2016 Hyundai Tucson vs. 2017 Ford Explorer: Is the Used Tucson a Better Buy Than This Used Ford SUV?

The two best used compact SUVs for 2022 that are between $15K to $20K are the 2016 Hyundai Tucson and the 2017 Ford Explorer. To determine which SUV is the best pick for the type of driver you are, read the helpful comparison below to find out how these popular vehicles stack up.

2016 Hyundai Tucson vs. 2017 Ford Explorer: safety and reliability

When you’re looking for a vehicle, you want one that’s reliable and safe for you and your family. The used Tucson has a safety rating of 9.8/10 from the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) and an overall five-star rating from the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). The NHTSA gave the 2016 Hyundai Tucson perfect scores in all areas except for rollovers, which received four stars.

In comparison, the 2017 Ford Explorer received a safety rating of 9.5/10 from the IIHS and an overall five-star rating from the NHTSA. The NHTSA also gave the used Ford perfect scores in all areas except rollovers, which also received four stars. The difference in score from the IIHS resulted from the rating for the small overlap front driver test, where the used Ford received an acceptable score while the used Tucson received a good score. 

The IIHS didn’t rate either vehicle for small overlap front passenger test, headlights, and front crash prevention. As for reliability, the 2016 Hyundai Tucson has a perfect reliability rating, while the 2017 Ford Explorer has a reliability rating of 4 out of 5.

2016 Hyundai Tucson vs. 2017 Ford Explorer: specs and features

Close-up on a Ford Explorer
Ford Explorer | Mario Tama/Getty Images

No car review is complete without reviewing the car’s specs and features. The 2016 Hyundai Tucson has a rear defrost, rear spoiler, privacy glass, and power windows. It also has an alarm, cruise control, keyless entry, power door locks, power steering, and a passenger illuminated visor mirror. The 2017 Ford Explorer also shares these features, except for the privacy glass, illuminated vanity mirrors, and electrochromatic rearview mirror, but it comes with an optional remote engine start.

The used Tucson has a wheelbase of 105.1 inches, an overall length of 176.2 inches, and a max width of 72.8 inches without the mirrors. It has a passenger capacity of five people and a passenger volume of 102.2 cubic feet. The mechanical aspects include a front wheel drive, 164 horsepower at 6200 rpm, and an automatic transmission with overdrive. The 2016 Hyundai Tucson has a fuel economy of 23 mpg in the city, 31 mpg on the highway, and a combined mpg of 27.

In comparison, the used Explorer has a wheelbase of 105.9 inches, an overall length of 178.1 inches, and a max width of 72.4 inches without mirrors. Like the 2016 Hyundai Tucson, it has a passenger capacity of five people but has a slightly smaller passenger volume at 98.1 cubic feet. 

The 2017 Ford Explorer also has a front wheel drive and automatic transmission with overdrive but has 168 horsepower at 6000 rpm. Compared to the 2016 Tucson, the 2017 Explorer has 21 mpg in the city, 29 mpg on the highway, and a combined mpg of 25.

Considering a used Tucson or a used Ford SUV

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While both vehicles are reliable and safe, there are differences between the two, outlined at U.S. News, that often become the deciding factor. A 2016 Hyundai Tucson is for you if:

  • You want a little more room for passengers
  • You want better fuel economy
  • You want window tint that offers privacy
  • You want a rearview mirror that dims automatically when it detects bright headlights.

A 2017 Ford Explorer might be for you if:

  • You find a remote engine start useful
  • You’re looking for more horsepower and more performance
  • You plan to go off-road
  • The slight difference in combined mpg compared to the used Tucson doesn’t matter much to you.

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