Standard and plug-in hybrid Hyundai Tucson models join the product line.
Hyundai is making a huge bid for electrification with its Tucson compact crossover utility vehicle. Beginning in 2022, the Tucson gains conventional and plug-in hybrid variants, supplying customers with more choices than before. This year also launches the Tucson’s fourth generation, a model that is longer and roomier than ever.
The 2022 Hyundai Tucson comes in five grades, at least for the gas-powered version. These are: SE ($25,800), SEL ($27,100), N Line ($31,200), XRT ($31,850), and Limited ($35,300). Front-wheel drive is standard; upgrading to available all-wheel drive raises the base price by $1,500. Hyundai charges a $1,295 freight fee.
The standard Tucson Hybrid comes in three grades: Blue ($29,750), SEL Convenience ($32,350), and Limited ($38,050) grades. It is a conventional hybrid system powered by a gas engine with a supplemental electric motor, therefore it does not plug in.
Our test model was the Tucson PHEV. This one is available in two grades: SEL ($35,400) and Limited ($43,200). What sets it apart from the conventional hybrid is a larger battery pack. It can also be driven 33 miles in all-electric mode.
It features a larger battery pack than the standard hybrid and supplies 33 miles of all-electric range. Moreover, the PHEV comes with a $6,587 federal tax credit for eligible buyers. Check with your tax accountant to determine how to use it.
For this review, most of our focus is on the PHEV model.
Highlights of the 2022 Hyundai Tucson PHEV
Hyundai introduced its compact Tucson crossover utility vehicle in 2004. Soon, it became the brand’s best-selling SUV. The fourth-generation model arrived in 2022, a vehicle with a larger footprint, a roomier cabin, and more cargo space.
We’ve heard comments about earlier Tucson models, particularly about styling. In a segment where designers have largely been unleashed, the Tucson was anonymous. That’s all changed for 2022.
The stance is more athletic and the look supplies elegance. The front fascia features a pronounced grille with integrated LED lights. From the rear, pairs of downward-pointing taillights are connected by a band of LED lights. It is a sporty look reminiscent of strung-together racing flags.
Overall, the Tucson is longer and slightly wider than before. It has a beefy look with its wide hood, strong shoulders, kicked-up beltline, and squared wheel wells. A slice of metallic-like ornamentation falls with the roofline and connects with the beltline.
Hyundai dresses the Tucson Hybrid with LED lighting all around. Heated side mirrors, 19-inch alloy wheels, and a rear spoiler come standard. There are some design differences between the grades with the Limited receiving premium touches to the front and rear fascias. Also, blacked-out gloss black accents are present.
One of the problems with the previous-generation Tucson was interior space. That problem was common to all compact SUVs but in recent years the competition has offered larger models for the most part.
The extra length of the new model translates into more space for rear passengers. This is still a five-seat model, but the rear legroom is far more generous. Four people is ideal, but you can squeeze in a fifth for short trips.
Hyundai makes generous use of soft-touch materials, with ample hard plastics and piano-black trim pieces available. The look isn’t especially surprising, but they tie in nicely. The fit and finish are pleasing.
The Tucson Hybrid features stain-resistant cloth seats with the SEL and leather-trimmed seats with the Limited. A leather-wrapped steering wheel is exclusive to the top grade.
The driver’s seat is comfortable and features an 8-way adjustment with lumbar support. The Limited grade offers a similar seat for the front passenger. Heated rear seats and ventilated front seats come with the Limited grade.
Full power accessories, a tilt-and-telescopic steering column, and dual-zone climate control come standard. The Limited grade adds a heated steering wheel, LED interior lighting, and a panoramic sunroof.
We’re pleased with Hyundai’s tech offerings. The SEL grade has an 8-inch touchscreen display, while the Limited measures 10.25 inches. The interface works well and has clear one-press instructions for audio, phone, and available navigation.
Oddly, the SEL features wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. But with the Limited, you cannot cut the cord.
A six-speaker audio package with HD Radio and satellite radio in the SEL gives way to a 10-speaker Bose audio package in the Limited. Both grades feature two pairs of USB ports; one set for each row.
Exclusive to the Limited grade is wireless device charging. This one also swaps out the 4.2-inch LCD instrument panel for the 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster.
Hyundai supplies a generous list of driver-assist technologies. Both grades come with forward collision-avoidance with cyclist and pedestrian detection. Blind-spot collision avoidance, driver attention warning, lane control, and adaptive cruise control with full stop and go are also standard equipment.
Rear cross-traffic alert and collision avoidance, safe exit warning, and rear occupant alert are included. Choose the Limited grade and this one adds highway driving assist and upgrades the adaptive cruise control to add navigation and curve control. Parking collision avoidance assist, parking distance warning, remote smart parking assist, and a surround-view monitor are also exclusive to the Limited.
Engine, Transmission, and Drivetrain
You will find one powertrain choice with the Tucson Hybrid. A 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 180 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque motivates this PHEV.
