I’ll admit, I get a little tired of crossovers. Looking through my 2022 press loan review list, just over 1/3 were crossovers. It’s not that they are boring, it’s that they are all so good that it is becoming harder and harder to differentiate them. And no, I don’t mean that they all look alike. The cliché is becoming a bit, well cliché. Cars of generations prior all had similarities, once something starts selling well it gets emulated. So, doing something that stands out in the crowded crossover market is difficult. I just spent a week with a few crossovers in a row, including the Mazda CX-30 that I just reviewed, and now this 2022 Hyundai Tucson PHEV Limited AWD. Let’s see if it stands out in the crowded…crowd.
2022 Hyundai Tucson PHEV Overview
Luckily Hyundai has the 2022 Tucson PHEV still live on their website, and as you can see below your choice is pretty simple. Opt for the base SEL and you’re at $35,400 to start, while the Limited adds almost $8,000 to the bottom line.
You can’t really go wrong with either trim, in typical Hyundai (and Kia, and Genesis) fashion the base Tucson PHEV is incredibly well equipped with heated front seats, the usual Appledroid compatibility, LED lighting, and a more. Go for the upgraded Limited version and it’s quite a scene, you’ll get ventilated leather seating, a panoramic roof, larger 10.25-inch touchscreen (vs. eight-inch), and a ton more.
Our tester was painted in “Deep Sea” ($400 on their website, not listed on the monroney above for some reason) and aside from some floor mats ($195), there isn’t anything else added. In fact, their website’s build section only lets you add said mats, a cargo net ($55), and wheel locks ($65). All said, you’re looking at $44,640 with “inland freight & handling” which I guess means you’re paying for some sort of truck or train transport from the ship it arrived on.
I used to recommend that buyers try and negotiate that out of the equation, but hell I don’t even know what to suggest these days other than “avoid the ADM”.
2022 Hyundai Tucson PHEV Inside & Out
The Tucson PHEV looks basically like the regular Tucson, which is good. I’m not convinced that automakers should go out of their way to make an EV or plug-in look “special and different”. That will attract some buyers, but put others off, and in this case the Tucson PHEV looks like a compact crossover. Albeit a unique one, the front light and grille treatment stands out in the car park, that’s for sure. I like that they went with a dark chrome on the grille and other bits around the exterior vs. actual chrome. It’s a little fussy, there’s a lot going on there, but I like that it it doesn’t look like every other car on the road. Out back, it has a little bit of Mustang/Mach-E going on with the taillights, and I think it looks really sharp.
The side profile is solid as well, though there a lot of intersecting lines going on. That, combined with the extroverted wheel design is also a little busy, but it’s a good look overall. Somehow, the Tucson manages to be interesting without being weird or too eccentric.
On the inside, it’s typical Hyundai, and that’s a huge compliment. They are building some of the best interiors, both from a materials and a usability perspective. I love the little details, the texture of the top of the turn signal stalk that you turn the lights on and off with is really cool. It’s got a great texture and feels really solid.
Criticisms, I’ve got a few, but they are minor. I’m still not a big fan of buttons that are not actually buttons, instead they are just spots on the dash that you have to search for while driving. Still Hyundai did it better than Volkswagen, I didn’t find myself cursing at the Tucson like I did the ID4. Also, the heated steering wheel gets way too hot, or maybe it is the juxtaposition of the heated bits next to the cold metal elements built into the wheel. Almost every heated wheel has some element of “this part is warm, this part isn’t” but it stands out a bit in the Tucson Limited.
Those dials are cool though. Change the drive setting and you get a little animation to get you into whatever driving mood you’ve selected. Warp speed engage!
From a practicality standpoint, the Tucson PHEV has a very usable 31.9 cu.ft. of space behind the 2nd row. The Tucson was my Christmas day steed, shuttling some kids and presents to and from my parents place a few hours away. We ended up with plenty of space for us and the haul of gifts that returned with us. Drop the back seats and you’ve got 66.3 cu.ft. of space to work with.
2022 Hyundai Tucson PHEV On The Road
Overall, the Tucson was roomy and comfortable for our trip to see the grandparents, and it rides really smoothly on the highway. Around town the gas engine occasionally kicks in at a strange point, and the Tucson jolts forward awkwardly. Not sure if it was a transmission thing or just the start-stop feature.
With 261 horsepower and 258 lb-ft. on tap, it is downright quick in sport mode! Hyundai engineered a very urgent without feeling like it’s over revving. Sixty mph will arrive in around 7.6 seconds, not fast, but would have taken down a decently quick sport compact back in the 90s. There is only a 33 mile range for all-electric, and to be honest I didn’t even use it. The EPA-estimated 35 mpg combined rating was plenty good for around town errands and a road trip. Plus, like I just mentioned in my Mach-E close-out article, I don’t even have a convenient place to plug an EV in right now.
2022 Hyundai Tucson PHEV Summary
Which brings me to my big take-away here, the PHEV is really a sweet spot in the car world right now. Whenpeople ask me about EVs, I will recommend one depending on their situation. If they have a 2nd petrol-powered car that can tackle longer trips, it’s a great addition to the garage, especially for daily driving duty and errands around town. However, having a plug-in hybrid means owning a great all-arounder for almost any situation. You can make use of the EV model for shorter trips, and benefit from decent mpg, and a longer range when using the gas engine.
The bigger question will be, is the Tucson PHEV worth the premium over the regular Tucson? A loaded 2022 Tucson Limited will only run you $35,300 and still net you 29 mpg combined (26 city/33 highway) so the extra savings you’ll get on gas will depend on how much you’ll use it. It’ll likely take you a while to recoup that $8,000 premium unless you drive a ton.
Also, you may have noticed the disclaimer in the image up above, the 2022 Tucson Plug-in Hybrid is/was only sold in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont. So, there’s that. Still, the 2022 Hyundai Tucson PHEV is a fantastic crossover that does find a way to stand out in a crowded market.