• 2022 Hyundai Tucson - Driven

The 2022 Hyundai Tucson has a daring design, but it’s the practicality and comfortable cabin that will win you over

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Hyundai revealed the Vision T concept at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show with a promise that it would loan at least some of its DNA to the next-generation Tucson. As a very bold concept, it didn’t seem likely that much of its design would make it to production, but here we are looking at the 2022 Hyundai Tucson and, sure enough, it has a daring new design akin to that of the concept that previewed it. The new entry-level Tucson has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that is derived from the Sonata, but a Hybrid and PHEV model is also available. The Tucson comes fairly well equipped even in base trim, but it’s the comfort, practicality, and driving dynamics that will really wow you. The Tucson has an uphill battle in a crowded segment, with its main competitors including the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Mazda CX-5, and even the Volkswagen Tiguan.

Powertrain & Performance

2022 Hyundai Tucson - Driven Exterior
- image 1032685

While we were hoping to get our hands on the Hyundai Tucson Hybrid, neither it nor the PHEV model have been revealed yet, so we spent a week with the Tucson Limited AWD. It featured the only engine available as of the time of this writing, a 2.5-liter inline-four that honestly seems a little underpowered compared to the competition but quickly proved itself to be adequate for daily driving scenarios. Shifting duties are handled by an eight-speed automatic transmission and you can save a little cheddar if you opt for the FWD model as opposed to AWD, although the AWD generally makes more sense for most people.

Driving the Tucson wasn’t exactly something you want to write home about, but it’s not bad either. It does offer an impressive driving dynamic and very comfortable ride for what it is, but if you’re looking for something performance oriented, you should probably look elsewhere.

How Much Power Does the Hyundai Tucson Have?

2022 Hyundai Tucson - Driven Drivetrain
- image 1032705

The Hyundai Tucson’s base 2.5-liter inline-four delivers just 187 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque. Maximum horsepower comes into play at 6,100 RPM while full torque is available at 4,000 rpm. The power is sent to either the front wheels or all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. In comparison, the Ford Escape features a 2.0-liter inline-four that delivers 250 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque with a similar eight-speed automatic transmission and the option of FWD or RWD. In the other corner, the Honda CR-V features a 1.5-liter inline-four that delivers 190 horsepower and 179 pound-feet of torque, but it has a CVT transmission.

How Much Can the Hyundai Tucson Tow?

2022 Hyundai Tucson - Driven Exterior
- image 1032684

The Hyundai Tucson, in base form, has a towing capacity of just 2,000 pounds, which is enough for a small trailer, but don’t expect to pull anything too large. The Ford Escape, which has more power on tap can pull 3,500 pounds while the Honda CR-V is only capable of lugging around 1,500 pounds – a figure that isn’t helped by the CVT transmission.

Hyundai Tucson Fuel Economy

2022 Hyundai Tucson - Driven Exterior
- image 1032745

The Hyundai Tucson, with the 2.5-liter inline-four, is rated at 24 mpg in the city, 29 mpg on the highway, and 26 mpg combined. In comparison, the Ford escape offers 23 mpg in the city, 31 mpg on the highway, and 26 mpg combined while the Honda CR-V wins the title with 27 mpg in the city, 32 mpg on the highway, and 29 mpg combined.

Hyundai Tucson vs competition - fuel economy
City  Highway Combined
Hyundai Tucson 24 29 26
Ford Escape 23 31 26
Honda CR-V 27 32 29

Does the Hyundai Tucson Have a Manual Transmission?

2022 Hyundai Tucson - Driven Interior
- image 1032727

The Hyundai Tucson is available exclusively with an eight-speed automatic that is comparable to the eight-speed automatic found in the Ford Escape. If you’re a fan of CVTs, you could opt for the Honda CR-V, however, the CVT is said to be the CR-V’s weak point, so you should keep that in mind.

2022 Hyundai Tucson Interior Design and Technology

2022 Hyundai Tucson - Driven Interior
- image 1032719

The last-gen Tucson didn’t exactly have a bad interior, but there’s no denying that it was looking a little old. For the fourth generation, the cabin has been thoroughly revised and looks a lot more upmarket that one might expect. Highlights include the digital instrument cluster and the new, attractive dash layout with a modern center stack. It’s not all gravy, though, as the push-button shifter is, well, a bit gimmicky and maybe even a little goofy. The interior cabin is well equipped, with even the climate control system and infotainment system functioning via touch-sensitive control.

2022 Hyundai Tucson - Driven Interior
- image 1032725

In terms of material and space, you’ll find plenty of quality materials and even a few luxury fixtures, too. Rear seat space and cargo room have also seen a sizable increase over the outgoing model, providing improved comfort and practicality. The base infotainment system features an 8.8-inch display while a larger 10.3-inch display with built-in navigation is optional. You can access the vehicle via Hyundai’s digital key app, which provides lock and unlock features to go with the option to remote start.

