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The 2020 Honda CR-V has been a leader among its segment for quite a long time. It goes without saying, though, it isn’t the only option in its segment. While it may be viewed as one of the best, vehicles like the 2021 Hyundai Tucson are more than able to compete with it.

2020 Honda CR-V
2020 Honda CR-V Touring | Honda

What’s under the hood?

At the heart of the 2020 CR-V is a 190-horsepower turbocharged engine. The 2021 Tucson, on the other hand, is standard with a 161-horsepower engine. Also available is a 181-horsepower engine, which is still outpaced by the CR-V’s turbocharged base engine.

For the first time in the U.S., Honda is also offering a CR-V Hybrid that can generate 212-horsepower.  Unfortunately for Hyundai shoppers, this year’s Tucson isn’t available in hybrid form. 

Kelley Blue Book took both of these SUVs out for a spin too. When test driving the 2020 CR-V, Kelley Blue Book reported that it’s “much livelier than its 190-horsepower rating might suggest.” It should come as no surprise then that Kelley Blue Book ranked the 2020 CR-V as the best compact SUV of 2020.

As for the 2021 Tucson? According to Kelley Blue Book, the 2021 Tucson’s base engine “does its job, but not in any noticeably refined manner.” Consumer Reports made similar comments, calling the Tucson’s standard engine “underpowered and noisy.”

Interior features and amenities

Both SUVs are available in multiple trim levels. While the 2020 CR-V offers four trim levels to choose from, the Hyundai Tucson boasts six. Opt for the base Tucson, and standard features include stain-resistant cloth seats, a rearview monitor, and a 7-inch infotainment system with Bluetooth, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay.

Unfortunately for the CR-V, the 2021 Tucson’s base features are more appealing. While the Tucson comes standard with an Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatible infotainment system, the same features on the CR-V require climbing the ranks to a higher, more costly trim level.

Is the 2020 Honda CR-V safer than the 2021 Hyundai Tucson?

The 2020 CR-V comes standard with the Honda Sensing Suite, which includes confidence-inspiring safety features like a road-departure mitigation system, collision-mitigation braking, lane-keep assist, traffic sign recognition, and adaptive cruise control. Standard safety features on the 2021 Tucson include lane-keeping assist, forward-collision warnings, automatic emergency braking, and a system that monitors driver drowsiness.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2021 Tucson earned a 5-star overall safety rating. The 2020 CR-V also earned itself a 5-star rating from the NHTSA

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) named the 2020 CR-V a Top Safety Pick too. At this time, the IIHS hasn’t posted updated safety ratings for the 2021 Tucson. Last year’s model, like the CR-V, was named a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS.

2021 Hyundai Tucson
2021 Hyundai Tucson | Hyundai

What’s the Cheapest SUV You Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Buy?

What does the 2020 Honda CR-V cost compared to the 2020 Hyundai Tucson?

A 2020 CR-V will set you back $25,150, though its highest ranking trim is priced starting at $33,350. The 2021 Tucson’s base rings at $23,700, with its highest trim level starting at $32,050.

While the CR-V’s base price is higher than that of the 2021 Tucson’s, Autotrader says it has “stronger resale value” than its Hyundai rival. Its stronger resale value isn’t the only thing worth keeping in mind either. The 2020 CR-V was also recognized as the ‘2020 Best Compact SUV for the Money’ by U.S. News & World Report.

Honda CR-V vs. Hyundai Tucson: Which SUV is better?

Sure, the 2021 Tucson has a lower base price than the Honda CR-V. But in the end, it’s the 2020 CR-V that has more power under the hood, stronger resale value, and is available as a hybrid.