2022 Hyundai Tucson vs Kia Sportage
When shopping around for a new small SUV, you will probably want to test a few models out before settling on which one you like the best. Two that we recommend trying this year are the 2022 Hyundai Tucson and the 2022 Kia Sportage. Both are formidable opponents in this ever expanding segment, but is one a better investment than the other?
Having been redesigned for 2022, the Tucson does not play things as safe as it did in previous generations. With a more dynamic and versatile interior design and an exterior to match, the Tucson makes a tough rival for the Kia Sportage, a favorite among buyers and the corporate cousin to the Tucson. In actuality, the Hyundai Motor Group is a major stakeholder in Kia, so you will find a lot of similarities between these two vehicles. But the minor differences could make or break your decision to buy, so let's examine what those distinctions are.
Let's start off our comparison by talking about the powertrain options. On the 2022 Hyundai Tucson, you get three engine options: a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 187 horsepower, a hybrid engine with a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine (which combine to make a total of 227 hp), and a plug-in hybrid matched up with a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine (which combine to make 261 total hp). In all honesty, the base 2.5-L 4-cylinder engine is sluggish. It actually takes this engine about 10.2 seconds to go from 0 to 60 miles per hour, which is one of the slower showings for this segment.
The steering feels direct enough, and its easy-going nature makes taking turns a breeze in this crossover. Downshifts are noticeable when you apply a lot of pressure to the gas, but the transmission upshifts much more smoothly.
Just don't expect superb fuel economy from the Tucson. While this vehicle is priced to compete, its fuel economy isn't quite on par with those top rivals. If you opt for the gas-only 2.5-L 4-cylinder engine that comes with all-wheel drive (AWD), expect to get about 26 miles per gallon in combined driving. This number falls shy of what competitors like the Nissan Rogue and Honda CR-V are able to achieve.
On the Kia Sportage, you get to choose from the base 181-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine on the LX, Nightfall and EX trim levels. On the SX Turbo, though, you get upgraded to a 240-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. A six-speed automatic transmission delivers power to the front wheels, but you can get all-wheel drive as an option on the Sportage.
The optional turbo engine takes 9 seconds flat to get up to 60 miles per hour, which is considerably slow for this segment. The base engine takes even longer, but you would think that an upgraded engine would have a stronger showing. On the positive side, the brake pedal is easy to get accustomed to and gauged how much pressure you need to apply to get the vehicle to come to a full stop. Unfortunately, the suspension needs some fine-tuning to get it to perform better on winding mountain roads, and the steering has a vague, numb feeling to it.
The Sportage's fuel economy is not up to par. The base FWD Sportage pulls a combined 26 miles per gallon, and the AWD turbo variant only gets 21 mpg combined. Real-world tests reflect these numbers, and that really reinforces our disappointment.
What is each SUV like to drive on a daily basis? To answer that, let's talk about the Hyundai Tucson, in which comfort is paramount. In fact, we would dare say that the Tucson's comfort levels rival those found in luxury segment counterparts. The compliant suspension is tuned for optimal ride comfort, putting in a best-in-class effort with how smoothly and quickly it dispatches bumps of any size in the road. The seats provide hours of endless comfort, conforming to the contours of your back and thighs with support in droves.
The Tucson's interior is one that is quiet at any speed. Even when the wind picks up or you roll down the windows on the highway, you will not have to strain to hear your passengers talking or the music playing from your speakers. Ergonomic design plays a huge role in what makes the Tucson's cabin so comfortable, with seats offering plenty of space. The controls aren't the most logically laid-out, as almost all of them are embedded in the touchscreen infotainment display, which has some non-feature buttons placed alongside it. There is no controller or dial included in this setup, which would make usage of it a lot more user-friendly.
Aside from some oddball controls, the Tucson's technology is pretty spot-on. There is a standard 8-inch or an available 10.25-inch touchscreen display that pairs will with the standard wireless smartphone app integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Going up to the SEL trim level will get you two additional USB outlets for rear seat occupants. There is a digital instrument panel that can be added starting on the SEL trim, if you equip it with the Convenience package (which also includes a wireless charging pad). For all the music lovers out there, the N Line trim comes with a Bose premium audio system for some high-quality listening.
