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Hyundai Tucson 2022 review: Highlander N Line diesel AWD long-term | Part 6

We're going to be sad to see the Tucson go.

I can already tell. My family and I are going to miss the Tucson when it must go back, soon.

And, with the number of new cars that pass through our garage on a regular basis, this is one of the biggest endorsements I can give.

And it’s funny to look back on our six months with the car and determine exactly what about the Tucson we fell in love with.

Because it isn’t any one thing, it’s a collection of small things that make this Hyundai mid-size SUV a gem.

Take, for example, the size of the car.

The Tucson sits on the larger end of the mid-size SUV spectrum, being longer and taller than the Toyota RAV4 and Mazda CX-5.

And this means the cabin space is class leading. Seriously, we’ve been in seven-seaters with less second-row space than the Hyundai Tucson.

The Tucson sits on the larger end of the mid-size SUV spectrum. (Image: Tung Nguyen) The Tucson sits on the larger end of the mid-size SUV spectrum. (Image: Tung Nguyen)

This is especially appreciated in a family car, as even with the car seat installed, there is plenty of usable space for front occupants, while the large rear door apertures also make ingress/egress easy when juggling a baby.

Then, there are the thoughtful levels of equipment.

The Tucson in Highlander form is equipped with everything you need to make motoring an absolute breeze, something appreciated when you’ve also got the needs of a small family on your plate.

The surround-view monitor makes parking a breeze, the in-built satellite navigation is quick and snappy, there’s a full-size spare wheel in the back, and the option of various drive modes makes most driving situations a pleasure.

The Tucson in Highlander form is equipped with everything you need to make motoring an absolute breeze. (Image: Tung Nguyen) The Tucson in Highlander form is equipped with everything you need to make motoring an absolute breeze. (Image: Tung Nguyen)

But it's the small things that really help, like the driver’s seat with memory function, allowing you and your partner to save their preferred settings.

There is also the electronically-adjustable driver’s seat that moves backwards when the ignition is switched off and the door opened, saving your knees from banging the steering wheel when you get in and out.

Finally, the styling, particularly with this N Line kit installed, makes the Tucson look like nothing else out there on the road.

The combination of the cascading front grille, body-coloured wheel arch protectors and sleek rear end means you never lose your car in the sea of samey-looking high-riders flooding local roads and car parks.

The styling with the N Line kit installed, makes the Tucson look like nothing else out there on the road. (Image: Tung Nguyen) The styling with the N Line kit installed, makes the Tucson look like nothing else out there on the road. (Image: Tung Nguyen)

It is not all positives, though, because if this was our car, we would forgo the diesel powertrain for one of the petrol engines.

With diesel currently more expensive than petrol, the 137kW/416Nm turbo-diesel engine is only attractive to owners that like to tow, as its braked towing capacity is 250kg more than its petrol-powered siblings, at 1900kg.

If you need the pep, opt for the 1.6-litre turbo-petrol engine that makes 132kW/265Nm and save yourself $2000.

But even the base 115kW/192Nm 2.0-litre petrol engine performs well enough, and is significantly cheaper than the diesel engine, being $6000 less and offered with the same levels of equipment.

If you need the pep, opt for the 1.6-litre turbo-petrol engine that makes 132kW/265Nm. (Image: Tung Nguyen) If you need the pep, opt for the 1.6-litre turbo-petrol engine that makes 132kW/265Nm. (Image: Tung Nguyen)

What would be even better, however, is the option of a petrol-electric hybrid powertrain.

This is available in overseas markets, but at the time of writing there is nothing confirmed for Australia – and this is an especially glaring omission today.

Toyota’s RAV4 Hybrid is far and away the most popular family SUV in the country, with wait times blowing out to up to 18 months, according to some reports.

Kia is also committed to bring a hybrid version of its Sportage to market in the near future, while more and more competitors like the Haval H6 Hybrid, Ford Escape PHEV, Nissan X-Trail e-Power hybrid and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV are also available to those wanting to dip their toe into the electric future.

The Tucson that's available right now is still a great one. (Image: Tung Nguyen) The Tucson that's available right now is still a great one. (Image: Tung Nguyen)

With at least 20 new electric cars launching next year and EV sales going through the roof, its obvious Australians are ready to go green – which makes the lack of electrified options in the fourth-gen Tucson, that launched in 2021, a little puzzling.

Regardless of product planning choices, the Tucson that's available right now is still a great one, and certainly deserves more attention than its fifth-place position in the mid-size SUV segment would suggest.

There really is a lot to love about the Hyundai’s new Tucson, especially for families, and we’re already shedding a tear at the thought of handing back the keys.

Acquired: March 2022

Distance travelled this month: 407km

Odometer: 6860km

Average fuel consumption for [Month]: 7.9L/100 (measured at the pump)

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The Wrap

Six months with the new-generation Hyundai Tucson has proven that it's one of the most underrated family SUVs on the market.

We'd give the diesel a miss, though, unless you plan on towing, so save yourself some money and get a petrol engine.

If you don't care about getting a hybrid, then the Tucson serves up practicality and technology in spades, and should make you the envy of the school car park thanks to head-turning styling that is amplified with the N Line kit.

Likes

Head-turning looks
Fully loaded equipment list
Usable space

Dislikes

Polarising style
Does diesel still make sense in 2022?
Suede seats in a family SUV can stain easily

Scores

Tung:

4.5

The Kids:

5

$26,880 - $52,990

Based on 292 car listings in the last 6 months

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