2022 Hyundai Tucson
It was time to shake up the most competitive segment with something completely bold and out of the box.
That was what Hyundai had in mind for the 2022 Tucson. Something that spoke to the segment that needed fresh vehicles to compete with the leaders. It also had to be different from everyone else, if not distinctive enough to be found in a parking lot amongst its competitors.
However, Hyundai went further than anyone expected with the new Tucson. Now, we get to find out whether if this will help put it out front of the segment.
There are many words that describe the 2022 Tucson. Bold, different, in-your-face, disruptive…all of these words are described in a very positive manner.
Those words perfectly describe the exterior design. The front end is nothing we have seen in a production vehicle. The driving lamps form wings from the large bold grille. The headlamp units are tucked away off to each edge of the front clip. The lines from this front clip to a sporty fastback-line roofline and a boldly sculpted profile. The satin chrome strip above the side window silhouette sets the roof off very nicely. The rear end sports a pair of split vertical taillamps that dictate the form of the liftgate.
Our Limited tester wore five-spoke 19-inch alloy wheels and some chrome trim that is both bold and subtle at the same time.
Needless to say, the exterior of the 2022 Tucson is much better in person than in the stock images. It is very three-dimensional and actually quite friendly to the eye. This SUV is a vision of 2022 that have finally been realized in metal, glass, and plastic.
That same theme continues inside with perhaps the best instrument panel in Hyundai’s history. It is a cockpit-like design that is bridged by a touch capacitive integrated center stack. The 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster is of Hyundai’s new school of design with customizable readouts and themes based on the drive mode you select. It is set behind Hyundai’s four-spoke steering wheel, full of logical and solid switches.
Part of the new center stack is a new 10.25-inch touchscreen that houses all functions from smartphone integration to navigation. There are no knobs, which means you have to touch the piano black surrounds for climate and infotainment controls. The center console now houses Hyundai’s push-button transmission actuator and all of the drive functions. These console controls are set closer to the driver for easier functionality.
Our Limited tester wore perforated leather seating offering some support and comfort. There is a plastic piece below the headrest set with a satin chrome strip on each front seat. Taller and wide-shouldered drivers did not feel comfortable with that piece of plastic behind their upper backs. The rear seats offer excellent leg and head room, along with solid comfort.
The cargo hold is very spacious. It starts with 41.2 cubic feet behind the rear seats, expanding to 80.3 cubic feet with those seats folded down.
Currently, the 2022 Tucson has a choice of a normal gasoline engine or a hybrid driveline across their lineup. Our tester was powered by the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine seen on other Hyundai models. The Tucson’s version has 187 horsepower on tap, with 178 pound-feet of torque. This engine is connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission and Hyundai’s HTrac all-wheel-drive system.
Performance overall is very good. The 2022 Tucson held its own around town, as well as on the highway. In terms of fuel economy, we saw an average of 25.2 MPG.
The driving experience has also taken a huge leap from previous generations of Tucsons. The ride quality is smoother than before. The suspension did a very good job managing rougher road surfaces without sacrificing cabin quality. It also handles quite well with nominal lean and roll through evasive maneuvers and corners.
We found the turning radius to be tight, even with some artificial feel from the steering system itself. On-center feel is solid. We love the braking system with its sure stops in normal and panic situations. Pedal feel is solid and response to the system is very good.
The new Tucson is part of a new wave of vehicles debuting this year to challenge the proven leaders in its class – namely the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. However, the Tucson is still compared to its other rivals, including the Nissan Rogue, Mitsubishi Outlander, Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Escape, Jeep Cherokee, Volkswagen Tiguan, Kia Sportage, Subaru Forester, and Mazda CX-5.
Bold and disruptive are two main words that describe the 2022 Hyundai Tucson. It is also a head-turner. It seems that we will be seeing more Tucsons on the road than before. From our experience in one, we think the world would be a better place with more of these present-day SUVs on the road.
Story Credits: CarSoup Editors