LOWER IN NORTHERN HEMISPHERE LATITUDE : and hence, hotter, than Santa Fe, New Mexico, sits a Sonoran Desert settlement established for New Spain by a red headed Dubliner turned late 18th century Spanish military territorial administrator. Ultimately becoming the oldest city incorporated in the State of Arizona, Tucson is from indigenous Aztecan O’odham phrase for “base of the dark mountain (Sentinel) peak.”
ELEVATED ABOVE LOW HIGH DESERT : Geographic and topographic reasons dictate that the model Tucson, occupies the space just beneath the model Santa Fe in Hyundai automotive brand hierarchy. If in the past, it seemed that features and finish besides size, differentiated the two crossover utility vehicles, such a distinction is no longer obvious. An all new 2022 Hyundai Tucson HEV 1.6T Hybrid AWD seeks to raise the bar of volume mid size crossover SUV to a higher level Senor Hugo Oconór (Hugh O’ Conor’s) would approve as befitting the nomenclature.
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WHAT: All-new 4th generation FX4 2022 Hyundai Tucson HEV Limited Hybrid AWD compact family crossover utility vehicle replaces a 3rd generation TL Tucson run.
Standard Power: 1591 cc Atkinson cycle, dual VVT-i DOHC 16V I-4 cylinder gasoline engine: 177 hp (131 kW) / 195 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm w/ idle stop and go + 6-speed torque converter automatic planetary transaxle + PTU to viscous multi-clutch differential all-wheel drive
NET HYBRID POWER RATING: 227 hp (169 kW) @ 5500 rpm, 258 lb-ft @ 1500-4400 rpm
parallel to: 1 x 240V synchronous AC traction / regenerative charging motor: 60 hp (45 kW) @ 1600 rpm, 195 lb-ft @ 0-1600 rpm
1 x 240V synchronous AC Hybrid Starter Generator: 8 kW
electric supply battery: 64 Lithium Ion Polymer cells, 270V, 6.0 amp hr, 1.50 kWh
√ Idle Stop and Go; -1 No dedicated EV mode
WHAT (A) STYLING DIFFERENCE: built a derivative of the larger TM Santa Fe‘s ND platform, the 2022 Hyundai Tucson adopts a fastback profile. Daring oblique diamond shapes take on prominence successfully filling the larger canvas.
Parametric Hidden Lights: like no other on an internal combustion car, the segmented graphite chain links hide boomerang arrays of white LED’s on the flanks forming the daytime running lights, with winged wrap around corner directionals. Bi level LED headlamps are located in lateral boomerang corner housings. Along with a triple creased curved arching hood it imparts a more tidy, yet powerful first impression.
Other Styling Notables: √ Aft louvered, dark clad, large wheel arches with thin flat sides; √ Curved fender & beltline crease arches with fore front door, then folds midway into front door; √ Second protruding beltine crease forms from mid front door, rising slightly to tail end; √ Mid rear door bump out flows to form wide rear quarter panel hips; √ Prominent boomerang dark lower body cladding; √ Green house slopes up to sloping roof at D-Pillar for Hofmeister kink; √ Upper door border satin metal trim slopes and widens with straking at D-Pillar.
√ Kammback liftgate, folding twice; √ Dark buttress roof rear spoiler; √ Inboard arrow chiseled lower corner directional light housings; √ LED bar spans below liftgate window connecting directional housings; √ Dark clad bumper cover w/ corner reflectors, middle textured diamond pattern; √ Tall satin metal simulated lower rear skid plate
WHY: Compact crossover now stand in exact footprint formerly occupied by mid sized ones.
WHEN: On-Sale (in the U.S.) since Winter 2020-2021
WHERE: Hyundai new vehicle dealers
WHERE MADE: Ulsan, Korea
WHERE TO: √ 4 Drive Modes: Eco, Smart, Sport, Snow; √ All-weather drive + locking viscous clutch differential + F:R active torque split from 100:00 to 50:50; √ Downhill brake control; √ 8.3″ ground clearance = just about right for segment.
Hyundai uses the verbatim ICE and hybrid powertrain pieces found on a Kia Sorento HEV 1.6T. (Curiously, the latter is unavailable with the Tucson Hybrid’s standard all-wheel drive.) Here, too, the mix of turbo and electric torque arrives with the progressive snap of a welcome six-speed planetary automatic, supplemented by steering wheel dorsal mount shift paddles, as opposed to most of the competition’s continuously variable band + pulley transaxle.
Greater rigidity resulting from more prevalent high tensile steel permits a more wheel travel generous geometry on the 2022 Hyundai Tucson. Benefiting from better controlled rebound damping, lateral movement is mostly harmonized. Expansion gaps aren’t upsetting in the least, while the barest rippling over washboards gives any machine hosting a Three Star hood ornament a run for its money. Steering winds smoother in reaction to inputs, though demands excessive corrections on the open road. Roadblazing.com editors found that despite excessive pedal travel, regenerative slowing doesn’t detract from modulation.
HOW FAR: -1 33 miles per gallon observed combined fuel economy = 10% < EPA estimate; 490 miles highway range
HOW BIG/ LITTLE: Cavernously sized for a compact family 2-Row crossover vehicle. While also produced in short wheelbase variant [for Europe], only the three (3.0″) inch longer wheelbase FX4 Tucson is sold in the U.S..
