Sales of midsize SUVs have rocketed over the past 10 years. The increase in popularity is down to a focus on driving dynamics over off-road ability. Toyota was the first to recognise the shift in buyer behaviour when it launched the RAV4.

This family-friendly SUV is just at home in the city as it is on bush tracks. And it quickly shot to the top of the sales charts. A fact that didn’t go unnoticed by other manufacturers who rushed to bring models into the market. As a result, today’s midsize SUV market is extremely competitive with cars to suit everyone.

But despite extra competition from the likes of Mazda, Subaru and Kia. The mighty Toyota RAV4 remains king of the road. Topping the sales charts for five years in a row. But that could change in 2022 with the launch of the new Hyundai Tucson. Here we’ll put the new 2022 Tucson up against its arch-rival to see how it stacks up.


Hyundai Tucson 2022

Price: $34,500 - $52,000

Drivetrain: 6 sp auto FWD/AWD

Body type: Compact SUV

Towing capacity: 750 kg (1,900 kg braked)

Dimensions: LWH 463cm x 186cm x 156cm

Boot space: 539 Litre

Read Our Full Review Of The 2022 Hyundai Tucson

Toyota RAV4

Price: $41,888 - $67,990

Drivetrain: 6 sp CVT FWD/AWD

Body type: Compact SUV

Towing capacity: 800 kg (1,650 kg braked)

Dimensions: LWH 460cm x 185cm x 169cm

Boot space: 580 Litre


On the outside, these two cars couldn’t be more different. The Toyota RAV4 has the more restrained traditional appearance of the two. This should appeal to more mature and conservative buyers. But it still looks the part, with its 17-inch alloy wheels and chrome detailing.

The new Tucson, on the other hand, comes with wacky futuristic styling. This uses Hyundai’s new design language which focuses on complex surfacing details. Overall the car looks good, but there is no doubt this car is aimed at a younger audience.

Looking For A Medium Sized SUV? See our list of the 7 best in Australia


Inside it's a similar story. The Toyota has a more traditional looking cabin, but there is no mistaking this is a Toyota. The build quality is superb and the quality of materials is excellent. The seats are also covered in a hard-wearing material and offer plenty of adjustment.

The new Tucson has a modern swoopy dash which complements the funky exterior, but the materials are not up to Toyota standards. Some plastics feel cheap and the buttons don’t have that robust tactile feel you get in the RAV4, but Hyundai does have noticeably more legroom in the back.

Both cars come equipped with the latest tech such as Apple CarPlay and Google Drive. Both also have wireless charging for smartphones and come with reversing cameras as standard. But the Hyundai is fitted with a more impressive top-down view reversing camera which provides a much better view when parking.

Is Sunroof A Must? See 5 Great Car Choices

Performance & Economy

Hyundai Tucson 2022

Engine: 2.0L Diesel FWD

Power: 137kw @ 4000 rpm diesel

Fuel economy: 8.1L/100km combined

Toyota RAV4

Engine: 2.0L Diesel FWD

Power: 160 kW @ 4000 rpm

Fuel economy: 6.2L/100km combined

On the road

On the road, both of these cars have a remarkably smooth ride. They absorb potholes and speed bumps well, an important consideration on Australian roads. But the Toyota feels the more polished of the two. The steering is nicely weighted and the driver aids are unobtrusive. The Hyundai is good but overzealous driver aids let it down somewhat.

Around town the small steering wheel of the Hyundai makes it feel sprightly. But push a little harder and cracks begin to show. At speed, the steering feels a little numb compared to the RAV4 and the brakes don’t have that sure-footed feel you get in the Toyota. So between the two, the Toyota provides a more pleasurable driving experience.


Hyundai Tucson 2022

Bold styling

Spacious interior

Nice to drive

Excellent ride quality

Value for money

5yr 100,000 Km warranty

Toyota RAV4

Excellent build quality

Competitively priced

Good fuel economy

AWD option

Hybrid option

5yr 100,000 Km warranty

Check Out The Comparison Of Hyundai Tucson vs Kia Sportage

Who should buy the Hyundai Tucson 2022?

The Hyundai Tucson is a great family car. The interior is spacious and well-equipped for the price. And there is plenty of room in the back for children. But the ride and handling can’t quite match the RAV4. All this makes it the ideal choice for budget-conscious families looking for a family SUV.

Who should buy the Toyota RAV4?

The Toyota RAV4 is the best-selling SUV in Australia for a reason. The car comes with Toyota’s legendary build quality and reliability as standard. And the overall driving experience is the better of the two. The RAV4 is also the only one available as a Hybrid, so this is the best overall choice for families looking to reduce their carbon emissions.

Learn More: 2022 Toyota RAV4 Review

Final Verdict

Families in the market for a midsize SUV won’t go far wrong with either of these two cars. They both come well equipped and offer excellent value for money, plus the driving dynamics of both are good. Nevertheless, there are compelling reasons to choose the RAV4 over the new Tucson.

The RAV4 has a smoother drivetrain and is more composed at motorway speeds. It also feels better built. The plastics are of higher quality and the switches have a nice tactile feel. The Toyota is also the only one of the two available with a Hybrid powertrain, so it’s safe to say the king of the road retains its crown for now.

Looking To Buy A New or Used Tucson Or Rav 4? Get A Finance Quote With Credit One

Other options to consider

Mitsubishi Outlander

The Outlander is one of Mitsubishi's best sellers in Australia and it's not hard to see why. The car is well equipped and comes with a range of petrol and diesel engine options. There is also a plug-in hybrid available. The Outlander is also one of the few midsize SUVs to come with a third row of seats.

Read More About The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander

Kia Sportage 2022

The all-new Kia Sportage is based on the same platform as the Hyundai Tucson. As a result, they cost the same, have similar driving dynamics and are similarly specced. So why choose the Kia over the Hyundai? Well, it offers more reserved styling and it comes with a more generous 7-year unlimited km warranty as standard.

See How The Kia Sportage Compares To The Hyundai Tucson

Mazda CX-5

When it comes to driving dynamics, nothing beats the Mazda CX-5. This feels more like a car than any other midsize SUV. The Mazda is also one of the better-looking cars in the segment thanks to its sporty racked back styling. There is also plenty of room inside for a family of four, although it can’t match the Mitsubishi Outlander or Kia Sportage for space.

Read Our Mazda CX-5 vs Hyundai Tucson Comparison

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Jordan Ballard

Jordan Ballard

Automotive Content Editor

Jordan is a car finance and automotive industry specialist at Only Cars. With over 20 years of experience with frontline and management roles in sales, finance and other areas, Jordan has an incredible understanding of the automotive industry. As Automotive Content Editor, Jordan loves sharing his passion for cars with the Only Cars audience.