Along with the Honda CR-V, the Toyota RAV4 is one of the best-selling SUVs in the world, and has been for some time now. However, competition is coming from all areas these days, not the least South Korea, so let’s compare the 2017 Hyundai Tucson with the Toyota RAV4 to see how these two crossovers compare.
2017 Hyundai Tucson vs Toyota RAV4
Some people won’t like the way the Hyundai Tucson looks, but it’s hard to believe that will describe very many. The Tucson may be a bit more conventional than its predecessor, but it’s also handsome, stylish, modern, sporty, and even more than a little premium-looking. It’s now looks like a smaller Santa Fe, but, if anything, the Tucson is even more attractive.
The RAV4 seems to be evolving before our eyes, with so many redesigns and refreshes over the years. It’s almost as if Toyota knows it still hasn’t got the exterior styling quite right, but keeps trying to improve it. The Toyota isn’t an ugly vehicle at all, but its looks are not in the same class as those of the Hyundai.
Power & Performance
A 2.0-liter inline-four producing 164 horsepower is the base engine in the Tucson, which comes mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. A more sophisticated 1.6-liter turbo-four is the alternative, which then gets you as much as 175 horsepower and is paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard with all-wheel drive available with both units.
If we put the hybrid RAV4 to one side as a separate model, that only leaves a single engine in the regular model. That engine is a 2.5-liter inline-four that comes matched to a six-speed automatic transmission and produces 176, which can feel strained when pushed with a full load.
Apart from front leg room, the interior of the Hyundai Tucson is larger than the cabin of the Toyota RAV4 by almost every measure. The Tucson boasts an impressive 133.2 cu.-ft. of passenger volume, although cargo space isn’t anywhere near as generous as some rivals. The design of the dash and the way the controls are laid out is superb, although the quality of materials does vary.
With just 101.9 cu.-ft. of cargo volume, the RAV4 is no match for the Tucson, but its 73.4 cu.-ft. of cargo space with the rear seats down is much better than the Hyundai’s 61.9 cu.-ft. The new Platinum trim level elevates the comfort and quality of the Toyota to another level, but not having anywhere near as much passenger volume stops it doing better than the Hyundai.
Features & Equipment
Hyundai is a manufacturer synonymous with value for money, so it’s expected that the Tucson offers high levels of standard features. You won’t get a lot of a la carte choice, though, as features tend to be trim level specific, with only the Limited model offering flexibility for adding distinctive options. Base models get all the usual power features, as well as cruise control, air conditioning, automatic headlights, a rearview camera, and a 5.0-inch touchscreen for the included infotainment system.
An entry level RAV4 comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, power features, air conditioning, a tilting-and-telescoping steering wheel with audio and phone controls, cruise control, interior LED lighting, a 12-volt power outlet and very good infotainment system. The XL then adds the likes of dual-zone automatic climate control, a sunroof, and fog lights, so the Toyota just has the edge when it comes to standard features and equipment.
Learn More about the Hyundai Tucson
Even if the Toyota RAV4 was better than the 2017 Hyundai Tucson in every other way, we’d choose the Hyundai for its looks alone. But the Hyundai is at least a match for the Toyota in every other way, and better than it in quite a few. Add to the equation the fact the Tucson is almost $2,000 cheaper than the RAV4, and you won’t be surprised to learn the Tucson is our favorite of the pair.