The current Hyundai Tucson is as good as it's ever been. The brand even refreshed it two years ago and ditched the tepid and rough 1.6-liter turbo mill. In our minds, it doesn't really need a redesign quite yet, but here we are. Hyundai just dropped the covers on the 2022 Tucson, and the redesign is a substantial one. The Tucson has creases just about everywhere, and every surface has been redone in an unconventional manner.
Visually, the redesign is a lot to take in. From the unified grille and light pattern in the front fascia to the numerous folds in the body, there isn't a surface that escapes the scalpel. There's even a name for the design language: Sensuous Sportiness. Ooh, la la.
The new language uses what Hyundai terms 'parametric dynamics' and 'kinetic jewel' when referring to the design cues on the exterior. The crease lines in the body converge at a point in the front door panel, and the large bulges create pontoon-like shapes around the fenders. We're not sure how we feel about it, but there's nothing like it in the industry today at this price point. The Lamborghini Urus comes to mind, as does the Lexus NX.
One of the slickest features, and a very original one, too, is the grille and lighting surface combination. The lights (in this case, the Daytime Running Lights) have the same surfacing as the grille and only appear when illuminated. It's a nifty visual trick that we've never seen on any other vehicle. The taillights pull a similar trick with a triangular light signature that only appears when lit. Beneath the reflectors on the rear fascia is a triangular mesh pattern that breaks up the conventional look of the lower portion. It's a nice detail.
In terms of powertrains, there will be a version, a hybrid, and a PHEV in the mix. The gas version is a 2.5-liter direct-inject four-cylinder engine that's good for 190 horsepower and 182 lb-ft of torque mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Hybrid and plug-in hybrid models get a 1.6-liter engine coupled with electric power that delivers 230 hp and 258 lb-ft. Optional AWD systems will be available across all trims and feature six driving modes: Eco, Comfort, Smart, Sport, Mud, Sand and Snow.
In terms of the interior, the look is totally new for the model. It eschews a more traditional look for a open and expansive dash. A layered dashboard is beautifully done with a big infotainment screen and a secondary climate control screen below it (10.25 inches each). The large digital instrument cluster actually has no shroud, which could prove tough in bright sunlight, but it's possible that it's vivid enough to go without. There's also a pushbutton transmission and ample storage in the center console tray and a compartment underneath.
The new Tuscon also gets Hyundai's Digital Key that allows your smartphone to act as the vehicle's key (via companion app), as well as remote start the car and cue the climate system from up to 90 feet away. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will optional, and there will also be smart home connectivity. The Tucson will also get a Multi-Command voice-activated system and SmartSense safety suite with a host of safety tech, including a 360 surround-view camera system.
The brand will provide more details about gas mileage, hybrid efficiency, as well as interior dimensions, trims, and pricing in the not-too-distant future. The new Tucson will go on sale next year as a 2022 model, and we look forward to seeing all it has to offer in terms of features and driving dynamics. One thing we know for sure, it's going to turn a lot of heads.