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2022 Hyundai Tucson – Exceptional

Hyundai Overachieves Again

Hyundai held the press preview for the 2022 Hyundai Tucson in April 2021.  At the event, they unveiled the all new Hyundai Santa Cruz.  The Santa Cruz is a personality-full small pickup with a four foot bed.  Hyundai calls it a sports adventure vehicle and that essentially opens up a new class.  What the Santa Cruz did was steal the thunder from the star of the show… the sub-compact crossover SUV Hyundai Tucson.  I had driven a similar sized Lincoln Corsair to Tucson for the event and it is interesting to compare a luxury brand entry with a mainstream brand entry in the same relative size class.

The 2022 Hyundai Tucson driven was a Limited model.  Fully loaded, the sticker price is $37,500.  The fully loaded Lincoln Corsair sticker price is $59,000.  The Corsair sticker at $59,000 includes all wheel drive, a 295-HP 4-cylinder turbo engine, head up display, 24-way adjustable front seats, adaptive suspension.  While the Tucson price seems high for a sub-compact crossover SUV it seems like a bargain when compared with the Corsair.  The premium for a luxury brand, even with more equipment not available on the Hyundai is steep.

Back to the 2022 Hyundai Tuscon itself.  I have learned to like this size of XSUV.  You give up a little in rear seat room.  You give up a little in cargo room, but they all do pretty well at Costco.  What you appreciate is that the front seat roominess is excellent.  Visibility is excellent and all the controls fall within reach.

This 4th generation Tucson is more distinctively styled than its predecessor.  The front end includes lights hidden in the honeycomb grill texture.  Cool.  The Limited model includes a reflector across the liftgate connecting the taillamps.  This gives the Tucson a wider look and is eye-catching.  The bodyside trim includes a bright garnish molding above the doors that sweeps from the A-pillar back down the D-Pillar.

The 2022 Hyundai Tucson I chose was “intense blue”with a gray interior.  Coincidentally, this is the same color combination of the Corsair driven to Tucson.  The Tucson’s interior is very nicely done.  The contrasting gray/charcoal color scheme comes across as very upscale.  The instrument cluster is a reconfigurable digital display and there is a 10.25” center display.  Following the old Ford adage of “democratization of technology”, the new Tucson has all of the new electronics and driver assistance technology you would expect.

The Tucson is powered by a 187-horsepower 2.5L 4-cylinder engine.  This is a 16% power increase over its predecessor.  Torque is 178 lb.ft. – 19% more than before. There are two hybrid versions.  The hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) has 226-horsepower and 265 ft.lb torque.  The plug in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) has 261-horsepower and 32 miles of pure electric range.

Whichever powertrain you choose, the Tucson is extremely easy to drive. It is quiet, smooth riding and capable.  Off-road (Hyundai did have an aggressive off-road course.  Most crossover events include only mild off-roading, or none at all.  Well done, Hyundai), the Tucson could handle whatever terrain that was thrown at it.

In summary, the all-new 2022 Hyundai Tucson looks good, is spacious where it needs to be, rides well and is well-equipped.  While it might not be a “segment dominator” as Hyundai positions it, AutoPacific judges it to be pretty darn good.

 

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