2017 Kia Sportage vs Hyundai Tucson

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The 2017 Kia Sportage and the Hyundai Tucson are two closely related compact crossovers from sister companies, so there are going to be lots of similarities between the two. But if you’ve narrowed your search for a new vehicle down to one of these two, let’s find out how they differ so you can make a choice.

2017 Kia Sportage vs Hyundai Tucson


It was a bold move for Kia to change the way the Sportage looks so radically when the previous generation was so spectacularly popular and admired, but it’s only really the front fascia that’s especially different from its predecessor. It’s probably not the most immediately attractive face, but like the best and most enduring songs, it definitely grows on you.

The front of the Tucson is more conventional than the Sportage it shares a platform with, but the Hyundai saves its best styling cues for the more defined lines down the side. The Tucson is probably more handsome and understated, but the Sportage is the way to go if you want to make an impression.

Engines and Performance

The 2017 Sportage is available with two different engines. The LX and EX trims come with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 181 horsepower and 175 lb.-ft. of torque, and comes mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Go for the SX instead, and then you’re treated to a 2.0-liter turbo-four that puts out an impressive 240 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque through the same six-speed auto. They’re not suited to high top speeds, but they’re both big on mid-range performance and reasonably impressive fuel economy.

You might be surprised to learn the Tucson doesn’t use the same engines as the Kia. The base engine here is a pretty tame 164 horsepower 2.0-liter inline-four, while the more powerful option is a 1.6-liter turbo-four developing 175 horsepower. This is therefore a surprisingly easy win for the Kia Sportage.

Fuel Economy

The best fuel economy ratings for the Sportage come from base LX models with front-wheel drive, which are 23 mpg in the city, 30 mpg on the highway and 26 mpg combined. Go for the top-of-the-line SX with all-wheel drive and the numbers then come in at 20 mpg in the city, 23 mpg on the highway and 21 mpg combined.

Having less power and performance pays off in better fuel economy for the Hyundai Tucson. A 2.0-liter Tucson with front-wheel drive is rated at 23 mpg in the city, 30 mpg on the highway and 26 mpg combined. However, Eco versions of the 1.6 with the seven-speed dual clutch transmission and front-wheel drive are the best with numbers of 26/33/29 mpg, so this round goes to the Tucson.

Features and Equipment

If there’s one thing that’s a welcome hangover from Kia of old, it has to be the levels of standard features and equipment you get for your money. The 2017 Kia Sportage is no exception to this rule. Base models come standard with power features, air conditioning with rear vents, remote keyless entry, a tilt/telescopic steering wheel, a six-speaker touchscreen audio, satellite radio, a rearview camera, Bluetooth hands-free calling and streaming audio.

A Tucson SE comes standard with power features, cruise control, air conditioning, automatic headlights, a rearview camera, a 5.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and a tilt/telescoping steering wheel. As you go up the trims you notice the Sportage is considerably more generous, so this is another win for the Kia.

Learn More about the Kia Sportage

With these two models being so closely related, it would be easy to think the only difference was the way the look. But as we’ve seen, the Sportage is superior to the Tucson in many ways, and s they cost almost the same. If it was our money, we’d go for the 2017 Kia Sportage over the Hyundai Tucson every time.