Forget sibling rivalry. Some say the fiercest competitions occur between cousins. And in the auto world, two SUV brand cousins always seem to chase each other up the Consumer Reports ranking chart. For the 2021 model year, the Kia Sportage looks like it may have bested its cousin, the Hyundai Tucson.
We’ll detail why the Kia Sportage earned a better report card. And as you weigh your small-crossover options, this ranking might sway you to buy the better of the two.
What the official scores suggest about this year’s ranking
Based on vehicle owner survey data, as well as internal and rigorous testing, the Consumer Reports rating system is designed to provide a holistic rating for each new ride. The critics also compile feedback from vehicle owners to predict satisfaction and dependability grades.
The cumulative scores show the critics resoundingly suggest the 2021 Kia Sportage over the 2021 Hyundai Tucson. The Sportage earns an overall rating of 81, compared to the Tucson’s 77. The Kia outperformed its cousin in road testing and offered a mildly sporty experience with more responsive handling. Interior components and style are also noted as the Sportage’s class-leading attributes.
You can tell these two crossovers are cousins
The Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson are similar in a few key areas and tend to take turns at the top of critics’ recommendation lists. With their shared platforms and similar dimensions, they’re definitely cousins. The official cargo and interior space are also almost identical between the two, according to AutoGuide.com.
And though they differ in style and trim equipment offerings, they both provide a 2.4-liter engine capable of harnessing 181 hp that makes acceleration seem effortless.
The two models are also earning five-star crash test ratings. And according to Consumer Reports’ official scorecards, both SUVs receive the same predicted owner satisfaction ratings of 2 out of a possible 5.
But that’s where the similarities usually end.
Why the 2021 Kia Sportage surges ahead
In the ongoing face-off, the 2021 Kia Sportage surges ahead in scoring. Consumer Reports cites that although the Sportage saw a refresh in 2020, the latest model is upping the ante with a host of new standard features.
Auto emergency braking, forward-collision warning, and pedestrian detection are now standard across all the Sportage’s various trim levels. The controls are easy to use, and the interior offers a roomy and versatile experience for the driver and passengers. And the Sportage does feel like a sportier drive than most other SUVs in this class.
This cousin rivalry isn’t over yet
The 2021 Kia Sportage may have snagged more impressive scores from Consumer Reports this year, but don’t discount the 2021 Hyundai Tucson just yet. Other critics, including the team at Edmunds, point out the Tucson earns high marks for a variety of amenities, including its excellent infotainment platform, roomy interior, and comfortable ride. And though the Tucson is often overlooked, it’s a small SUV that hits the sweet spot for budget, usually priced thousands less than competitors.
If you’re browsing for a new SUV next year, the 2021 Kia Sportage and the Hyundai Tucson are worth a test drive. For those looking for a budget-friendly, easy-to-use, and sensible option, both vehicles are ideal. But according to Consumer Reports’ data and official scorecards, the 2021 Kia Sportage wins this cousin rivalry. And your final decision might boil down to your personal preferences and budget.