Hyundai Tucson takes the greatest hit design elements of pretty much everything else on the market and brings them into one package.
Most of the top-selling cars go for a revamp once in two years. Hyundai, the Korean automaker goes the extra mile and makes a complete changeover. Recently we saw the premium hatchback i20 in a new avatar. Now, for 2022, it's Tucson's turn. Hyundai Tucson takes the greatest hit design elements of pretty much everything else on the market and brings them into one package. The new Tuscon sports a daring new design that seems destined to shake up the premium-SUV marketplace. This new Sensuous Sportiness design language will gradually be seen on other cars in Hyundai’s portfolio.
Now in its fourth generation, the Tucson is redesigned from stem to stern by incorporating the company's new design language for a bold look. In terms of the dimensions, Tucson has grown significantly. At 4,630mm long, 150mm longer than the previous gen. It also sees an 85mm increase in wheelbase at 2,755mm, just short of something like the 7-seater Skoda Kodiaq's 2,791mm. This adds up to an 80mm increase in rear legroom, and 56 litres of added boot capacity for a total of 540 litres.
The 2022 edition is different with its distinctive cascading headlight design, squared wheel arches and bold creases on the bodywork. Its grille is particularly striking because not only does it cover practically the entire nose, lighting elements are incorporated into its structure, giving the Tucson the look of a concept car. When turned off, they look just like facets of the grille. The headlights are positioned lower down and act as both headlamps and fog lamps.
Once you move to the sides, squared wheel arches and bold creases are visible. The roof pillars are all black but a silver accent arcs from the base of the windscreen to the tailgate in an elegant curve. The rear looks completely new as you can see the rear wiper is concealed behind the roof-mounted spoiler, while the Hyundai logo is integrated within the rear windscreen itself. The rear lights seem to be a combination of the straked elements and a thin full-width bar. The mesh theme from the front grille is reflected in the back bumper, above a silver skid plate that continues the sharp-edged design language of the bodywork.
The 2022 Hyundai Tucson's interior impresses on all accounts. The design is stylish, the material quality is excellent, and the infotainment system is mostly user-friendly. The control switches and all the buttons are easy to access with a well-damped action. It’s nicer overall than the mere competitors, which have more hard plastics throughout. There’s plenty of space to go around as well, both for passengers and cargo. It feels a lot nicer and posher than the old car, largely thanks to an abundance of soft-touch and good-quality materials throughout. It’s easy to find a comfy seating position, too, thanks to plenty of adjustment in both the seat and steering wheel. The silver trim accentuates the top of the dash and flows onto the doors, accentuating the SUV's width and sense of space.
The front seats offer plenty of room and feature plush and supportive cushions covered in nice material. For drivers, it's easy to find a comfortable and commanding position, plus a large windscreen and thin pillars allow for great visibility. The rear seat, with all that added legroom and a huge degree of adjustment for the recline of the seatback. The cabin offers decent-sized spaces throughout to hold your small items. The cupholders can hold larger water bottles.
Meanwhile, the lack of any instrument cowling also opens up the view ahead for an airy feeling, with the driver's display sitting like a tablet suspended behind the steering wheel. Standard on all versions of the Hyundai Tucson is a digital driver’s display that replaces dials and gauges with a crisp screen. It looks great, and there are plenty of customisation options as well. Smack in the middle of the centre console is a new infotainment system, displayed on a 10.25-inch touchscreen that has crisp graphics, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto connects with Hyundai's Bluelink app, enabling owners to keep tabs on their car remotely, via their smartphone.
The new Tucson also comes with the Level 2 ADAS, which we are seeing for the first time from Hyundai. There are in total 19 ADAS features and the main being the system judges the distance to cars in front accurately, isn't overly eager to brake or accelerate back up to speed, and the whole thing just feels intuitive and seamless. Adaptive cruise control and lane keep assisting, work well together to keep the Tucson tracking straight, making small adjustments. As the name says Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, helps drivers during long trips especially while taking a sip of water or small distractions.
In terms of powertrain, the new Tucson continues to be offered with a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine paired with a 6-speed automatic gearbox and 2.0-litre turbo-diesel that comes with the 8-speed automatic transmission. The acceleration in the 156PS petrol engine is smooth and linear and it feels at ease driving in the city. It comes with a 6-speed AT which offers smooth shifts, though it feels lazy to downshift at times. Also, the engine feels more at ease while cruising, but lacks the outright punch for quick overtakes.
The 2.0-litre diesel, that produces 186PS is mated to an 8-speed automatic, feels punchy and offers good acceleration for overtakes. The new Smart drive mode picks from throttle/ steering settings of Eco/ Normal/ Sport depending on the situation automatically. There is no manual but the diesel gets an AWD system with terrain modes (Snow/ Mud/ Sand). Now though, the Tucson AWD also gets terrain modes to make the best use of Hyundai's HTRAC all-wheel drive. It uses a centre clutch to send torque (up to 50 per cent) to the rear wheels when needed and seems capable enough, but more off-road oriented testing is required here. The 4WD lock feature to send power to all four wheels up to certain speeds continues. However, you do miss paddle shifters with both engines for a sportier feel.
Tucson's talented chassis, with impressive steering, feel for an SUV, nimble handling and good body control. It surprises with neat and controlled body movements. There is roll and lean, yes, but it's managed well and at less than all-out speeds it stays fairly level in the cabin. That should give you a hint of how the suspension is set up. The SUV manages to flatten out most undulations on the road and does not lose its composure even with bigger bumps, keeping you away from harshness. While it does bottom out at times over potholes, the impact is well-padded.
In terms of the features list, Hyundai cars are naturally stuffed with equipment. You get the basics of the segment being a massive panoramic sunroof, dual-zone climate control, connected car tech and more. But then there are dual powered seats with heating and cooling on offer, 64 colours ambient lighting, a multi-air mode which means airflow is from multiple vents, an 8-speaker BOSE audio system, sounds of nature feature which plays soothing music, Alexa/ Google Voice assistant, OTA updates, multi-language for the infotainment system and more.
The previous gen Tucson was certainly handsome, but the new one impresses by pushing SUV styling forwards and delivering an upmarket interior for a mainstream model. Both engines offer refined driving manners and plenty of space for families. However, it's no longer a budget option, as prices have crept up along with its desirability since it is CKD and not made locally. The Hyundai Tucson is available in two variants. The petrol Platinum variant is priced at Rs 27.69 lakh and the Signature variant costs Rs 30.17 lakh. The Diesel Platinum variant costs Rs 30.19 lakh and the Signature is priced at Rs 32.87 lakh. The diesel Signature AWD is priced at Rs 34.39 lakh (all prices ex-showroom).