2022 Hyundai Tucson

2022 Hyundai Tucson Test Drive Review: Demands To Be Noticed

The compact crossover market is swamped with models, and despite the Hyundai Tucson being the brand's best-selling SUV, it has long trailed the competition in sales figures - no real surprise when the Toyota RAV4 is America's best-selling non truck. That could change now as the all-new Tucson has the looks and chops to stand out as segment leader and challenge top dogs like the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5.

All-new for 2022, the Tucson brings a bold look, an excellent and comfortable interior, fuel-friendly drivetrains, and a ton of standard technology to the table. A plug-in hybrid is to follow, but for launch, you can choose between the 187-horsepower naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine pulled straight from the Sonata or a 226-hp HEV system consisting of a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine and an electric motor.

Hyundai has avoided making all its vehicles look like varying size versions of each other, and the Tucson has a bold exterior design. The bold and, no doubt, polarizing and edge-laden exterior look doesn't carry on inside the Tucson, with a cabin made up of soft arcs that give a relaxing feel. We drove out to Tucson, Arizona, to experience the new crossover in the environment it was named after. After some serious seat time, we came away confident Hyundai has delivered a new segment leader.

Read in this review:

2022 Hyundai Tucson Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2021 Hyundai Tucson?

The 2022 Hyundai Tucson SUV is all-new and forms the fourth generation of the nameplate. It rides on a new global platform, with USA-bound models riding on the long-wheelbase version. This all-new Tucson has grown in every direction, most notably on the inside and in terms of cargo capacity.

Three engine options are available, none of them carried over from the previous model. The base engine option is a naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder, as used in the Sonata. It's the only non-hybrid model in the range. You can also select between two hybrid options. The first is a traditional hybrid setup, sans plug-in capability. The second is a plug-in model with a claimed all-electric range of 28 miles.

Pros and Cons

  • A comprehensive line-up of models
  • The price increase is minimal for entry-level models
  • Stand-out design
  • Spacious interior
  • Generous standard specification at the base level
  • Lots of driver assistance systems as standard
  • The top-spec model is expensive
  • The design might be too much for some
  • Base 2.5-liter engine is only adequate

Best Deals on Tucson

2022 Hyundai Tucson Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
SE
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$24,950
SEL
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$26,500
Hybrid Blue
1.6L Turbo Inline-4 Hybrid
6-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$29,050
N Line
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$30,600
Hybrid SEL Convenience
1.6L Turbo Inline-4 Hybrid
6-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$31,650

Tucson Exterior

Hyundai played it safe for years, choosing to build a reputation by offering high-quality cars at reasonable prices. It's safe to say that this particular mission is successfully completed. Now that Hyundai is an accomplished brand, it can start producing cars with look-at-me styling.

The 2022 Hyundai Tucson is undoubtedly the brand's most controversial design so far. It's bold but flamboyant designs tend to age much quicker than vehicles that stick to a tried and tested pattern. Still, you can't deny the fact that it has presence. With a blacked-out grille and badge, there's no way of identifying the car other than its Mandalorian-like front end. From the rear, there's a hint of Mach E, though we don't accuse Hyundai of copying Ford's homework. The two cars were developed around the same time, and there's no way one could have known what the other was up to.

While it may not appeal to everyone, we appreciate that Hyundai is now offering its customers a car that doesn't blend into the background. It says, "I drive a Hyundai, and I'm proud of it." All new Hyundai Tucson models get bi-LED headlights, LED front turn signals, and LED daytime running lights as standard. 17-inch alloys are standard from entry-level to mid-spec, while 19s do the job on high-end models.

2022 Hyundai Tucson Front-End Bumper CarBuzz
2022 Hyundai Tucson Aft View CarBuzz
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Dimensions

When it comes to the overall size, it's worth looking at the previous-generation Tucson SUV first. It was 176.4 inches long, 64.8 inches high, and 72.8 inches wide. The wheelbase was an already impressive 105.1 inches. The new Tucson is bigger in every direction, most notably in the wheelbase. At 108.5 inches, it's 3.4 inches longer than the outgoing model, which has a significant benefit in terms of interior space and cargo capacity. The overall length has increased to 182.3 inches, with a maximum width of 73.4 inches. And even though the design creates the illusion that it's squatter, the new model stands 0.6 inches taller than the old one.

Considering the overall increase in size, the entry model's weight of 3,329 pounds is impressive. That's just 20 lbs more than the old base model, while heavier, AWD-equipped derivatives climb in weight to 3,651 lbs. The weight of the hybrid is even more impressive. Starting at 3,644 lbs, the HEV weighs less than the old all-wheel-drive car with a 2.4 naturally-aspirated engine.

