2022 Hyundai Tucson N Line Review:Driving Impressions

Jack R. Nerad, Independent Expert | Sep 23, 2022

Introduction

The Hyundai Tucson is smack in the middle of the largest market segment in the United States—compact crossover SUVsAll-new for the 2022 model yearHyundai offers the Tucson in several variants—conventional gasoline, hybrid, plug-in hybrid (PHEV), and the sporty N Line, which is the subject of this review. (The 2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid is reviewed separately.) The 5-passenger Tucson is a handy size, and it gives drivers an elevated driving position that offers better visibility on the highway than a sedan or coupe. Hyundai offers the Tucson crossover in front-wheel-drive (FWD) and all-wheel-drive (AWD) versions in trim levels that range from pretty basic to high-luxe.

The Tucson N Line leverages the performance of Hyundai's N brand, which hopes to do for its maker what M has done for BMW and AMG has done for Mercedes-Benz. As with other Hyundai N Line models (Elantra N Line, Kona N Line, and Sonata N Line), the Tucson N Line is a bit of sheep in wolf's clothing. It offers a performance vehicle's looks and interior style, but it delivers very little extra performance. In the Tucson N Line's case, it provides significantly less horsepower than the hybrid and PHEV versions of the likable crossover, which is a bit counterintuitive. Still, it is a "looker," and there is definitely a market for vehicles that look hot but aren't nearly as expensive as they tend to be. In fact, when Hyundai gets around to offering a full-performance Tucson N, it is pretty likely the Tucson N Line will outsell it.

2022 Hyundai Tucson N Line Price and Release Date

The conventionally powered 2022 Hyundai Tucson lineup includes five trim levels: SE, SEL, N Line, XRT, and Limited. Hyundai offers all five in FWD and AWD configurations. The Tucson family also includes three hybrid versions—Blue, SEL, and Limited—and two plug-in hybrid trims—SEL and Limited.

The least expensive 2022 Hyundai Tucson is the front-drive SE trim with a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $27,095, including the $1,295 destination charge. A front-drive N Line model has a base price of $32,495. A top-end conventionally powered Limited with AWD has an MSRP of $38,095. The most expensive variant is the Limited Plug-in Hybrid. That AWD vehicle has a list price of $44,495. The 2023 Tucson model line will use the same trim scheme and have virtually identical equipment, but the prices will be higher.

The Hyundai Tucson N Line test vehicle came equipped with the following options:

  • HTrac AWD
  • Cargo cover/screen
  • Carpeted floor mats

On sale now, the Hyundai Tucson N Line includes a significant amount of standard content, including 19-inch N Line-exclusive alloy wheels, Bose premium audio system, and leather-and-cloth sport seats. The MSRP for the test vehicle, including the $1,295 destination charge, was $34,380.

Independent Expert Opinion: Design, Comfort, and Utility

2022 Hyundai Tucson N Line Front Quarter View

The Hyundai Tucson is a stunning compact crossover utility that doesn't sacrifice versatility for good looks. The Tucson is especially impressive in N Line form because its dark chrome grille accentuates its "hidden" running lights. And as cool as the front end is, the revamped rear end and taillights are even cooler. The N Line also has tasteful details like revised front and rear fascias, front fender badges, and a twin-tip exhaust outlet. Roof side rails and a smart liftgate with an auto-open function are also standard with the N Line.

Inside, the Tucson N Line is comfortable and contemporary, with sporty accents to remind you that you're in a performance-oriented vehicle. All Tucson N Lines have a black interior accented with red. Hyundai covers the front sport bucket seats in an attractive and practical combination of leather and cloth. The fabric provides some added grip to your nether regions in hard cornering. The driver's seat is power-adjustable eight ways and features power-operated lumbar support.

Hyundai must have driven a hard bargain with a digital display provider because it offers a 10.25-inch instrument cluster on several of its models, including the Tucson N Line. The display channels the look of traditional instruments and is legible without glare, even in bright sunlight.

