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Kelley Blue Book: The 2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid is an enticing blend of power and fuel economy

Pros

Up to 38 mpg

Excellent power, all-wheel drive

Good safety suite and connectivity

Over 500 miles of range

Cons

No volume or station knobs for the audio system

No spare tire

Touch-sensitive buttons lack “feel”

Slightly smaller fuel tank than standard Tucson

What’s new?

All-new gasoline/electric hybrid for 2022

All Tucson Hybrids are all-wheel drive

Made in Ulsan, South Korea

Price: The 2022 Hyundai
HYMTF,
+2.39%

Tucson Hybrid starts at $29,350. The midrange SEL Convenience model begins at $31,950. And the Hybrid Limited, with a nav system and heated rear seats, starts at $37,650.

An all-new vehicle for 2022, the Hyundai Tucson Hybrid is currently being sold alongside an all-new standard Tucson equipped with a conventional internal combustion engine and is covered here on KBB.com. Naturally, the new Tucson Hybrid is based on the same excellent new chassis, which is super rigid and offers abundant back-seat room. For those who want 32 miles of pure-electric range, the 2022 Hyundai Tucson Plug-in Hybrid is also available.

The 2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid

Hyundai

This new Hyundai, the first gasoline/electric Tucson ever, represents an enticing blend of power and economy. Its hybrid powertrain puts out 226 total horsepower, making it significantly quicker than a standard 187-horsepower Tucson. Also, the new Tucson Hybrid is rated by the EPA at up to 38 mpg combined, which is significantly better than the 26-mpg combined rating of the standard AWD Tucson.

With its solid underpinnings, excellent refinement, superb powertrain warranty, and generous list of safety and convenience features, the 2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid has already begun to pull some attention away from the Ford
F,
-2.40%

Escape Hybrid, the Honda
HMC,
-0.49%

CR-V Hybrid, and the Toyota
TM,
+1.71%

RAV4 Hybrid.

2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid pricing

The base Hyundai Tucson Hybrid, the Blue, has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $29,350, plus a destination charge. It’s equipped much like a non-hybrid Tucson SEL with AWD, but with the hybrid powertrain and a Tire Mobility Kit in place of a spare tire.

As a Tucson Hybrid SEL Convenience, this new Hyundai has an MSRP of $31,950. This Tucson Hybrid is similar to the non-hybrid SEL AWD model, but with a Convenience Option Package that includes a panoramic sunroof (replacing the standard sunroof).

The top Tucson Hybrid, the Limited, starts at $37,650. It’s loaded with equipment like a surround-view monitor, 10.25-inch navigation screen, heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, and Remote Smart Park Assist.

A 2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid, for comparison, is priced from $31,610 (EX) to $37,400 (Touring). The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid ranges from $29,075 (LE) to $37,575 (Limited), and the Ford Escape Hybrid goes from $28,495 (SE Sport) or $36,500 (AWD Titanium).

Driving the 2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid

KBB drove a 2022 Hyundai Tucson Limited AWD, an Amazon Gray model with a gray interior and an MSRP of $37,350.

From the moment you press the accelerator pedal, you can tell the Tucson Hybrid — with its turbocharged 1.6-liter gas engine and transmission-mounted electric motor—has quite a bit more power than a standard Tucson with the new 2.5-liter 4-cylinder. It simply feels snappier and more responsive than a standard Tucson.

Although the Tucson Hybrid has a 6-speed automatic transmission instead of the standard Tucson’s 8-speed automatic, the added torque of the electrified hybrid powertrain makes the lack of ratios irrelevant. In all situations, the Tucson Hybrid felt plenty powerful and in the right gear. The Hybrid, of note, has shift paddles, which come in handy for an extra bit of slowing on long downhills.

Also see: The 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid gives you space, versatility, AWD and excellent fuel economy

Moreover, the interaction of the gasoline and electric powertrains felt remarkably smooth. It’s so quiet inside that you sometimes have to look at the gauges to see if the Tucson Hybrid is running on gas, electricity, or some combination thereof.