HOW USEFUL: √ Accessibly low load floor w/ liftgate bottom hand aperture; √ 60/40% split reclining, folding 2nd Row seatbacks w/ power release; √ Available cargo shade cover; +1 Dual level cargo floor + sub- floor storage management; +1 Wide front seat cushion; +1 Outward visibility from low cowl, narrow front & side pillars, tall tailgate window; +1 Front & 2nd Row door pocket storage; -1 Tow Rating: 2000 lbs.
PARTICULARLY USEFUL: +1 Power liftgate operation w/ available variable speed and proximity activation.
- Cargo Space: 38.8 – 74.5 cu.ft. = +13%, 23% vs. Ford Escape Hybrid; +3%, +7% vs. Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
- Tow Rating (max.): 2000 lbs. = 33% > Ford Escape Hybrid; 14% > Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
HOW SAFE: IIHS 2022 Top Pick Plus status: √ 6 airbags, √ Rear camera w/ fixed gridlines, √ Sonar audible park assist;
Driver assist technology (STANDARD): √ Blind Spot Warning (available); √ Forward collision, pedestrian avoidance braking; √ Adaptive cruise control (SEL & up); √ Lane departure warning, keep assist, trace; √ Rear Cross Traffic Alert, collision avoidance; √ Automatic high beam headlamps; √ 2nd Row occupant alert; +1 Safe exit street side warning & Row 2 lock-in
AVAILABLE SAFETY: (included on 2.5T Limited test vehicle): ♦ Navigation based adaptive cruise + curve control w/ highway assist; ♦ Blind View Monitor gauge cluster adjacent lane view; ♦ Ultrasonic rear occupant app alert; ♦ Park distance warning, front & rear; ♦ Park collision avoidance braking, rear; ♦ Surround view cameras; ♦ Rain sensing wipers.
HOW PEOPLE FRIENDLY: In Limited apparel, the 2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid unveils occupant space which handily rivals entry luxury cars in execution. Operations are anchored by two monolithic tablet style displays, much as is found in current PEVs, and a nearly flat surfaced center console featuring a three push-button transmission selector. The result is dramatically de-cluttering and seamless surface continuity. An elegant tandem lateral metallic banding spans the upper dash cowl, including vent-work then extending into door panels, where the upper layer is filled with ballistic fabric.
Check it out Elon: bridged steering wheel lower horizontal spokes render the optical illusion of an aircraft cockpit yoke.
√ Contrast stitched, perforated, leather seating, front heated & cooled, 2nd Row heated; √ Power front seats: Driver’s 10-way w/ 2-position memory, front passenger 8-way; √ 4 power windows = front x full express; √ Heated tilt & telescoping, cross-stitched leather wrapped steering wheel; √ Dual analog dial gauges √ Fore center console twin dial and button 2-zone automatic climate switchgear; √ Panoramic moonroof, power sunshade + fore open.
+1 Lower left lower dashboard dimmer & driver assist controls; +1 Wind & road noise isolation. +1 2nd Row door mounted seat heating switches.
Cool Gizmo(s): ♦ 10.25″ landscape embedded TFT virtual gauge cluster; ♦ Blind View Monitor video activated with directionals projecting within either circular gauge; ♦ “Sounds of Nature” ambient audio effects; ♦ Push button center console transmission selector; ♦ Retracting center console cupholder brackets; ♦ Hyundai Digital Key
Details Done Right: ♦ Fully padded and contrast stitched dashboard; ♦ Matte metallic and wood dashboard and door accents; ♦ Middle dashboard pebble grain; ♦ Metallic vent bezels; +1 Grooved metallic toggle integrated steering wheel spoke controls
Nearly Non Descript: -1 2nd Row and aft dark, hard grained plastic wall & pillars; -1 Climate control display reflective glare.
HOW CONNECTED: Upper center dash embedded 10.25″-inch capacitive touch LCD landscape oriented, split pane infotainment screen; +1 Large touch display icons; √ Voice learning hands-free communications; √ Native GPS HD voice command, guidance navigation + real time HD traffic + Doppler weather + fuel prices; √ BlueLink Apps.
- Helpful vehicle setting menu function pictograms
- Spatial filling 8 speaker, 8 channel Bose Centerpoint DSP HD radio, streaming audio upgrade
- +1 cool tube audio pictogram for radio modes
- -1 Acclimating to lack of physical audio and climate buttons, knobs
HOW “APP” -LICABLE:
√ Android Auto / Apple Car Play smart phone projection;
- +1 Voice commands for climate, audio, SMS and navigation inputs
By Subscription: Sirius XM streaming radio (90 days included trial); BlueLink Connected Service telematics (3 years included)
HOW MUCH: $38,730 = 2022 Hyundai Tucson HEV 1.6T Hybrid AWD;
WHAT’S MISSING: Media display dedicated audio knobs; Snappier gearbox; Better fuel economy in practice
BOTTOM LINE: Electrified daring diamond cut compact family CUV grows half a size, while shrinking to economy size drinking.