The base price in Canada for the 2022 Hyundai Tucson is $27,699 in Canada, $24,950 in the US.
This is the all-new fourth generation of the widely popular Tucson.
It ushers in an all-new platform.
The deal with the two recently reviewed hybrid Hyundai SUVs is that we were supposed to attend the 2022 Tucson’s launch event last week – COVID and the province of Ontario had other plans. The downside is that we did not get to visit Creemore, ON, and make a quick stop at the Creemore Springs Brewery for its fine lager. The upside is that I got to spend more time with the new SUVs.
I continue to have serious doubts about the long-term reliability and quality of the Hyundai Group’s vehicles but there can be no doubt about the car company’s relentless efforts to create an appealing product. The 2022 Hyundai Tucson is a mammoth of a compact SUV and like the revised 2021 Santa Fe, it cannot be ignored.
Bold and unique design
If only for styling, the Tucson’s parametric dynamics design language fires the vehicle into another dimension. Without exception, and to my surprise, all comments received on the SUV’s design were positive. My concern is always that Hyundai’s tendency to constantly reinvent its visual outlook prematurely dates its own fleet. While I firmly believe this to be the case here, the new Tucson looks special.
Beyond the countless creases, trick lights in the front grille, and oddly shaped fender flares, the most notable improvement is the compact SUV’s much longer wheelbase. It is 85mm longer than the previous-generation Tucson and this translates into far more rear passenger room.
Extremely roomy and loaded
With the kid’s seats in place, rarely have I not had to worry about their feet reaching the front seatbacks without moving said seats far forward – the amount of room is impressive. The trunk is also extremely capacious however I doubt that its volume is greater than that of the Santa Fe (1,095 vs. 1,032 litres).
Upfront, occupants are treated to an unmistakenly modern, clean, and premium dashboard, not to mention comfortable seats. Granted, the tested unit was an Ultimate trim meaning that it’s got all the bells, whistles, and trimmings. True though that may be, the presentation and layout, including the beautiful cascading centre stack, remain if only with smaller displays in the lesser trims.
For $41,499, the Ultimate swaps the 8-inch touchscreen for a 10.25-inch unit which matches up with the 10.25-inch display. As standard, the Tucson is delivered with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the next trim includes a heated steering wheel, keyless entry and start, satellite radio, and far more. For $32,099, an AWD Tucson Preferred is impressively packed with value.
Hybrid power and efficiency
As part of the value, the 2022 Hyundai Tucson gains new potent powertrains. Thanks to its new 3rd-generation platform designed to accommodate multiple powertrains, the base engine is now the brand’s naturally-aspirated 2.5-litre 4-cylinder engine. With enough power to tow up to 3,5000 lbs, it will be a popular choice.
For the moment, those who for a little more kit for their new Tucson will also receive the hybrid powertrain. It consists of a turbocharged 1.6-litre 4-cylinder engine mated to a new HEV-tuned 6-speed automatic transmission. This pairing joins forces with the HEV starter-generator and the electric drive motor for a combined 227 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque.
This output seemed modest in the Santa Fe however, at nearly 400lbs lighter, this powertrain makes for a quick Tucson. Hyundai’s HTRAC AWD system is standard with the Hybrid powertrain, as is the 1.49kWh battery, but the added weight has no negative impact on efficiency. The Tucson is rated at a combined 6.4L/100km which, I can tell you once more here and now, will not be beaten, in the real world, by the upcoming plug-in version.
Like the Santa Fe, the 2022 Tucson also includes three on-road and three off-road drive modes. The Eco mode is the default setup and is correct for most driving situations. The Smart mode is the best bet for all types of driving conditions. As well, there are three modes under Terrain selection, Snow, Mud, and Sand, although I can’t see what they are for.
As a road-going family SUV, the 2022 Hyundai Tucson is something of a delight. Ride quality is generally better than good with only the roughest surfaces harshing the mellow. The tested Ultimate rolls on 19-inch wheels and tires and the dampers can manage comfort and handling at once. The lower trims with their 18-inch setups will likely be more compliant.
Hybrid models get e-Handling technology with works with the electric motor and stability control as a form of torque vectoring control. It will apply incremental braking force to the front wheels through a corner and once on the way out, will use the electric motor to send more torque to the rear axle. The result is an SUV that’s not exciting per se to drive but it proves to be simply efficient and satisfying.
In no other segment must a car manufacturer work harder to survive. Sales here are constantly on the rise and market shares are made or broken here. The 2022 Tucson is poised to increase Hyundai’s stake in the compact SUV category because it is that interesting.
Even so, in this segment, the go-to is still the Toyota RAV4 followed by, in no particular order, the Subaru Forester and Mazda CX-5. As for hybrids, the Tucson also falls behind the RAV4 if mostly for medium- and long-term reliability and resale values. It would be a toss-up between the Hyundai and the Ford Escape which may also suffer less than ideal reliability.