As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that’s especially true when it comes to some of the styling packages that Hyundai has cooked up for its SUVs over the past few years. When we last saw the XRT edition, it was being modeled by the Hyundai Santa Fe, and it was meant to help give the large family hauler a more rugged look. Hyundai has decided to spread the love and has given the hot-selling Tucson the XRT treatment for the new model year.
Reading The Same Script
If some elements of the Tucson’s presentation look familiar to the Santa Fe XRT’s, that’s because the package here largely follows the same playbook. Hyundai designers replaced much of the Tucson’s brightwork with blacked-out trim and added 19-inch black alloy wheels while running boards and extra side cladding help give the Tucson a trail-ready look. The XRT also gets a standard trailer hitch, and all XRT models come standard with a roof rack and side rails. It does a pretty decent job mimicking a Subaru, but we’ll wait until we have a chance to see it in person to deliver a final judgment.
Hyundai chose not to reveal any interior images but look for it also to follow the Santa Fe in this regard with black seating, accents, and a darkened headliner. This minimalist approach is fine with us since the Tucson’s interior already has plenty to offer buyers, and the last thing Hyundai needs to do is fix something that doesn’t require any attention.
Performance Retains Stock Tucson Orgins
The XRT models are not meant to be hardcore trail blazers, and that’s evident in the lack of performance upgrades for the Tucson. Like other models, XRTs are powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that’s good for 187 hp and is mated to an eight-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive is standard, but buyers looking for more four-season capability can add in an optional all-wheel-drive system.
As mentioned earlier, the Tucson XRT is not a hardened trail warrior, but it does excel in delivering value, with base models starting at $32,625 when ordered with front-wheel drive while all-wheel-drive models push the sticker higher to $34,125. Both of these figures include the $1,225 destination fee, and they appear to be on par with other borderline off-road packages that we have seen on some of the Tucson’s rivals over the past few years.
Look for the first Tucson XRTs to begin making their way to dealerships in early 2022, with the full rollout being completed shortly afterward. The XRT will face a diverse pool of contenders when it makes its way onto the scene, but Hyundai is confident that the combination of trail-ready style and value first pricing will be enough to draw people to showrooms.
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.