The new Tucson's sharp styling makes its competitors look bland by comparison.
Hyundai lifted the wraps off the all-new Tucson for the Korean market last month, showcasing a bold new design direction for its best-selling SUV. Details about the US model were kept under wraps at the time, but now the 2022 Hyundai Tucson has made its US debut in West Hollywood, California.
Like the Korean version, America's new Tucson incorporates a design theme Hyundai's designers call 'Parametric Dynamics', with sharp character lines and creases contrasting with the sleek silhouette, a long hood, and short overhangs. The jewel-like front grille seamlessly integrates LED daytime running lights that are only visible when illuminated. At the back, the full-width taillight also incorporates hidden daytime running lights. Hyundai's Sensuous Sportiness design language has spawned some striking designs such as the new Elantra, and the new Tucson continues this trend. It won't appeal to everyone, but the new Tucson's daring design makes its competitors look comparatively blend.
Inside, the interior is more spacious, luxurious, and high-tech than the previous Tucson. At the center is an eight-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which can be upgraded to a larger 10.25-inch touchscreen devoid of physical buttons. There's also a new fully digital gauge cluster and a climate control system that purifies the air to reduce "potentially unpleasant airflow."
In the US, a long-wheelbase version of the new Tucson will be available, which is longer, wider, taller, and has a longer wheelbase than the previous generation. Passenger volume increases by six cubic feet to 108.2 cubic feet and cargo volume has increased by 7.7 cubic feet to 38.7 cubic feet. Under the hood, the new Tucson is offered with a Smartstream 2.5-liter direct-injected gasoline engine as well as 1.6-liter direct-injected turbocharged hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains.
Paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, Hyundai's Smartstream 2.5 liter engine is rated at 187 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque with an estimated combined fuel economy of 28 mpg with front-wheel drive, up from 25 mpg in the previous model.
Front- and all-wheel-drive variants are available, with the latter featuring an electronic, variable torque split clutch with active torque control between the front and rear axles. Selectable driver modes include Normal, Sport, and Smart that adapt the Tucson for different weather conditions. Thanks to its refined suspension, the new Tucson is more agile to drive than the previous model.
The more efficient hybrid powertrain utilizes a 1.6-liter turbocharged gasoline engine with an estimated 177 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. Combined with a 44.2-kW electric motor and 1.49-kWh battery pack, the hybrid setup produces an estimated 226 combined hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent through a smooth six-speed automatic transmission.
Hyundai claims the hybrid powertrain is 30-percent more fuel-efficient than the standard gasoline engine and offers over 500 miles of range between fuel stops. Opting for the plug-in-hybrid model adds a larger 13.8-kWh battery providing an estimated electric driving range of 28 miles and an estimated fuel economy of over 70 MPGe. Level 2 charging takes less than two hours using a 7.2kW onboard charger.
To improve cornering, hybrid models use Hyundai's e-technology, which applies electric motor torque control according to the inputs and road conditions.
As standard, the 2022 Tucson is equipped with Hyundai's SmartSense Safety suite, which includes forward collision-avoidance with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane-keeping assist, high beam assist, driver attention warning, and rear occupant alert. Optional assists include blind-spot collision-avoidance assist, rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist, safe exit warning, smart cruise control with stop and go, ultrasonic rear occupant alert, and remote smart parking assist.
The combustion-powered and hybrid 2022 Hyundai Tucson will go on sale in the US in spring 2021, followed by the plug-in hybrid version in summer 2021. A sportier N-Line version will also join the lineup in late 2021.