The new Kia Sportage promises to build on its predecessor’s impressive credentials with bold styling and a selection of efficient engines. We’ve put it up against the handsome Hyundai Tucson – with which it shares a platform – to find out which of these sharp-looking, spacious Korean SUVs is best. Read on to find out…
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Kia Sportage vs Hyundai Tucson – styling
The Sportage’s daring design should make it distinctive enough to stand out in the crowded SUV market – its high-mounted headlights and bold grille are certainly more imposing than the relatively subtle Tucson. From the side, the new Sportage looks sharper and more modern than its predecessor and, at the rear, LED brake lights help give it a classy, upmarket appearance.
Elements of the Tucson’s design look to have been borrowed from its larger Santa Fe sibling and the sharp tail lights give the tail a neat, compact look. The Tucson’s lines are more defined than the Kia’s and, combined with exaggerated black wheel arch trims, they help make the car look tougher and more robust, especially from the side.
If you’re looking for something that’ll get you noticed, the Sportage is probably for you, but if you want an SUV with handsome understated looks, the Tucson is perhaps a better choice.
Kia Sportage vs Hyundai Tucson – interior
Some reviewers criticised the low-quality materials in the old Sportage’s cabin but, thankfully the new model boasts more soft-touch plastics to help put it on a par with many more expensive SUVs. Additionally, a new infotainment system takes pride of place on the dashboard – adding to its premium feel.
The Tucson’s interior shares a number of components with the Sportage – the infotainment screen is in the same position and key touch-points are noticeably similar, too. The Hyundai generally features better feeling materials than the Kia but somehow feels a little dull in comparison.
In terms of outright space, the Sportage and Tucson are evenly matched. Both have plenty of leg- and headroom, but the Sportage’s 491-litre boot is narrowly outclassed but the Tucson’s capacious 513-litre luggage bay.
Kia Sportage vs Hyundai Tucson – driving
The Sportage’s chassis manages to combine composed handling with a relatively comfortable ride. Even when cornering hard, there’s very little body roll. It’s a supremely relaxed car to drive thanks to the high driving position and there’s slightly less wind and road noise than in the Hyundai.
The Tucson handles just as well as the Sportage but with slightly more comfortable ride quality – it absorbs bumps the Kia would crash over, although models with larger alloy wheels do suffer a little. In general, however, both drive so similarly, you’d be hard-pressed to notice any real difference.
Kia Sportage vs Hyundai Tucson – engines
Both cars get the same selection of engines, but the new Sportage has some tweaks that help it pull ahead of the Tucson – its two petrols and three diesels are not only more efficient but more powerful, too. Its basic 1.6-litre petrol engine delivers 132hp, while the turbocharged version produces 176hp – enough to sprint from rest to 62mph in 9.2 seconds and return 37.2mpg.
Diesel fans can choose between 1.7-litre and 2.0-litre engines, the latter being available with either 136 or 185hp. For those after efficiency rather than outright power, however, the 1.7-litre is the best choice – it’s capable of returning over 60mpg and will cost you just £30 per year to tax. Although these engine produce slightly less power in the Tucson, few drivers will notice the difference on the road.
Kia Sportage vs Hyundai Tucson – verdict
These SUVs both deliver the goods when it comes to value for money, interior space and practicality, but choosing between them could be difficult. The Sportage’s improved engines and lower price give it an advantage, and its seven-year warranty is two years longer than the Hyundai’s own impressive arrangement.
The Kia’s styling, however, is likely to divide opinion. The Tucson manages to look every bit as classy as bigger, more costly SUVs, yet it doesn’t have the divisive looks of the Sportage. The Hyundai is also marginally larger inside and standard equipment levels are a tad higher across the range than on a similarly priced Sportage.
Deciding which car will suit you best will depend on your own specific requirements and tastes. If you prefer to stand out in the crowd, go for the Kia – if you’d rather blend in a little more without losing a premium atmosphere, however, the Tucson may be a better bet.
Save money on your new SUV
Whichever of these outstanding SUVs you prefer, check out our Kia Sportage deals and Hyundai Tucson deals pages – you’ll save money straight from the UK’s leading dealers. If you’re after something else, our car chooser tool is here to help.