|30||Fuel Economy (mpg combined**)||25|
|75.8||Cargo Space (cu.ft.)||61.9|
Have you ever heard the phrase, “You can’t have your cake and eat it too”? While this often implies that you can’t have it all, nor should you expect as much, the phrase isn’t entirely true, at least not when comparing crossover SUVs like the 2021 Honda CR-V vs 2021 Hyundai Tucson. Compact SUVs are smaller than their midsize and full-size counterparts, but they’re more efficient and nimble to handle whether you’re cruising around town or driving at highway speeds. They give drivers the luxuries of an SUV and the efficiency of a sedan, proving that you can have your cake and eat it too.
How does the 2021 CR-V compare to the 2021 Tucson? Honda’s reputation in the automotive industry is steeped in reliability and practicality, while Hyundai continues to build its brand around offering tech-centric vehicles. It’s hard to argue with either of these reputations, and the choice largely boils down to what you prioritize in a compact SUV.
Do you immediately look for power and reliability, or is technology high on your list of must-haves? When you start comparing these features on the CR-V and Tucson, a clear winner emerges. The CR-V is proof that Honda has perfected its compact sedan to deliver a capable and tech-rich SUV that can easily handle itself and give you all the confidence you need when you’re on the road.
The 2021 Honda CR-V has a significant advantage over the Tucson in terms of power and handling. The CR-V is equipped with a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that’s paired with Honda’s proven continuously variable automatic transmission to deliver 190 horsepower and 179 lb-ft of torque. This makes the CR-V fun to drive both in town and on the highway. What’s even better is that this power isn’t mutually exclusive with efficiency, as the CR-V gets an estimated 28 MPG in the city and 34 MPG on the highway.**
The 2021 Hyundai Tucson isn’t as efficient or as powerful as the CR-V, which means you’ll spend more money on fuel. The Tucson comes standard with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and 6-speed automatic transmission, delivering 161 horsepower and 150 lb-ft of torque. Greater power requires upgrading to a top-tier trim like the SEL, Sport, or Limited, all of which come with a 2.4-liter engine that produces 181 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque. But no matter which engine you choose, the Tucson falls far behind the CR-V when it comes to fuel efficiency, getting just 21 or 23 MPG in the city and 25 or 28 MPG on the highway, depending on the engine.
What does this mean? The Tucson may offer two engine choices, but both are underpowered for the compact SUV, and that means slower acceleration and less responsiveness. In contrast, the CR-V delivers more power and greater efficiency that make it the clear winner if you’re looking for a compact SUV that’s not only fun to drive but won’t cost you a fortune to fill the tank.
The 2021 CR-V and the 2021 Tucson are stunning both inside and out. The compact SUVs offer seating for five, but Honda provides significantly more cargo volume as the CR-V offers 75.8 cubic feet of space while the Tucson has just 61.9 cubic feet. As far as amenities go, both models offer everything imaginable across their multi-trim lineup, which means you can opt for a bare-bones base model or a top-tier trim that includes all the luxuries and comforts you can imagine.
The Touring is the top of the line for the Honda CR-V and is truly remarkable with its 19-inch alloy wheels, LED lighting, dual chrome exhaust finishers, and roof rails that add to its design aesthetic and practicality. The hands-free power tailgate makes it easy for you to access the rear cargo area with a quick motion of your foot, while the easy-fold 60-40 split rear seats add another layer of convenience inside. The interior is also full of premium features with leather-trimmed and heated front seats and a one-touch power moonroof that gives you a clear view of the sky and fresh air circulating in the cabin. You’ll also find the steering wheel is heated and leather-wrapped, which is great in colder seasons.
The Ultimate is the Tucson’s top-tier trim and adds many of the same luxuries and conveniences that you’ll find on the CR-V. Leather seating comes standard on this trim, along with a power driver’s seat and heated front seats. Like the CR-V, the steering wheel is heated and leather-wrapped. The second-row seats are also designed with a 60-40 split that gives you easy access to the rear cargo area.
If technology is a top priority, you won’t be disappointed with either the 2021 CR-V or the 2021 Tucson. Honda and Hyundai are both dedicated to delivering the latest in innovative technology, and that’s apparent on these compact SUVs. You’ll find everything from smartphone integration and navigation to wireless hotspots and remote vehicle access at your fingertips.
The 2021 Honda CR-V base model comes standard with a 5.0-inch color radio screen, but you’ll find every other trim is outfitted with a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen display. This display is your hub of connectivity and gives you immediate access to your favorite apps via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. In addition to SiriusXM satellite radio and Bluetooth Streaming Audio, you can also add Honda’s Satellite-Linked Navigation System to navigate the quickest and most efficient route.
The CR-V’s technology doesn’t stop there and extends to a wide variety of conveniences like push-button start and Smart Entry with Walk Away Auto Lock. This means you can keep your keys in your pocket or bag and still start the vehicle or lock and unlock the doors. The CR-V Touring trim also adds advanced features like wireless phone charging, which eliminates the need for charging cables and constantly keeps your phone battery charged and ready to go.
You’ll find similar technology on the Tucson, starting with its 7.0-inch center-mounted touchscreen display. The display is home to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, which is standard on every trim. Like the CR-V, the Tucson is equipped with a push-button start and Proximity Key Entry. The Ultimate trim also includes a wireless charging station, which puts the Tucson toe to toe with the CR-V in terms of tech and connectivity features.
The 2021 CR-V and the 2021 Tucson have a lot to offer in terms of safety and driver-assist technology. Both models earned high ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for their extensive suite of active and passive safety features. On the CR-V, these features are centralized in the Honda Sensing suite, while the Tucson’s features are part of the Hyundai SmartSense suite.
The Honda Sensing safety suite is standard across the CR-V lineup and includes Honda’s Collision Mitigation Braking System, which can bring the CR-V to an emergency stop when a collision is imminent, and the Road Departure Mitigation System, which helps you keep the CR-V safely on the road. Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow is a hassle-free approach to highway driving that actively monitors the flow of traffic to adjust the CR-V’s cruising speed as needed, while the Lane Keeping Assist System subtly adjusts your steering to keep the vehicle in its lane. You’ll also find higher-level trims like the EX, EX-L, and Touring are equipped with a Blind Spot Information System with Cross Traffic Monitor that serves as an extra set of eyes around the vehicle at all times.
The Hyundai SmartSense suite offers a similar lineup of safety and driver-assist tools. Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection monitors the front of the vehicle for potential collisions and can help bring the SUV to an emergency stop. Lane Keeping Assist, Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go, Blind-Spot Collision Warning, and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning are also part of the suite and function similarly to the CR-V’s features, minimizing the risk for collision and enhancing your visibility.