Hybrids & Electrics

The 2021 Hyundai Tucson Just Outranked the Ford Escape

Say what now? The 2021 Hyundai Tucson just outranked the 2021 Ford Escape? That’s pretty surprising. Generally, the Hyundai Tucson has mixed reviews, while drivers have excellent things to say about the Ford Escape. 

2021 Hyundai Tucson vs. 2021 Ford Escape 

According to CarAndDriver, the 2021 Hyundai Tucson is a better SUV option than the Ford Escape. They complied a list of the best SUVs for 2021, and the Hyundai Tucson ranked in 7th place while the Ford Escape landed in 9th place. 

2021 Hyundai Tucson parked on street
2021 Hyundai Tucson | Hyundai

The Mazda CX-5 took home the first place award while the Mitsubishi Outlander landed in the last place. This list takes 16 options into consideration, so keep in mind that 15 options are considered to be better than the Mitsubishi Outlander. 

2020 Ford Escape parked in dessert sand
2020 Ford Escape | Ford

However, we will get to those compact SUV options later. For now, let’s see why the Hyundai Tucson ranks ahead of the Ford Escape. If this list compared 2020 models, then this wouldn’t be the case. To make matters even more confusing, the Hyundai Tucson isn’t even getting its full makeover until 2022. 

Why does the 2021 Hyundai Tucson rank well? 

The team at CarAndDriver suggests that the 2021 Hyundai Tucson is a well-rounded SUV. While it doesn’t excel well in one particular area, it seems to fit the needs of drivers to create a comfortable and affordable option with tons of value for the price. 

RELATED: The 2022 Hyundai Tucson’s Redesign Is More Than Skin Deep

You can get started in a brand new Hyundai Tucson for about $23,700. We would rather see it a little cheaper to compete with more economical options, like the Nissan Kicks. Also, All-wheel drive is optional. 

The Tucson base engine is a 164-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder option that felt lethargic to CarAndDriver, but you can upgrade to the 2.4-liter engine with 181 hp for more pep. The Tucson has a satisfying performance and a comfortable, quiet ride. 

2019 Hyundai Tucson
2019 Hyundai Tucson | Hyundai

Plus, the 2021 Hyundai Tucson ranks well for having a nice interior. It’s spacious, comfortable, and easy to use. It comes with a standard 7-inch infotainment center that has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Standard safety features include forward-collision warning, lane-keeping assist, and more. 

What does the 2021 Ford Escape rank well for?  

The Ford Escape can fill various niches by being available with two different gas engines, a gas-electric hybrid and a plug-in hybrid powertrain. But it does have a higher starting price that’s around $25,000. It also looks more car-like to fill the gap left by discontinued Ford models like the Taurus, Focus, and Fusion. 

2020 Ford Escape Hybrid SE
Blue Ford Escape Hybrid SE | Ford

With the 1.5-liter standard gas engine, you get 181-hp that delivers an adequate performance. The optional 2.0-liter engine with 252-hp provides a much sportier ride, but with the 2.5-liter gas engine that’s paired with two electric motors in the hybrid version, you get an EPA estimated 41 mpg. 

The 2021 Ford Escape offers a refined ride, but the cabin could have nicer materials. It has a lot of cargo space, is available with all-wheel drive, and provides a variety of modern safety features. It seems like the higher price and lack of quality cabin materials hurt its ranking.