As far as small SUVs go, the Tucson's 38.7 cubic feet of cargo space is some of the most expansive you will find. Folding the rear seats down takes the amount of available space up to 74.8 cubic feet. There is a flat load floor and low lift-over height that make loading and unloading cargo all the easier.
The Kia Sportage is, for the most part, a sporty vehicle. Just don't think of taking it along any winding, narrow roads - the suspension doesn't keep the ride feeling tight and composed. The Kia Sportage is a comfortable vehicle to sit in day in and day out. The heating and ventilation functions on the front seats are more adept at their jobs than those in other vehicles, lending even more comfort to the Sportage.
Like the Tucson, the Sportage is well insulated from exterior noise. The only thing that makes its way in is tire noise, which you will hear at highway speeds. It is nothing too terribly bothersome, and it won't drown out the music pumping from your speakers. The ride quality does keep with the sporty vibe, so you get the sense of it being firm. But it might be a bit too firm, causing bumps to make their way into the cabin and making the ride feel bouncy at higher rates of speed.
The sloping roofline cuts off some head space in the back and means you get a little bit less in the way of outward visibility. The materials used inside of the cabin look and feel like premium stuff, and you get a great range of motion from the driver's seat. Finding a comfortable seating position is simple, and the controls are properly labeled. However, the buttons on every panel look exactly the same, so you will have to pay attention to the labels.
Technology on the Kia Sportage is definitely a highlight. The standard 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system is straightforward, and the EX does offer an extra USB port in the rear. The EX Technology package really is worth equipping though, as it includes desirable features such as the wireless charging pad, integrated navigation, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and an 8-speaker premium Harman Kardon sound system. The nav system's graphics are crystal clear, but you will want to subscrbe to Kia's Uvo services to get more effective voice controls than the standard ones on the Sportage.
You get 30.7 cubic feet of cargo space in this vehicle, which is fairly average for this segment. When you take the second row down, you max that space out to 60.1 cubic feet. There are a lot of small item storage spaces throughout the cabin.
Safety isn't something Kia and Hyundai take lightly. Both vehicles are well equipped with driver aids. Starting on the base trim, the 2022 Hyundai Tucson offers a bundle of driver aids. This suite gives you a driver attention warning, forward collision mitigation, lane keeping assist, and a rear-seat reminder. Upgrading one trim level nabs you blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot intervention, and adaptive cruise control. You do have to upgrade all the way to the line-topping Limited trim level to get the blind-spot camera, lane keeping system, and surround-view camera system.
On the 2022 Kia Sportage, you get a similar slew of safety features. Standard driver aids include a driver attention monitor, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, and forward collision mitigation. You will have to upgrade in order to get a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, stop-and-go adaptive cruise control, and parking sensors for the front and rear of the vehicle.
Which Has the Best Value?
When it comes to value, the Tucson delivers. It is competitively priced, making it stiff competition for the likes of the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. Hyundai crafts an elegant interior filled with many in-demand features. However, that really hits home in terms of value is the warranty coverage. The Tucson is given a basic warranty of five years/60,000 miles and a powertrain warranty of 10 years/100,000 miles, making this some of the most generous coverage out there.
But don't get it twisted - Kia is also on point when it comes to delivering a lot of value. If technology and comfort are your top priorities, then you will definitely get your money's worth for this vehicle. Price-wise, the Sportage is competitive, and the standard five-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty are only rivaled by Hyundai. Just be prepared for higher trim levels and add-ons to really rack up a big final price tag for you.
Which is Better?
The 2022 Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage are certainly close kin as corporate cousins. They share quite a few similarities, but they are built to be their own vehicles. While we like the Kia Sportage, we'd say that the Hyundai Tucson is the more versatile option of the two. You can pick from two hybrid powertrains and the regular gas-powered train, which is something you cannot do on the Sportage. And, let's be honest, the Sportage's engine options both seem dull in comparison to anything you can equip on the Tucson.
The warranties are what really sell people on either of these vehicles. The technology and comfortable designs are both superb, but, again, the Tucson seems a little bit more refined and well crafted. You can also save money in the long-run with its better fuel economy. When considering which one to buy, think about what is going to make your driving experience all the more enjoyable. The Tucson is the one we say is more enjoyable overall.
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