Sports utility vehicles are at the center of American buyers, and the 2022 Hyundai Tucson aims to boost the SUV game with its bold new design. The new Tucson gave me the same dizzying feeling when I first laid eyes on the sixth generation Sonata in 2009. And similar to how the new eight generation Sonata is changing sedans with its innovative lighting signature, Hyundai employed the same strategy in the brand new 2022 fourth generation Tucson.
“In the 16 years since it was first introduced, Tucson has become one of the brightest stars in the Hyundai universe. It is our best-selling SUV and one of our leasing models, ”said Jose Munoz, President and CEO of Hyundai Motors North America and global CEO of Hyundai Motor Company. “The all-new Tucson will be a clear and attractive choice in a crowded segment and is a great expression of our deep commitment to customers.”
The new Hyundai Tucson is available globally in two versions: short and long wheelbase. But in America, we are getting only the long wheelbase version, a vehicle that is significantly larger than the previous LWB model – more than 15 centimeters, in fact. Hyundai’s latest CUV is running on a stretched 2,755 mm wheelbase and measures 4,630 mm (182.2 inches) in length, 1,865 mm (73.4 inches) in width and 1,665 mm (65.5 inches) in height. Meanwhile, the SWB model shares the same dimensions, while running on a 2,680 mm wheelbase. Truth be told, the new SWB Tucson is bigger and more spacious than the previous LWB model, and Hyundai has done this while maintaining a modest compact size.
Most of this has to do with Tucson’s new ‘Sensuous Sportiness’ body lines. The face is dominated by a large parametric grid 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 on. This design feature is more than a trick, as it gives the new Tucson a more aggressive and rounded stance.
At the rear, the vertical rear lights of the new Tucson bear a striking resemblance to the iconic tail light design of the new Ford Mustang Mach-E, although the former has two vertical bars than the three of the latter. However, the new Tucson has a full-width lightbar to give it a distinctive signature. Observers with eagle eyes will also notice the Hyundai logo integrated into the rear window, while Hyundai has managed to hide the rear wiper discreetly under the rear spoiler for a cleaner look.
For me, however, the biggest triumph of all is the innovative cabin design of the new Tucson or “Interspace”, as Hyundai prefers to call it. The driver obtains a set of digital gauges without a hood which, combined with the low line of the vehicle’s hood, provides excellent visibility. Meanwhile, the minimalist panel is flanked by a large 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment screen devoid of physical buttons. Another novelty in the Hyundai Tucson 2022 is a multi-air ventilation system for adjusting temperature and diffusion to create a fresh, high-tech environment in the cabin.
The 2022 Hyundai Tucson is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 187 horsepower and 178 foot-pounds of torque. According to Hyundai, the front-wheel drive model is capable of gathering 28 miles per gallon with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Tucson is also available with Hyundai’s multi-mode HTRAC AWD system with active torque control.
In the meantime, you can also have a hybrid version and a 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, the Tucson Hybrid is good for a combined production of 226 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, more than you get in the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. On the other hand, the PHEV version has a larger battery of 13.8 kWh with a level 2 charging capacity to offer a maximum fully electric range of 28 miles and 70 MPGe in total. 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, the Tucson Hybrid and PHEV come with standard HTRAC AWD.
Typical of a modern CUV, the 2022 Hyundai Tucson comes standard with a bunch of SmartSense safety features, including front collision prevention with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane maintenance assistance, high beam assistance, driver occupant warning and rear occupant alert. Also standard on the new Tucson are dynamic speech 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 may come with the 2.5-liter Sonata N Line four-turbocharged banger with 290 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. The price has yet to be announced, but the new Hyundai Tucson 2022 is expected to arrive at U.S. dealerships in mid-2021.