Road Beat: Review ~ 2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid is all about style | South Lake Tahoe

Style, style, style. Here is living proof that crossing people doesn’t have to be boring.

How (attempt to) dethrone such a normality like the Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V? By building something like the all-new Tucson. From Hyundai, everyone’s favorite value brand they love to joke about now unwarranted, this is a new compact crossover SUV designed to ignite creativity in an area defined by compliance. However, is it more than its eye-catching exterior and charming interior?

Of course, the big talk is all in the design. Make no mistake, the Tucson isn’t a new product out of nowhere. This particular generation of Tucson is new, but the vehicle named after Arizona’s former territorial capital has been around long enough to have its own driver’s license. Like most Hyundai and Kia products, the old Tucsons were valued, generally being more affordable than American or Japanese competitors. The value aspect is still there and going strong (if not more so), but as I have found in other recent Hyundai’s, there is hardly any compromise to be found. In other words, you no longer have to buy a Hyundai just because it is cheap, but you would buy one because it is both affordable and good enough, but also quite high end. . The Tucson tested here convincingly reinforces this trend with good high, even with a few minor flaws.

Let’s talk about this style for a moment. Or two. Suave and swagger are two ingredients added by the design team to create what is actually little more than just a moving family box in a compelling and quite beautiful shape. Honestly, there’s no DNA from previous Tucson models that I can see here, and that’s a good thing (no offense, Hyundai). Aside from the sleek, handsome Mazda CX-5, this is a stunning design achievement for the regular family crossover segment. Cool details are sprinkled all over the place and the whole image blends into a beautifully congruent design that portends a bright future. Speaking of the future, when placed on a deserted desert road among a golden landscape like in the photo, I think it looks a bit like a lunar vehicle, and that’s a really nice compliment. My favorite part are the lights that are part of the grille. It’s so cool to see in person, and especially with the lights on. Some will find the bulges on the side panels to be excessive, but I like it because it’s different from all the other crossovers it competes with. The current RAV4 was considered daring when it debuted, but this apparently sends last season’s offering to outlets with a bold new shape.

Look inside and you will have an equally surprising experience, as this Hyundai exudes class from every crevice, even. I’m not going to call it luxurious, as that would be overkill, but wow, does that impress for what remains a budget vehicle choice. This Tucson Limited is the most premium Tucson you can buy, but stickers for just $ 38,704, which is several thousand less than a comparable RAV4 Hybrid Limited. And for less dough when similarly outfitted, this has the RAV4 beat for interior quality and the wow factor for sure. A Mazda CX-5 is still the best made and with the best materials, but it’s about to take the top spot. The light gray leather looks and feels great, really opening up the atmosphere in the cabin with the bright hue. Another new design direction is a bonnet / cockpit gauge cluster which is weird to see at first, but you quickly learn to not only ignore it but love it too, because it increases the space of the dashboard, making it visually more pleasing to the front view on the road. It is also very inviting at the initial entrance.

I was able to easily use Hyundai’s center screen control during my time and liked the buttons for PRND. Buttons below the screen, like those on climate controls, don’t actually move when you press them, which would normally be nice, but they have no feedback here; Some sort of haptic response would be welcome. Space and seating was perfect for four adults on a long, 300-mile day of driving in the eastern part of the San Francisco Bay area and made for a comfortable trip with almost no complaints. I say almost because there is a question that I will address later. As with most of the competitors in this class, there is an optional huge sunroof that allows it to have tons of light, which is amazing to have the shade open at night or on days that aren’t. at 100 degrees. There are also some nice and colorful ambient lighting details to create a nice evening mood.

On the road, the steering is light and easy to control, making it very easy to place on the road. This 300 mile trip was “not a problem” as they say, and at the end of a long day, I wasn’t in the least tired; it would make a great vehicle for road trips. The noise is also surprisingly quiet inside, which allows for quiet conversations and makes the perceived luxury of this vehicle all the more apparent. The ride quality is also comfortable, mainly, as it’s the ride that registers the only big complaint I have with the Tucson: a suspension setup that gives endless wobbles on big impacts or sections of road that seem to move away from you. . What you get is a pogo stick effect of the car going up and down over and over again far too many times. It’s as if the shocks are completely knocked down, doing nothing to minimize and control the springs repeatedly compressing and re-stretching. Passengers thought it was fun the first time in the sense of a theme park ride, but it’s certainly an example of poor body control over bigger bumps.

Handling is not a priority or concern for buyers of this type of vehicle, but when driven more aggressively, the Tucson will be more than capable for the casual visitor with enough grip before setting off. slip into a careful (safe) understeer state. So while I found the Tucson to be a great vehicle to drive 95% of the time, it was those bigger bumps that caused massive suspension destabilization as the only real demerit. Where I live, closer to Sacramento, it was a lot less noticeable, but was apparent in the bay with its many sections of asphalt and crappy road works.

The performance and dynamism of this hybrid both come from a turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four, boosted by a battery and electric motor. The combined power is 226 horsepower and instills enough zip for everyone. The 0-60 MPH occurs in a respectable 7.2 seconds, making everyday driving easier and doing a simple task in most cases. Yes, it’s not fast per se, but the numbers are some of the best in this class, even being slightly faster than the last hybrid RAV4 I tested. If you don’t fancy a hybrid, Mazda’s CX-5 and its 2.5-liter turbo will dust any one.

This hybrid powertrain is connected to a six-speed automatic transmission (instead of a CVT which is typically common with hybrid vehicles) and four-wheelers, as Tucson hybrids come standard with all-wheel drive. Perhaps it was with the transmission, however, that I experienced a second disappointment: fuel economy. The transexual is doing well, offering smooth gear changes you never feel, but its 6 forward gears may be limiting achievable fuel mileage. While the EPA ratings for this Tucson are high overall of 37 MPG, I was only able to average 31 MPG with the same figure being reached at 70 MPH on the highway. These aren’t bad numbers, but they’re lower than what I hit in Toyota’s RAV4 Hybrid (34 and 36 highway average). Honda’s CR-V Hybrid, meanwhile, produced roughly the same MPG. If an eight-speed were used, better mileage could theoretically be achieved, especially on the highway. For another option, Hyundai also offers a plug-in hybrid variant for those who wish to recharge their Tucsons and enjoys an electric range of around 30 miles.

I really enjoyed the Tucson Hybrid. Appearance is a standout characteristic in itself and against all competitors. Even Bob Barker would agree on the price, with this fully equipped Limited model fetching just $ 38,704. The only downsides I found were finicky suspension control over big bumps and average fuel economy (compared to its main hybrid competitors). A RAV4 Hybrid Limited is more expensive and less pleasant on the inside, while a Honda CR-V Hybrid Touring is less expensive than all of them, but lacks performance and interior quality. This Tucson then establishes a brilliant balance between its two main rivals. But, as said at the start, we are now living in a time when Hyundai’s are not full of compromises to respect their friendly prices. The interior is top notch and packed with all kinds of features. Besides, it looks awesome. Whichever way you put it, this new Tucson Hybrid really deserves your consideration.

2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid Limited AWD
Price as tested: $ 38,704

Advantages: striking exterior and interior; comfortable and calm; fair price
Cons: only average hybrid fuel economy; damping is sometimes defective
Verdict: A fabulously updated entry into the crossover segment.

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