There are many compact SUVs to choose from. In this comparison test, we pitted the all-new 2022 Hyundai Tucson Limited against the 2021 Honda CR-V Touring, each the top trim of its respective range. Our Honda CR-V arrived priced at $36,325, with the Hyundai Tucson carrying a slightly higher sticker of $37,580.
Now in its fifth generation, the Honda CR-V has managed to perfect the compact SUV formula, making it the second-best-selling SUV in America and earning it a loyal following. The Hyundai Tucson also has established a solid fan base, leading to impressive sales from 2017 to 2020.
The CR-V is five years into its current generation, and it’s beginning to show its age, specifically in the interior. By comparison, the Tucson is fresh off a complete redesign and is more high-tech and stylish than ever. Are those advantages enough to push the Tucson past the CR-V? Read on to find out.
Power for the Tucson Limited comes from a 2.5-liter I-4 generating 187 horses and 178 lb-ft of torque. It’s mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is standard in the Limited, which gets an EPA-rated 24/29/26 mpg city/highway/combined.
The CR-V Touring relies on a 1.5-liter turbo-four producing 190 hp and 179 lb-ft of torque. It’s backed by a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), and like the Tucson, AWD is standard on this trim level. The estimated fuel economy for the CR-V Touring is 27/32/29 mpg. If towing is part of your road trip plans, the CR-V can haul up to 1,500 pounds, which the Tucson surpasses with a 2,000-pound maximum towing capacity.
Both compact SUVs provide similar interior space, including cargo volume, legroom, and headroom. For example, the Tucson has 38.7 cubic feet behind the rear seats, while the CR-V offers 37.6 cubic feet of space.
At 10 years/100,000 miles, the Hyundai powertrain warranty nearly doubles the Honda’s, which expires after five years or 60,000 miles.
Tech, Safety, and Comfort
Even though the Honda CR-V has fallen behind in the advanced technologies department, it comes well equipped and employs one of the most versatile center consoles in the industry.
The CR-V Touring’s standard tech includes a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with in-dash navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, wireless phone charging, and a nine-speaker audio system. The Honda Sensing suite of safety features (standard on every CR-V) includes forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control. Additionally, the CR-V Limited gets blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. Other amenities include heated front seats, a driver attention monitor, a power sunroof, and a heated steering wheel.
The Tucson Limited accommodates techies with up-to-date features such as an enormous 10.3-inch touchscreen infotainment screen and a superb surround-view camera system. Other cool tech items include a digital instrument cluster, touch-capacitive buttons, and an electronic push-button shifter. In addition to a suite of advanced safety systems, a panoramic sunroof, ambient lighting, heated and ventilated front seats, and the brand’s Remote Smart Parking Assist are among the Tucson Limited’s standard convenience features.
Exterior Design and Styling
The CR-V’s exterior design looks awkward. Blame its bloated bodywork that appears to slim down at the nose. We hope Honda fixes this on the sixth-generation CR-V, which is due to arrive sometime in 2023.
The freshly redesigned Tucson, on the other hand, looks positively futuristic. “I know it’s not for everyone, but I love this design in person,” MotorTrend Buyer’s Guide director Zach Gale said. “Those little geometric convex elements and the concave triangular surfaces in the bottom of the rear bumper sparkle. Will owners still like it in three years? I don’t know, but it’s impressive today.”
These two compact SUVs both have nicely appointed interiors with well-chosen materials. Each is characterized by a distinctive design, the cabin in both SUVs feels airy, and the leather-trimmed seats are super comfortable. The clean layout makes it easy to adjust settings, plug in a phone, or reach for items in the center console while driving. The CR-V, though, would benefit from an equipment overhaul. Specifically, Honda needs to ditch its tiny touchscreen.
First off, neither of these compact SUVs are going to throw you back into the driver’s seat when you lay the smackdown on the gas pedal. That said, the CR-V made the run from 0-60 mph in 7.8 seconds, which is significantly quicker than the 9.3 seconds logged by the Tucson. On our figure-eight course, the CR-V wins by a whisker with a 27.3-second lap—the Tucson did it in 27.4 seconds.
Despite its age, the Honda CR-V continues to impress with how well it drives and handles. Turn suddenly at moderate speeds and the CR-V remains controlled with little body roll. The steering is on the heavy side, but its feedback is on point. The CR-V remains reasonably composed over rougher road surfaces and speed bumps, too, and the ride remains generally comfortable. Wind noise is muted, for the most part; however, it is somewhat noticeable at highway speed.
Although it has a stylish appearance and modern tech features, the Hyundai Tucson does not impress much on the road. The suspension is stiff, and the powertrain needs refinement. Ride quality is not terrible, but it misses the competitive benchmark. When you accelerate hard, it feels as if the Tucson is struggling for breath, and the transmission’s shifts are not smooth.
“Do not drive this car in Normal mode,” features editor Scott Evans said. “It’s Sport or Smart only. This engine does not have much low-end torque, and if you’re not in the proper mode, the transmission will not give you a lower gear (and the power you need) unless you’re nearly flooring it. It’s very frustrating to try to drive up a hill when the transmission won’t downshift and actually give you some power.”
The 2022 Hyundai Tucson Limited appears hipper, comes equipped with all the cool gadgets, and offers a longer powertrain warranty, yet the clear winner here is the 2021 Honda CR-V Touring. From powertrain to packaging to value, it just does so many things right. As Gale put it: “The CR-V isn’t old—it’s experienced.”
Hyundai Tucson Pros:
- Edgy exterior design
- Advanced tech features
- Aesthetically pleasing interior
Hyundai Tucson Cons:
- Underpowered engine
- Balky transmission
- Stiff suspension
Honda CR-V Pros:
- Fuel economy
- Multifunctional center console
- Superior powertrain
Honda CR-V Cons:
- 7.0-inch touchscreen
- Weird front-end styling
- Old-school cabin
Source: Read Full Article