The Hyundai Tucson compact SUV includes an impressive amount of standard equipment in its base versions that competitors simply can’t match. For instance, the starter Tucson SE comes with 17-inch wheels, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a six-speaker audio system and several helpful safety aids.
On top of that, the Tucson is comfortable to drive, and all of its technology is easy to use. The biggest drawbacks include unexciting engines and less cargo capacity than some rivals. Keep an eye out for the redesigned 2022 Tucson as well. It will offer snazzy looks, new engines, and tons of tech when it comes out later this year. MSRP of 2021 Tucson SE: $24,885.
This photo provided by Hyundai shows the 2021 Santa Fe with new styling, upgraded available engines and a lot of equipment at an attractive price. (Drew Phillips/Courtesy of Hyundai Motor America via AP)
Credit: Drew Phillips
Credit: Drew Phillips
2021 HYUNDAI SANTA FE
The Santa Fe gets a significant overhaul for 2021, giving it the latest in style on top of standout materials and standard features for the class. Another familiar Hyundai highlight is exceptional warranty coverage — every Santa Fe comes standard with a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain plan. Both engines are more powerful and have higher EPA-rated fuel economy than their 2020 counterparts. There’s also a new hybrid option.
One thing to note is that, size-wise, the Santa Fe is actually something of an in-between crossover, straddling the line between a small SUV and a midsize SUV. It trails rivals like the Subaru Outback in cargo space, and the ride can be a little bumpy too. But Hyundai threw its might into the standard features: Fog lights, four USB ports, an 8-inch touchscreen, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are all included. MSRP of 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe SE: $28,035.
This photo provided by Volkswagen shows the 2021 Atlas, which is quiet and comfortable on the road. It also has the lowest starting price among three-row midsize SUVs. (Courtesy of Volkswagen of America via AP)
2021 VOLKSWAGEN ATLAS
Surprised to see a German car on the list? The Volkswagen Atlas has the lowest starting price of any midsize three-row SUV. On top of that, it currently maintains a strong fourth place in Edmunds’ rankings thanks to its spacious interior, comfortable demeanor and quiet ride. Power and fuel economy with either available engine leave something to be desired, but overall the Atlas is good enough to overcome those flaws.
There is also a wealth of standard features. The Atlas S comes with 18-inch wheels, LED lights, a six-speaker sound system and roof rails. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also included. MSRP of 2021 Volkswagen Atlas S: $32,575.
2021 FORD EXPEDITION
When you get to large truck-like SUVs, there is a lot of similarity. Each is spacious, powerful and capable of towing a lot of weight. But the Ford Expedition stands out, not only because it has the lowest starting price in the group but because it offers a great assortment of standard equipment. Included in every Expedition are 18-inch wheels, fog lights, push-button start and a Wi-Fi hotspot. You also get the Co-Pilot360 suite of safety features — one of our favorites.
There is a catch, and that is that the base model Expedition XL only offers two rows of seats. So if you want the lowest price, you’ll only be able to seat five passengers. However, the Expedition’s generous equipment, huge towing power and loads of space make it impossible to overlook. MSRP of 2021 Expedition XL: $50,720.
EDMUNDS SAYS: Automakers now offer impressive standard features on their SUVs, so affordable base models are not as basic as you might think. One of the entry-level versions discussed here could be all the SUV you need.
This story was provided to The Associated Press by the automotive website Edmunds.