If you’re in the market for a compact SUV, you might feel overwhelmed by looking at the numerous vehicles that flood this class. To make matters more complicated, the two-row five-person Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson are similarly priced and sized and have many of the same safety and technology features. So how can you know which one you should choose? Use this guide to learn more about what separates these two SUVs from each other so you can decide whether the Sportage or the Tucson works best for your needs.
When the Sportage first hit the market, it was considered one of Kia’s budget-friendly vehicles and lacked many of the features found on other vehicles in its class. After several redesigns, this SUV now has a luxury-like appearance, thanks to designer Peter Schreyer, who oversaw work on the original Audi TT. You can choose from four trims: LX, S, EX, and SX Turbo. The base trim comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, and the two middle trims have 18-inch alloy wheels. The upper trims have optional roof rails. The range-topping SX Turbo trim comes with 19-inch alloy wheels.
Not to be outdone, the Tucson’s exterior resembles one that you would find on an Audi, as its clean design is easy on the eyes. It comes in six trim options: SE, Value, SEL, Sport, Limited, and Ultimate. The frame is constructed mainly out of high-strength steel. Its bottom two trims ride on 17-inch alloy wheels, while the three middle trims move up to 18-inch alloy wheels. The Sport trim sits on 19-inch alloy wheels.
You’ll recognize the Tucson’s distinctive six-sided grille and LED running lights, as well as its dip to the roofline. It also has a hands-free smart powered tailgate, which enables you to open the tailgate without waving an arm or leg behind it. As long as you have the key fob in your pocket, the tailgate opens automatically once you approach the rear of the SUV.
When you step inside the Sportage, the first thing you’ll notice is how well-designed its cabin is. It features a clean design with numerous soft-touch finishes. To help you see the instrument panel at night, the SUV has a red backlighting feature. Once you sit down, you’ll also realize how comfortable and supportive the seats are, which is ideal when you’re taking the Sportage for long drives. Even the rear seats have ample room for passengers to stretch their legs, and the upper trims offer heated rear seats.
The Sportage comes standard with cloth upholstery and a six-way manually adjustable driver’s seat. Moving up one trim gives you a leather-wrapped steering wheel and synthetic leather upholstery. Other trims feature dual-zone automatic climate control, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, and tricot seat fabric that’s specially treated for easy cleaning.
Moving over to the Tucson, this SUV also has a well-laid-out cabin, including a sensible dashboard that houses audio and climate controls. Like the Sportage, the Tucson has a backlighting feature, but it illuminates the display with a blue light. All the seats are comfortable, and the rear seats also boast plenty of room.
The Tuscon comes standard with cloth upholstery and a six-way manually adjustable driver’s seat, but upper trims include an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, To help you keep the cloth seats clean, the Sportage contains Yes Essentials seat fabric, which not only repels stains but also reduces static electricity buildup and odors.
The Sportage’s UVO infotainment system is easy to use and comes standard with an 8-inch touch-screen display. It’s angled toward you as the driver instead of perched on top so you can access the panel while driving without being distracted. The screen offers quick response times and has crisp graphics. It comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, Bluetooth, a USB port, voice recognition, and six speakers. You can upgrade the system to include satellite radio, wireless device charging, navigation, and an eight-speaker premium audio system.
The Tuscon also receives high praise for its infotainment system. The lower trims are outfitted with 7-inch touch-screen displays, while all other trims receive an 8-inch touch-screen display. Both displays are conveniently mounted high on the dash so you can see and reach them while driving. All trims come standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, Bluetooth, six speakers, and a USB port. Available technology upgrades include navigation, HD and satellite radio, wireless device charging, an extra USB port, and eight speakers.
Power for the Sportage comes from either of two engines, depending on trim. The base 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine gives you 181 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque. Opting for the top-of-the-line SX Turbo trim gives you a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque.
Both engines are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. However, you can opt for all-wheel drive, which includes a locking differential to improve traction while driving on slick surfaces. The Sportage has three driving modes: Normal, Sport, and Eco. Choosing the Sport mode from the drive settings changes the responses from the transmission and throttle, giving you a little more speed.
Meanwhile, the Tucson has two engine options. Its standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine produces 161 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque. The top four trims have a more powerful 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that gets 181 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque. Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and come standard with front-wheel drive, but you can opt for all-wheel drive. The Tucson’s electronically assisted steering feels more natural compared to other vehicles that offer this feature, while the suspension remains compliant and comfortable.
Sometimes the best way to get a feel for a vehicle is to get behind the wheel and take it for a spin. To schedule a test drive of the Kia Sportage, reach out to the professionals at Huffines Kia Mckinney. They can answer any questions you might have.
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