Chicago Auto Show Blog

2022 Hyundai Tucson

Posted by: Jim OBrill

A bold redesign that will shake up the segment
 
The fourth generation Hyundai Tucson is arriving on dealer lots now and it has customers scratching their heads... in a good way. Hyundai didn’t just sharpen their pencils on this one, they started with a fresh new box. I had the chance to bring the 2022 Tucson home for a couple days and this is one impressive compact crossover. This is arguably the most popular segment on the road today with every single manufacturer having a player (or two) in the game. All new inside and out with new powertrains, updated technology and a “sensuous sportiness” design while maintaining starting prices under $25,000 is impressive. 
 
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Starting with the exterior style, the Tucson a bold statement with what Hyundai describes as ‘parametric dynamics’ with kinetic, jewel-like surfaces. There are a lot of character lines in this one that capture the sunlight in a variety of ways. While it may not be for everyone, it does something really unique to the vehicle colors. Having brought home a Shimmering Silver Tucson, it was an interesting design study to see how all of the different edges/angles turned a silver vehicle into shiny prism in various lighting. The side profile features an elongated hood and a rounded rear c-pillar with a chrome accent piece that stretches across the windows into back c-pillar.  Counter to the gem-like look are squared off wheel arch body cladding to give it a more rugged vibe. When paired with the optional higher trim 19-inch wheels, it conveys athleticism.
 
Hyundai’s new ad campaign states “Question Everything” and that they did when it came to lighting up the new Tucson. All manufacturers have really stepped up their LED lighting signatures in recent years, but Hyundai decided to surprise and delight owners by hiding them. All Tucsons feature an innovative half-mirror type of daytime running lights embedded in the grille. When off, the front of the Tucson appears to have no headlights aside from the fog lights in the front fascia. When on, a strip of five LED lights illuminates adjacent to either a traditional silver grille or darkened chrome grille. Around back the Tucson LED lighting continues with a strip across the hatch and triangular taillights that carryover the theme from the front. Overall, there use of LED lighting is futuristic and modern making the Tucson a compact crossover that stands out. 
 
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Hopping inside, the overhaul continues with digital technology everywhere. The overall interior space is more open and cleaner with a vertical center console at the center and an available 10.25-inch full touch infotainment screen. The screen is fully digital and that means no volume knob or tuning knob to be found. The design is simple, modern, and materials are a step above, creating a space that feels more premium than its price point. Stepping up to the SEL trim level with Convenience Package or above also adds in a 10.25-inch hoodless digital cluster display.  The digital cluster is customizable to the drivers’ preferences and the entire digital layout changes with each drive mode selection. Also available on higher trim models is a push button gear selector in the center console while the traditional gear selector is still standard on lower-level SE and SEL models.  Other new features available in the Tucson are wireless charging with wireless Android Auto and Apple Car Play. 
Interior space is improved in the Tucson as well. Passenger volume is increased by 6-inches and cargo volume by 7.7-inches. Total cargo capacity is 38.7 cu. ft. behind the second row. This space is courtesy of the new Tucson’s longer-wheelbase which gives it another advantage over competition. The seats were comfortable and provided ample support. Heated and ventilated seats are also offered which can further be controlled via Hyundai’s remote start feature within the Blue Link App that allows your Tucson to be perfectly set when you get in on a cold or hot day. The second row of the Tucson was also very accommodating to adults and the available panoramic moonroof stretches from front to back making it one of the largest in the segment.
The changes continue under the hood of the 2022 Tucson as well with three powertrains available across three trim levels (SE, SEL, and Limited). 
 
New to the lineup is the addition of a turbocharged hybrid model and coming soon will be a plug-in hybrid. Available powertrains include:
  • 2.5L 4-cylinder that gets 187 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque
  • 1.6L Turbocharged hybrid produces 226 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque combined
  • 1.6L Turbocharged plug-in hybrid bumps up the horsepower to 261 with an estimated electric range of 30 miles
The 2.5L models are available with front wheel drive or all-wheel drive and pair to an 8-speed automatic transmission. Hybrid models all come standard with all-wheel drive and pair with a 6-speed automatic. The driving dynamics on all Tucsons have been improved to make it more agile than previous models which results in better handling, a smoother ride, and more responsive steering. 
 
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Like all Hyundai vehicles, they come standard with a long list of safety and driver assist features that continue to add to their overall value proposition.  Standard features include forward collision-avoidance with pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, high beam assist, driver attention warning, rear occupant alert intelligent speed assist, and lead vehicle departer alert. Other available features that come on higher trims or with one of the optional packages include blind-spot collision avoidance, rear cross traffic alert, safe exit warning, smart cruise control, surround view monitor, blind-sport monitor, parking distance warning, and remote parking assist. Speaking of the remote parking assist, often referred to as smart park, it is a neat trick that is quite easy to use. While standing near the vehicle, you can start it up via the remote and once activated, you can control the car at the touch of a button by moving it forward or back as if it was a remote-control car. The feature is very user0friendly and safe. Releasing the button immediately stops the Tucson.
 
The new Tucson is a big change for the compact crossover segment that will surely rock the boat. Prices start under $25,000 for the FWD SE model and can get into the $37,000 range for the top line Hybrid Limited models. And Hyundai is not stopping there as future extensions of the lineup include the plug-in hybrid coming soon, and an N Line version which ought to appeal to more enthusiast driver who want a sportier exterior. The Tucson just recently started arriving at dealerships and I’m already spotting many 2022 models on the road which is sure to be a good sign for one of Hyundai’s best-sellers. 
 
Click here for a video review of the Hyundai Tucson by Drive Chicago.
 
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