Sport-utility vehicles are at the heart of American buyers, and the 2022 Hyundai Tucson is aiming to move the SUV game forward with its bold, new design. The new Tucson gave me the same giddy sensation upon first laying my eyes on the sixth-gen Sonata back in 2009. And similar to how the all-new eight-gen Sonata is changing sedans with its innovative lighting signature, Hyundai has employed the same strategy in the all-new, fourth-gen 2022 Tucson.
“In the 16 years since it was first introduced, Tucson has become one of the brightest stars in Hyundai’s universe. It is our bestselling SUV, and one of our leasing models,” said Jose Munoz, President & CEO of Hyundai Motors North America, and Global Chief Executive Officer of the Hyundai Motor Company. “The all-new Tucson will be a clear and compelling choice in a crowded segment and is a great expression of our deep commitment to customers.”
The new Hyundai Tucson is globally available in two versions: Short and long wheelbase. But in America, we’re only getting the long-wheelbase version, a vehicle of which is significantly larger than the previous LWB model – more than six inches, in fact. Hyundai’s newest CUV is riding on a stretched 2,755 mm wheelbase and measures 4,630 mm (182.2 inches) long, 1,865 mm (73.4 inches) wide, and 1,665 mm (65.5 inches) in height. Meanwhile, the SWB model shares the same dimensions albeit riding on a 2,680 mm wheelbase. Truth be told, the new SWB Tucson is larger and roomier than the outgoing LWB model, and Hyundai did it while retaining a modest compact footprint.
Most of this has to do with the new Tucson’s ‘Sensuous Sportiness’ body lines. The face is dominated by a large parametric grille with integrated headlights and daytime running lights. The lights are hidden under half-mirror elements in the front grille and are only visible when the lights are illuminated. This design feature is more than a gimmick as it gives the new Tucson a more aggressive, prowling stance.
At the rear, the new Tucson’s vertical backlights bear a striking similarity to the new Ford Mustang Mach-E’s iconic taillight design, although the former has two vertical bars than the latter’s three. However, the new Tucson has a full-width light bar to give it a distinct signature. Eagle-eyed viewers will also notice the integrated Hyundai logo on the rear glass, while Hyundai managed to hide the rear wiper discreetly under the rear spoiler for a cleaner look.
For me, though, the biggest triumph of all is the new Tucson’s innovative cabin design or ‘Interspace’ as Hyundai prefers to call it. The driver gets a hoodless digital gauge cluster that, combined with the vehicle’s low hood line, offers excellent visibility. Meanwhile, the minimalist dashboard is flanked by a large 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment display devoid of physical buttons. Also new in the 2022 Hyundai Tucson is a temperature-adjusting and diffusing multi-air ventilation system to create a fresh, hi-tech ambiance in the cabin.
The 2022 Hyundai Tucson is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 187 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque. According to Hyundai, the front-wheel-drive model is capable of mustering a combined 28 mpg with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Tucson is also available with Hyundai’s HTRAC multi-mode AWD system with active torque control.
In the meantime, you can also have a hybrid and plug-in hybrid version of the new Tucson. The hybrid model has a 1.6-liter turbocharged gas engine producing 177 horsepower and 198 pound-feet of torque. But with the help of a small 44.2 kWh electric motor and a 1.49 kWh battery pack, the Tucson Hybrid is good for a combined output of 226 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, more than what you get in Toyota’s RAV4 Hybrid. On the other hand, the PHEV version has a larger 13.8 kWh battery with level-2 charging capabilities to offer a maximum all-electric driving range of 28 miles and 70 MPGe overall. The Tucson Hybrid has a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), while the PHEV has a conventional six-speed automatic gearbox. And for the first time in a Hyundai SUV, both the Tucson Hybrid and PHEV come with standard HTRAC AWD.
Typical of a modern CUV, the 2022 Hyundai Tucson comes standard with a bevy of SmartSense safety features including forward collision avoidance with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane-keeping assist, high beam assist, driver occupant warning, and rear occupant alert. Also standard in the new Tucson are dynamic voice recognition, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto/Bluetooth connectivity, remote engine start, and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty with a 5-year/60,000-mile new vehicle warranty.
As a bonus, Hyundai is in the final stages of developing a Tucson N Line for North America. Details are scarce at the moment, but the Tucson N Line might come with the Sonata N Line’s 2.5-liter turbocharged four-banger with 290 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. Pricing has yet been announced, but the all-new 2022 Hyundai Tucson is due to arrive at U.S. dealerships in mid-2021.