The compact SUV class has become a juggernaut in the automotive market. Combining the best features of cars and full-size SUVs, they offer seating for five, flexible interiors that can accommodate plenty of cargo if necessary, athleticism, excellent fuel economy, and a footprint that is convenient, fitting into the ever-shrinking parking spots and suburban garages of Hamburg, Hazleton, and Bethlehem.
Honda got a jump on the compact SUV class with the CR-V, introducing it in 1997. It’s been a long-time leader of the class, near the top every year regardless of what the other automakers throw at it. It’s got room for improvement though, which is where vehicles like the 2019 Hyundai Tucson can make their move. Offering a combination of technology and comforts in one of the most budget-minded packages on the road, it is a serious match for the 2019 Honda CR-V.
The 2019 Honda CR-V likes to tout having the most interior room in the compact SUV class. That may be true, but the vehicle itself pushes the bounds of what you consider compact.
Sure, it has 3.7 cubic feet more of passenger volume than the 2019 Hyundai Tucson at the base level – but the higher you go, the less space you get. EX and EX-L trims are reduced to 102.9 cubic feet, pretty much on par with the Tucson, and with 101.6 cubic feet of passenger space, the CR-V Touring trim offers less passenger volume than any Tucson, regardless of the trim level.
The Honda also packs in a little more cargo space than the Tucson, but it comes at a big price. The CR-V measures in at 4.2 inches longer than the Tucson, meaning it will be harder to get into the ever-shrinking parallel parking spots in Reading and Allentown. At 66.1 inches in height, it is also a little more worrisome in the lower parking garages of Bethlehem. The Tucson offers a little more clearance, sitting only 64.8 inches tall. With those measurements, it’s hard to call the CR-V a true compact.
Drivers and passengers have become used to a certain level of comfort and convenience, even in base-trim vehicles. To impress, an automaker must go beyond par for the course.
The 2019 Hyundai Tucson does that, offering comfort and convenience options that sound like they would be more at-home in a luxury vehicle. While both the 2019 Honda CR-V and the Tucson offer heated front seats, only the Tucson offers available heated rear seats so that all the passengers can be comfortable in the cutting Allentown December temperatures. The Tucson also offers a heated steering wheel for the driver, while making heated exterior mirrors standard across the range to clear off snow and ice in stormy Reading winters. The CR-V does not offer a heated steering wheel, and heated exterior mirrors are only offered on higher trim levels.
It's not just the cold that gets addressed – Hyundai knows that Hamburg drivers deal with sweltering summers as well. Ventilated front seats are offered in the Tucson as part of the Tucson Ultimate trim, cooling when the mercury hits high points.
Both the 2019 Honda CR-V and the 2019 Hyundai Tucson offer some of the most advanced safety feature available on the market, including full rosters of airbags, Blind Spot Warning Systems with Rear-Cross-Path warnings, rearview cameras, and many other active and passive safety systems. Both have also performed well in the tests administered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. However, digging deeper shows there is a clear difference between the two.
For instance, the 2019 Hyundai Tucson comes with bigger brake rotors than the CR-V, 12-inch rotors in the front and 11.9-inch rotors in the rear versus 11.1-inch and 10.2-inch rotors respectively in the 2019 Honda CR-V. In real world use, this means there is more slowing and stopping power in the Tucson, something to keep in mind as you’re headed downhill on the steep and twisty Allentown and Bethlehem roadways. In Motor Trend testing, the Tucson only needs 118 feet to come to a full stop from 60 miles per hour on dry pavement – the CR-V need 129 feet. In the wet, the CR-V needs 146 feet while the Tucson can do it in 140 feet.
While both were rated as five-star vehicles in front and side-impact crashes by the NHTSA, looking at the raw numbers it’s clear the Tucson is the safer choice. The Honda has higher Head Injury Criterion ratings in both types of impact, indicating a higher likelihood of head injury from impact. The Tucson also does a better job of absorbing force – for instance, the passenger in a CR-V should expect 111 pounds of neck compression in a front impact, versus only 50 pounds of compression in the Tucson. In side-impact testing, rear-seat passengers absorb 609 pounds of hip force in the CR-V, versus only 482 pounds in the Tucson. Those numbers are just scratching the surface – across all measurables, the Tucson performs better.
It’s hard to compare a Hyundai to any other vehicle on the road without bringing up the elephant in the room. No car maker out there offers warranties like those that Hyundai backs up the 2019 Hyundai Tucson with. Every new Tucson comes with 5 years and unlimited miles of 24-hour roadside assistance, and a new vehicle limited warranty that extends for 5 years and 60,000 miles. Going past that, the powertrain limited warranty stretches for 10 years and 100,000 miles. Hyundai keeps the drivers of Reading, Hamburg, and Hazleton in mind with the 7-year anti-perforation warranty with unlimited mileage – almost a necessity with the acidic, salted winter roads of the Lehigh Valley.
While the warranties backing Honda CR-V are pretty standard for the industry, do you want standard or exceptional? The Honda only provides three years and 36,000 miles of new vehicle coverage, and only 5 years and 60,000 miles of powertrain coverage. If you don’t have to deal with the slush and salty muck of December, the five years of corrosion coverage might be okay, but it’s just not enough for Pennsylvania drivers. With the Tucson, Hyundai stands behind their work, much longer than Honda does with the CR-V. You can Test Drive the Tucson for yourself and feel the reliability that only Hyundai can offer.
Looking at the price tags, you’ll see the biggest difference between the two vehicles – for comparable packages, the 2019 Honda CR-V is consistently priced higher than the 2019 Hyundai Tucson, despite trailing in all of these categories. Even at the top level of the Tucson, where you get all the comforts mentioned above that are unavailable in the CR-V, you’ll still start at a lower MSRP than the top-level CR-V.
The 2019 Honda CR-V is the latest and greatest in a long line of successful compact SUVs, but it clearly isn’t the latest and greatest in its class. While it does many things good, the 2019 Hyundai Tucson counters by doing those things better. Safety, value, reliability – the Tucson is king. So stop into Freedom Hyundai, serving Berks County and the Lehigh Valley, to see the latest Tucson models. Located in Hamburg, we’re easy to get to whether you’re coming up from Reading, or down from the likes of Hazleton, Bethlehem, and Allentown. Stop in today and meet our friendly staff, they’ll help you find the right Hyundai to fit your lifestyle!