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 a 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 the 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.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
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 will power hybrid and plug-in hybrid models, which Hyundai says is good for a combined 227-hp in the former and 261-hp in the latter; all-wheel drive is standard with the electrified powertrains and both come with a six-speed automatic transmission. The nonhybrid Tucson offers adequate pep for both city driving and highway passing maneuvers, but lead-footed drivers will yearn for more power. At our test track, our all-wheel drive Limited test vehicle made it to 60 mph in 8.8 seconds. The more powerful hybrid and plug-in hybrid models both feel quicker, but don’t expect Toyota RAV4 Prime level acceleration from either of them. At our test track, our loaded Limited hybrid test vehicle managed a 7.1-second run to 60 mph. While the Tucson is no sports car, its handling is confident, its steering is reasonably crisp, and its ride is agreeable. What’s most striking about the Tucson’s driving demeanor is how quiet and refined it feels when cruising; it’s these traits that give the SUV a sense of luxury that is rare to find in this class.
Range, Charging, 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 on-board charger allows the battery to be fully recharged in about two hours when connected to a level 2 charging station.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA estimates that nonhybrid versions of the 2022 Tucson should deliver as high as 26 mpg city and 33 mpg highway with front-wheel drive. Fuel efficiency ratings for the hybrid are as high as 38 mpg city and 38 mpg highway; the plug-in hybrid model earned a rating of 80 MPGe combined and delivered 33 miles of electric-only driving in the EPA’s test. On our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, the hybrid model failed to deliver its EPA estimated 38 mpg, delivering just 28 mpg; we haven’t tested the plug-in hybrid or the nonhybrid Tucson on our route yet.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The new Tucson sports a simplistic but modern dashboard design with a digital gauge display, a push-button shifter, and touch-sensitive control panel for the climate-control system and infotainment. Hyundai’s flagship Palisade SUV and the brand’s recently redesigned Sonata and Elantra sedans have served as a sort of watershed moment for the company’s interior designs, and the new Tucson looks to continue the trend with a thoughtfully arranged interior filled with quality materials and luxury features. The 2022 Tucson’s rear seat space and cargo area are both larger than the outgoing model, providing more passenger comfort and practicality.
Infotainment and Connectivity
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. Features such as SiriusXM satellite radio, an upgraded Bose stereo system and a Wi-Fi hotspot will likely be offered as well, but Hyundai hasn’t released a full list of standard and optional features. Other high-tech offerings include Hyundai’s digital key smartphone app, which provides lock and unlock features as well as an option for remote start.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
A host of driver-assistance features will be available, many of which will come standard. For more information about the Tucson’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control with lane-centering assist