What Is the Best Hyundai SUV?

The Hyundai Kona takes the cake as this brand’s most popular SUV, but the Korean automaker has a slew of other popular SUVs as well, new or used.
Written by Jason Tushinski
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
With eye-catching looks, crisp handling, lots of standard features, and practicality up the wazoo, the
Hyundai Kona
is the overwhelming choice to be anointed Hyundai’s best SUV.
Still, that doesn’t mean that the rest of the Korean carmakers' SUVs will be kicked to the curb—far from it! Whether you’re looking for the best off-roading Hyundai, the most conscientious gas-sipper, or the best family chariot,
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The best Hyundai SUV overall: Kona

Starting price: $22,545 
Number of seats: 5 
J.D. Power rating: 79 
The numbers don’t lie—the Kona is Hyundai’s best-selling SUV overall, with 90,069 models sold in the U.S. in 2021. But what makes up the secret sauce that makes this spritely, subcompact SUV Hyundai’s best? Let’s dig in further.
The Kona has lots going for it, but its daring design, optional 1.6-liter turbocharged engine, crisp handling, practicality, lots of standard features, and fun-to-drive nature give the Kona a leg up on the rest of Hyundai’s SUV lineup. The higher you go up the trim line, the more the Kona Limited gets downright fancy, with automatic climate control, a sunroof, power seats, and leather upholstery.
In terms of downsides? There are some, but not many—the standard 2.0-liter engine doesn’t exactly breathe fire, but it is perfectly acceptable. In terms of comfort and cargo, the rear seats are a bit tight, and cargo space is at a premium in this small-ish SUV.
So how much do you need to spend to get all those goodies? While the base SE trim starts at $22,545, the Limited can be had for a very affordable $29,845, which is a great price for such an engaging, capable, and compact SUV experience.

The best Hyundai SUV to buy used: 2019 Kona

Price range: $19,000 to $31,000
Number of seats: 5
J.D. Power rating: 84
Buying a new-ish but used Kona is a smart move—you can get a lightly used vehicle that is in great shape and safe to drive. The 2019 Kona is known as a comfortable and practical used SUV with minimal issues and stout reliability. This 2019 model was rated as a Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and was honored by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) with 5 Stars.
Like the 2022 Kona, the 2019 model offers lots to get excited about, including car-like handling, lots of standard safety features, responsive steering, and a comfortable cabin.

The best Hyundai SUV for families: Tucson

Starting price: $26,245
Number of seats: 5
J.D. Power rating: 82 
If you’ve got a spouse, a bunch of kids, and a dog to haul around, the Kona might be a bit tight to squeeze everyone and their paraphernalia in for the ride. Lucky for you, Hyundai’s got a solution for you—the 2022
This highly-rated sport utility vehicle was ranked by U.S. News & World Report as 2022’s Best Compact SUV, beating out esteemed rivals such as the Toyota RAV4, the Honda CR-V, and the Nissan Rogue. 
So what do you get with the best Hyundai compact SUV? Let us regale you with Tucson's attributes.
First off, you get plenty of space38.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats to be exact. Fold those seats down, and your cargo space grows to 80.3 cubic feet. Car seats can also be easily installed in the Tucson’s rear seats. When equipped, the Tucson can tow up to 7,000 pounds.
Beyond the Tucson’s bold exterior design, this SUV has some serious driving chops. Its 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, or the optional 1.6-liter turbocharged engine, brings plenty of spunk to this family ride, paired with lithe handling and a pleasant ride. The Tucson is also available as a hybrid or a plug-in hybrid, and both of those versions offer even more power than the gasoline-powered Tucsons. 
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The best Hyundai SUV for off-roading: 2022 Palisade

Starting price: $36,245 Number of seats: 7-8 
J.D. Power rating: 81
Off-road driving has never been Hyundai’s forte, as practicality, maneuverability, and lately, style, have quickly become hallmarks of Hyundai’s brand. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take a Hyundai SUV off-road, even if it wasn’t born with that kind of driving in mind.
That being said, the 2022
Hyundai Palisade
acquits itself quite well on unpaved—if not rocky—paths. Its composed and refined road manner works surprisingly well on dirt roads and unpaved trails. The Palisade’s 291 horsepower and 3.8-liter V6 engine give it plenty of power to handle its fair share of rough terrain. 
When hitting trails with the Palisade, choose the Smart driving mode (Comfort, Sport, Eco, and Snow are also offered), as it quickly adapts the Palisade’s H-TRAC all-wheel-drive system to non-paved terrain. Its E-differential system will channel power to whichever wheels need it most in order for you to power through any tough
off-road spots in your Palisade
You’ll be able to ride through rough areas in comfort and style, as the Palisade is luxurious and can comfortably seat adults in all
three rows

The best Hyundai SUV for fuel economy: Tucson Plug-In Hybrid

Starting price: $35,975 
Number of seats: 5 
J.D. Power rating: N/A
In terms of fuel economy, the Tucson Plug-In Hybrid is Hyundai’s top choice when it comes to fuel efficiency.
With the Tucson’s gas and electric motor combined, the Tucson Plug-In Hybrid gets a significant 80 MPGe. On gasoline alone, the Tucson gets a very respectable 35 mpg. This Hybrid can run on electricity alone, and by doing so, it has a range of 33 miles.
The Tucson Plug-In Hybrid has excellent safety ratings. While a hybrid, it shifts like a gasoline-powered car, courtesy of its slick 6-speed automatic transmission. This Plug-in Hybrid also features regenerative braking, meaning the battery recharges when braking, coasting, or going downhill.
Your estimated fuel cost savings with the Tucson Plug-In Hybrid total roughly $1,200 per year, which is a nice bit of pocket change, to be sure.

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