How Much Passenger Space Does the Hyundai Tucson Have?

2022 Hyundai Tucson - Driven Interior
- image 1032711

The Hyundai Tucson is rather spacious for its size, and the rear passenger area is no larger than before, and it’s enough to beat out the competition in every category from headroom to legroom. The front of the cabin doesn’t win in all categories, but the difference compared to the competition is negligible at best. Here’s a full breakdown of interior specs for the Tucson and its main competitors:

Hyundai Tucson vs competition - interior dimensions
Hyundai Tucson Ford Escape Honda CR-V
Front Headroom 40,1 40 38
Front Shoulder Room 57,6 57,6 57,9
Front Hip Room 54,5 55,2 55,1
Front Leg Room 41,1 42,4 41,3
Rear Headroom 39,5 39,3 39,1
Rear Shoulder Room 56 56 55,6
Rear Hip Room 53,9 53,3 49,5
Rear Leg Room 41,3 40,7 40,4

How Much Cargo Room Does the Hyundai Tucson Have?

2022 Hyundai Tucson - Driven Interior
- image 1032716

The nice thing about bringing a new vehicle to market is that you’re able to best the competition, and that’s exactly why Hyundai did when it gave the Tucson 38.7 cubic-feet of cargo room behind the rear seats and as much as 80.3 cubic-feet with the rear seats laid down. In comparison, the Ford Escape offers just 37.5 – 65.4 cubic-feet while the Honda CR-V brings 33.2 – 68.7 cubic-feet to the party. Needless to say, if hauling cargo is your thing, the Tucson just might be your best bet.

2022 Hyundai Tucson Warranty

2022 Hyundai Tucson - Driven Exterior
- image 1032740

The Hyundai Tucson comes with one of the best set of warranties on the market today, setting a standard for Powertrain warranty and even complimentary maintenance.
- * 5-year, 50,000-mile New Vehicle Warranty
- * 10-year, 100,000-mile Powertrain Warranty
- * 7-year, Unlimited-mile Anti-Performance Warranty
- * 3-Year, 36,000-mile Complimentary Maintenance
- * 5-Year, Unlimited-mile Roadside Assistance

2022 Hyundai Tucson Pricing and Trim Levels

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2022 Hyundai Tucson - Driven Exterior
- image 1032748

The Hyundai Tucson is available in four different trim levels: SE, SEL, N Line, and Limited. The entry-level SE trim starts out at just $25,350, which really isn’t bad for what you get. Moving up to the SEL trim level sets you back by $26,650, however, most of the features you probably want require a $2,600 investment in the Convenience Package, and $1,700 in the Premium Package. The N Line starts from $30,750 and comes standard with most of the equipment from the aforementioned packages but skips out on the Leather seats and front ventilated seats – they aren’t standard or optional. Finally, the range-topping Limited, which is what we had here at Top Speed, starts out at $34850 and includes everything with exception of the leather-wrapped shift knob, which isn’t optional because you get the push-button gear shifter.

The Tucson is a bit more expensive than its competition once you get into the higher trim levels, but it’s also much newer than its rivals. The Ford Escape, for example, starts from $26,800 and goes to as high as $37,135. The Honda CR-V, on the other hand, is priced from $28,475 to $36,775.

Hyundai Tucson vs competition - prices
Starting MSRP Max MSRP
Hyundai Tucson $25.350  $39.140 
Ford Escape $26.800  $37.135 
Honda CR-V $28.475  $36.775 

Hyundai Tucson Competition

2022 Hyundai Tucson - Driven Exterior
- image 1032743

There is no shortage of competitors for the Hyundai Tucson, but to keep a steady mix of competitors, we think the Ford Escape and Honda CR-V are worthy of being looked at too. Each bring something noteworthy to the comparison, so choosing the right one really depends on what exactly you need.

Is the Hyundai Tucson Better Than the Ford Escape?

The 2020 Ford Escape Is Smarter But it Looks Like a Focus or Fiesta With an Upside-Down Grille
- image 833551

The Ford escape excels in a few ways that the Hyundai Tucson cannot. The fourth-gen model was introduced in 2020, so it’s not exactly old in terms of design or technology years, but it’s not quite as fresh as the Tucson. It’s 2.0-liter inline-four, however, is far more advanced when it comes to power output. It puts down 250 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque vs. the Tucson’s 187 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. Like the Tucson, you can opt for FWD or AWD, however, you are required to run premium fuel. The trade-off is that you can tow as much as 3,500 pounds in the Escape while you’ll be limited to 2,000 pounds in the Tucson. As for fuel economy, the Escape falls one mpg short in the city at 23 mpg, but it gets 31 mpg on the highway vs. the Tucson’s 29. It is par with the Tucson on the combined scale, so with either model you should average around 26 mpg.

