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Many cars are selling well above their starting MSRP, including several Kia and Hyundai vehicles. But despite those brands’ excellent reputations, you could overpay for a Kia or Hyundai model, lowering your satisfaction. So consider skipping the 2023 Hyundai Tucson if you want a good deal on a compact SUV.

Why are certain cars selling above their MSRP?

Right now, some cars are in high demand. Consumer Reports attributes this to a combination of supply chain issues and inflation, resulting in a shortage of several vehicle types. Among them are EVs, hybrids, entry-level models, and reliable brands. CR notes that the average price for new vehicles increased by $2,250 between October 2021 and November 2022, representing an almost 5% jump.

Of course, an average doesn’t tell the whole story. Some vehicles are selling for much, much higher. For example, the Kia Carnival sold for 20% above MSRP this past December, while the Sorento Telluride and Sportage sold for 18% above MSRP. The Seltos, Rio, and K5, along with the Hyundai Ioniq 5, were at 17% over the manufacturer’s suggested retail price.

Those radical price jumps reflect consumer demand for high-quality, well-crafted SUVs and cars with hybrid or electric powertrains. But not all are created equal. The 2023 Hyundai Tucson might be selling for 16% over MSRP, but is it worth the premium?

The 2023 Hyundai Tucson at a glance

Front angle view of red 2023 Hyundai Tucson crossover SUV
2023 Hyundai Tucson | Hyundai

The 2023 Hyundai Tucson isn’t a bad vehicle. It’s actually quite attractive. But its powertrain leaves much to be desired. The standard model packs a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated engine making 187 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque, per Hyundai. Those numbers firmly plant the 2023 Hyundai Tucson in the middle of the pack. However, that results in a slow acceleration, hitting 60 mph in 9.6 seconds. Further, its combined 26 mpg fuel efficiency isn’t competitive with rivals. And if you’re paying well above MSRP, you should at least be on par in areas such as the above.

Where the 2023 Tucson shines is in its interior. It offers a well-finished cabin that looks more upscale than others in the segment. There’s generous headroom, though the center console cuts into the driver’s legroom. And cargo space is substantial, with 38.7 cubic feet behind the second row and 80.3 cubic feet with that row folded down. 

There’s also a refreshed 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen that’s intuitive and easy to use. In addition, the 2023 Tucson has numerous advanced safety features. They include automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assistance, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, and even reverse automatic emergency braking.

Alternatives to the 2023 Hyundai Tucson

But if you want a new compact SUV (and pay around $4,000 more than the $26,450 starting price), check out some 2023 Hyundai Tucson alternatives.

The 2023 Honda CR-V is a worthy competitor, with a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-four cylinder producing 190 hp and 179 lb-ft of torque. This crossover can hit 60 mph in 7.8 seconds. The standard model has only a 7.0-inch touchscreen and less cargo space than the Tucson. But it handles well, boasts excellent fuel efficiency, and has a starting MSRP of $31,110.

The Toyota RAV4 is another good choice. It overpowers the Tucson and CR-V with a 2.5-liter inline four harnessing 203 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. It’s slightly slower than the latter, hitting 60 mph in 8.0 seconds. But it’s relatively roomy, has a decent voice command system, and provides an 8.0-inch touchscreen and 7.0 gauge cluster. And with a starting MSRP of just $27,975, the 2023 RAV4 is an excellent pick for this segment.

The Mazda CX-5 is also worth considering. Starting at only $26,700, the 2023 model offers several powertrain options. The most powerful is a turbocharged inline-four producing 256 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque. A 10.3-inch touchscreen is standard, as are rain-sensing wipers, pushbutton start, and a four-speaker audio system. The features grow by trim level, making the CX-5 a compelling option. And if you’re going to pay a premium, any of these options offer better value than the 2023 Hyundai Tucson.