First introduced in 2004, the compact SUV has undergone a makeover in the past. But the inside out redesign and power train transformation for the front-wheel or all-wheel-drive 2022 Tucson is major. So is the launch of its all-new plug-in hybrid version.
Undoubtedly, the Tucson is a bigger vehicle than the predecessor in every respect. Length is up by 6.1, width and height 0.6 and wheelbase 3.4 inches; cargo volume increases by 7.7 and passenger volume 6 cubic feet. In essence, there is plenty of leg room now for rear-seat passengers. Make it a total of 108.2 cubic feet for total passenger room. Cargo space is a cool 80.3 cubic feet with the rear seat down.
A 1.6-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged hybrid engine develops a total of 261 horsepower and 258 pounds-feet of torque with a 44.2kw electric motor and 13.8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The SUV can be electric-only for nearly 33 miles before fuel kicks in. You can juice up the battery in fewer than two hours with the on-board charger. Power routed through the 6-speed auto gearbox gives sufficient performance. The front MacPherson strut and multilink rear suspension have been re-engineered while body rigidity, sound dampening and safety enhanced with advanced high-strength steel.
A top-selling SUV for Hyundai, the fourth-gen Tucson boasts a sporty, modern, sleek look up front as diamond-cut elements gaze at you from the sharp parametric-jewel grille. The cabin is “hidden tech” as the Hyundai folks likes to call it with a lowered and hoodless digital instrument cluster, button less center stack, capacitive touch controls, multi-air mode, ambient lights, 10.2-inch color touch infotainment display, Hyundai digital key (lock/unlock vehicle with phone), latest version of Bluelink and remote smart park assist. Standard features on the Limited trim include a 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster, heated/cooled and power front seats, Bose premium audio, hands-free power liftgate, tilt/telescopic steering column, and 60/40 fold seat with recline/center armrest.
Safety is paramount for Hyundai with dual front and side airbags, side curtain with rollover sensor, lane keep/follow assist, forward-collision warning, four-wheel antilock brakes with electronic brake distribution and brake assist, front/rear parking sensors and crumple zones, electronic stability and traction control, blind-spot warning, forward collision avoid-assist, remote keyless entry, daytime running lights and tire pressure monitoring system standard.
High gas prices a burden on daily driving? The Tucson PHEV may be the perfect alternative, especially if you drive around 30 miles every day. Regardless, this is a promising start from Hyundai as the Korean carmaker seeks to electrify more of its vehicles. The hybrid engine shows off plenty of power to result in a well-balanced ride, with sharp handling and decent overall balance. A roomy, attractive and well-crafted cabin is another plus.
TUCSON (LIMITED, AWD)
Wheelbase: 108.5 inches
Length: 182.3 inches
Width: 73.4 inches
Height: 65.6 inches
Weight: 4,235 pounds
Fuel capacity: 11.1 gallons
Combined gas only: 35 mpg
Combined MPGe: 80
Base price: $44,640
Web site: www.hyundai.com