In A Word, The 2022 Hyundai Tucson Plug-in Hybrid SUV is Fun

A Girls Guide To Cars | In A Word, The 2022 Hyundai Tucson Plug-In Hybrid Suv Is Fun - 2022 Tucson Hev
The 2022 Hyundai Tucson PHEV. Photo courtesy of Hundai

This is the best of all worlds.

Sport utility vehicles were initially designed for handling the roads of the great outdoors, yet we find them parked in city lots and suburban driveways. The crossover evolved as an SUV that serves equally well for driving kids to school, running errands, and taking long scenic road trips. Throw in all wheel drive and you’ve got a car that is ideal for most purposes.

If the only thing keeping you from driving electric, at least partially, is the desire for all wheel drive and both passenger and cargo space, the Hyundai Tucson plug-in electric vehicle, or PHEV in car industry lingo, is definitely worth exploring.

Like many of us, you might steer away from SUVs for the poor fuel efficiency. But the Hyundai Tucson PHEV is definitely worth considering: it scores an electric range of 33 miles and a gas-only range of 35 MPG. Electric when you want it, gas when you need it. And if you plug it in regularly, you can probably only buy gas for long trips.

The Hyundai Tucson PHEV is great for the day to day errands, driving to/from school, groceries, etc. Then when you’re ready to pack everyone in for a road trip, you’re looking at about 35 MPG from the hybrid gas engine. That means there’s no need to panic once you’ve depleted the electric charge…you’ll still have plenty of gas in the tank.

The base model starts at $34,750 and the MSRP on the sticker of my test drive model with lots of nice options priced out at $42,550.

Related: 2022 Hyundai Tucson: This Great Little SUV Has Game. Lots of Game

A Girls Guide To Cars | In A Word, The 2022 Hyundai Tucson Plug-In Hybrid Suv Is Fun - Hyundautucsonphev Kymri

The 2022 Hyundai Tucson Plug-In Hybrid. Photo: Kymri Wilt

The E-DRIVE Experience is Fun

The Hyundai Tucson PHEV is totally fun to drive. I love that it remembers my driver seat position, and adjusts accordingly when I get in, such a nice welcome!

During my short test drive, I drove city streets then hopped on the freeway, and enjoyed how this car handled. Had time permitted, I would have loved to hit the mountain roads! The 1.6 turbo 4-cylinder hybrid engine could handle any conditions with an output of 261 horsepower and 6 speeds. The last thing I wanted to do was park the car. But as I wound my way up to the top of the parking garage, the e-drive tight cornering won me over. Thanks to the HTRAC traction control system, cornering was precise and tight, a nice change from other vehicles of this size. Not that I didn’t notice it at street corners, but the tight turning is most appreciated in parking lots and structures.

Related: I Traded My Hyundai Santa Fe for a Week to Drive the 2022 Hyundai Tucson

A Girls Guide To Cars | In A Word, The 2022 Hyundai Tucson Plug-In Hybrid Suv Is Fun - Hyundai Tucson Phev Interior

Interior of the 2022 Hyundai Tucson PHEV. Photo: Hyundai

The Parking Experience is Fun

After navigating the parking lot, there’s nothing more frustrating than having to pass up a space because it’s tight. Who needs that stress? With Remote Smart Parking Assist, the Hyundai Tucson PHEV can wiggle in and glide out of that space for you, while you stand OUTSIDE the car and push a button on the key fob. Simply pull the car up to the spot, put in park and tap the smart park button inside the car. Get out of the car and at the push of a button on the remote and it pulls into the parking spot. When you’re ready to get back in but there’s not room enough to open the door, remote start the car and use the smart park function again to back the car out of the spot for you. Coupled with the tight cornering, the Hyundai Tucson PHEV wins for being parking lot friendly.

Related: When a Parking Garage Becomes a Travel Destination

A Girls Guide To Cars | In A Word, The 2022 Hyundai Tucson Plug-In Hybrid Suv Is Fun - Hyundaitucsonphevcargo

Cargo space with backseats up in the Hyundai Tucson PHEV. Photo by Kymri Wilt

Exploring the Interior Space

The 2022 Hyundai Tucson PHEV has just enough passenger and cargo space for every day needs as well as adventurous road trips. When exploring the space, I discovered so many features that my current 2016 vehicle doesn’t have. For example, a hands-free smart lift gate with auto open and close to access the cargo space. This is a dream, whether loading groceries, or in my case, the dog, surfboards and gear. There is a generous 31.9 cubic feet of cargo space, and when you don’t need it all, the backseat easily pops down in a 60/40 split. When I did this I discovered that the back seats are also adjustable and can recline for passengers! Another first for me, reclining back seats!

Related: 2022 Hyundai Kona N First Drive: The Crossover That Will Remind You Why You Love Smaller Cars

A Girls Guide To Cars | In A Word, The 2022 Hyundai Tucson Plug-In Hybrid Suv Is Fun - Hyundaitucsonphevprofile

The 2022 Hyundai Tucson Limited PHEV in Deep Sea Blue. Photo by Kymri Wilt

Exploring the features of the 2022 Hyundai Tucson PHEV

The vehicle model I drove came with a panoramic sunroof, rear privacy glass, 19-inch alloy wheels, premium LED daytime running lights, LED brake light, and automatic LED headlights with high-beam assist.

In addition to the driver’s seat memory settings, the Hyundai Tucson’s seats also have lumbar support– a great feature for long drives. There is ambient lighting, dual auto temperature control, and heated and vented leather trimmed seats ensure the comfort of passengers as well.

In terms of advanced safety systems, the Tucson PHEV has it all: forward collision-avoidance, blind spot collision-avoidance, and rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist features are complimented by lane-assist, ABS brake-assist, safe exit (which won’t let you open the door and exit into an oncoming vehicle or bicycle) and park distance warning (hello un-scratched bumpers!).

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Hyundai is Always Pushing the Tech Envelope Further

I’ve always been impressed with the Hyundais I’ve had the pleasure to test-drive a few, beginning with the 2016 Sonata Plug In Hybrid, and my expectations are always exceeded. These cars rank quite high in terms of what you get for the price.

So it’s not a surprise that Hyundai has a winner with the Tucson plug in hybrid; it is one of the most affordable compact SUVs on the road with a solid all-electric drive range and good hybrid fuel economy (there are only a few others in this class including the Toyota RAV4 Prime, Kia Sportage, Ford Escape and Subaru Crosstrek).

But the Tucson wasn’t just impressive for its plug-in ability; it is a truly fun vehicle to drive. All this makes me appreciate Hyundai’s future-forward thinking and progressing toward a greener and cleaner tomorrow. There is always more to a Hyundai than meets the eye and the fun 2022 Hyundai Tucson PHEV is no exception.

Disclosure: Hyundai provided the 2022 Tucson PHEV for my review. All opinions are my own.

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Based in Cardiff by the Sea, California, Kymri is a freelance travel photographer, writer, and videographer. Between travels, she... More about Kymri WIlt