When Hyundai introduced hybrid powertrains to the latest Tucson, the automaker fulfilled the promise of the redesigned SUV. The standard, nonhybrid model brought an eye-catching design, an ample menu of features, and acceptable dynamics. It also brought acceleration we kindly called “tepid.” The more powerful Tucson Hybrid and Tucson PHEV plug-in hybrid don’t just scoot down the road more quickly, they get better fuel economy. The hybrid makes 226 hp, the PHEV makes 261 hp, and both electrified models make 258 pound-feet of torque—healthy improvements over the nonhybrid model. The added power delivers a better driving experience no matter which of the electrified Tucsons you choose. What’s more, the six-speed automatic transmission spares owners the occasionally coarse workings of a continuously variable automatic transmission—the CVT is often used in hybrids. Properly equipped, the electrified Tucsons can tow 2000 pounds. Both variants come with all-wheel drive and deliver the unexpected luxury of being supremely quiet at highway speeds—and the PHEV is one of the most affordable plug-in SUVs on the market.
What’s New for 2024?
The big switcheroo is the addition of a sporty-looking N-Line trim for the Tucson Hybrid. Last year this trim was offered only for the nonhybrid Tucson, but its move to the hybrid means better acceleration, fitting for a variant inspired by the automaker’s hotted-up N cars. Inside, all trims of the Tucson Hybrid and Tucson PHEV will fit the 10.3-inch infotainment touchscreen formerly reserved for the SEL Convenience and Limited trims. After adding standard safety features last year, Hyundai will do the same again in 2024. Haptic feedback through the steering wheel for lane-keep assist and blind-spot collision avoidance is included now, as are rear side airbags. Outside, Amazon Gray and Hampton Gray paints are exclusive to the hybrid and PHEV.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
A plug-in hybrid SUV for under $40,000 is a big deal. We still like the SEL trim even though the switch to the 10.3-inch infotainment screen means losing the volume knob that came with the smaller, eight-inch screen. The SEL lacks some luxuries found on the Limited trim like the panoramic roof and leather-trimmed seats, but the SEL still offers plenty of convenience and safety features like LED lighting, wireless phone charging, and a hands-free tailgate. The challenge with the Tucson PHEV is finding one—Hyundai only sells it in 15 states.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
This version of the Tucson is worth a look just for the extra power, whether in hybrid or plug-in hybrid form. The turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder gas engine and electric motor make a combined 226 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque in the hybrid, or 261 horses and the same torque in the PHEV. Shifting through a six-speed automatic transmission and with standard all-wheel drive, these figures take nearly two seconds off the 0-60 time compared to the nonhybrid Tucson. No, it’s not the 302-hp shove you’d get from a Toyota RAV4 Prime, but it is the kind of pep you’ll be glad to have at every stop light and highway on-ramp. At our test track, our loaded Limited hybrid test vehicle managed a 7.1-second run to 60 mph. In everyday driving, the solid steering, comfy ride, and confident handling complement one of the electrified Tucson’s best features: its hushed interior when at cruising speed.
Towing and Payload Capacity
The Hyundai Tucson Hybrid and PHEV can tow up to 2000 pounds, which is more than Honda CR-V and Chevy Equinox, but less than the Mazda CX-50’s 3500-pound maximum capacity.
Range, Charging, and Battery Life
Plug-in hybrid Tucson PHEVs use a 13.8-kWh battery pack that delivers an EPA-estimated 33 miles of electric-only driving. A 7.2-kW onboard charger can fully recharge the battery in about two hours when connected to a Level 2 charging station.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPGe
The EPA estimates that the Tucson Hybrid is good for 38 mpg city and 38 mpg highway; the plug-in hybrid model earned a rating of 80 MPGe combined and delivered 33 miles of electric-only driving in the EPA’s test. When compared to the gas-only Tucson, those numbers are pleasingly better than the 26 mpg city and 33 mpg highway ratings it earned. On our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, the hybrid model failed to deliver its EPA-estimated 38 mpg, delivering just 28 mpg; we haven’t tested the plug-in hybrid on our route yet. For more information about the Tucson’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Hyundai’s design department has proved itself adept at creating modern interiors for affordable offerings, and the Tucson doesn’t disappoint. Its uncluttered dashboard design is a mix of dark textures with bright accents that houses a digital gauge display, a large infotainment screen, a touch-sensitive control panel for the climate system, and a push-button shifter. The cabin makes a comfortable space for four adults, and we were able to fit nine carry-on suitcases behind the second-row seats. With the second-row seats folded, luggage capacity rose to 22 bags.
Infotainment and Connectivity
A now-standard 10.3-inch touchscreen comes with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Buyers need to step up to the Limited trim for extras like Bose premium audio. Other high-tech offerings include Hyundai’s digital key smartphone app, which provides lock and unlock features as well as an option for remote start.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
A host of driver-assistance features are available, many of which come standard. For more information about the hybrid Tucson’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control with lane-centering assist
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
In the compact-SUV market, only one rival offers as much warranty coverage as the Tucson Hybrid, and that’s its corporate twin, the Kia Sportage. The Hyundai still holds an advantage over the Kia in this area, though, thanks to its generous complimentary scheduled maintenance program.
- Limited warranty five years or 60,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 10 years or 100,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance covers three years or 36,000 miles
2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid
Vehicle Type: front-engine, front-motor, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon
Base/As Tested: $30,425/$39,320
[turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve 1.6-liter inline-4, 180 hp, 195 lb-ft + AC motor, 59 hp, 195 lb-ft (combined output: 226 hp, 258 lb-ft; 1.5-kWh lithium-ion battery pack)
Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink
Brakes, F/R: 12.8-in vented disc/12.0-in disc
Tires: Michelin Primacy A/S
235/55R-19 101V M+S
Wheelbase: 108.5 in
Length: 182.3 in
Width: 73.4 in
Height: 65.6 in
Passenger Volume: 104 ft3
Cargo Volume: 39 ft3
Curb Weight: 3841 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 7.1 sec
1/4-Mile: 15.4 sec @ 91 mph
100 mph: 19.0 sec
Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 7.5 sec
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 3.6 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 4.6 sec
Top Speed (gov ltd): 122 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 167 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.84 g
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 25 mpg
75-mph Highway Driving: 28 mpg
Highway Range: 380 mi
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 37/37/36 mpg
C/D TESTING EXPLAINED
More Features and Specs