The 2022 Hyundai Tucson raises the bar again in the compact CUV segment
How can automakers who are making new entries in the increasingly crowded and hyper-competitive compact CUV segment differentiate theirs from the rest?
Perhaps by focusing on three key attributes: style, functionality and value. The ’22 Hyundai Tucson hits the mark on all three, with a few minor hiccups.
This all-new Tucson – Hyundai’s best-selling vehicle in the world – is longer, wider and taller than the previous generation on a longer wheelbase version of the US market of the global platform. With a long hood and short overhangs, its proportions are pleasing and its side profile is sculpted with sharp geometric edges and angles.
The Tucson cabin (photo below) feels open and airy and provides good space for passengers in both rows. The integrated central fairing descends to the console like a waterfall. Unfortunately, its 10.25 inch format. The infotainment touchscreen (26cm) has no buttons or hard buttons. A multi-air ventilation system provides indirect, diffused airflow to the front passengers, a feature Hyundai considers unique in the industry.
Passenger and freight volumes increase to 108.2 cubic feet. (3064 L) and 38.7 cu. (1096 L), respectively. The second row seats fold up and down to optimize cargo or passenger space.
As standard, the Tucson 22 is a 2.5-liter Smartstream 4-cylinder. with direct and multi-port fuel injection. Driven by an 8-speed automatic, it develops 187 horsepower and 178 lb-ft. (241 Nm) of torque and 26/33 mpg (9.0-7.1 L / 100 km) city / highway EPA fuel economy with front-wheel drive and 24/29 mpg (9.8-8, 1 L / 100 km) with all-wheel drive. The optional HTRAC AWD model offers four driving modes: Normal, Sport, Smart and Snow.
Hyundai offers hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the new Tucson. The 180-horsepower 1.6L DFI Turbo-4 in both versions produces 226 horsepower and 258 lb-ft. (350 Nm) of total power thanks to a 6-speed automatic transmission with HEV adjustment.
At 38 mpg (6.2 L / 100 km) combined, or 37 mpg (6.4 L / 100 km) in higher trims, this system would be 30% more efficient with 20% more torque than the standard motor. Both hybrids come with standard HTRAC all-wheel drive, and the PHEV’s 13.8 kWh battery delivers over 70 MPGe (3.4 L / 100 km) and an estimated range of 32 miles (51 km).
With almost 40 more horsepower and 80 more lb-ft. (108Nm) of torque, our $ 39,000 Limited Hybrid Test Vehicle outperforms the $ 38,000 limited 2.5L all-wheel drive we drive on main and two-lane roads near (where else ?) Tucson, AZ.
According to Hyundai, hybrid e-handling technology “precisely applies torque control of the electric motor based on dynamic inputs and road conditions to improve cornering performance.”
In a corner, it applies progressive braking to the front wheels to increase their contact patch with the tires for improved traction and response. As you accelerate out of a corner, torque is sent to the rear for better traction.
The electronic manipulation function makes the Tucson surprisingly agile. But the non-hybrid feels underpowered to us, especially for two-lane overtaking, even with just the driver and no cargo on board.
Standard and optional features of the ’22 Tucson include top exclusives such as Intelligent Remote Park Assist, Remote Start with Heated and Ventilated Seats, Digital Key Smartphone App (Android only for the moment) which can remotely control the selected systems, and Android Auto and wireless. Apple CarPlay connectivity.
Hyundai says its SmartSense safety suite offers more standard and available active safety features than any competitor. Among them are forward collision avoidance assist with pedestrian, cyclist and turn detection, blind spot view monitor, ultrasonic rear occupant alert, safe exit warning and a driver attention warning.
The Tucson’s advanced dynamic speech recognition uses simple voice commands and can help you with points of interest, weather status, and stock data. Its Blue Link connected car system (free for three years) includes remote start with temperature control, remote door locking / unlocking and voice search of the destination.
The large touch screen (photo below) does most things well, but sometimes requires multiple keys to activate features. If there is no USB connection to the audio system, portable music devices must be connected to Bluetooth. And when we go back to radio from bluetooth, the system always defaults to FM radio instead of the AM or satellite station we were listening to.
On the plus side, we love the blind spot camera images (available) that appear in the speedometer (left) and tachometer (right) circles when a turn signal is activated.
The 2022 gasoline and hybrid Tucsons are available now, with an N Line aimed at enthusiasts arriving in late spring and the plug-in hybrid this summer. With an attractive new look, an impressive mix of features, and a base price of $ 24,950, this new Tucson appears to meet all three key criteria.