The 2020 Ford Escape Is Smarter But it Looks Like a Focus or Fiesta With an Upside-Down Grille
- image 833558

In terms of size, the Escape isn’t quite as long, falling one-inch short at 181.3 inches, but it’s nearly an inch wider and more than half an inch taller. It rides on a much smaller wheelbase (nearly two inches), so the driving characteristics aren’t quite as dynamic, either. Interior space is about the same between the two, however, the Escape does win when it comes to front hip room and legroom. The Escape can haul 37.5 – 65.4 cubic-feet, which seems good at first since the Tucson starts out with 38.7 cubic-feet, but it quickly becomes inferior when you lay down the rear seats, with the Tucson beating it by just under 15 cubic-feet (80.3 cu-ft vs. 65.4 cu-ft). The Escape does come out on the cheaper side if you go for the higher trim levels, as it maxes out at $37,135 vs. the Tucson’s range-topping $39,140, but it is a bit more expensive at the entry level, asking for $26,800 vs. $25,350.

Hyundai Tucson vs Ford Escape
Hyundai Tucson Ford Escape
Engine 2.5-Liter Inline-Four 2.0-Liter Inline-Four
Horsepower 187 HP @ 6,100 RPM 250 HP @ 5,500 RPM
Torque 178 LB-FT @ 4,000 RPM 280 LB-FT @ 3,000 RPM
Transmission 8AT 8AT
Driveline FWD or AWD FWD or AWD
Fuel Regular Premium
Steering Electric Electric
Suspension Four-Wheel Independent Four-Wheel Independent
Tires 235/55R19 225/55R19
Curb Weight 3,651 Lbs 3,566 Lbs
Towing Capacity 2,000 Lbs 3,500 Lbs

Read our full review on the Ford Escape

Is the Hyundai Tucson Better Than the Honda CR-V?

2017 Honda CR-V High Resolution Exterior
- image 691825

The Honda CR-V, on paper, really looks like it’s right on par with the Tucson. It has similar power output, it’s nearly the same size outside with nearly the same space inside (minus cargo room), but it falls very short in one key area: design and technology. See, with the Tucson being all-new, the CR-V, which has been in its current generation since 2016, looks beyond dated. From a practicality standpoint, it’s not that bad, though. The 1.5-liter engine delivers 190 horsepower and 179 pound-feet of torque, which is adequate, however, the engine is paired with a CVT as opposed to the Tucson’s eight-speed automatic. You do get four-wheel independent suspension, though it’s wheelbase is nearly four-inches shorter than the Tucson’s, so it will feel top heavy in comparison. Don’t maintain any hope of towing much, either, as the CR-V is limited to just 1,500 pounds vs. the Tucson’s 2,000 pounds.

2017 Honda CR-V High Resolution Exterior
- image 691820

The CR-V and Tucson are so close in terms of exterior dimensions that the difference between them is negligible at best. The CR-V is just 0.2 inches shorter in length at 182.1 inches just 0.4-inches shorter in width, and almost a full inch taller at 66.5 inches. Cargo room is also disappointing by comparison with the CR-V offering up just 33.2 cubic-feet behind the rear seats (vs. 39.7 in the Tucson) or 68.7 cubic-feet if you lay the rear row down, which is far short of the Tucson’s 80.3 cubic-feet. The one big thing that the CR-V has going for it, outside of Honda Reliability, is fuel economy. The CR-V will get you 27 mpg in the city, 32 mpg on the highway, and 29 mpg combined, making it one of the most efficient SUVs in its class if you discount PHEV and hybrid models. For full comparison, the Tucson gets 24,29, and 26 combined. With the CR-V being as old as it is, you’d expect it to start out on the cheaper side, but it actually has an entry-level price of $28,475, which is quite a bit more than the all-new Tucson at $25,350. It maxes out at $36,775, making it the most affordable of this bunch if you’re going for the range-topping model.

Hyundai Tucson vs Honda CR-V
Hyundai Tucson Honda CR-V
Engine 2.5-Liter Inline-Four 1.5-Liter
Horsepower 187 HP @ 6,100 RPM 190 HP @ 5,600 RPM
Torque 178 LB-FT @ 4,000 RPM 179 LB-FT @ 2,000 RPM
Transmission 8AT CVT
Driveline FWD or AWD FWD or AWD
Fuel Regular Regular
Steering Electric Electric
Suspension Four-Wheel Independent Four-Wheel Independent
Tires 235/55R19 235/55R19
Curb Weight 3,651 Lbs 3,569 Lbs
Towing Capacity 2,000 Lbs 1,500 Lbs

Read our full review on the Honda CR-V

Philippe Daix
Philippe Daix
Obsessive and Compulsive Automotive Expert - phil@topspeed.com
Always on the lookout for the latest automotive news, Philippe Daix is our most senior editor and founder of TopSpeed.com. He likes to see himself as a consumer advocate with a mission to educate motorheads of all ages.  Read full bio
About the author

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