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2022 Hyundai Tucson

Redesigned for 2022, the Hyundai Tucson trades wallflower looks for spicy styling and an ultra-frugal hybrid option.

This five-seat SUV has a spacious, well-equipped cabin with plenty of standard tech and even more on the options list. Non-hybrid versions use a 2.5-liter inline-4, while hybrids swap in a turbo-4 that works in concert with an electric motor to conserve fuel and add power. All-wheel drive is optional with the base engine and standard on hybrids.

The Tucson aced IIHS crash testing, landing a Top Safety Pick+ award. All models come with automatic emergency braking and active lane control, while blind-spot monitors, adaptive cruise control, a surround-view camera system, and blind-spot cameras are on the options list depending on trim level.

Gas models are rated as high as 26 mpg city, 33 highway, 29 combined with front-wheel drive, though all-wheel drive dents those figures to 24/29/26 mpg. Hybrids are thriftier yet at 38/38/38 for the frugal-minded Blue and 37/36/37 for other versions. The Tucson plug-in hybrid is rated for up to 33 miles on electricity alone and then 35 MPGe after that.

Model Lineup

Hyundai stretches the Tucson lineup from the $26,135 SE through SEL and Limited trim levels to hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions that can approach $44,000.

The base SE comes with automatic emergency braking, power features, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Stepping up to the SEL bumps the price tag by $1,300 in exchange for blind-spot monitors, heated seats, pushbutton start, and access to two packages that add features such as a power liftgate, a digital instrument cluster, a wireless charging pad, automatic climate control, leather seats, cooled front seats, and Bose audio.

For a little over $32,000, the N Line tosses in spicier styling but no power bump. The XRT version runs another $600 or so and adds off-road-style trim as well as side steps and roof rails.

At the top of the range sits the Limited with its upsized 10.3-inch infotainment system, panoramic sunroof, and a few other items for about $36,300.

All-wheel drive costs $1,500 more on all non-hybrid Tucsons.

The Tucson Hybrid sends power to all four wheels and starts at about $30,500 in Blue trim, which includes adaptive cruise control and blind-spot monitors but is otherwise outfitted about like the SE. The SEL Convenience costs $33,000 with its 10.3-inch digital instrument cluster and panoramic sunroof highlighting myriad additional features, while the range-topping Limited version throws everything in the Tucson playbook for about $39,000.

Plug-in hybrids come only in SEL and Limited trim, starting at about $36,000.

Exterior

The Tucson opts for Hyundai’s latest angular design language with dramatic side creases and a brash, complex grille flanked by headlights that appear to melt into the design. Downward point taillights and hidden exhaust pipes mark the rear end, giving the Tucson a dashing appearance as it zooms off.

Wheel sizes range from 17 to 19 inches and vary by trim level.

Interior

Hyundai took a slightly more conventional approach with the Tucson’s interior. A glossy black center console with capacitive switches lends a high-tech air on higher-end models, though most Tucsons have conventional buttons and knobs instead.

Hyundai offers a slew of interior colors and trims, including cloth and soft leather.

Passengers will find supportive front seats with power adjustment for the driver on most trims. Rear-seat leg room measures an impressive 41.3 inches, and the big cargo area can lug 39 cubic feet with the rear seatbacks upright and nearly double that with them flopped down.

Driving Impressions

The base Tucson’s 187-hp 2.5-liter inline-4 pairs well enough with its 8-speed automatic transmission, but we are most impressed with the smooth, even quicker (not to mention more frugal) hybrid. It uses a 1.6-liter turbo-4 linked to an electric motor and a 6-speed automatic transmission, plus it comes standard with all-wheel drive. Acceleration is linear with the turbo, while the base engine can hesitate at times.

All versions have light steering and a supple ride, even with the optional 19-inch wheels. The Tucson is at home on an open road thanks in part to terrific driver-assistance tech. In town, taller wheels can make the ride a bit busy, even after a bump is in your rearview mirror.

The Tucson falls short of entertaining when pushed, but it delivers good, predictable handling on a winding road.

Final Word

The balanced Hyundai Tucson is a polished, stylish choice in any form, but the real standout here is the frugal and zippy hybrid.

 

– by Andrew Ganz, with driving impressions from The Car Connection

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