2022 Hyundai Tucson Plug-In Hybrid aiming for 28 miles electric range, Hybrid for 37 mpg

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Hyundai Motor America on Monday confirmed U.S. specifications and availability for the hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the expressively styled, somewhat larger 2022 Tucson compact SUV lineup

Set to rival the Honda CR-V Hybrid, Ford Escape Hybrid, Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, and RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid, the 2022 Hyundai Tucson models will offer a far more expressive design than the competition, combined with a different set of credentials than either of those models.

Hyundai’s hybrid system employs an e-motor system at the input shaft of a 6-speed automatic transmission, with a clutch that allows the engine to decouple from the motor and transmission, allowing some light-load engine-off operation for the Hybrid and an anticipated all-electric range, on a full charge, of 28 miles with the Plug-In Hybrid before it defaults to hybrid operation.

Hyundai lists estimated system-output numbers of 227 hp for the Hybrid and 261 hp for the Plug-In Hybrid. Electric-motor output in the Hybrid is 59 hp (195 lb-ft), and in the Plug-In Hybrid it’s 90 hp (224 lb-ft). 

Both variants have the same gasoline engine under the hood—a 1.6-liter turbo-4 making 180 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque—but the Plug-In Hybrid’s big 13.8-kwh battery pack (versus 1.49 kwh for the Hybrid) runs at 360 volts, versus 270V, and has a higher output, of 88 kw versus 64 kw.

2022 Hyundai Tucson

2022 Hyundai Tucson

These electrified models, versus other models in the Tucson lineup, come only with all-wheel drive, not in the form of an added motor for the rear wheels, but via an “active on-demand” system that most likely sends the majority (or all) of torque through the front wheels most of the time. Hyundai says that an “e-handling” system helps apply precise torque to enhance braking force at the front wheels or to the rear wheels to help provide stability accelerating out of corners. 

Both the Hybrid and the Plug-In Hybrid are rated to tow up to 1,650 pounds without trailer brakes or 2,000 pounds with them. They can also carry up to 220 pounds on roof rails. 

Hyundai didn’t release an EPA fuel-efficiency figure for the Tucson Hybrid, but it says it’s 30% more fuel-efficient than the standard versions. Those non-hybrids will be at a targeted 28 mpg combined with front-wheel drive, putting the Hybrid at about 36 mpg—which we’ll round up to 37 because it anticipates a range of more than 500 miles for the model with a 13.7-gallon fuel tank. 

Hyundai didn’t note anticipated efficiency for the Plug-In Hybrid when it’s running on gas, but its gas tank is smaller at 11.1 gallons as it makes room for the larger battery.

With Level 2 hardware, such as what you might install in the garage or encounter at shopping centers, the Tucson Plug-in Hybrid’s 240V 7.2-kw onboard charger will provide a full charge in about two hours. 

Technology standouts in the Tucson lineup include a Digital Key system—currently compatible only with Android smartphones—and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, as well as wireless device charging. A full set of Blue Link services are included for three years and make some vehicle controls accessible through apps or devices with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.  

2022 Hyundai Tucson

2022 Hyundai Tucson

Hyundai hasn’t yet provided a rundown of model and trim specifics or pricing, which will be especially important in one of the most competitive segments of the vehicle market. However, the company did say that automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detectino will be included, with active lane control, automatic high beams, and a driver-attention monitor. Adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitors, and a remote parking assistant will be among the options. 

Hyundai also confirmed “eco-powertrain availability” for the Santa Fe SUV—detailed in Hybrid form in October—the Santa Cruz pickup, and the Kona compact crossover hatchback. It has previously confirmed the arrival of a fully electric Ioniq 5 SUV, due to arrive by the end of 2021. 

The company said that the Hybrid (and non-hybrid) versions of the Tucson will be offered starting in spring 2021, while the Tucson Plug-In Hybrid will arrive in summer 2021.

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