2022 Hyundai Tucson First Drive: Bigger, More Power, More Efficient, and a Looker!

The Hyundai Tucson is all-new for the 2022 model year and it’s sporting one of the most distinctive looks out of any compact crossover on the market. Love it or hate it, you won’t mistake the Hyundai Tucson for anything else. From the LED daytime running lights integrated into the grille to the generous amounts of angles, and the cool “fanged” LED taillights that span the width of the car, the Tucson has a character all its own. Despite all that, its appearance clearly shows that it’s a member of the Hyundai crossover family. You’ll find all of the cues that link it to the Palisade, Kona, Santa Fe, Venue, and Nexo without looking like it is part of a Russian doll set. The Tucson has grown, too. Versus the outgoing car, the new model is longer and wider, meaning it’s now one of the largest in its class.

In other global markets, you get a standard wheelbase Tucson; however, in North America, we get one with a longer wheelbase to cater to a wider range of audiences.
Jump inside and you’ll find so many cool details and an interior that continues the same minimalist theme found in other Hyundai vehicles. The digital gauge cluster is hoodless on top-end models, which adds a unique look to the dash. The center stack follows a waterfall theme and is clean and free of any clutter. However, nearly all the controls that used to be buttons have been replaced by haptic feedback ones and there are no knobs for volume and tuning. That has the possibility of making this interface more finicky to use versus the ones found in the Elantra, Santa Fe, and Sonata. The lack of a mechanical gear selector has also freed up space in the center console, meaning there’s now a large storage area under it. Thanks to the longer wheelbase, the Tucson gets more generous rear-seat accommodations and additional cargo capacity, making it more practical than before.

The 2022 Hyundai Tucson comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 187 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired exclusively to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Should you want more power, there’s now an option for that in the form of the Tucson Hybrid. The electrified version couples a 1.6-liter turbo-four with a 59-hp electric motor, a 1.5-kW lithium-ion, and a six-speed automatic. This results in 226 hp combined and up to 38 mpg across the board according to the EPA. If that’s not enough, a plug-in hybrid version is coming with a 90-hp electric motor and a 13.8-kWh battery, raising the total output to 261 hp. The best part about the electrified Tucson models? They get AWD standard. An N Line model is also on the way but it is only available with the base 187-hp 2.5-liter four-pot and only gets minor suspension tweaks.

Body Style: 4-Door compact crossover
Powertrains: 2.5-liter I4 w/ eight-speed automatic or 1.6-liter turbo-four + electric motor + six-speed automatic + lithium-ion battery
Output: 2.5: 187 hp/178 lb-ft; Hybrid: 226 hp combined; PHEV: 261 hp combined
EPA Fuel Economy Ratings (city/highway/combined)
2.5 FWD: 24-26/29-33/26-29 mpg
Hybrid: 38-37/38-36/38-37 mpg

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