There are no curb weight figures available for the plug-in hybrid, but it should be equally impressive. A hybrid compact SUV that weighs less than 4,000 lbs is a stunning achievement.

  • Length 182.3 in
  • Wheelbase 108.5 in
  • Height 65.6 in
  • Max Width 73.4 in
  • Front Width 63.8 in
  • Rear Width 64.1 in
  • Curb Weight 3,329.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

There are seven colors available for the ICE Tucsons. No-cost options include Shimmering Silver, Phantom Black, Portofino Gray, Intense Blue, and Amazon Gray. Quartz White and Calypso Red will add $350 to the price of the Hyundai Tucson. Hybrid models have a smaller selection of (mostly) darker colors to choose from, all at no extra cost. The color palette consists of Deep Sea and Quartz White at $350, while no-cst options are Phantom Black, Shimmering Silver, and Amazon Gray. Lastly, an exclusive hue will be made available to the Tucson N Line in the form of Red Crimson.

  • Quartz White
  • Calypso Red
  • Shimmering Silver
  • Phantom Black
  • Portofino Gray
  • Amazon Gray
  • Red Crimson
  • Intense Blue
  • Deep Sea

Tucson SUV Performance

The base models rely on only good old-fashioned internal combustion. A new naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter engine lifted from the Sonata serves as the entry-level engine. It's mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, which sends power to the front wheels. An all-wheel-drive system is available across the range.

Hybrid (HEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) models use an identical 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that works in combination with an electric motor located in the transmission. The four-wheel-drive system remains mechanical, so you won't have to worry about losing grip in treacherous weather once the battery runs flat.

All models come with a 2,000-lb towing capacity for braked trailers and 1,650 lbs for trailers without stoppers.

2022 Hyundai Tucson Forward Vision CarBuzz
2022 Hyundai Tucson Wheel CarBuzz
2022 Hyundai Tucson Engine CarBuzz

Engine and Transmission

At the lower end of the range, a 2.5-liter naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine is the only option. It produces 187 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque and is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. A standard all-wheel-drive system with Normal, Sport and Smart settings is available for $1,400 extra.

Two versions of the hybrid powertrain are available, utilizing the same 1.6-liter turbo four-pot delivering 180 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. In both cars, the electric motor is located within the six-speed automatic transmission, which means the all-new Tucson still relies on a mechanical coupling for the AWD system.

The HEV model uses a 59 hp/195 lb-ft electric motor and a 64 kW battery, resulting in a combined power output of 226 hp. The plug-in hybrid uses a 90 hp/224 lb-ft electric motor, an 88 kW battery, and a system capacity of 13.8 kWh. The result is 261 hp and an electric range of 28 miles. According to Hyundai, the battery can be charged within two hours at a level 2 charging station.

  • Engines
    1.6L Turbo Inline-4 Hybrid, 2.5L Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmissions
    6-Speed Automatic, 8-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

We drove both the hybrid and non-hybrid versions of the Tucson and came away more than impressed with the hybrid drivetrain. The base four-cylinder engine is adequate and fuel-efficient for daily driving needs. It's also smooth enough with the eight-speed transmission and compares well with Honda CR-V's turbo engine. However, the hybrid drivetrain exceeds expectations and fills in the torque low down, giving the four-cylinder engine the feel of a V6. It's peppy, responsive, and both versions are sure-footed on slippery, dusty trails when equipped with all-wheel-drive.

We weren't expecting to take a small crossover designed for commuters and small family duty on dusty trails. However, Hyundai was so confident in the new Tucson's ride quality it let us loose on over 30 miles of twisting fire roads through the mountains of Arizona. While not the most arduous of off-road traveling, the Tucson dealt with rough and occasionally slippery road conditions admirably. It soaks up bumps with no drama, even on the larger 19-inch wheels. The smooth and quiet ride quality is in premium territory and comparable to the often-incomparable Mazda CX-5.

The ride quality and quietness translate, as expected, even better on paved roads. Hyundai has shied away from an unnecessary sporty feel to concentrate on comfort, and the Tucson is all the better for it. There's a Normal, Sport, and Snow mode, but Sport mode doesn't do much to change the lightly weighted and light-on-feedback steering. There's also a Smart mode, and from experience, we've found that's the one to set and forget for the vast majority of driving in a Hyundai vehicle. The eight-speed automatic transmission does an excellent job of making itself inconspicuous for the most part. Its ratios are ideal for around town, and isn't tempted to keep hunting for higher ratios at the slightest provocation.

