copyrighted by the new york times 2005
...I would be remiss if I did not mention that the Sportage has a
doppelgänger in the new 2005 Hyundai Tucson. According to Hyundai,
this is exactly the same vehicle from a mechanical standpoint, though
with distinct styling. To my eyes, the Tucson's exterior looks as if
Hyundai went to great lengths to create the most utterly generic design
possible. Inside, the look is more conservative than the Kia's as well.
While I was less impressed with the Tucson, the one I tested was a
front-drive model. Make of this apples-to-oranges comparison what you
The Tucson is an entirely adequate vehicle, if a bit less interesting
than its Kia cousin. The same thing could be said for nearly all the
car-based compact S.U.V.'s on the market. As a class, their
similarities are greater than their differences - I could just as
easily stick with recommending the tried-and-true CR-V as make a case
for the Equinox.
Really, I'd rather go back to talking to my friends about sports cars.
But since Kia predicts that the market for compact S.U.V.'s will double
within a year, I don't see that happening. I suppose I can expect to
continue answering the question until everyone I meet owns a small
S.U.V. For the time being, I'll tell them that the Kia Sportage is the
vehicle that's come closest to awakening my desire to drive one - and
hope that yearning remains dormant.
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The entire article, mostly about the Kia Sportage, which is said to be
mechanically the same as the Hyundai Tucson, is available at the
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