2022 Hyundai Tucson Review

2022 Hyundai Tucson - Completely new for '22, Hyundai's Tucson cuts a bold path to prosperity.


Entering its fourth iteration, the Hyundai Tucson is all-new for 2022. Remaining a compact crossover with 4-doors and seating for 5 passengers, Tucson gets fresh styling, new engines, additional tech and a hybrid and plug-in hybrid model. Competitors include the Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Jeep Cherokee, Mazda CX-5, Nissan Rogue, Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4 and Volkswagen Tiguan. As before, Tucson remains mechanically similar to the Kia Sportage.

Trim levels include the SE, Blue, SEL, N-Line, XRT and Limited. Powertrain choices include a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that makes 187 horsepower, a hybrid 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that has a combined output of 227 horsepower and a plug-in hybrid 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that offers a total of 261 horsepower and an all-electric driving range, when fully charged, of 33 miles. The standard gasoline engine can be had with front- or all-wheel drive and mates to an eight-speed automatic. Hybrid models come standard with all-wheel drive and get a six-speed automatic transmission. When properly equipped maximum towing capacity is 2,000 pounds.

Tucson is loaded with standard safety technology, including forward-collision warning, lane-keeping assist and a rear-seat reminder. SEL adds blind-spot monitor and adaptive cruise control. Also standard on all models is wireless support for Apple Car Play and Android Auto. Gas-model prices start at $26,00 and climb to $35,000. The Hybrid is available only in Blue, SEL and Limited trim and it starts at $33,000 and climbs to more than $45,000 for the Limited plug-in.

Tucson's base engine is somewhat of a dud. It provides merely adequate around-town acceleration and modest passing punch on the highway. With a 0 to 60 MPH time of more than 10 seconds, the base Tucson might be slowest vehicle in the class. Add a few passengers or a load of cargo and things really slow down. Thankfully, there's a hybrid option that's not all that much more money.

The hybrid model offers snapper all-around performance, albeit somewhat docile with a 0 to 60 MPH time of about 8 seconds. Still, the 6-speed automatic provides a much more natural feeling as compared to the continuously variable automatics in other hybrids. Overall, the Tucson hybrid is about a second slower than CR-V and RAV4.

Like most vehicles in this class, the Tucson is a soft roader, meaning it's not intended to venture far off paved surfaces. It's all-wheel-drive system does not have a low range and there's not much ground clearance or even available off-road goodies for the adventurous set.

Tucson fuel economy numbers fall into the middle of the class, with EPA ratings of 26/33 MPG for front-drive and 24/29 MPG for all-wheel drive. Step up to the hybrid and you'll find an EPA rating of 37/36 MPG, impressive, but a few MPGs behind CR-V and RAV4 hybrids. In routine driving expect to average about 28 MPG with the gas-only model. The 14.3-gallon gas tank provides about 380 miles of range between fill ups.

On the road, Tucson feels much more athletic than the model it replaces. No, it's not a sport sedan, but it's competitive    with others in the class from a ride-and-handling perspective. One drawback are somewhat underwhelming brakes. While the pedal modulation is good, overall stopping power is a modest 129 feet from 60 MPH, which is average for the class. That is somewhat offset by precise steering and modest body lean. Throw the Tucson around a bit and you'll be rewarded with quick and managed responses from the suspension that make it feel smaller than it really is.

From a ride quality standpoint, buyers are surely going to like the easy-going nature of Tucson. The suspension does an excellent job of filtering out the big stuff while still maintaining enough control to quell unwanted body motions. There is more interior noise than you might expect, however, especially at highway speeds.

Fresh styling aside, the biggest change with the new Tucson is just that, it's bigger. Tucson grows 3 inches in wheelbase and 6 inches in length for 2022. Almost all of that gain goes into the interior where Tucson provides a spacious cabin and ample cargo room. The design is fairly de-facto for Hyundai these days with a digital gauge cluster and a formal upright center stack loaded with a large touch screen and lots of buttons. Materials seem appropriate for the class and the build quality was excellent for an early production model.

The front seats are somewhat narrow, but well cushioned and provide good long-haul support. Head and leg room are ample. The center console is thick, but at least it is the right height to provide a comfortable armrest. There's also some small storage underneath. Rear seats are spacious and provide ample room for two large adults, regardless of the front-seat position. There's even enough width for three in back. With a modest ride height and wide-opening doors it is easy to get in and out.

From a driver's perspective, there is good visibility forward, but thick pillars can create blind spots at times. The gauge cluster is easy to read, day or night, but should be more customizable since it is fully digital. The center-stack touch screen is large but isn't fully utilized with Android Auto or Apple Car Play and the sameness of buttons and lack of a true volume and tuning knob is a turnoff.

Cargo capacity tops out at about 75 cubic feet -- exceptional for the compact class. Even with the rear seats in use, there's about 40 cubic feet of cargo space. Interior storage is modest, but at least there is an available wireless charging dock.

Bottom Line -- Given its extensive redesign, you may not recognize the new Tucson. Fear not though, it's better in every way than the outgoing model. Strong points include a roomy cabin, pleasing driving nature and lots of safety and technology features. However, the bland base engine holds it back against class leaders like the CR-V and Mazda CX-5. The addition of a hybrid model is welcome and brings a welcome upgrade in both performance and economy. Hyundai also offers one of the best warranties in the business and has strong resale values.

Mark Bilek

Mark Bilek is the Senior Director of Communications and Technology for the Chicago Auto Trade Association and the General Manager for DriveChicago.com. He is also responsible for developing and maintaining the Chicago Auto Show Web site.

Mark has been reviewing vehicles for more than two decades. Previously, he was associate publisher at Consumer Guide, where he oversaw publication of Consumer Guide Car & Truck Test, Consumer Guide's Used Car Book, and ConsumerGuide.com. He was also responsible for publication of "Collectible Automobile" and various hardcover automotive titles. In 2001 and 2002 he served as president of a Midwest Automotive Media Association. Mark has appeared on NBC TV, ABC TV, Fox News, WGN and MotorTrend TV as an automotive consultant. He hosts the Drive Chicago radio show on WLS 890 AM and was a regular guest on WGN Radio's Steve & Johnnie show. Mark lives in the northwest suburbs with his wife and three sons.