There are four driving modes (Eco, Sport, Smart, Snow), and you can lock the fore/aft power split at 50/50 if you’re going to be driving on dirt or snowy roads.

The suspension tuning is a bit firm but in keeping with the sporty nature of the new Tucson Hybrid Limited, which is rated at 37 mpg combined by the EPA. While this fuel economy is good, we wonder if Hyundai could have sacrificed a little power for economy and made a 40-mpg Tucson Hybrid with roughly the same power as the standard internal-combustion Tucson.

Regardless, the new 2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid shines in all areas. It’s roomy and solid, comfortable and refined, practical but attractive, and its best characteristic is its satisfying blend of performance and economy. All for a price that’s only $1,150 more than a standard Tucson SEL with AWD.

The 2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid

Hyundai

Interior comfort

We’re happy to report that the Tucson Hybrid interior is as roomy as that of a standard new Tucson, with a cargo area that’s just as large – rear seat up or down.

The most affordable Tucson Hybrid, the Blue, has an attractively styled 5-seat cabin with cloth seats and a particularly roomy rear bench that splits 60/40 and folds forward via levers in the cargo compartment. The driver’s seat is power-adjustable, with lumbar, and both front seats are heated.

In Blue trim, the Tucson Hybrid has a 4.2-inch instrument display and an 8.0-inch touchscreen audio system. Welcome features include dual-zone automatic climate control, adaptive cruise control, paddle shifters, and wireless Apple
AAPL,
+0.82%

CarPlay/Android Auto.

In SEL Convenience trim, the Tucson Hybrid gets a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, together with wireless smartphone charging, panoramic sunroof, power hatch, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and LED lighting.

As a Hybrid Limited, this top Tucson is equipped with leather upholstery, heated power front seats, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, and a 10.25-inch touchscreen with navigation and a Bose audio system. It also gets soft-touch door panels and a voice-controlled climate-control system with capacitive-touch controls. The hoodless 10.25-inch digital instrument panel (which looks a bit like an iPad set on its side) is complemented by Remote Park Assist and the Hyundai Digital Key.

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Exterior styling

Like the standard new Tucson, the Hybrid was styled using “Parametric Dynamics,” the term Hyundai designers use to describe the jewel-like surface detailing that helps this 3rd-generation model stand out from the crowded compact SUV crowd.

Helping to do that (and make the vehicle appeal to tech-savvy buyers) are half-mirror-type daytime running lamps (DRLs) integrated into the Tucson grille but are visible only when illuminated. These lights are optional on the Blue and standard on the Limited.

Viewed from the side, the 2-box Tucson has a profile (with a long hood, flat roof, and short overhangs) that gives the vehicle a sporty ready-for-anything character. Crisp geometric angles in the body sides are specifically designed to contrast with the sleek vehicle profile. We like how the chrome trim line follows the arc of the roofline and gets thicker as it travels rearward from side mirrors to C-pillars.

The Hyundai logo on the back of the Tucson has been integrated into the rear glass, where the rear wiper is cleverly concealed by the spoiler. Some say the vertical-slit taillights are a bit reminiscent of those used on the Ford Mustang Mach-E.

How do you identify a Tucson Hybrid? Easy. Look for the hybrid badge on the rear liftgate.

Also read: ‘It feels like we’re being robbed’: Carpooling, waiting in line for Costco gas, and no more driving grandkids. Reluctantly, Americans adapt to rising gas prices.

Favorite features

HTRAC AWD
All Tucson Hybrids have HTRAC all-wheel drive (AWD). This gives the vehicle greater adaptability to varying terrain and weather conditions. HTRAC features an electronic variable torque split between the front and rear axles, and there are four selectable drive modes: Normal, Sport, Smart, and Snow. In Sport, more torque is sent to the rear wheels.

E-handling technology
With e-handling technology, the Tucson Hybrid applies electric motor torque control to certain wheels for improved cornering performance.

