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Hyundai Tucson PHEV 2022 Review: A Better Hybrid

Image Source: Mike Mareen / Shutterstock

The 2022 Hyundai Tucson has undergone significant upgrades compared to its predecessor, boasting a more aggressive exterior design, a luxurious interior, and the addition of two electrified versions. The Tucson hybrid was already considered one of the top compact hybrid SUVs, and with the arrival of the Tucson Plug-in Hybrid, Hyundai has taken it to the next level.

2022 Hyundai Tucson Plug-In Hybrid Review

Enhancing the success of the hybrid variant, the Tucson PHEV presents a longer electric range and increased power output, making it the preferred version. Featuring a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and a 90-horsepower electric motor at the rear, the powertrain delivers a combined output of 261 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, making it the most potent Tucson model to date. Power is distributed to all four wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission, offering smooth gear transitions.

Equipped with a 13.8-kilowatt-hour battery, the plug-in hybrid system provides a 33-mile electric range. For comparison, the Toyota RAV4 Prime offers a 42-mile EV range, while the Ford Escape PHEV achieves a 37-mile range. EPA ratings estimate the Tucson PHEV at a combined 80 mpge with a full battery and 35 mpg in hybrid mode.

When fully charged, the Tucson PHEV accelerates effortlessly, although it may not match the quickness of the RAV4 Prime. Where the Tucson PHEV truly shines is in its driving dynamics. The suspension strikes a balance between comfort and handling, better than the RAV4 Prime, which can feel less composed on winding roads. The Tucson PHEV exhibits superior stability and agility compared to the RAV4 Prime.

Once the battery is depleted, the Tucson seamlessly transitions into hybrid mode. While offering slightly less power, it still delivers ample acceleration for highway merging and city driving. Additionally, the Tucson features a mechanical all-wheel-drive system that can distribute power to the rear wheels even when the battery is empty, setting it apart from the RAV4 Prime, which relies on an electric motor at the rear that cannot operate once the battery is drained.2022 Hyundai Tucson Plug-In Hybrid Review

The interior of the Tucson PHEV closely resembles that of other Tucson models. It comes standard with an 8-inch touchscreen, with an optional larger 10.25-inch display. While the smaller screen supports wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the larger screen requires a wired connection for phone integration. The infotainment system features clear graphics and responsive performance, but lacks a physical volume knob. The touch-sensitive buttons below the screen may not be user-friendly without diverting attention from the road.

The driver is greeted by a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, with the Limited trim level adding a blind-spot view monitor within the gauge cluster. The push-button gear selector may require some adjustment. Overall, the interior is spacious and comfortable, providing ample room in both rows. The rear cargo space measures 31.9 cubic feet, expanding to 71.8 cubic feet with the seats folded.2022 Hyundai Tucson Plug-In Hybrid Review

In terms of safety features, the Tucson plug-in hybrid is equipped with automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear seat occupant alert. The top-tier Limited version incorporates the Highway Drive Assist system, which includes lane centering with adaptive cruise control.

The 2022 Hyundai Tucson PHEV is offered in two trim levels: SEL and Limited, with the SEL starting at $36,695, including destination charges. The higher-end Limited version begins at $44,495.

Considering its 33-mile EV range, comfortable interior, and impressive driving performance, the Tucson PHEV stands out as one of the top choices among plug-in hybrids.

Image Source: Mike Mareen / Shutterstock

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