Tucson Gas Mileage

The EPA estimates for the PHEV model aren't available at the time of writing, but Hyundai claims a figure of 70 MPGe. As for the rest of the range, the ICE engine is capable of gas mileage claims of 26/33/29 mpg city/highway/combined, dropping to 24/29/26 mpg in AWD guise. The HEV ratings depend on the specification. The Blue specification has EPA-estimated figures of 38/38/38 mpg, while top-spec models fall slightly to 37/36/37 mpg.

ICE models have a 14.3-gallon tank, while HEV models make do with 13.7 gallons. The PHEV model is equipped with a tiny 11.1-gallon tank.

You can expect to get 415 miles between refills on the FWD ICE model and 372 miles in the AWD model. Even with the smaller gas tank, the HEV model in Blue spec will do 520 miles between tanks.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    14.3 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 26/33 mpg
* 2022 Hyundai Tucson SE FWD

Hyundai Tucson Interior

Hyundai refers to the interior of the new Hyundai Tucson as "Interspace," which is claimed to offer sensuous, multi-layered forms that provide a feeling of serenity. Allow us to translate this blatant marketing speak to everyday English. It basically means the interior is all-new and is garnished with all the latest tech. Highlights include a hoodless digital instrument cluster, a 10.25-inch touchscreen display (eight-inch on base models), and a touch-sensitive glossy interface for climate control.

While most manufacturers are moving in a minimalist direction, Hyundai seems to be following its modular approach. The various interior elements are all blocky and seem to fit together perfectly like Lego. There are some minimalist features present, however. Instead of a traditional shifter, the 2022 Tucson has buttons for Park, Reverse, Neutral, and Drive. To engage the manual override, you have to use the paddles located behind the steering wheel.

2022 Hyundai Tucson Dashboard CarBuzz
2022 Hyundai Tucson Infotainment System CarBuzz
2022 Hyundai Tucson Front Seats CarBuzz
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Seating and Interior Space

The Tucson is a five-seater, and because we only get the longer version in the US, rear-seat passengers get a nice 41.3 inches of legroom in both the hybrid and gas-only version, a tenth of an inch less than the frontal space. However, the plug-in hybrid version loses a little over an inch in the back. In terms of space, the Tucson goes toe-to-toe with its competitors. As expected, the center-rear seat is best reserved for children, but even tall adults will be happy with leg- and headroom. Even the base model has plenty of adjustment in the driver's seat and finding the optimum driving position is a cinch and taller drivers shouldn't impact rear passengers too much. Visibility is excellent, and added with the Tucson's short turning radius means maneuvering in tight spaces isn't an anxious affair.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 41.4 in
  • Front Head Room 40.1 in
  • Rear Leg Room 41.3 in
  • Rear Head Room 39.5 in

Interior Colors and Materials

Hyundai has taken great strides to improve the interior quality and feel of the new Tucson, and considering the old model already felt great, it means the new one is better than ever. While the base model makes do with stain-resistant cloth in black or gray and relatively hardy surfaces, available from the mid-spec SEL and standard on the Limited are leather seats, a leather steering wheel, and a leather-wrapped shift lever, although only two color choices remain. N Line models benefit from black leather and fabric combination seats and red accents throughout the cabin.

Hyundai Tucson Trunk and Cargo Space

The increased wheelbase has resulted not just in increased passenger comfort but also cargo space. With the rear seats in place, the maximum cargo capacity of the ICE model is 41.2 cubic feet. The HEV has 41.3 cubes of space, while the PHEV drops down to 31.9 cubic feet due to the battery placement. With the rear seats folded flat, the cargo capacity increases to 80.3 cubes in the ICE cars, 80 cubes in the HEV, and 71.8 in the PHEV.

Interior storage consists of a fixed armrest storage box and a tray, dual cupholders for front passengers, a storage tray beneath the center console, and a rear coat hanger. Rear passengers get dual cupholders mounted within the center seat seatback. Door pockets are sizable all-round.

2022 Hyundai Tucson Back Seats CarBuzz
2022 Hyundai Tucson Cargo Space CarBuzz
2022 Hyundai Tucson Cargo Room CarBuzz

Tucson Infotainment and Features

Features

The base SE specification is equipped with a six-way manually-adjustable driver's seat, manual air conditioning, remote release rear seats, a rearview camera with dynamic parking lines, tilt-and-telescoping steering column, cruise control, a 4.2-inch multi-information display in the instrument cluster, and keyless entry. SEL/Blue specifications are the same and add an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, dual second-row USB charging ports, dual-zone climate control, and push-button start. Top tier models offer an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, heated and ventilated front seats, a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, wireless charging, and remote park assist.

