Hyundai may not dominate the Australian car market in quite the same way as Toyota (who have come in at the number one spot as Australia's best-selling car manufacturer for the past five years). But the South Korean manufacturer has a market share that's continued to grow year on year.
Well-known for their innovative technology and good value, the arrival of the 2022 Hyundai Tucson is likely to be good news for drivers wanting a medium SUV that gives them more.
Here we take a look at whether the new Hyundai Tucson provides the versatile, roomy, economical and fun-to-drive ownership experience SUV drivers crave. We also consider whether the Tucson still offers great value compared with other SUVs of the same size, as well as taking a look at some alternatives that are worth considering.
Boasting a striking exterior makeover for 2022, the Tucson has also undergone some interior improvements, including a 10.25" infotainment screen and a digital instrument cluster (which is usually the preserve of higher-value vehicles).
If you want a sportier look to your Tucson, Hyundai is offering an N line Tucson for the first time in 2022.
Reviewers raved about the handling (even over our rough rural roads), comfort, and quiet in the cabin.
Exterior and Interior
As already indicated, the 2022 Tucson has undergone a bit of an exterior makeover. Along with stylish, fresh lines that amp up street presence, a black grille, alloys, a dark chrome trim, a panoramic sunroof and a powered tailgate equip the Tucson with everything you'd expect from an advanced SUV. With the notable exception of LED headlights - all variants still sport traditional halogen headlights.
The cabin is spacious and well-presented. It has a light, airy ambience, with controls placed exactly where you need them. The Tucson is available in three different variants - the Tucson (which is the base-spec model), Tucson Elite and the Tucson Highlander.
Interior features vary, depending on which spec you decide on. Climate control, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, a driver's memory seat and Bose Audio ensure plenty of comfort for both passengers and the driver. Available in both the Elite and the Highlander, the 10.25" infotainment screen is easy to navigate and includes features such as wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto.
Currently, the Tucson is only available here with a 2.0l, 4-cylinder, naturally aspirated petrol engine that delivers 115kw and 192Nm of torque. Two other engines (a 1.6l turbo and a 2.0l turbo diesel) are set to join the range later in 2022. The standard transmission is a six-speed, torque-convertor automatic (a manual option is available, but this will add to the cost of the Tucson).
Fuel consumption is stated at 8.1l/100km, which is good, but lower than others in the same class (the Sportage offers 7.1l/100km, for example).
Reviewers are quick to praise the suspension and handling of the Tucson but are less impressed by the power of the engine. If you want speed on the highway, or a quick acceleration when overtaking, the Tucson is adequate, but not outstanding. If you want a hybrid, you're also out of luck. Hyundai only offers the Tucson as a petrol and (later in 2022) a diesel option.
Tech is something Hyundai do well. The 10.25" infotainment screen, keyless locking, digital instrument display and overall connectivity are all great features to have. Alongside the generous suite of autonomous safety features, drivers who prefer a vehicle featuring state-of-the-art gadgets and gizmos aren't going to be disappointed.
The 2022 Tucson has recently obtained a 5-star safety rating from ANCAP. It features a complete suite of autonomous safety features. Some of these include autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot assist, reversing camera, rear parking sensors, safe exit assist and an automatic tyre pressure monitor. The Tucson also contains seven airbags.
If you want a safe car that provides a high level of autonomous driver assistance and safety, the Tucson is a great choice.
As base spec 2022 Tucson will set you back around $34,500. A top of the range, N line, AWD Highlander would be around $51,000.
Pros & Cons
- Stunning exterior styling.
- Very comfortable and quiet to drive.
- High level of tech features.
- Fuel efficiency isn't the best.
- Underpowered on the highway.
- Currently a lack of engine choice.
There's little doubt that the Tucson presents others in the medium SUV class with some tough competition. It's gorgeous to look at, both inside and out. It's got plenty of features, drives beautifully and provides a comfortable, spacious ride for passengers. The boot is more than adequate, and Hyundai includes a generous warranty package.
Lack of engine choices, fuel efficiency and a relatively high price may all give cause to pause when it comes to acquiring the 2022 Hyundai. It's a high-grade, versatile SUV, but some would argue that price creep means Hyundai has lost its spot as a low-cost, high-value manufacturer.
Other Options to Consider
1. Kia Sportage
Very close in price to the Tucson, the Sportage takes care of several matters that the Tucson overlooks. Headlights are refractive LED versions, rather than the Tucson's halogen offering. Fuel efficiency is significantly better than the Tucson's (although still not best in class). The Sportage also features interior styling that gives a high-end, luxury vibe that the Tucson doesn't quite match.
2. Toyota Rav4
Who can resist the Rav4? Australia's best-selling SUV continues to dominate the market. Its hybrid version is a popular option, delivering exceptional fuel economy (4.8l/100km)with plenty of performance. The top-spec is also a couple of grand cheaper than the Tucson Highlander. It may not quite match the Tucson for tech, but its handling, power, economy and wealth of features means it has plenty to offer for the price.
The 2022 Outlander is bigger, better and contains more tech than previous versions. Like the Tucson, it's received a significant interior and exterior upgrade for 2022. It can seat seven if needed, and a hybrid version is hopefully on the way to Australia shortly.