Cargo Conundrum: Hyundai Tucson Versus Santa Fe Sport
Hyundai's complete redesign of theTucsonfor
2016 adds a healthy dose of passenger and cargo room to the formerly
tiny compact SUV. The 2016 Tucson is so much larger that the distinction
between Hyundai's own midsize five-passengerSanta Fe Sportbecomes muddier with the Tucson's new dimensions. They're similar in size, but how different overall are they?
Tucson is still smaller than the Santa Fe, though not by as much as
you'd think. Cargo room behind the backseat for the 2016 Tucson is only
4.4 cubic feet short of the 2016 Santa Fe Sport's capacity (not the
seven-passenger Santa Fe, whose name is still confusing). For 2016, the
Tucson's cargo area not only got larger, but Hyundai also enlarged the
opening. There's now 31 cubic feet behind the second row, compared with
the Santa Fe's 35.4 cubic feet, which is not a distinguishable amount
when the cargo area is put to use.
out our cargo photos of the Tucson and Santa Fe Sport and you'll see
gear packed into both. The suitcase and grocery bags occupy a similar
percentage of the cargo area's trunk space behind the backseat. The
Santa Fe Sport's cargo area is slightly wider, as is the whole car, but
not by much. The Santa Fe Sport's exterior dimensions have an additional
8.4 inches of length, 1.3 inches of height and 1.2 inches of width. A
total 61.9 cubic feet of cargo space is available with the second-row
seats folded, which is significantly less space than the Santa Fe
Sport's 71.5 cubic feet.
not a huge difference in backseat comfort, but the Santa Fe Sport does
excel here with more legroom than the Tucson, plus the Santa Fe Sport's
backseat slides fore and aft helping provide an extra few inches of
legroom or cargo room depending which way the seat slides; the Tucson's
backseat is fixed but it does recline.
the Tucson surprises with notable options the Santa Fe Sport doesn't
offer, including lane departure warning, a forward collision system with
automatic emergency braking and adaptive headlights on the top Limited
trim level. The Tucsonacesthe
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's crash tests, including the
difficult-to-pass small front-overlap test, and earns the IIHS's Top
Safety Pick Plus designation. The Santa Fe Sport shares IIHS crash test
ratings with the three-row Santa Fe, but it manages only a marginal
rating in the small font-overlap test; that’s low enough to exclude it
from Top Safety Pick status.
The Tucson gets
its best fuel economy of 26/33/29 mpg city/highway/combined from its
optional turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder with front-wheel drive
versus the Santa Fe Sport's best fuel economy of 20/27/23 mpg with the
standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder and front-wheel drive.
Unless you're interested in the powerful Santa Fe Sport 2.0
with the 264-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the Tucson
is an interesting proposition given the increased room for 2016. The
picture becomes a little clearer when you consider its $2,250 lower
starting price and considerably better fuel economy.