Depending on how closely you follow the automotive industry in general, or the Hyundai brand more specifically, you may or may not know that the Tucson utility is Hyundai’s best-selling model worldwide. And that means changes have a big impact. So let’s dig deeper into the all-new 4th generation Tucson.
Few vehicles showcase the rapid growth and transformation of the Hyundai brand better than this 2022 Hyundai Tucson. What started out as a rough around the edges entry into the then rapidly growing compact utility market in the early 2000s, relevant almost entirely for its value proposition; has grown into a true challenger, offering style, performance, and comfort to rival the segment’s best sellers.
Earlier generations of Tucson were known to be noisy, and ride a little harsh; but it’s plenty smooth and quiet now. Good seat comfort and lots of space too, making it a utility you want to drive, not because you have to.
This 5-seater is noticeably more spacious than before in all seating positions, thanks to over 3-inches of added wheelbase. And with 6-inches added to overall length; there’s more room for cargo too; growing from 31.0 to 38.7 cubic-ft; maxing out at 74.8 with rear seatbacks down.
Of course Hyundai is now even better known for the wealth of standard features they pack in; and while that continues to be the case, there are clearly different experiences here dependent on trim level.
Top Limited borders on tech overload with push-button shifter on the console, touch controls, and a gauge display that appears to be just another screen dropped on the dash. Both materials and assembly are a clear step above most in the segment.
Lesser trims replace touch-panel controls with actual buttons and knobs; a traditional shifter, and an 8-inch touchscreen verses the Limited’s 10-incher.
Tucson has always offered multiple options for powering things, only now your choices come down to whether you want battery assistance and how much of it you want.
The standard gas engine is this 187-horsepower 2.5-liter I4.
Considering how the Tucson has grown its 178 lb-ft. of torque made it feel a little underpowered. Its available in either front or all-wheel drive.
Now, if you need more power, the new all-wheel drive Tucson Hybrid packages a 64-kW electric motor with a 1.6-liter turbo-4 for a 226-horsepower output; while a plug-in hybrid features a larger 88-kW motor, bumping horsepower to 261. And with a 13.8-kWh battery. Its rated at a great 33-miles of pure EV driving.
No hybrids for us. So it was off to our Mason Dixon test track with our all-wheel drive 2.5-liter, where our underpowered thoughts were backed up with numbers.
It was really sluggish off the line, with max power not arriving until around 4,000-RPM, and taking 8.9–seconds to reach 60.
On the plus side, the 8-speed automatic transmission was pretty positive and speedy with shifts; helping the Tucson clear the ¼ in a better 16.9–seconds at 83 miles-per-hour.
Good steering response through the cones, but the rest of the handling experience is more typical small crossover; though being based on Hyundai’s Sonata platform rather than the compact Elantra’s does give it a more substantial feel than many in the compact SUV class.
Hyundai has definitely been attempting to stand out with style as of late, and by now you’ve already seen one of the coolest features it shares with the Santa Cruz pickup, headlights nestled behind the blocky parametric grille.
But, the origami-like styling for the body panels draws just as many eyes.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings with all-wheel drive are 24-City, 29-Highway, 26-Combined. We averaged a good 27.3 miles-per-gallon of Regular. That’s an average Energy Impact Score, with use of 11.4-barrels of oil yearly, and CO2 emissions of 5.8-tons.
With so many configurations, there’s a wide range of pricing, starting with SE at $26,745; climbing to $36,245 for a Limited.
So, there’s a 2022 Hyundai Tucson for just about everyone. And while Tucson may not have as big of a price advantage as it used to, the value proposition…what you can drive home for your dollars…has never been higher.
Engine: 2.5L I4
Torque: 178 lb-ft
0-60 mph: 8.9 seconds
1/4 Mile: 16.9 seconds at 83 mph
EPA: 24 City / 29 Highway / 26 Combined
MW Fuel Economy: 27.3 mpg