Much maligned by auto-enthusiasts but loved by people all over, crossovers have taken the world by storm. They are practical, they are comfortable and they give you a taste of what it’s like to own an SUV without having to sell every piece of land you own. For the average consumer then, they make sense.
In 2020, the weather also started changing for Pakistan as we saw the introduction of several new crossovers into the market. Two of them, though, have managed to cement their place in the hearts and minds of every consumer. These are none other than the KIA Sportage and the Hyundai Tucson; two vehicles that are eerily similar but different in small ways that matter.
Are they the same car?
The Sportage has a 2.0 litre naturally aspirated engine coupled with a 6-speed automatic gearbox and so does the Tucson. Both cars have glass panoramic sunroofs, as well as entertainment systems that support Android Auto and Apple Carplay. They also have power tailgates, electric seats and two airbags each. They also weigh just about the same. For the uninitiated then, the similarities between the two cars might not make a lot of sense and thus, the differences might be harder to grasp.
To understand why these cars are so similar, we must first understand where they come from. KIA and Hyundai are both South Korean manufacturers who have a huge presence across the globe. The important thing to note here is that Hyundai owns a 39% stake in KIA, which is why a lot of their cars share the same platforms. This is also the case for the Sportage and Tucson. However, just because they share the same platform, like the new BMW Z4 and the new Toyota Supra, doesn’t mean they are the same car. There are subtle but important differences between the two.
Differences that matter
In terms of design, these cars are different cars. The KIA is 25mm shorter, 5 mm longer and 5 mm wider than the Tucson. These figures might not be much but they add up to make a marked difference in terms of appearance. The Sportage looks more aggressive than the Tucson because of these minor differences and this is clearly a theme in its overall design as well. It has KIA’s signature Tiger Nose grille and dotted-DRL headlights that would feel at home on a Porsche.
At the back, it has a sweeping taillight design and the sides do a great job at accentuating the wheel arches which makes the whole package look a lot sportier. The Hyundai is a lot more subdued. It feels bigger but has more subtle design cues. The chrome grille on the front and the rounder taillights make it feel like it’s a bit more mature than the Sportage.
While the Sportage may look more unconventional on the outside when compared to the Tucson, the opposite is true for the interiors of both cars. The Sportage looks and feels a bit dated on the inside while Tucson has an interior that looks like it belongs in this decade. There are also minor differences between both cars in terms of features. The KIA offers parking sensors that may be useful when parking a vehicle of this size while the Tucson does not. The Tucson, however, has a ventilated cool box and dynamic LED headlights that the Sportage does not have.