When it comes to radical updates, few can top the bold transformation that Hyundai has managed to achieve with the 2022 Tucson. The current-generation Tucson is the best-selling crossover that the company has in the U.S., but it was no secret the Tucson was starting to show its age, especially with rivals and even members of the Hyundai family being refreshed or significantly updated.
The Korean car giant is out to rectify that problem, and here’s 5 important things to know about the upcoming 2022 Tucson.
1. All in on style
The biggest change buyers will notice is the exterior styling on the 2022 Tucson. Any semblance of the old model has been eradicated, and it appears Hyundai staked all their chips on making a bold styling statement. While we’re still chewing over the meaning of descriptors like “parametric dynamics” and “kinetic jewel surface details,” the front fascia of the Tucson aims to eliminate any doubt about its broader goals.
The front grille features a triangular shaped design that’s mirrored from one end of the fascia to the other. This is an obvious call out to the recently unveiled Elantra, which uses similar triangular accents in its design.
The side profile is jam packed with personality, with at least three different design lines all fighting to be the center of visual attention. They also help lead the eye to the rear of the Tucson, where blade shaped LED taillights (and accompanying lightbar) add some much needed excitement to the CUV. Hyundai designers cleaned up the rest of the Tucson’s rear styling by doing small changes. This includes hiding the rear wiper arm in the lower portion of the roof spoiler, and even moving the familiar H badge into the window itself versus it’s old location on the lift gate.
While final judgement will ultimately be on the eyes of the beholder as far as it being an attractive design study is concerned, it’s no secret the Tucson’s segment is a very crowded place to compete, with a glut of entries all vying for the attention of family buyers. Unlike many of those models though, the 2022 Tucson is trying to be a distinctly different offering, and in a stale sea full of followers needing a distinct benchmark, we think the Tucson might just be the SUV that finally creates a benchmark for others to follow.
2. Technology and class define interior
With the exterior trying its best to shout its way to the top of the SUV charts, the interior prefers a more subdued approach, with a design that is clean, modern and fresh when compared to the outgoing Tucson. The driver’s hands are greeted by a steering wheel similar to what’s seen in the Sonata sedan, while higher quality materials help greatly enhance the luxury side of life. The Tucson also comes equipped with a fully digital instrument cluster that actually ditches the familiar hooded look for a simpler screen that rises out from the dashboard.
The infotainment system also sees a few updates, with an all new 10.3-inch dual-screen style display becoming the range topping infotainment choice for Tucson buyers. The screen is stacked on a touch sensitive climate control panel, and it appears to have fully embraced an all haptic feedback layout. A smaller 8.0-inch screen is available that has a few more hard buttons, with both systems featuring Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability.
Another feature that stands out to us is the all-new air quality system. The system monitors exterior pollution levels using a fine dust sensor and can actually purify the air if needed. Hyundai hasn’t confirmed if the air purification system will make its way to U.S. spec models, but with Hyundai being known for being willing to think outside the box, there’s a good chance it could make an appearance on higher spec models.
3. Greener performance and a hybrid too
Performance for the 2022 Hyundai Sonata will be familiar to those that have spent time behind the wheel of other current Hyundai offerings. Base models come equipped with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine carried over from the Hyundai Sonata, with the engine being good for 190 horsepower and 182 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic will be the sole transmission available with the engine. The spotlight here, though, is the appearance of an all-new hybrid model, with that variant pairing a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine, with an unknown electrification system. While it’s unknown how much power the combination will exactly make, several rumors are pointing towards roughly 230 horsepower which would give the Tucson Hybrid an impressive amount of performance to go along with its fuel-saving mission.
It’s also unknown what transmission will make its way to the hybrid model, but with the noticeable amount of Sonata DNA in the Tucson’s construction, we would not be shocked if the Sonata Hybrid’s six-speed automatic makes its way into the mix. A Tucson plug-in is also rumored to be in the wings, but we will have to wait before we learn more details about whether that’s indeed the case.
4. An N-Line is indeed coming
In addition to the aforementioned Tucson Hybrid, an N-Line model will also make its way to the Tucson for customers that prefer to add a subtle pinch of sport to their daily commute. This particular model was first hinted at in a report that the company released some time ago, and it would serve as the crown jewel of that particular family of vehicles. The Tucson N-Line would also not be the only N-Line utility in Hyundai’s ranks, with the 2021 Hyundai Kona also getting the package as part of its respective refresh.
Having a N-Line model would help the Tucson reach younger buyers, especially those that might have had a performance car in the past, and want to recreate some of that magic in a more family friendly package. As is the case with other N-Line models, we suspect that the styling alterations to the Tucson version would be relatively minor, with perhaps some slight changes to the front and rear fascias, as well as other splashes of sport focused style in the cabin.
5. When will we see it
As is often the case with other new Hyundai offerings, the Korean market will get first dibs on the next-generation Tucson, with the model going on sale there later this month as a 2021 model. As for the U.S. we get to wait a bit longer, with preliminary projections pointing to the model arriving here in the middle of next year as an early 2022 model.
Pricing has not been released for the 2022 Tucson as of yet, but with all the new equipment that’s coming to the model (as well as its revamped looks) prices could go up a bit from where they are now. However, look for that increase to not be a major change, with the 2022 model still maintaining a strong value per dollar advantage, especially when some of the more volume focused trims are thrown into the equation.
Check out the photo gallery below in the mean time for more Tucson photos to help make the wait go by quicker.