Infotainment

At the entry point to the Tucson range, the SE trim is equipped with an eight-inch touchscreen display with wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity, HD Radio, dual front USB ports, and a six-speaker sound system. SEL, Blue, and N-Line derivatives use the same eight-inch setup but add SiriusXM, VR, and Bluelink. The Limited trim gets the full 10.25-inch touchscreen display with onboard navigation and traffic updates. N-Line and Limited trims are equipped with an eight-speaker Bose premium sound system.

Both the eight and ten-inch screens are remarkably clear and, along with the dash screen, are bright enough not to need shrouds to protect them from glare. They're also snappy and responsive and access Hyundai's intuitive interface. A lack of volume knob could turn out to be contentious, as Honda found out, and is about the only design criticism we could find worth voicing.

Tucson Problems and Reliability

Since the Tucson is all-new, there's not much to report on this front. We can, however, look at the previous model's J.D. Power Ownership Survey results to see whether owners liked it. The news is good, as the Tucson consistently scored above 80 points since 2018. Tucson owners appreciated the quality and reliability most of all, scoring a total of 88 out of a possible 100 points in the 2021 review.

Hyundai's impressive warranty also adds peace of mind. Each model is sold with a ten-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile limited warranty.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    10 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    7 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Maintenance:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles

Tucson Safety

Again, it's too early to tell as neither the NHTSA nor the IIHS has a review of the Tucson as a 2022 model. Since the previous model received a Top Safety Pick award in 2021, we reckon the new model will likely be as safe, if not safer.

Key Safety Features

The Tucson comes standard with six airbags, traction and stability control, a rearview camera with dynamic parking lines, LED headlights, and high-beam assist. In terms of standard driver assistance features on the base model, you're looking at driver attention warning, forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, lane following assist, and lane-keep assist. The SEL trim adds smart cruise control with stop & go, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. The top-spec Limited model bumps things up another notch with park distance sensors front and rear, projection LED headlights, rain-sensing wipers, a remote smart parking assistant, highway driving assist, and a surround-view camera.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2022 Hyundai Tucson a good car?

Hyundai is on a tear design and technology-wise, and the Tucson continues that streak. It focuses on everything a compact crossover should be. It's comfortable, stylish, has plenty of useful space for a family, and it's a pleasure to spend time in. The build quality is excellent, and ride quality and cabin noise are now entering premium car territory in the Tucson. The Tucson has always been rich in value, but now it has styling that sets it apart in the crowd, a cabin that feels comfortable and upscale, and a host of standard safety features and tech. Our only criticism is that the standard 2.5-liter engine is no more than adequate, and that's not much of a complaint in the family and commuter-based sub-compact crossover segment. The RAV4 may continue to be the sales king, but smart shoppers would do well to look Hyundai's way instead, or at the very least, take a test drive before committing elsewhere.

🚘What's the Price of the New Hyundai Tucson?

In order to be competitive in this segment, one needs to have a great product at an ever better price. Hyundai has ensured the Tucson is priced well for the segment, with the entry-level SE carrying a base MSRP of $24,950, while the SEL trim goes for $26,500. The N Line model retails for $30,600, while the top-spec Limited Hyundai Tucson has a cost of $34,700. Adding an AWD system increases the price by another $1,400.

On the hybrid side, you have the Blue HEV AWD with an MSRP of $29,050. An SEL Convenience retails for $31,650, while the current top-spec Limited HEV costs $37,350. The pricing structure for the PHEV model is yet to be confirmed.

2022 Hyundai Tucson Models

There are four trim levels on the ICE side and three in the HEV line-up for a total of seven, These are the SE, SEL, N Line, Limited, Blue HEV, SEL Convenience HEV, and Limited HEV. The specs are similar across the range, however.

The SE trim comes with a long list of standard features, including 17-inch alloy wheels, remote keyless entry, manual air conditioning, six-way manually-adjustable driver's seat, a 4.2-inch LCD multi-information display in the instrument cluster, and an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

SEL derivatives adds a few driver assistance features, a power driver's seat, heated front seats, two rear USB charging ports, and SiriusXM satellite radio. The Blue HEV is identical to this specification.

