2022 Hyundai Tucson stirs up compact SUV segment with Sensuous Sportiness redesign

The 2022 Hyundai Tucson is out in the open. And right off the bat, Hyundai's newest contender in the popular compact SUV segment is drawing mixed reviews in terms of styling. The newest fourth-gen Tucson is essentially a concept brought to life, first seen as the Vision T concept at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show. Love it or hate it, the new Tucson looks different from the rest, and that's exactly what it needs to remain popular in its segment.

"The all-new Tucson sets a new benchmark for innovation in its segment, delivering an impressive blend of design, technology, packaging, and performance," said Thomas Schemera, Executive Vice President, Head of Product Division at Hyundai Motor Group.

The 2022 Hyundai Tucson is bigger and longer than its predecessor. In fact, it's the biggest and roomiest Tucson to date, and Hyundai is releasing a short and long-wheelbase version of the new Tucson to satiate the needs of various markets. Here in America, we're only getting the long-wheelbase variant which measures 4,630 mm (182.2 inches) long, 1,865 mm (73.4 inches) wide, and 1,665 mm (65.5 inches) in height while riding on a 2,755 mm wheelbase. Spec for spec, even the short-wheelbase variant is bigger than the outgoing model and has a longer 2,680 mm wheelbase.

Let's tackle the new Tucson's most defining styling feature. Embodying Hyundai's 'Sensuous Sportiness' design credo, the headlights and daytime running lights are integrated into the parametric front grille. The lights are 'hidden' underneath half-mirror elements in the grille when turned off and are only visible when the lights are on. It's a bit gimmicky for some, but it certainly gives the new Tucson a unique and modern fascia.

The modern touch continues in the rear with a full-width taillamp and thin vertical lighting elements. Also, the rear wiper is hidden neatly under the rear spoiler while the Hyundai logo is integrated into the rear glass. The side profile has rugged elements including squared-off wheel arches with soft corners that blend perfectly with the vehicle's dynamic shoulder line.

The bold, new face is accompanied by an updated set of powertrain configurations, and this includes a plug-in hybrid and high-performance N-Line variants. The gasoline-powered 2022 Hyundai Tucson has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder motor with 178 horsepower and 182 pound-feet of torque. This engine is paired with a new 8-speed automatic gearbox.

Meanwhile, the Tucson hybrid has a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-banger with 229 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Unlike the gasoline model, the hybrid Tucson makes do with a CVT (continuously variable transmission). As usual, front-wheel-drive is standard while all-wheel-drive is available in some variants.

Yes, the 2022 Tucson is getting an N-Line variant, and Hyundai said it plans to release this high-performance version globally. Nothing is definite in terms of output and engine size, but we're pining for a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine from the Sonata N-Line. Producing 290 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, the Tucson N-Line will be launched on a separate date. Meanwhile, the 2022 Tucson will make its North American debut this November 9, 2020.

If you find the exterior styling a bit too radical, the new Tucson's interior will make you want to reconsider. According to Hyundai, the Tucson's interior layout offers three new technologies. First, you have a vertically-stacked dual 10.25-inch touchscreen and navigation display with no hard buttons. Next, you have a multi-air ventilation system. Finally, the driver has a hoodless instrument cluster to create a neat and modern ambiance. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard along with Bluetooth, Hyundai's Car-to-home feature (allowing you to control home smart appliances from the vehicle), and natural voice command.

We'll know more as the 2022 Hyundai Tucson makes its North American debut this November. The all-new fourth-gen Tucson arrives at U.S. dealerships in mid-2021 as a 2022 model. Pricing will be announced soon, but we reckon the base MSRP to start at $25,000.