The 2021 Hyundai Tucson Is a Smart Choice Over Its Mitsubishi Rival

Hyundai makes some of the best SUVs on the market, but the Hyundai Tucson is often overlooked. It features a smooth powertrain and a five-star safety rating, as well as one of the longest warranties available. It hasn’t had any major upgrades in a few years, but a redesigned 2022 Hyundai Tucson is planned.

Another SUV with a redesign on the horizon is the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. In the Eclipse Cross’s case, an upgrade is desperately needed: this SUV is known for its unrefined transmission and lackluster interior. It may have a great warranty, but Autotrader still thinks the Hyundai Tucson is the better choice.

The Hyundai Tucson’s strengths

Autotrader appreciated that drivers can choose between two engines on the Hyundai Tucson. The standard four-cylinder makes 161 hp, while the bigger four-cylinder in higher trims produces 181 hp. Both are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and get good fuel economy scores by segment standards.

There’s no noticeable difference between the two engines in terms of speed, but the Hyundai Tucson still has a comfortable (albeit unexciting) ride. Despite the new paint colors on offer for this year, Autotrader wasn’t really impressed with the Tucson’s exterior design. The interior is pretty drab as well, but the materials don’t feel cheap by any means.

Both rows of seating work accommodate adults without any issue, though taller riders might not appreciate the optional panoramic sunroof. This addition is only available on the range-topping Ultimate trim, which also has leather seats and navigation. However, Autotrader found that the base model has enough features to suit the needs of most drivers.

For the base model, you get smartphone integration, Bluetooth, power-folding side mirrors, a USB port, and a 7.0-inch touchscreen. Safety features are also plentiful, including automatic emergency braking, forward-collision warning, driver drowsiness monitoring, and lane-keeping assistance. That’s excellent for $24,840, and the Tucson usually has a high resale value.

Competing with the 2021 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross 

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The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross only has one engine, a small turbo-four capable of 152 hp. Anything above city speed limits can pose a challenge, and the buzzing CVT makes this abundantly clear. Still, as long as it’s not pushed too hard, the Eclipse Cross has agreeable driving manners.

The Eclipse Cross is also more efficient than the Hyundai Tucson, rated for 27 mpg combined city/highway at best. These numbers don’t drop too drastically if you AWD, but doing so is a more expensive upgrade compared to the Tucson. In terms of exterior style, Autotrader thinks that the Eclipse Cross stands out amongst rival SUVs.

The interior is also a little more stylish, with comfortable and spacious seats for riders of all sizes. However, the sloping roofline cuts into the passengers’ headspace and the rear legroom is restrictive. The blocky headrests can also hinder the driver’s rearview vision. Cargo space isn’t exceptional, but the rear bench seat can be folded upwards to allow space for bulkier items.

The 2021 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is cheaper than the Tucson by a couple of hundred dollars but has fewer standard features. Smartphone integration isn’t standard, nor are any advanced driver’s aids. The Eclipse Cross’s value is only apparent when purchasing the highest SEL trim, which is $5,000 less than the Tucson Ultimate.

The superior value is clear in the Hyundai Tucson

AutoTrader thinks the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is flashier and more fun to drive, but still preferred the Hyundai Tucson. The Tucson offers more features, making it the most cost-effective option. 

Its cargo hold is also bigger, over 60 cubic feet compared to 49 cubic feet. Time will tell if a redesign will make the 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross a better deal compared to the Hyundai Tucson.