Hyundai virtually pulled the covers off its brand-new 2022 Tucson today in Korea, showing off a radically redesigned compact crossover that will be sold in certain markets in two different wheelbase lengths and the option of hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains. Here in the States, we'll only get the long-wheelbase version when the next Tucson goes on sale in the first half of 2021. An N Line edition will be launched at a later date.
The Tucson is Hyundai's best-selling model globally, but it's not playing it safe when it comes to the fourth-generation crossover's design. Hyundai calls its latest design language Sensuous Sportiness (yes, really), adding the terms ‘parametric dynamics’ and 'kinetic jewel' to the surface detailing. There are lots of interesting lines stamped into the Tucson's sheetmetal, arcing over the front wheels into a pontoon-like point that leads to a crease that clearly delineates the vehicle's rear shoulder. The geometric shapes continue down the sides, with strong lines accenting the lower sills and wheel openings. Facets are molded into the front and rear fascias.
The lighting clusters are similarly unique. At the front, daytime running lamps are hidden in the grille openings so that they are only visible when illuminated. The full-width taillights also feature a half-hidden design made up of triangles that appear when lit. Hyundai says it's "distinctly different," and we have to agree.
The front passenger compartment is divided into two clear cockpits, with a hoodless digital cluster directly in front of the driver. We'll have to wait and see if glare is an issue on the unhooded screen. The center stack of the dashboard is made up of two vertically stacked screens that measure 10.25 inches apiece. There appear to be buttons at the bottom of the screens and at the front of the console between the seats. Hyundai hid most of the air vents inside the Tucson for a cleaner look. We don't have all the Tucson's measurements, but Hyundai says it boasts 38.7 cubic feet of cargo space, which puts it on par with the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V.
Power comes from a 2.5-liter direct-injected four-cylinder engine that sends 190 horsepower and 182 pound-feet of torque through an eight-speed automatic transmission. An all-wheel drive system features Eco, Comfort, Smart, Sport, Mud, Sand and Snow driving modes. Hybrid and plug-in hybrid models will be powered by a 1.6-liter engine, with total system power coming in at 230 hp and 258 lb-ft.
There's lots of tech packed into the 2022 Tucson. Hyundai's Digital Key allows a smartphone to be used as the vehicle's key, with an app allowing remote starting and climate control from up to 90 feet away. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will be offered, along with connectivity to smart devices outside the vehicle, such as a properly equipped home heating and air conditioning system. A natural-language voice-activated in-car system called Multi-Command will also be available. Hyundai's SmartSense safety suite includes all the driving assist technologies and around-car camera angles you'd expect.
There's still a lot we don't know about the 2022 Hyundai Tucson, but we're sure more details will filter out well in advance of its on-sale date next year. Stay tuned.