What’s the Best 2022 Hyundai Tucson Trim? Here’s Our Guide
Unless you’re counting pickups, Americans buy more compact SUVs than any other type of vehicle. That means if an automaker wants to succeed in the U.S., it needs a competitive entry. Hyundai is hoping the fully redesigned fourth-generation Hyundai Tucson has what it takes to steal market share from the popular Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V.
Even if you decide to go for a Tucson, though, you’ll have a few more choices to make. The new compact is available in the base SE, midgrade SEL, sporty-looking N Line, and top-of-the-line Limited trims. What are the differences between these three? That’s what we’re here to talk about.
2022 Hyundai Tucson SE Pros and Cons
Hyundai has a reputation for awesome feature-per-dollar value compared to its rivals, and the entry-level Tucson is well-equipped considering its starting price of about $26,000. The Tucson SE starts with LED headlights and daytime running lights, plus the headlights have auto on/off functionality and automatic high-beams. Base models ride on 17-inch alloy wheels and feature an acoustic laminated windshield, front and rear intermittent wipers, and a rear spoiler.
Open the door to step inside, and you’ll notice the Tucson SE’s cloth upholstery, six-way manually adjustable driver’s seat, and a 60/40 split-folding rear bench that can be operated remotely from the cargo area. On the technology side, the entry-level Tucson features an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment display with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto plus a six-speaker audio system. There’s also a 4.2-inch display in the instrument cluster.
Hyundai also equips the Tucson with active safety content, even on the base model, though the feature content isn’t quite up to the standard set by the Honda Sensing suite included on every CR-V or the Toyota Safety Sense collection standard on the RAV4. The Tucson SE includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane keep assist with lane following, driver attention warning, and rear occupant alert.
2022 Hyundai Tucson SEL Pros and Cons
The middle child Tucson SEL is likely to be the sales leader, offering key features over the SE at a price point just higher than $27,500. Hyundai adds LED taillights, heated side mirrors with turn signal indicators, standard roof rails, proximity key entry, and tinted rear windows, but that’s not all.
Inside, upgrading to the SEL affords an upgraded 8.0-inch infotainment system with SiriusXM satellite radio and Hyundai BlueLink app compatibility, plus dual rear USB outlets. You also get an eight-way power driver’s seat with adjustable lumbar support, and both front seats are heated.
On top of that, springing for the SEL means dual-zone automatic climate control, rear climate control vents, illuminated vanity mirrors, and 10-color ambient interior lighting. Looking at driver assist features, the SEL is the least expensive Tucson to include stop-and-go adaptive cruise control, and compared to the SE, it also adds blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and improved emergency braking with cyclist and cross-traffic detection.
2022 Hyundai Tucson N Line Pros and Cons
The N Line is a new Tucson variant for 2022, following in the path set by the Elantra N Line and Kona N Line. Although it doesn’t include any real performance differences, Hyundai succeeds in delivering a sporty-looking version of its new compact crossover with some extra feature content. Pricing starts just shy of $32,000.
For starters, the Tucson N Line wears premium front and rear fascias exclusive to the N Line and top-spec Tucson Limited. Buyers will also notice body-color side sills, a black window molding, and a 19-inch wheel design that isn’t available on any other trim. The hands-free power liftgate is a nice touch.
The N Line is also the only Tucson to feature seating trimmed in faux suede and leather with red contrast stitching, plus black accents throughout the interior. Both the shift knob and steering wheel are wrapped in leather. In place of lower trims’ plastic door panels, the N Line and Limited provide soft-touch materials and fabric. N Line buyers also benefit from an eight-speaker Bose premium audio system, 10.3-inch digital instrument cluster, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink, a wireless charging pad, and Hyundai digital key support.
2022 Hyundai Tucson Limited Pros and Cons
If you have extra cash to spend and want one of the best-equipped vehicles in the compact segment, look no further than the Tucson Limited, which we got to sample in our First Test. It starts at nearly $36,000, but the additional feature content may just be worth it.
Outside, the Limited swaps the standard LED headlights with upgraded LED projector units, adds flashy mirror-type daytime running lights, sports side mirrors with chrome accents, and rolls on unique-to-trim 19-inch wheels. Other visual differences include silver-painted front and rear skidplates, dark chrome grille trim, and gloss black B- and C-pillars.
The more noticeable differences are apparent from the cabin. First off, the Tucson Limited includes one of the few panoramic sunroofs in the segment. Buyers will also appreciate the leather-trimmed upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, eight-way power driver’s seat, and even heated rear seats.
The Limited is also the only Tucson trim to feature 64-color ambient lighting and a 10.3-inch touchscreen infotainment display with navigation. (The larger system loses wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, but you can still use those programs wired.) Folks in colder climates will be thankful for the heated steering wheel, too.
Lastly, the Tucson Limited includes driver assist features not available on lower trims. Those include remote smart park assist, Hyundai’s excellent Highway Driving Assist semi-autonomous tech, parking sensors front and rear with reverse collision avoidance braking, a 360-degree camera system, and a blind-view monitor that streams a video feed from a camera covering blind spots to the digital instrument cluster.
2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid, Plug-In, and XRT Pros and Cons
Ah, but that’s not all Hyundai has in store for its newly redesigned compact. The automaker will also offer hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains, both of which swap the standard model’s 190-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder for a 1.6-liter turbocharged I-4 coupled with an electric motor delivering 226-261 hp. Although the plug-in hasn’t yet been rated, the hybrid’s fuel economy numbers read 37-38 mpg in combined city and highway driving.
Hyundai has also announced it will build an off-road-inspired Tucson XRT. We’re expecting something along the lines of the Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road with the Tucson XRT. Standard all-wheel drive, all-terrain tires, tougher skidplates, and a minor suspension lift are all on the table.
Our advice would be to go with the Tucson N Line. Although we generally don’t condone a sporty-looking vehicle that can’t back up its looks, the N Line pairs its athletic aesthetic with useful feature content compact SUV buyers want. The price point is relatively accessible, too, but buyers looking to avoid some of the dynamic issues that led to its last-place finish in a comparison might consider a 2022 Tucson Hybrid in the mid-level SEL Convenience trim.
2022 Hyundai Tucson Trim Levels:
- N Line (MT’s pick)
2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid Trim Levels:
- SEL Convenience (MT’s pick)
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