Class: Compact Crossover SUV
Miles driven: 425
Fuel used: 11.8 gallons
|CG Report Card|
|Room and Comfort||A-|
|Power and Performance||B|
|Fit and Finish||B|
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.|
|Big & Tall Comfort|
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.|
|Engine Specs||226-hp 1.6-liter|
|Engine Type||Turbo 4-cyl hybrid|
Real-world fuel economy: 36.0 mpg
Driving mix: 65% city, 35% highway
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 37/36/37 (mpg city/highway/combined)
Fuel type: Regular gas
Base price: $37,350 (not including $1185 destination charge)
Options on test vehicle: Carpeted floor mats ($169)
Price as tested: $38,704
The great: Excellent passenger and cargo space for the class, fuel-efficient hybrid powertrain; generous level of standard equipment
The good: Pleasant ride quality; feature-rich infotainment system and digital gauge display
The not so good: Occasionally non-linear acceleration; not all testers like touch-sensitive controls
Odd as it may seem to think it, a hot market segment is both a blessing and a curse to an automaker. The benefit is that there may be plenty of eager buyers swarming around its entry in the field. The challenge is that there’s probably plenty of competition chasing those customers’ dollars, too. Standing out from the crowd is a never-ending battle.
In that case, you have to think that Hyundai is happy to have an all-new Tucson at its disposal for 2022. The fourth-generation compact SUV stirs the bubbling pot for small sport-utes by growing longer—with improvements in passenger and cargo space—adding features, and welcoming its first hybrids.
Consumer Guide put one of the new gas/electric models to the test, a top-trim Limited. At $38,535 to start (with delivery), it clocks in at $1250 more than its closest match among gas models, the all-wheel-drive Limited. (Hybrids come only with AWD, while gas-engine jobs all have the choice of front-wheel drive as well.) Stepping down through the 3-tiered hybrid lineup includes the SEL Convenience for $32,835 and the Blue at $30,235. A limited list of extra-cost accessories is all that can be added to hybrids. Otherwise, equipment levels are baked into the individual models.
Any ’22 Tucson includes forward-collision-avoidance assist, lane-keep assist, high-beam assist, intelligent speed-limit assist, driver-attention warning, rear-occupant alert, automatic LED headlamps, and Apple Car Play/Android Auto connectivity. All but the gas-engine SE come with keyless entry and push-button starting. The redesign gave Hyundai the chance to slip a couple of its newer tricks into the Tucson. One is Remote Smart Park Assist, which permits an operator standing outside the car to park or extract it from a confined space, and it can be activated through the multifarious Digital Key smartphone app that is standard on all Limiteds and the SEL Convenience. Another is Blind View Monitor that trains a camera on the area along either side—whenever that side’s turn signal is activated—to show the blind spot on the 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster that is included with those same upper-end models.
Limiteds like the one that CG sampled come with quite a few other bits and pieces for their starting price. External items are a panoramic sunroof, 19-inch alloy wheels, black grille, projector-type headlights, premium LED daytime running lights, LED taillamps, heated side mirrors, rain-sensing windshield wipers, roof rails, and hands-free power liftgate. The interior boasts leather seats, power front seats with driver’s-seat memory function, heated steering wheel and seats all around, ventilated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate system, and AM/FM/HD radio with satellite radio and Bose premium sound. Technology features run to adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, 10.25-inch infotainment-system touchscreen, navigation, twin front USB outlets, wireless charging, and Hyundai Blue Link remote services.
The hybrid powerteam links a 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder gas engine with a 44.2-kW electric motor and a 6-speed automatic transmission. The two powerplants produce 226 system horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. It’s enough for fairly relaxed highway cruising and somewhat sprightly around-town behavior. However, a good tromp of the pedal from a standstill has to wait for the turbo to clear its throat and then the trans gets a hitch in its giddy-up during an upshift, so power delivery under the circumstances is nowhere near linear.
Under lesser load the transmission actually works quite unobtrusively. So do the switch-offs between electric and gas operation. SEL Convenience and Limited hybrids have an EPA fuel-economy rating of 37 mpg in the city, 36 mpg on the highway, and 37 combined (the Blue is pegged at 38 across the board). Our observed fuel economy was right in line with those numbers.
Damping meets its limit on pavement cracks that can put a good charge in the structure. For the majority of the time, though, the Tucson rides and handles decently, and corners with a nice level of composure. The sometimes-sketchy brake-pedal feel that’s been known to haunt hybrids wasn’t terribly obvious in the test truck.
Exterior styling is bolder than you’ll find on a good many other mass-market small crossovers (and may not be everybody’s cup of tea). The new trappings go with a wheelbase that is 3.4 inches longer than on the gen-3 vehicle and a body that is 6.1 inches longer from end to end. Add in slight increases of height and width and there’s roughly 6 percent more passenger room and 25 percent more cargo space than before.
Indeed, cargo capacity of 38.7 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 80.3 cubic feet with the seats down ranks among the largest in the Tucson’s class. There is excellent organized bonus space under the flat cargo floor, and the backs of the 60/40-split rear seats fold at a slight angle that matches the floor. Levers in the side panels permit handy remote release of the seat backs.
There’s good small-vehicle passenger room in both rows of the attractive, if not lavish, interior. Controls are relatively simple to decipher but audio, climate, navigation, and other functions are dependent on numerous touch-sensitive buttons that can be tricky to use—you’re never really quite sure that you’ve made full contact. The button-activated transmission selector takes a little getting used to, as well. In-cabin storage is just average with a good glove box, deep but not long console box, door pockets, lighted pockets on either side of the console, net pouches on the backs of both front seats, bottle holders in rear doors, and cup holders in the console and rear armrest (though those in back are not as wide around as up front).
Hyundai has created more to like about its compact crossover SUV, and expanded buyers’ choices. It’s the right way to stand out in a crowded field that won’t stay static for long.
2022 Hyundai Tucson Limited Hybrid Gallery
(Click below for enlarged images)
2022 Hyundai Tucson Limited Hybrid
2022 Hyundai Tucson Limited Hybrid
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