The N Line is effectively a cosmetic package that gives the Tucson an even more striking appearance. The highlights of this trim are the 19-inch N Line alloy wheels, N Line grille and rear bumpers, N Line leather-wrapped steering wheel with model-specific logo, sportier seats, black headliner, red interior accents, and a Bose premium sound system.

Meanwhile, the HEV SEL Convenience equips the Convenience Package as standard, including a hands-free power tailgate, 19-inch alloys, the 10.25-inch digital instrumentation, Hyundai digital key, wireless device charging, ambient lighting, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and dual-zone climate control.

Both Limited models add all the luxuries, including front and rear park distance control, a remote Smart Park assistant, heated steering wheel and rear seats, an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat with a memory function, and the more comprehensive 10.25-inch infotainment display with built-in navigation.

See All 2022 Hyundai Tucson Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

Hyundai doesn't do optional packages, but there are two available for the SEL. One is called the Convenience Package 2 and retails for $2,600. This package adds a hands-free power liftgate, power sunroof, a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, Hyundai digital key, wireless device charging, ambient interior lighting, auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and dual-zone climate control.

The Premium Package 3 costs an additional $1,700, but you can't have it without adding the Premium Package 2 as well. Opting for this package will add leather seats with ventilation for front passengers, a Bose premium sound system, a dark chrome grille, and premium LED daytime running lights.

🚗What New Hyundai Tucson Model Should I Buy?

For the money, the non-hybrid models offer excellent value in base SE and then SEL trim, and if financially viable, we would opt for SEL and add the driver assistance features, the power driver's seat, and heated front seats to the already long standard feature list. It's hard to justify the N Line appearance package on such an already bold-looking car, and, frankly, the Limited trim is just too expensive at $34,700 for the segment. It's strange to claim a car can be overloaded, but Hyundai has managed it at the top end of the Tucson range. With the SEL trim, we would be sorely tempted to add the Convenience Package 2 just for Hyundai's excellent digital key technology and the dual-zone climate control.

For the overall best value for money, we look towards the hybrid drivetrain model in Blue trim. It comes with all the features of the gas-only SEL trim but with a much stronger drivetrain and an excellent 38/38/38 MPGe fuel economy figure. The SEL Convenience starts to get pricey while the Limited is, like the gas-only model, too expensive. The Blue trim truly is the sweet spot for the all-new Tucson.

Check out other Hyundai Tucson Styles

2022 Hyundai Tucson Comparisons

Hyundai Santa Fe Hyundai
Kia Sportage Kia
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Hyundai Tucson187 hp26/33 mpg$24,950
Hyundai Santa Fe 185 hp22/29 mpg$26,275
Kia Sportage 181 hp23/30 mpg$24,090

2022 Hyundai Tucson vs Hyundai Santa Fe

In the in-house battle of Tucson vs. Sante Fe, the civil war between these two cars is going to be interesting to watch. For starters, the price overlap between these two is remarkable, with just $2,000 separating them on a like for like basis. However, while base Santa Fes get the same 2.5L engine as the Tucson, albeit with 191 hp - there's an optional 2.5 turbo engine with 281 hp, 311 lb-ft, and an eight-speed DCT. The Santa Fe occupies the larger midsize segment, which means more space for people and their belongings. Ultimately, though, the Santa Fe is larger and a little more luxurious, with options including more premium 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound systems, quilted leather, and more. To put it simply, if you need space and luxury, the Santa Fe is needed, but if you don't need the space, the Tucson is close to perfect, for a little less cash.

Either way, Hyundai gets your money.

See Hyundai Santa Fe Review

2022 Hyundai Tucson vs Kia Sportage

The Sportage is the Hyundai's corporate cousin, and it's an excellent SUV. One of the best, we reckon. Unfortunately, the Sportage is based on the same architecture as the previous-generation Tucson. That means it still uses the older 2.4-liter naturally-aspirated engine, though the Sportage does have an alluring 2.0-liter turbocharged engine available in the top-spec model.

Looking at the interiors side-by-side, you can tell the Sportage is older. The small touchscreen and scattering of buttons just look old all of a sudden.

In previous road tests, we always chose the Sportage, but now Hyundai is the first out of the gates with an all-new model. Newer is always better, which makes this an easy battle for the Tucson. It will be interesting to revisit this topic once Kia launches its new Sportage based on Hyundai's new architecture, but for now, when it's Hyundai Tucson vs. Kia Sportage, the Hyundai is a step ahead.

See Kia Sportage Review

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