What Is It?
The Tucson compact crossover is Hyundai’s best-selling vehicle worldwide, as well as the Korean automaker’s top-selling model in the U.S. Redesigned for 2022, the popular Tucson features a more expressive exterior, interior refinements and additional technology. For the new model year, the company now offers a hybrid version — the 2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid — in addition to a plug-in hybrid to take on strong competition in the compact crossover segment.
Hyundai provided us with a 2022 Tucson Hybrid Limited AWD finished in Shimmering Silver with a gray interior. Hyundai Tucson pricing starts as low as $24,950 for the Tucson SE with a traditional gasoline drivetrain, and $29,050 for Tucson Hybrid Blue. As the top trim level of the Tucson Hybrid, the Limited has extensive standard equipment; the MSRP of the test vehicle came to $38,704 including freight charges.
Plentiful Standard Features
Standard equipment on the 2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid Limited includes leather seating surfaces, heated / ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a leather-wrapped and heated steering wheel, a leather-wrapped shift knob, dual-zone automatic climate control and Bose premium audio. Tucson Limited also features a 10.25-inch digital instrument display, Hyundai Digital Key, wireless device charging, ambient lighting, a 10.25-inch navigation display, a surround view camera, a blind-spot view monitor, parking collision avoidance, highway driving assist, shift-by-wire, paddle shifters and dynamic voice recognition.
Tucson Limited Exterior
The Tucson Limited exterior features 19-inch alloy wheels, a dark chrome grille, premium 5-LED daytime running lights, dark chrome trim, a premium skidplate finish, high-gloss black roof pillars, projector LED headlights, a panoramic sunroof, a hands-free power liftgate and remote smart parking assist.
In recent years Hyundai has adopted more expressive designs for the model line, but the 2022 Tucson takes things a step further with dynamic exterior styling. The new looks include daytime running lights that appear to be an extension of the grille, mimicking its shape and extending out toward the fenders, while the headlights get positioned lower and wider. The innovative half-mirror daytime running lights blend in with the grille when off and are only visible when illuminated.
The 2022 Tucson profile reveals a long hood, a flat roofline and a chrome accent that begins at the mirror and follows the shape of the roofline before widening out as it extends into the rear pillar. The lower body is punctuated by a series of sharp lines and geometric angles in contrast to the smooth, flowing shape of the roofline. At the rear, the taillights are connected across the full width of the tailgate with concealed triangular shapes that become more visible when illuminated. The Hyundai logo moves up and becomes integrated with the rear glass; the rear wiper remains cleanly tucked up top, hidden beneath the rear spoiler.
Inside, the 2022 Tucson features an upper dash that wraps around front-seat occupants and flows into the upper door panels. Bucking the trend of tablet-like screens for the infotainment system, designers integrated the screen within the center stack, although they employed the tablet look for the instrumentation. Directly in front of the driver sits a flat screen — without a traditional hood — displaying all digital instrumentation.
2022 Tucson Interior
The 2022 Tucson also offers a 10.25-inch touchscreen with no physical buttons and multi-air ventilation — a temperature-adjustment system that provides indirect, diffused airflow for front-seat users. Tucson’s second-row seats feature fold-and-dive functionality to easily adjust between passenger and cargo needs.
Under the Hood
The new Tucson Hybrid features a drivetrain that pairs a turbocharged 1.6-liter gasoline engine producing 177 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque with a 44.2 kW electric motor and 1.49 kWh battery pack for an estimated total system output of 226 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque. Power is delivered through a 6-speed automatic transmission and standard HTRAC AWD. The U.S. EPA fuel-economy ratings for Tucson Hybrid Limited are 37 mpg city / 36 mpg highway / 37 mpg combined.
On the Road
The new Tucson possesses an attractive exterior design, underscored by a chassis delivering a fairly firm ride that is also controlled and comfortable, although the overall impressions is not as sporty as we would expect. The steering feels slightly numb on-center and not as responsive as we would like — perhaps partly due to the lane following system, which can be a little aggressive in some situations. The lane following works well on interstates; however, on secondary roads with more curves we prefer to disable the system and return more control to the driver.
Since we had previously driven the 2022 Tucson with the gasoline powertrain, the additional power of the Tucson Hybrid became immediately apparent — the driving experience is smooth and powerful. The Tucson Hybrid’s acceleration and overall driving demeanor help it closely resemble a traditional drivetrain, thanks to the 6-speed step-gear automatic transmission as opposed to a continuously variable transmission typically used in most hybrid setups. The Tucson Hybrid feels smooth and quiet overall compared to the gasoline version.
Different Driving Experience
Unlike many of today’s all-wheel-drive hybrid models that employ a separate rear electric motor for all-wheel-drive capability, the 2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid has the electric motor integrated into the transmission, as well as a transfer case and driveline to the rear axle for the HTRAC all-wheel-drive system. Again, it creates a different driving experience and Hyundai uses the configuration to its advantage with its e-handling technology.
After driving the 2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid, we came away appreciating the clean interior design with its integrated center display and symmetrical vents that wrap around both sides into the doors. The digital instrumentation screen on the Limited is bright and extremely easy to see, even without a traditional hood over the display. The Limited offers a two-tone interior that contributes to the crossover’s upscale impression. The work performed to lower interior noise is noticeable and laudable — the Tucson Hybrid Limited is quiet for a vehicle in this class.
A distinctive presence in a sea of compact crossovers, the all-new 2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid Limited is a smooth, powerful package that makes driving easy and enjoyable, and the interior feels upscale for this vehicle segment. Hyundai has done an excellent job with both design and engineering to make Tucson even more competitive. Shoppers seeking a small crossover should give Tucson Hybrid Limited serious consideration, especially if they like standing out from the crowd.