When it comes to budget-friendly family SUVs, the two that tend to dominate the conversation are the Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage.
These two South Korean car brands are often seen as being very similar, but there are a few subtle differences between them.
The one thing that sets these SUVs apart is how they look. Yes, they’re both modern, sleek and fresh-looking, but each offers significant design elements that make them stand out.
But despite having a large and imposing grille, this mid-sized SUV doesn’t feel too intimidating when it’s behind you on the road.
From some angles, you’d be mistaken for thinking you’re looking at a modern art piece, thanks to its sharp angles and boxy wheelarches.
What are they like to drive?
When it comes to driving, if you’ve ever driven an SUV before then you will feel right at home inside either the Sportage or Tucson.
Both feel safe and well-planted on the road, despite being taller than a lot of other cars.
The Tucson is fitted with some excellent suspension, offering a smooth ride – making it even easier to enjoy the school run or a longer motorway road trip.
It also has lighter steering, which means parking this near-two-tonne SUV is a dream.
Turning our attention to the Sportage, this plucky SUV ticks a lot of boxes when it comes to the overall driving experience.
While it can’t really live up to the ‘sport’ part in its name, this five-seater offers lots of interior space and comfort.
It also has light steering like its rival, so you don’t need to worry too much about trying to park it.
Both cars are available with a wide choice of engines from petrols to hybrids and diesels.
All the options out there are well-suited to all types of driving, so whether you're driving up and down the motorway or doing a weekly shop, you will be satisfied.
Interior and technology
Looking inside, both cars offer really clean and functional interiors that are filled with the latest tech and are really simple and functional to navigate.
The Hyundai Tucson wins this one in terms of its overall aesthetic and the level of technology available in the cabin.
The instrument cluster directly in front of the driver is really well laid-out and easy to navigate.
Kia’s Sportage isn’t quite as techy but that's no bad thing. Its interior is better suited to those who don’t need the faff of using an advanced touchscreen system.
Speaking of which, its infotainment system is far from poor but it’s just much easier to use if you’re not as confident with modern tech.
But even if you are, you can simply just hook up your phone to it and your device will be mirrored through Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
Bootspace and practicality
Being SUVs, there is almost no concern to be had when looking at boot space, but there’s no harm in preparing, is there?
The Tucson measures in with a 620-litre boot while the Sportage offers 591 litres of available space.
Despite the small size difference, both cars offer plenty of room for suitcases, shopping, or sports kit – making it perfect for a long trip with the family or a short weekly shop.
In terms of rear seat space, both cars perform well – offering lots of legroom and headroom for taller passengers.
There’s also a healthy amount of cupholders in both so no need to worry about anywhere to place your hot coffee.
Read our in-depth car reviews:
Safety and reliability
As well as being practical, other attributes you want your SUV to have are safety and reliability.
Chances are if you know anything about these two cars, you’ll already know that reliability shouldn’t be an issue.
Both share the same platform underneath and therefore are very similar.
It’s also worth noting that all brand-new Kias come with an amazing seven-year warranty (five years for Hyundais) that is transferrable across owners.
In terms of safety, both scored top marks in their most recent Euro NCAP crash tests – offering superb safety for both adult and child occupants.
Boot space: 620 litres
Boot space: 591 litres
Verdict: Hyundai Tucson vs. Kia Sportage: which should you buy?
After reading this comparison, if you’re still struggling to decide which budget-friendly SUV is best for you then perhaps our quick verdict can help point you in the right direction.
If you’re after a car that's comfortable on the road and that has impressive levels of interior tech, then we’d suggest looking at the Tucson because it covers all these bases.
However, if you are someone who prefers more simplicity in your SUV then we’d suggest taking a look at the Sportage – a car that is a great all-rounder that offers a great warranty.