Separately, an electric motor spins the rear wheels to make this vehicle all-wheel drive. That motor produces 90 horsepower and 224 pound-feet of torque. When working in tandem with the gas engine, there is 261 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Power routes to the wheels utilizing a 6-speed automatic transmission.
On the Road
The Tucson PHEV is capable and mostly quiet. Activate the ignition and you’re met with silence as only the electric motor awakens. Under more robust acceleration the gas engine kicks in, but it is entirely possible to stroll around town using minimal gas while expending this model’s 33-mile all-electric range.
Under hard acceleration, the Tucson PHEV throws down excellent power as the two systems unite. While tuned to maximize efficiency, the power component is welcome and most certainly for conditions where needed. Such as when entering a freeway or while passing on the highway.
Otherwise, the system does what it is designed to do – supply a comfortable and fuel-efficient ride. The steering is light to the touch and the handling is far from extraordinary. Firm brakes bring this SUV to a stop. Happily, it doesn’t have the overt squishy feeling common to electric vehicles.
More than a dozen models occupy Tucson’s segment, arguably the most popular vehicle choice on the market. The Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, and Nissan Rogue lead the pack.
Other models in this segment include the Kia Sportage, Subaru Forester, Mitsubishi Outlander, and Volkswagen Tiguan. We also suggest looking at the Mazda CX-5 and CX-50, Ford Escape, Chevrolet Equinox, and the GMC Terrain. The Buick Envision is yet another model in this space.
Hyundai Tucson PHEV Considerations
With the available federal tax credit, the Tucson PHEV can cost slightly less than the conventional hybrid. You won’t see those savings upfront, but rather through a tax credit that can lower your obligation.
A PHEV such as Tucson supplies a decent starting point for more robust electrification. Thus, consumers can get a taste of electric-only performance now with an eye on full electrification later.
2022 Hyundai Tucson PHEV Specifications
|Hyundai||2022 Tucson PHEV|
|Price Range||$35,400 to $43,200|
|Standard Engine||1.6-liter, Turbo I4|
|Horsepower||180 hp @ 5,500 rpm (261 combined)|
|Torque (lb.-ft.)||195 lb.-ft. @ 1,500 to 4,500 rpm (258 combined)|
|Curb Weight (pounds)||4,081 to 4,235|
|Shoulder room (f,r…inches)||57.6/56.0|
|Hip room (f,r…inches)||54.5/53.9|
|Storage (cubic feet)||31.9/66.3|
|Gross combined weight rating (pounds)||NR|
|Fuel Tank (gallons)||11.1|
|EPA Fuel MPG (city/highway/combined)||35 (combined)|
|Manufacturing Plant||Ulsan, South Korea|
Specifications supplied by the manufacturer.
Addendum: Key Attributes of the 2022 Hyundai Tucson PHEV
Hyundai introduced the Tucson in 2005. This model arrived just as the segment was beginning its long upward trajectory. It followed models from Toyota, Honda, and Ford to the market. But it came out before Chevrolet, Nissan, and Volkswagen hit the market. Thus, the Tucson name received early recognition.
Hyundai followed the first-generation Tucson with the second-generation model in 2010, then the third in 2016. Subsequent models offer more power and space, but the biggest change is with the current model as two hybrids are in the mix.
About the Standard Hybrid
While a plug-in hybrid has certain benefits including a larger battery for enhanced electricity storage, such a model isn’t right for everyone. Thus, a conventional hybrid is worth exploring and the Tucson has one as well.
The standard hybrid doesn’t have the federal tax credit that comes with the PHEV. But it does offer a competitive price and it is very efficient too. This one delivers upwards of 38 mpg and that’s an outstanding number for this category. Finally, like the PHEV, this one routes power to all four wheels.
Hyundai (along with Kia) has the best warranties in the industry. Like the gas model, this model has a 5-year/60,000-mile new vehicle (bumper to bumper) warranty. It also comes with a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty.
But Hyundai doesn’t stop there. The company offers a 7-year, unlimited miles anti-perforation (rust) warranty and five years of roadside assistance.
Importantly, the hybrid system is covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first. Also, this warranty is transferrable to a new owner.
Strong Crossover Lineup
The Hyundai Tucson is just one of several crossovers offered by this Korean brand. Just five years ago, the company was well behind the competition in the models offered. In recent years, Hyundai rectified the deficiency by rolling out additional models.
Its smallest and most affordable model is the front-wheel-drive-only Hyundai Venue. It is followed by the slightly larger Kona, which is offered in standard, N (performance), and all-electric versions.
Above the Tucson is the Santa Fe family. Like Tucson, this one comprises gas, conventional hybrid, and plug-in hybrid models. At the top of the pecking order is the Hyundai Palisade, a three-row crossover.
Finally, you’ll also find the all-electric Hyundai Ioniq 5. And limited to a few markets, including California, is the Hyundai Nexo, a fuel-cell vehicle. That’s quite a lineup of crossovers and we haven’t even mentioned the Santa Cruz, a crossover pickup truck.
See Also — Last Call for These 2022 Hyundai Models
Photos copyright Hyundai Motors America. All rights reserved.