Hyundai Tucson vs Subaru Forester – Which is better?

Is Hyundai Tucson a good car?

The compact crossover world is brimming with dozens upon dozens of different options and it can often be difficult to decide which one to get. Both the Hyundai Tucson and the Subaru Forester are at the very top of this segment as these tend to sell really well across most markets. So, Hyundai Tucson vs Subaru Forester – Which is better?

When it comes to engine choices, both of these brands deliver, but the Subaru does fall short in some regards we are going to mention in this article. AWD comes as standard on all Forester models which is a huge plus over the Tucson’s standard FWD. Design-wise, it really isn’t a comparison at all as the Tucson does seem like the more coherent and attractive experience.

The driving experience is very different between these two, but both do deliver when it comes to what a daily driver needs to do best. Reliability is excellent with both of these, but one is still better than the other. When it comes to pricing, these two are really similar throughout. Practicality is a mixed bag as the Tucson is better in certain aspects while the Forester takes it in others.

All in all, these two are really closely matched, but I’d give a considerable advantage to the Tucson as it somehow better portrays the image of what a modern-day crossover SUV should be. If want to know more, be sure to read this article, and find out!

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Hyundai Tucson

With a starting price of around $27,000, the Tucson seems to be a really well-priced SUV. Well-equipped models are likely to set you back for around $10,000 or more, but those will come with a whole host of goodies. Engines are limited to two, a gasoline-powered 1.6L 4-cylinder with 150hp or a hybrid version with the same 1.6L engine, but with between 230hp and 265hp.

FWD is the standard with the Tucson, and so is the 8-speed automatic gearbox in most markets around the world. Design is where the Tucson really made a difference in this segment as it introduced something we didn’t really see before. With striking picturesque body lines, extremely futuristic lights, and a great-looking interior, it is really hard to fault the way the Tucson looks inside and out.

Reliability is rated at 88/100 by J.D. Power which means that the Tucson is excellent in that regard, almost class-leading to be exact. The Tucson does not try to be an off-roader or a sports car which means that it drives safe, trouble-free, and really predictable. It gets pretty much all the latest tech and is firmly regarded as the benchmark in this segment by many people.

Practicality is great as it offers one of the largest trunks in this segment while seating space is good. Visibility is great, the Tucson gets many family-friendly features and the 1.6L can return up to 29MPG while the hybrid model can return up to 40MPG combined.

Subaru Forester  

The Subaru Forester starts at around a thousand dollars or more than the Tucson, but well-equipped models are cheaper than well-equipped Tucson models. For this price, you can choose between a 2.0L 4-cylinder hybrid model with 150hp and a maximum of 35MPG or a pair of 4-cylinder Boxer engines with up to 254hp and 27MPG.

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Design-wise, the Forester does not look like anything special as it follows a well-known Subaru design language. The car is not attention-grabbing which means that it is relatively conservatively designed. The interior is a bit more daring, but nothing to be particularly proud of. The Forester does drive really well thanks to its AWD system that comes as standard and the CVT transmission.

Reliability is rated at 80/100 which is slightly behind the Tucson, but still ahead of most cars out there.  Practicality is really good as the Forester is on a comparable level with the Tucson. However, trunk space is capped at 70 cubic feet which is less than the Tucson.

The Forester is a much better car off-road because it also employs a more utilitarian approach. The Forester can go down and dirty a lot better than the Tucson which makes it a credible winter car.

Verdict- The Hyundai Tucson is better

First of all, the Tucson gets more sophisticated, greener, and more efficient engines which suit these types of cars a lot better. Even though you have to pay extra for an AWD system, the Tucson does offer a more promising powertrain/drivetrain. Design-wise, the Tucson takes it with ease as it actually looks really attractive which is not often the case with most crossovers.

The driving experience is better with the Forester as it is a much more capable car, but most people don’t care about that. The Forester offers more headroom in the front, but less headroom in the back. Legroom is better with the Tucson in the rear while the Forester takes it with better legroom at the front.

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Reliability is better with the Tucson, technology is better with the Tucson, and family-friendliness is also better with the Tucson. No matter how you slice it, the Tucson does seem like the better car overall.

FAQ Section

 Is the Hyundai Tucson safer than the Subaru Forester?

Both of these cars are awarded the IIHS “Top Safety Pick Plus” awards because they offer great passive and active safety systems throughout. Some of this data does suggest that the Forester is slightly better with crash protection, but not by much to make a substantial difference.

Is the Hyundai Tucson more comfortable than the Subaru Forester?

The Hyundai Tucson is slightly more comfortable than the Subaru Forester thanks to better noise isolation. That is not to say that the Forester isn’t comfortable, but these two certainly aren’t on the same level. The Tucson is also a much more aerodynamic SUV which means that road noise is much less noticeable at highway speeds.

Is the Hyundai Tucson a better off-roader than the Subaru Forester?

The Subaru takes it as it comes with AWD as standard and Subaru AWD is known as one of, if not the best AWD system when it comes to traction. It’s safe to say that both of these are not designed for off-roading, but if you were to pick, we’d strongly suggest going for the Forester as it is a more capable car overall.

Marko Mikulic

Why do you love writing about cars? I love writing about cars as cars are a huge personal interest of mine. I was raised in a car enthusiast community and ever since I was young, I always wanted to do car-related work.

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