Hyundai Reveals 2022 Tucson for U.S. Market
On Monday, Hyundai revealed the 2022 Hyundai Tucson that’s coming to the North American market. While the model technically made its debut back in September, we were forced to settle for the Euro-spec version. However, differences between the two are scant, with the U.S. reveal offering supplemental information and more detailed photography from the manufacturer.
The design is easy on the eyes and adheres to Hyundai’s current trend of providing interesting styling that knows exactly when to stop. The brand has miraculously failed to design a hideous automobile of late, despite constantly delivering vehicles with unique exteriors. Hyundai calls this one “Parametric Dynamics” because of the way the contrasting shapes and patterns play off each other to deliver something semi-traditional. While that sounds like marketing garbage, you can actually see this phenomenon in action in profile shots where intentionally angular budges play off each other to give a rounded appearance. It’s a highly non-traditional way of giving the Tucson a traditional shape and works surprisingly well.
Meanwhile, the sizable grille integrates the running lights and turn signals — giving the front a clean look despite how much is actually going on up there. Headlamps ride a little lower (Hyundai Kona style) and the rear lights look like they might have been lifted off an early draft of the Mustang Mach-E. Had it not come together so effectively, there would be a lot of oddball choices to dwell on. That’s especially true since the interior is pretty straightforward by comparison. Instrumentation exists as a rectangular lump positioned behind the steering wheel, with the center console being much the same. It’s drab but not wholly unappealing.
An 8-inch touchscreen (with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay) is standard on the base SE model, as is a small 4.2-inch display sandwiched between analog gauges. SEL-trimmed Tucsons receive a 10.2-inch digital gauge cluster to replace physical instrumentation as an option but it’s standard on the Limited. The latter also comes with a matching 10.2-inch central touchscreen running Hyundai’s latest software. It looks great but replaces just about every physical control you could imagine (including the volume knob) with touch-activated garbage.
We know we’re beating a horse that died years ago but switches and knobs are always better.
The Tucson’s base engine is a 2.5-liter four-banger producing 187 horsepower (at 6,100 rpm) and 178 pound-feet of torque (at 4,000 rpm). That adds 26 hp and 28 lb-ft of torque atop the outgoing Tucson’s 2.0-liter straight-four. It also edges out the optional 2.4-liter engine by a handful of ponies. Transmission options are limited to an eight-speed automatic (standard front-wheel drive; optional all-wheel drive) unless you’re considering adding a side of electrification.
The more-traditional hybrid option pairs a turbocharged 1.6-liter gasoline motor with an electric mill and one 1.49-kilowatt-hour battery pack for a combined output of 226 hp and 258 lb-ft. Hyundai suggested the unit would be around 30-percent more fuel-efficient than the 2.5-liter and noted that it would utilize a six-speed transmission and obligatory all-wheel drive.
Hyundai’s plug-in variant uses the same 1.6-liter turbo and transmission but adds a bigger electric motor and 13.8-kWh battery pack. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have all the specs ready for us and said it would need to do more testing before it got back to us.
Everything else relates to features, something the brand routinely seems happy to give without charging extra. Tucson gets automatic emergency braking with cyclist and pedestrian detection, lane-keeping with assist, rear-seat occupant alert, and automatic high beams free of charge. Adaptive cruise with stop and go, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic assist and safe exit warning can be added to that list if you move up the trim ladder. But the 360-degree camera system, Smart Park, front and rear parking sensors, and lane assistance for the adaptive cruise system is limited to the *ahem* Limited trim.
The car seems to come fairly well equipped in all formats but those wanting to order à la carte will be pleased to know Hyundai is offering a panoramic sunroof, proximity entry with push-button start, a hands-free power hatch, heated/ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a heated steering wheel, an upgraded Bose sound system, rain-sensing wipers, rear-seat USB ports, and wireless device charging — though some of that is locked into (or out of) specific trims.
There will also be an N Line Tucson for those wanting performance-model looks without the mechanics to back it up. Hyundai made it clear that the car will have most of the fancier options and several design features unique to N products while utilizing the base 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Thankfully, we’ve heard rumors that a legitimate performance variant is supposedly in development — though it’s likely years away from completion.
Hyundai says the standard Tucson will be built in South Korea and Alabama, with the hybrid and N Line versions coming exclusively from Asia. Pricing will be announced closer to launch, which should be the spring of 2021 for hybrid and gasoline models. PHEV Tucsons will follow in the summertime but we’re willing to bet it will have proven itself as a valid competitor by then.
The crossover boasts economy and power that should equal (if not gently surpass) offerings from Japanese rivals, though the base 2.5-liter does appear to be down on torque vs everything but Nissan’s Rogue. Cargo volume is a similar story, with the entire segment being extremely close. If the Tucson turns out to be even remotely fun to drive (the whole segment is kind of dull from behind the wheel) and is priced appropriately, it’ll clean up on the market.
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