It’s pretty much fact that Hyundai and it’s various brands are absolutely slaying right now. I saw a Twitter reply that said “It’s kind of crazy how Hyundai releases more killer, cutting-edge designs in a week than some automakers do in a year.” That resonated with me, because yeah, that’s exactly what’s happening. And it’s not limited to their concepts, their production cars are fire as well (did I use that right?). So when Hyundai(‘s on contract vehicle fleet management folks) dropped off the new 2022 Hyundai Tucson Limited AWD Hybrid, I was pretty excited. Which is great, because I don’t really get excited about crossovers. Let’s see if this is another homerun for Hyundai. I promise, no Squid Game references this time round.
My Hoonicolleague Eric reviewed the the 2022 Tucson Limited back in June and noted that it was “among the best vehicles currently in the class” but said that the normal petrol engine was underpowered and urged buyers to consider the hybrid to get a bit more low end torque. We’ll see if that holds true in a bit, but first let’s check out the Tucson lineup for 2022.
You get four basic trim levels SE, SEL, N Line and Limited, well at least there are four sporting the dino-fueled gasoline engine. Things get a bit more complex when you add in the hybrid and plug-in hybrid which themselves come in three more trim levels: Blue Hybrid, SEL Convenience Hybrid and Limited Hybrid. You get all that? The gas engines can be had in FWD or AWD layouts, while the hybrid and plug-in Tucson’s all get standard “HTRAC” AWD.
Our steed is the top spec conventional hybrid version of the Limited, starting at $37,500.
The Limited is loaded, to say the least. Here, I’ll let Edmunds list out the highlighted features:
- Panoramic sunroof
- Dark chrome exterior trim
- Upgraded LED headlights
- Heated steering wheel
- Paddle shifters
- Power-adjustable front passenger seat
- Driver’s seat memory settings
- Heated rear seats
- 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen with navigation
- Blind-spot camera (displays an image of the vehicle’s blind spot in the instrument panel when you activate a turn signal)
- Lane keeping system (makes minor steering corrections to help keep the vehicle centered in its lane)
- Surround-view camera system (gives you a top-down view of the Tucson and its surroundings for tight parking situations)
All in, you’re only at $38,730 including inland freight and handling, plus a couple hundred for floor mats. I used to advise people not to pay destination, freight, handling, whatever they call it. However, we’re in stupid land at the moment when it comes to car buying, so if you can pay MSRP or less, you won. Let’s get to the meat and potatoes of the review.
The Tucson is a striking thing from the outside, and that may, or may not, play well with everyone. The stacked lighting up front is properly unique, not sure if it’s 100% attractive. That’s subjective though, and personally I dig the Mustang-style taillights connected across the middle. Overall, the style is compact and edgy, I like it overall.
There are some nice details, like the daytime running lights tucked up into the grill and the wipers tucked up under the bonnet.
I’m on the fence about the wheels. The geo-shaped “spokes” are definitely different and give the Tucson a feeling of motion, yes, even while stationary. They come across a little to “hey this is a hybrid” looking. There are the de rigueur creases and lines carving up the side, which used to make me pine for the old days. Now, every new vehicle has them, I’m just curious how they will age over time?
Hyundai isn’t just rocking the exterior designs, they are pushing the bounds of normal cars and crossovers with great materials and well-laid out controls (mostly). First, it’s just nice inside, just about the right size for a great daily driver. You may be saying “sure, for $40K it should be” and you’d be right. However, even the most basic vehicles these days are turning up with nice interiors, so it takes a lot impress me lately. I like the various screens, they did a great job with integrating them without making the dash look goofy. Basically I like any screen design that doesn’t look like it’s glued to the top of the dashboard.
It’s an interesting trend that I’ve been seeing across manufacturers where you can select multiple levels of automatic climate control. It used to be that you controlled the temperature with a knob and the speed of the fan with another. Then it was all “Auto”, set-it-and-forget-it. Now you can control how energetic the fan is while it’s still set on auto. It’s a great feature because sometimes I like the temp, but I’m like “bro calm down with that fan”. I don’t usually say that to the vehicle, that’s just for illustration.
Elsewhere from a interior controls perspective it’s a mixed bag. I still need a dial for the audio, it took forever to turn the My Pillow Guy down during a Pandora commercial break! They basically went the Volkswagen route and have everything as some sort of haptic feedback button. Thanks, I hate it. Now get off my lawn.
Interior space is solid, with 41.3 inches of rear legroom and 38.7 cu.ft. of space behind the back seats. I had a car full of kids (two in the back and the tall(er than me) one riding shotgun) and everyone was comfortable. It was a little challenging trying to get the LATCH car seat connection in, but it would probably get easier the longer you do it.
Our test loaner was powered by an Inline four-cylinder with an electric motor that combine for 227 horsepower. Compared to the sizeable 40 horsepower bump over the non hybrid Limited that Eric drove last summer. However, his wish for more torques didn’t manifest itself, they both have 178 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm. If you want max Tucson power, check out the PHEV version that has a total system output of 261 horsepower and 258 ft-lbs. of torque
Even with the extra 40 horses, the the hybrid Tucson still doesn’t feel all that quick. In Eco mode it’s super slow, especially off the line. In normal or sport settings, it gets moving a bit better. However, like most new cars, “sport” just bumps up the revs a bit and makes it less enjoyable to drive.
Overall though, aside from the buzzy sport mode, I had a similarly quite and comfortable experience. The Tucson Limited Hybrid would make a great daily driver, and its sub $40,000 price point out-the-door is well worth it.