When the Tucson Hybrid turns into a corner, the electric motor system applies incremental braking force to the front wheels, which enhances their traction and quickens steering response. Then, as the Tucson Hybrid goes through the corner, more torque goes rearward for better acceleration out of the turn. All this happens unbeknownst to the driver, but it’s apparent in the Tucson Hybrid’s impressive cornering composure.

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Standard features

As a Hybrid Blue model, the new 2022 Hyundai Tucson is well equipped. Standard fare includes 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic climate control, rear air conditioning vents, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, adaptive cruise control, a push-button starter, and a thorough safety suite that includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.

When you move up to the SEL Convenience trim, the Tucson Hybrid gets a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, plus a panoramic sunroof, a wireless smartphone charger, and a power liftgate.

The top model, the Tucson Hybrid Limited, doesn’t lack much. Besides leather upholstery and heated front and rear seats, the Hybrid Limited comes with 19-inch alloy wheels, 10.25-inch touchscreen, navigation, Bose audio, soft-touch door panels, and a voice-controlled climate-control system.

The Limited also has a 10.25-inch digital instrument panel, Remote Park Assist, the Hyundai Digital Key, and a more thorough safety suite that includes a surround-view monitor and the company’s outstanding blind-view monitor. This last item eliminates the Tucson’s rear three-quarter blind spot by displaying it on the instrument panel whenever a turn signal is used.

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Factory options

A few notable options are available on the Hyundai Tucson Hybrid Blue. These include the highly recommended 10.25-inch digital instrument panel, a panoramic sunroof, a dark chrome accent grille, leather-trimmed seats, and the 12-speaker Bose audio system.

You can also get the Tucson Hybrid Blue with a wireless smartphone charger and soft-touch door panels, the latter serving to help keep your elbows from getting sore on long trips.

Apart from Deep Sea and Quartz White paint (both $350), the opulent Tucson Hybrid Limited has few options.

Engine and transmission

By itself, the Tucson Hybrid’s turbocharged and direct-injected 1.6-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine puts out 180 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 195 lb-ft of torque from 1,500 rpm to 4,500 rpm. But when it’s working together with the 44.2-kW electric motor and 1.49-kWh lithium-polymer battery pack, the total output of the hybrid gas/electric powertrain is an impressive 226 horsepower and an estimated 258 lb-ft of torque.

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That compares favorably to the naturally aspirated 2.5-liter 4-cylinder in the standard Tucson, which puts out 187 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque. According to Hyundai, the Tucson Hybrid, which is equipped with a 6-speed automatic transmission, has a 30 percent more efficient powertrain than a standard Tucson’s, with 20 percent more torque.

In EPA fuel economy, the 2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid Blue comes in at 38 mpg city/38 mpg highway/38 mpg combined. The other Tucson Hybrids, the SEL Convenience and the Limited, are rated at 37 mpg city/36 mpg highway/37 mpg combined. Regardless of trim level, all Tucson Hybrids have a range in excess of 500 miles. On the downside, the new SUV’s 13.7-gallon fuel tank is slightly smaller than a standard Tucson’s 14.3-gallon capacity.

For comparison, the 2022 Honda CR-V Hybrid is rated at 40 mpg city/35 mpg highway/38 mpg combined, while the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid comes in at 41 mpg city/38 mpg highway/40 mpg combined.

A standard AWD Tucson with the 2.5-liter engine and standard 8-speed automatic transmission comes in at 24 mpg city/29 mpg highway/26i mpg combined.

The max tow capacity of the 2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid is 2,000 pounds (with a braked trailer).

Turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine
44.2-kW electric motor
226 total horsepower
258 lb-ft of total torque (estimated)
EPA city/highway/combined fuel economy: 38 mpg/38 mpg/38 mpg (Blue), 37 mpg/36 mpg/37 mpg (SEL Convenience, Limited)

This story originally ran on KBB.com

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