjustment for the drivers' seats. The top two trims have leather seats, memory for the driver's seat, and power adjustable front passengers' seats.
Technology is featured prominently in these vehicles. The Honda LX offers a different package than the others. It has a four-speaker system, a five-inch color LCD screen, and a multi-information display that lets drivers stay aware of vehicle performance. The infotainment system does include a Bluetooth HandsFreeLink and support Bluetooth and Pandora streaming audio.
In the other trims, the upgrades are notable. The speaker system uses six speakers, and the infotainment system is run through a seven-inch high-resolution touchscreen. A big plus is that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are offered, as are SiriusXM Radio, HondaLink, and a SMS text messaging capability. More USB ports are included so that everyone can have a place to charge their phones. The driver information interface is more advanced, to include an attention monitor, customizable settings, and trip computer.
The difference in the EX-L is that the audio system consists of eight-speakers. With the Touring, drivers get to access the Honda satellite-linked navigation system, which includes HD radio, traffic updates, and voice recognition. The Touring pumps out sound through a premium nine-speaker system with subwoofer.
In the Hyundai Tucson, the infotainment system starts out with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a seven-inch touchscreen, and six speakers. The Value is the level at which HD and SiriusXM radio become standard features. With the Sport and higher trims, passengers can use wireless charging for their devices, and the audio system has eight premium speakers with Clari-Fi Music Restoration Technology.
Providing constant feedback about vehicle performance, such as distance to empty, average speed, and fuel consumption, is a multi-information display. It measures 3.5 inches on most of the trims. The Ultimate has a 4.2-inch color LCD display that has slightly more capabilities.
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As you'd expect from well-known companies that are making vehicles for modern drivers, both the Tucson and CR-V come equipped with air bags in various locations, three-point seat belts, crumple zones, and child-proof rear door locks. They both also have stability control systems to help with traction and control in slippery conditions or when driving around curves.
The Tucson has limited driver-assist features on the SE. That trim has a driver attention warning system, a program designed to keep drivers in their lanes, and one that can detect potential forward collisions and take action to avoid them. The safety suite is enhanced at the Value trim. Drivers in those vehicles get to take advantage of a blind-spot collision warning system that includes monitoring traffic coming across behind a vehicle.
The Tucson Limited and Ultimate both have a surround view monitor that gives an excellent perspective about what's going around the vehicle. In the Night and Ultimate versions, the front collision monitoring and assist system is upgraded to have a pedestrian detection capability.
So that drivers can see behind them when reversing, the CR-V comes standard with a rear view camera. This is similar to the the rear view monitor system on the Tucson.
When the video feed is displayed on the Honda's screen, guidelines are projected to make parking a bit easier. Since there is a built-in cross traffic monitoring system on the EX and higher trims, the vehicle can notify drivers when others are crossing the path while the CR-V is backing up.
The EX and higher trims on the CR-V have the Honda Sensing safety features included. This suite includes warnings that will alert drivers if they're about to hit something in front of them and/or depart from their lane. With the Collision Mitigation Braking system, the vehicle's brakes can automatically engage if it seems like the car is about to hit an object. Lane Keeping Assist helps ensure that the CR-V can stay centered in the lane, and the Road Departure Mitigation System comes with the ability to correct steering if the vehicle is starting to drift.
A great feature to take advantage of is the adaptive cruise control program. With this advanced type of cruise control, the CR-V can maintain proper distancing rather than just staying steady at a specified speed. Further, the EX, EX-L, and Touring models come with automatic high-beams that can illuminate the road when the conditions call for it as well as a comprehensive blind spot monitoring system.
Which Has the Best Value
Both vehicles are priced competitively as compact SUVs. The base level vehicles are quite affordable, and there are multiple trims to consider for anyone who wants a little more than the basics. At the high end, the CR-V tops out at what feels like a significantly different point since it's above the $30,000 mark.
Pricing on the Tucson starts at $21,100 for the SE. The Value and SEL trims are only a little more, at $21,800 and $22,750. A bigger jump is seen at the Sport level, which is $24,850. The Limited is $26,050, the Night is $28,550, and the Ultimate is $28,700.
What are the upgrades that warrant price increases? The Value models come with the blind-spot warning system, power driver seats, and push button starts. At the SEL level, there is an addition USB outlet in the back row, higher quality 18" wheels, dual temperature control, and enhanced exterior fascias. The Sport has even larger wheels at 19" along with a smart lift gate, premium audio system, and LED lights.
The Limited has leather seating for a more luxury feel. It also includes an all-around monitor and wireless device charging. In the Night edition, style is evident. The Tucson Night has 19" BBS alloy wheels, a glass black grille, and dual exhaust tips. For those who want the best Hyundai has to offer, there's the Ultimate with a panoramic sunroof, eight-inch touchscreen, ventilated front seats, and heated rear seats.
On the Honda, the LX starts at $24,450. The EX and the EX-L are the next trims, starting at $27,350 and $29,850, respectively. The Touring is the highest trim available, and that has a MSRP of $32,850.
There are some cosmetic differences as you go between the trims. For instance, the EX-L comes with a leather-trimmed interior, and the Touring comes with LED headlights and premium interior materials. As far as the other departments, there are many upgrades as you go up in price. The more powerful engine is included on the EX and above, as is the Honda Sensing suite and seamless smartphone integration. The top two trims have power tailgates and power-adjustable seating, and the Touring includes the best audio system and integrated navigation.
Which is Better?The 2019 models of the Hyundai Tucson and Honda CR-V are somewhat comparable. The Honda feels a little more substantial, and it has the engine that packs some more punch. With a lower cost, the Tucson may be more ideal for customers who are more concerned about budget. There are more luxurious versions of the Tucson that match up well with the higher trims of the Honda. However, the Honda does offer more overall, and as such, is more expensive.