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2021 Hyundai Tucson vs. 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross: Which is Better?

With class-leading warranties, the 2021 Hyundai Tucson and 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross both provide a level of reassurance to prospective buyers. Which is better?

Quick Facts

  • Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross will be completely redesigned for 2022.
  • Both earn five-star NHTSA ratings.
  • 2021 Hyundai Tucson has more than 60 cubic feet of maximum cargo space.

2021 Hyundai Tucson

2021 Hyundai TucsonBase price: $24,840 / Read our 2021 Hyundai Tucson Review

What we like: Competitive price; outstanding warranty; good safety scores

What we would change: Engine is a little weak; driver and safety aids should be standard; appearance is bland

Overview: In a field with competitors offering off-road ability, sporty handling, or great fuel economy, the 2021 Hyundai Tucson distinguishes itself with its value, an outstanding warranty, and a choice of engines. It even has optional all-wheel drive, although that’s best for rain and snow as the Tucson makes no pretensions about being an off-roader. Neither the base engine nor the upgrade is what anyone would call quick, but the Tucson rides comfortably and confidently and has sufficient propulsion for city and highway driving. Power is certainly adequate for passing, but overly spirited driving is not the Tucson’s forte. Base models come decently equipped with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, a 7-inch touchscreen, and an adjustable driver seat, but some driver and safety functions are not available until the higher trim levels. Resale values are typically pretty good, and of course, the Tucson is backed by Hyundai’s 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

What’s new for 2021: Not many changes for 2021, other than a few different paint colors. New colors include Coliseum Gray, Black Noir Pearl and Gemstone Red, and Sage Brown has been dropped.

Features and technology: Offered with a choice of engines and either front-wheel or all-wheel drive, the 2021 Tucson comes in five trim levels, although the base SE is decently equipped. It includes 17-inch alloy wheels, heated and power-folding mirrors, 6-way adjustable driver seat, Bluetooth, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility. Moving on up, the Value trim ads blind-spot monitoring, 8-way power-adjustable driver seat, heated front seats, satellite radio, and keyless ignition.

Above that is the SEL trim, which includes the 2.4-liter upgrade engine, dual-zone climate control, and a second row USB outlet. Next is the Sport level, which adds LED headlights and a 315-watt Infinity audio system. The Limited adds leather seats, a heated steering wheel, and a 360-degree camera system, and the top Ultimate has an 8-inch infotainment system, navigation, cruise control, and a panoramic sunroof. All-wheel drive is available on every trim, and such features as pedestrian detection, rain-sensing wipers, a panoramic sunroof, and heated rear seats are not available until the upper trims.

What does the future hold: Hyundai has done well with the Tucson, so we don’t expect much more than various feature tweaks, and maybe an optional hybrid powertrain, although we would like to see more driver-assist and safety features on the lower trims. Find a 2021 Hyundai Tucson for sale

2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse CrossBase price: $24,335 / Read our 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Review

What we like: Great warranty; optional all-wheel drive; smooth engine

What we would change: Rear visibility is poor; there’s only one engine/transmission choice; rear legroom is tight

Overview: The compact Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross comes into 2021 unchanged, with a full redesign on the horizon for the 2022 model year. The single engine choice is a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder, but its low-end torque provides enough oomph to get the Eclipse Cross around. Combine that with confident steering and a short wheelbase and the 2021 Eclipse Cross makes for a nice city vehicle. One demerit, however, is that its sloped roof and high beltline make for somewhat limited visibility, although the SEL trim offers a rear camera. That sloped roof also cuts into cargo space. Inside the Eclipse Cross is comfortable, with plenty of options that include a panoramic sunroof, heated rear seats, and an optional upgraded infotainment system. Standard features include a 7-inch audio screen and a front USB port, although Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not available until you reach a higher trim. Some driver aids that are fairly standard nowadays are also not available until you reach the higher trim levels. Resale values have not typically been strong for the Eclipse Cross, but buyers may take solace in its 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty.

What’s new for 2021: With the Eclipse Cross facing a redesign for the 2022 model year, Mitsubishi skipped the 2021 model year entirely, simply continuing to offer the 2020 version. We’re hoping for better rear visibility and more driver-assist and safety features across all trims.

Features and technology: Every 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, which sends power to the front wheels via a CVT. All-wheel drive is optional on all four trim levels, however. The base ES trim comes with automatic climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 7-inch audio screen, power windows, 16-inch wheels, and a front USB port. The next step up LE adds 18-inch wheels, heated front seats, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto as well as Sirius/XM satellite radio.

The SE brings in safety features such as automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear cross-traffic alert, and a blind-spot warning system. It also includes chrome grille accents, nicer seat fabric, push-button start, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The top-level SEL gets paddle shifters, LED headlights, leather seats, an 8-way power-adjustable driver seat, and a head-up display. A Touring package can also be added to the SEL which includes a power panoramic sunroof, an upgraded Rockford Fosgate audio system, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, and roof rails.

What does the future hold: Mitsubishi is introducing a redesigned Eclipse Cross for the 2022 model year. Find a 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross for sale

Tucson vs. Eclipse Cross: Strengths comparison

Tucson Benefits: Choice of engines; more standard equipment; significantly more cargo space; resale value.

Eclipse Cross Benefits: More fun to drive; better fuel economy; more distinctive looks.

2021 Hyundai Tucson vs. 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross: Which is better?

While we appreciate the sporty looks and driving manners of the 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, we feel that the 2021 Hyundai Tucson is the better choice for the crossover buyer. It comes very nicely equipped at a low price, offers a choice of engines, and has ample and usable cargo space. Tucson may not be the exciting choice, but it’s the smart one. Find a 2021 Hyundai Tucson for sale or Find a 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross for sale

2021 Hyundai Tucson 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross
Popular Powertrains
Engine 2.0-liter I4 1.5-liter turbo I4
Horsepower 161 hp @ 6,200 rpm 152 hp @ 5,500 rpm
Torque 150 lb-ft @ 4,700 rpm 184 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm
Transmission 6-spd automatic Continuously variable
Fuel Economy 25 mpg (23 city/28 highway) 27 mpg (26 city/29 highway)
Also Available 2.4-liter I4 n/a
Basic warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 5 years/60,000 miles
Powertrain warranty 10 years/100,000 miles 10 years/100,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating 5 Stars 5 Stars
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 105.1 inches 105.1 inches
Overall Length 176.4 inches 173.4 inches
Width 72.8 inches 71.1 inches
Height 64.8 inches 66.3 inches
Turning Diameter 34.9 feet 35.0 feet
Headroom, Front 39.6 inches 39.5 inches
Headroom, Rear 39.2 inches 37.3 inches
Legroom, Front 41.5 inches 40.9 inches
Legroom, Rear 38.2 inches 35.3 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 57.1 inches 56.2 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 55.5 inches 55.1 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 102.2 cubic feet 94.6 cubic feet
EPA Cargo Volume 61.9 cubic feet 48.9 cubic feet

Doug Lloyd
Doug Lloyd
Doug Lloyd is an author specializing in comparison tests. A veteran of the automotive press world, Doug started at Sports Car International and Vintage Motorsport magazines and has worked at both Porsche Panorama magazine and Doug is also a jazz piano player and a composer for television.

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