Previewed by the Vision T concept at the 2019 LA auto show, the 2022 Hyundai Tucson sports a daring new design that seems destined to shake up the compact-SUV marketplace. The entry-level Tucson is powered by a more conventional 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine shared with the Sonata family sedan. But both hybrid and a plug-in hybrid are offered; those two use a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder augmented by an electric motor. All models are fairly well equipped, and Tucson is among the most stylish options in the segment. It goes head-to-head with several strong rivals such as the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, Toyota RAV4, and the Volkswagen Tiguan, but the new Tucson has brought its A-game and earned an Editors’ Choice award for 2022.
A 187-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder will be standard and comes with an eight-speed automatic and either front or all-wheel drive. A turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine powers hybrids and plug-in hybrids that Hyundai claims are capable of 227 horsepower when it comes to the first and 261-hp in the latter. All-wheel drives are standard for electric powertrains, and both are fitted with an automatic six-speed transmission. The non-hybrid Tucson is a decent vehicle to handle city-driving and highway-passing maneuvers. But people who have a lead foot will desire more performance. The all-wheel-drive Limited test car accelerated to 60 speeds within 8.8 seconds on the test track. The more robust hybrids and plug-in hybrid versions feel faster; however, don’t think you’ll get Toyota RAV4 Prime level acceleration.
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The equipped Limited hybrid test car could manage the 7.1-second time to reach 60 miles per hour on our test track. Although the Tucson isn’t a sporty vehicle, its handling is assured, the steering is sharp, and the ride is comfortable. The most striking thing about Tucson’s driving manner is how refined and quiet it is to drive. These qualities provide the SUV with a feeling of luxury that’s hard to come across in this class.
Range and battery life
The plug-in hybrid model sports a 13.8-kWh battery pack that is said to offer up to 33 miles of electric-only driving, according to the EPA. A 7.2-kW onboard charger allows the battery to be fully recharged in about two hours when connected to a level 2 charging station.
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The EPA estimates that the non-hybrid versions from 2022’s Tucson will deliver as much as 26 mpg in city driving and 33 mpg on highways with front-wheel drives. Ratings for fuel efficiency for hybrids are up to 38 mpg in the city and 38 mpg highway. The plug-in hybrid version received an efficiency figure of 80 MPGe and provided 33 miles of solely electric driving during the test conducted by the EPA. In our 75-mph highway fuel efficiency route, the hybrid model could not meet its EPA estimate of 38 mpg. It only delivered 28 mpg. We haven’t yet tested the plug-in hybrid model or hybrid model Tucson on our road.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The new Tucson sports a simplistic but modern dashboard design with a digital gauge display, and a push-button shifter. And a touch-sensitive control panel for the climate-control system and infotainment. Hyundai’s top model Palisade SUV and the brand’s recently revamped Sonata and Elantra sedans have been important watershed points for Hyundai’s interior design. The new Tucson is expected to follow the style with a well-planned interior stuffed with premium materials and luxurious features. The 2022 Tucson’s rear seating space and the cargo area are bigger than the previous model. which offers more comfort for passengers and functionality.
Infotainment and communication
A standard 8.8-inch touchscreen is integrated into the dashboard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; a larger 10.3-inch screen with built-in navigation is optional. The features include SiriusXM satellite radio, a new Bose stereo system, and WiFi hotspots, which are likely to be included. Still, Hyundai hasn’t yet released a complete list of the standard and optional features. Other highly technological options include Hyundai’s digital key smartphone application that includes locking and unlock functions and the option of a remote start.