2021 Hyundai Tucson vs. Subaru Crosstrek: The More Practical Choice Is Clear

The competition couldn’t be fiercer in the small-SUV segment. Some offer more luxury, and others scream for off-road adventures. But many consumers look for a combination of comfort, capability, and value. And two of the biggest contenders this year are the Hyundai Tucson and Subaru Crosstrek. You might even be torn between these two compact crossovers and need a tie-breaker.

Here, we’ll compare the Hyundai Tucson and Subaru Crosstrek side-by-side. Then you’ll see that the more practical choice is clear.

Hyundai Tucson and Subaru Crosstrek comparison

RELATED: The 2021 Hyundai Tucson Lost to Its Little Sibling in This Best Value Contest

The 2021 Hyundai Tucson starts at $24,840, and the Crosstrek comes in at $1,500 cheaper, starting at $23,295, Kelley Blue Book reports. The Tucson does a few things exceptionally well, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, safety, and competitive pricing. Not to be outdone, the Crosstrek comes in with above-average features like standard all-wheel drive and an available plug-in hybrid version.

Both also fall short in a few areas. For example, KBB points out the Hyundai Tucson isn’t particularly quick and doesn’t offer any real off-road chops. And Edmunds cites lackluster acceleration on the base engine. Reviewers also knock the Tucson’s optional driver aids that competitors offer standard. The Subaru Crosstrek gets a few dings too. Though the hybrid variation is nice, it’s pricey. And the cargo space is limited relative to others in this class, Car and Driver reports. Critics also complain that Subaru’s EyeSight safety aids aren’t available with the manual transmission. 

Which compact SUV should you buy?

After an extensive line-by-line comparison, Kelley Blue Book commends the Hyundai Tucson for its pricing and fuel efficiency. KBB equally applauds the Subaru Crosstrek for its blend of comfort, safety, and capability.

But even with the 2021 Crosstrek’s standard AWD and hybrid version, the Hyundai Tucson is likely the more practical purchase.

Plenty of reasons to choose the way KBB did

Sure, the Hyundai Tucson doesn’t offer off-roading prowess like the AWD Subaru Crosstrek. And the Tucson’s base engine won’t set your hair on fire when you stomp on the gas. But where this crossover lacks, it makes up for in functionality. Plus, it offers six trims, with SE, Value, SEL, Sport, Limited, and Ultimate models making configuring your Tucson a breeze. 

The bottom line is, if you need a versatile compact SUV with decent cargo space, a smart infotainment system, and an unbeatable warranty, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better buy than the 2021 Hyundai Tucson. Enjoy complimentary maintenance, a five-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Hyundai proves it can pack plenty of value into a small SUV. The 2021 Tucson might be one of the most practical models you can buy this year. Sure, it isn’t perfect, but it’s ridiculously good at a lot of things. And with enough warranty coverage to help with maintenance and repairs, it’s a purchasing decision that doesn’t get much easier.