Hyundai Tucson vs Kia Sportage

11 March 2016
 by 
, CarsGuide
Hyundai Tucson vs Kia Sportage
Korean wagons take a common approach, trading blows on tech and styling. Richard Blackburn decides victory on value.

Value

Hyundai Tucson Active X 2WD

$32,990

Slightly cheaper RRP than the Kia. Has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, reversing camera, rear parking sensors, leather trim, full-size spare, fog lights and two 12V outlets, one in the rear load area. Servicing costs a reasonable $807 over three years and warranty is an above-average five years/unlimited km. Metallic paint is $595. The current drive-away deal undercuts the Kia by $3000.

Kia Sportage SLi 2WD

$33,990

More expensive than the Hyundai but it has more equipment. Matches the Hyundai's leather trim and full-size spare and trumps it with integrated satnav, rear air vents and front parking sensors. Servicing is more expensive at $1050 over three years (fourth service is $711). Kia says it costs more because it replaces fluids and filters. Hyundai counters that it only replaces these when needed and they cost only $122. Warranty is an industry-leading seven years/unlimited km.

Design

Hyundai Tucson Active X 2WD

More conservatively styled but arguably a cleaner, sleeker exterior design. Good head and legroom in rear seats but no rear air vents. Dash is well laid out and easy to use, with a big centre screen and clear graphics. Apple CarPlay is easy to set up and use, with Siri voice controls, although you can lose reception in country areas. Nice perforated leather-look seats but material quality falls away in rear seats.

Kia Sportage SLi 2WD

Exterior styling is a little fussy at the front but it has a sporty-looking profile. Inside it's a clear win to the Kia, which has higher-quality finishes and softer-touch materials throughout. It also has more USB and 12-volt outlets for charging devices. Slightly smaller boot capacity than the Hyundai, though.

Technology

Hyundai Tucson Active X 2WD

Engine

Both cars use a 2.0-litre engine but the Hyundai has direct injection, bumping up the outputs to 121kW/203Nm. Tucson's engine feels more relaxed when asked to work hard. There's no stop-start, while fuel consumption is relatively high at 7.9L/100km. Transmission works well and keeps the engine in its sweet spot.

Kia Sportage SLi 2WD

Engine

The engine is about 6 per cent down on the Hyundai's outputs with 114kW/192Nm and sounds a little buzzier than the Hyundai, especially when asked to work hard. It's no better than the Tucson on fuel economy but effective enough.

Safety

Hyundai Tucson Active X 2WD

Hyundai was embarrassed by a four-star crash test result for the Tucson but has since remedied the issues and retested the car for a five-star rating. Scored 35.53 out of 37 in second test. Has seat belt warnings for all five seats (as does the Kia) but lacks the active safety equipment options of some rivals, including blind spot warning and automated emergency braking.

Kia Sportage SLi 2WD

Yet to be tested but it would be a shock if it failed to get five stars. Hyundai and Kia alike trail the segment-leading Mazda CX-5, which has an optional safety pack including blind spot monitoring, automated braking and rear cross traffic alert.

Driving

Hyundai Tucson Active X 2WD

The Tucson was tuned for local conditions and it shows. The balance between comfort and cornering ability is just about spot-on for this type of vehicle, while the steering is well weighted. Takes longer to settle over bigger bumps than the Sportage.

Kia Sportage SLi 2WD

It feels sportier than the Hyundai through the corners, with more direct steering feel and less lean when changing direction. The trade-off is a slightly busier and firmer ride over potholes and road imperfections at lower speeds, so it's really a question of driver taste. The transmission not as intuitive as that in the CX-5.

Verdict

Hyundai Tucson Active X 2WD

17.5/25

Better luck
next time :(

Kia Sportage SLi 2WD

18/25

Winner winner
chicken dinner!

An equally impressive pair. On RRP, the Kia gets the nod with its better presented interior, longer warranty and more equipment — but the current deal on the Hyundai makes it very tempting.

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