When Hyundai first unveiled the 2022 Tucson earlier this year, it represented a very bold direction forward for the company. While the first production units went on sale in South Korea, U.S. customers were still left with a number of unanswered questions about the newest iteration of Tucson. But after a brief wait, Hyundai has unveiled the U.S. version of the Tucson, and it turned out that the Korean car giant still had some surprises to share with us.
Sporty N Line model ratchets up the fun factor
Hyundai has always been good at surprising the world, and the company managed to do so for assembled media in California, with three teaser images of the Sonata N Line. The appearance of the Tucson N Line is the latest example of Hyundai’s attempts at broadening the demand of its N Line models. With the Sonata and Elantra N Line covering the sedan segment, the Tucson will be the second utility to receive the N lIne treatment, and will serve as a stepping stone upwards for those eager to upgrade from the entry level focused Kona N Line.
The three renderings that Hyundai released appear to show that some minor styling tweaks are in store for the N Line, with the front fascia featuring revised grille work, a new lower front bumper, as well as other minor touches. The side profile shows off bigger wheels, but the biggest changes are found at the rear of the Tucson N Line. Here, designers gave it a reworked rear bumper, a bigger and more noticeable rear air diffuser, as well as what appear to be reworked exhaust outlets. It’s unknown what engine will power the Tucson N Line, but we suspect that the Sonata will donate its 290 horsepower 2.5 liter turbocharged four cylinder for the cause. If that plan holds true, this would allow consumers to have a noticeable bump in horsepower over the standard Tucson, and perhaps lure in new buyers that would otherwise go towards a more performance focused offering.
Technology aims to make 2022 Tucson a power player
The interior of the 2022 Tucson is a reflection of what many buyers want in a utility model, with a chic modern design being accented by high quality materials. Hyundai reps prefer that you call it the “INTERFACE” but its pretty obvious that it lifts alot of the core DNA that has made the current generation Sonata a smash hit with consumers. That’s evident with the steering wheel, as well as the basic dashboard layout which is also found on the Sonata. The instrument cluster features digital gauges, and it appears that they can be switched between several modes based on what we can see in some of Hyundai’s press images.
A big 10.25 inch infotainment screen is also brand new, and many of the hard buttons have been pitched for an all new control scheme that appears to incorporate more haptic feedback style controls. This type of control system has had mixed success out in the real world when it comes to some other vehicles we have experienced, but we look forward to checking it out for ourselves in the near future to see if it can indeed deliver on its claims or not. Our version of the Tucson will only be available in long wheel base form, which means that rear passengers will enjoy sizable increases in leg and head room, while cargo room with all the seats folded down shoots up to 38.7 cubic feet.
All new green technology aims to enhance fuel economy, and debuts new plug-in capability
The 2022 Hyundai Tucson aims to make a good impression with some of the new performance technology that’s on hand. While the biggest news to be found here is the addition of the two all new hybrid models (more on that in a minute) even the standard Tucson has plenty to offer customers. The 2022 model replaces the formerly optional 2.4 liter four cylinder with a slightly bigger 2.5 liter SmartStream direct and multi-port injected four cylinder that now makes 187 horsepower (a gain of 6) and 178 lb-ft of torque (a gain of 3.) An eight speed automatic is the sole transmission on tap here, and it helps smoothly funnel power to either the front or all four wheels.
However, the real stars of the show here are the two hybrid models that will be offered on the Tucson for the first time ever. The first will be a traditional style hybrid which is powered by a 1.6 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine. This spunky four banger is mated to a 44.2 kWh electric motor and a 1,49 kWh battery pack which allows the combination to make 226 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. While this should make the Hybrid a pretty compelling stoplight darling, the firm insists that fuel economy is the top priority here, with the hybrid enhancing that figure by 30 percent. A six speed automatic is on deck here, and benefits from revised gearing that’s designed to work better with the hybrid components.
Meanwhile, the plug-in hybrid also uses the 177 horsepower turbocharged four cylinder engine, but the PHEV gets a bigger battery and electric motor which helps push combined output to 261 horsepower. The combo also helps produce an all electric driving range of 28 miles, but it’s important to note that the Tucson PHEV does come up a bit short against the Toyota RAV4 Prime which offers more power, and a higher pure electric driving range to boot.
When can I buy one?
The 2022 Hyundai Tucson will begin making its way to U.S. showrooms in the spring of 2021. Hyundai has not formally released pricing for the Tucson as of yet, but look for the standard issue Tucson to not deviate too much from its predecessor in this regard. The real pricing changes could be seen with both hybrid models, which would put a small premium on their respective sticker prices before any federal tax credits are factored into the equation.
While the Tucson and its hybrid counterpart will arrive at roughly the same time, the plug-in version will bring up the rear, and make its consumer debut this summer. With a revamped exterior, new interior technology, and even a sharper green driving game, the 2022 Hyundai Tucson aims to claw its way to the top ranks of the SUV segment, and we hope that it can turn alot of heads in the process.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.