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2022 Hyundai Tucson: First Look

  • All-new model for 2022
  • 2.5-liter 4-cylinder makes 187 hp
  • Gas and hybrid Tucsons (turbo 1.6L) arrive in the spring
  • Tucson PHEV (turbo 1.6L) goes on sale later in 2021
  • AWD is optional on the 2.5, standard on the hybrids
  • Sporty Tucson N Line arrives in the spring
  • High-performance Tucson N comes later 2021 

The compact Hyundai Tucson SUV looks like it continue as the company’s best-selling model when an all-new 2022 model arrives this spring. Built in Alabama on a new platform, the 2022 Hyundai Tucson is 6.1 inches longer than the model it replaces, and its wheelbase is up by 3.1 inches. As a result, total passenger volume grows by about 6 cubic feet, and cargo volume by nearly 8.

In a first for the Tucson, the 2022 model will be available with three different powertrains. The standard Tucson, the SE, is powered by a direct-injected 2.5-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine with 187 horsepower. It mates to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The EPA combined fuel economy is expected to be 28 mpg. That’s 3 mpg better than last year’s Tucson with the 2.4.

Two new hybrid models

The new Tucson SEL Hybrid, which also arrives in the spring, features a turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine supported by a 59-horsepower electric motor and a 1.49-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery. Max output for this hybrid powertrain is estimated at 227 horsepower. Hyundai says the hybrid powertrain, which employs a 6-speed automatic transmission, is 30 percent more fuel-efficient than the standard gasoline engine but offers 20 percent more torque. This added efficiency equates to a driving range in excess of 500 miles.

Arriving later in the year is the 2022 Hyundai Tucson SEL PHEV or plug-in hybrid. In addition to the turbocharged 1.6-liter gas engine and the 6-speed automatic, the new Tucson SEL PHEV has a 90-horsepower electric motor and a much larger 13.8-kWh lithium battery that takes about 2 hours to charge using 220-volt current. Total system output is estimated at 261 horsepower, and this new Tucson PHEV is expected to have an all-electric driving range of 28 miles along with an estimated EPA fuel economy of over 70 MPGe.

While Hyundai says the new Tucson hybrids blend fun driving manners with excellent fuel efficiency, the large battery pack of the Tucson PHEV cuts the cargo capacity behind the split-folding rear bench seat from 38.7 cubic feet to 31.9.

Clean, Modern Interior

The 2022 Hyundai Tucson’s interior has a spacious, airy cabin, with a wraparound design feature that starts at the doors and runs along the dash. The high-touch areas of the interior use soft materials. The center console is dominated by a vertically stacked 10.25-inch dual touch screen, with no hard buttons to control audio, infotainment, or climate control settings.

If you’d prefer a little less touchscreen in your life, know that the base infotainment systems uses an 8-inch screen and foregoes the capacitive-touch controls. Also new for the 2022 model is a fully digital gauge cluster and Hyundai’s multi-air ventilation system.

Hyundai’s new ventilation system achieves a few key things: it monitors the cabin’s air quality and purifies the air. It has a display window that shows real-time air pollution through the Tucson’s fine dust detection sensor. The ventilation system uses a combination of direct and indirect ventilation, so you can choose either wind in your face or a subtle, indirect breeze throughout the interior. The air conditioning system is designed to reduce moisture on the evaporator to reduce that stale, mildewy smell that other cars can get. (The air purification feature won’t be available in all markets.)

The second-row seats have a “fold-and-dive” feature that’s said to make it easier for you to reconfigure the cabin. In addition, the 2022 Tucson offers a maximum cargo volume of 38.7 cubic feet. That’s an improvement of roughly 7 cubic feet compared to the outgoing Tucson.

Rear legroom has also been improved to 41.3 inches, which is about 3 inches more than before. This meets or exceeds the space provided by rivals like the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, and Nissan Rogue.


Hyundai continues to place a high priority on connectivity, which starts at the Digital Key. This smartphone app will let you get into and drive the Tucson without the physical key. It uses Near Field Communication to ensure that only an authorized person can use this function.

The interior’s full-touch display, which comes with the Tucson’s top trim level, can be used as a split-screen for multitasking. If you don’t choose the 10.25-inch screen, there’s an 8-inch color touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Wireless smartphone connectivity is standard, which is a rarity in this segment. This tech feature is often reserved for at least mid- to high-ranging trims.

In addition, you’ll be able to connect two phones at the same time, and can alternate between each phone’s playlists via Bluetooth without having to disconnect either phone.

If you have smart in-home appliances, people in some markets will be able to take advantage of the Tucson’s new Car-to-home technology to turn on the air conditioning before they get home. You can even use a voice command to heat the Hyundai interior – such as starting the heater and seat and steering wheel warmers – before you get in.

AWD options

Hyundai’s HTRAC all-wheel-drive system is optional in the 2.5L and standard in the Tucson hybrids. It offers specialized modes (including one for snow) that provide good traction over a wide variety of surfaces.

The new AWD Tucson hybrids employ what Hyundai calls e-Handling Driving Dynamics. This system improves Tucson cornering by precisely applying electric motor torque to control varying wheels at varying times. When the Tucson hybrid turns into a corner, for example, the electric motor system applies a bit of braking force to the front wheels, increasing their grip. Then, as the vehicle exits the corner, more electric torque is sent to the rear wheels, for enhanced traction and control.

Standard safety features

The new 2022 Hyundai Tucson also boasts lots of safety technology, both passive and active. The standard SmartSense Safety suite includes automatic emergency braking (with pedestrian and cyclist detection) and lane-keep assist, plus automatic high-beam headlights, a driver-attention warning, and a rear occupant alert. Optional safety features include a blind-spot collision assist system, rear cross-traffic alert, smart cruise control (with Stop & Go), and remote smart parking assist.

Also available is Hyundai’s blind-spot view monitor. When the Tucson driver activates a turn signal, an image shows the view of the corresponding side mirror in the digital instrument cluster. The new Tucson also can be ordered with a surround-view monitor, which provides a 360-degree bird’s eye view of the vehicle to make life much less tense in crowded parking lots.

Hyundai Tucson N performance model

By the end of 2022, Hyundai says it plans to offer seven high-performance N models. The fifth of these will be the Hyundai Tucson N. While Hyundai at this point won’t tell us much about the new Tucson N, we do know it will have an aggressive exterior design, unique colors, and distinctive interior details. While a sporty Hyundai Tucson N Line model arrives in the spring, the high-performance Tucson N, with added power, comes later in the year.

Andy Bornhop
Andy Bornhop
Andy Bornhop is an author specializing in the automotive world, primarily the new cars, trucks, crossovers, vans and SUVs that support our daily lives and provide us with such superb personal mobility. While all new vehicles are much more competent than they used to be, there remain some significant differences, and Andy enjoys sharing that info with anybody who’s interested. His first car? A... Read More about Andy Bornhop

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