The center of the dash features an 8-inch touchscreen display above traditional buttons and knobs that control the radio and the climate system. This is a sensible arrangement, and it's easy to use. Hyundai dotted the interior with subtle N Line logos and badges. Among other places, they appear on the gear shifter and the steering wheel. The N Line also has alloy facings on the foot pedals to lend a sporty touch. The black headliner and red accents on seats and door trim further the race-oriented theme. The good news is that none of this in any way lessens the 5-passenger usability and cargo-carrying ability. The Tucson has more cargo area than the bestseller in the class, the Toyota RAV4.

Independent Expert Opinion: Infotainment, Technology, and Safety

2022 Hyundai Tucson N Line Interior Dashboard

The infotainment systems in Hyundai models have won a positive reputation for ease of operation, which is certainly the case in the Tucson N Line. The 8-inch touchscreen is easy to access from the driver and front passenger seats. Its icons are large, colorful, and easy to choose. The system offers wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto—a nice convenience that worked well in our test. The system includes a three-month trial subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio and has HD Radio capability. The voice-recognition functions work well, and the Tucson N Line has dual USB outlets front and rear.

The icing on the cake of the N Line's infotainment system is the standard Bose premium audio system. It features a digital 8-channel amplifier with custom equalization, digital signal processing, and dynamic speed compensation and delivers rich, full sound through eight speakers.

The Tucson N Line is chockfull of standard advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS). Among the leading-edge systems included are forward-collision warning with pedestrian and cyclist detection and intersection turn assistance. It also has standard blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic warning systems. Many luxury-brand vehicles lack these systems.

Beyond those already mentioned, the Tucson N Line ADAS array also includes a driver monitoring systemlane-keeping assistance, lane-departure warning, Safe Exit Assist, and a rear-seat reminder system. The only one of the ADAS that was safe to test on public roads was the adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability. It was easy to engage and performed all its functions—maintaining speed and interval—without a hitch.

The 2022 Tucson lineup offers its customers an uncommonly generous number of ADAS across the board. The N Line and the top-of-the-line Limited trims have stellar ADAS collections. In addition to the systems on the N Line, the Limited adds Highway Driving Assist, a surround-view camera, and navigation-based adaptive cruise control.

Independent Expert Opinion: Driving the 2022 Hyundai Tucson N Line

2022 Hyundai Tucson N Line Rear Quarter View

The 2022 Hyundai Tucson N Line looks great (to my eyes anyway) inside and out. It is filled with a wealth of comfort, convenience, and safety features. Its infotainment system is easy to use and includes upscale Bose audio. It has ample storage space and good accommodations for up to five adults. In other words, it ticks virtually all the boxes that should put it at the top of its class.

But when it comes to the driving experience, it is difficult not to wish for more power than the standard and only engine offers. The 187 horsepower from the normally aspirated 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine is more than adequate. Further, there are some benefits to having a non-turbocharged engine. That said, in light of its unique 19-inch wheels, sporty exterior, and driver-oriented cabin, some drivers might want a bit more power. The normally aspirated Toyota RAV4 offers 203 hp from its 2.5-liter engine, and it feels quicker in traffic.

The Hyundai Tucson N Line shines from a utility point of view. A large cargo area accompanies its ample passenger space. While some crossover SUVs give up versatility and interior space in the name of style, the Tucson does not. It is one of the best-looking models in the segment, and it will tote plenty of gear.

At the same time, the Tucson N Line benefits from a compact footprint (although it is slightly longer than the RAV4). Handling when pushed is predictable. Steering is reasonably quick, and the brakes stop the vehicle without drama. Most buyers will find the Tucson N Line a reliable and fulfilling companion.

Independent Expert Opinion of the 2022 Hyundai Tucson N Line

From virtually every point of view, Hyundai has hit a home run with the 2022 Tucson compact crossover SUV. It is roomy, versatile, and filled with unexpected convenience features. It offers a laudable array of ADAS, and its infotainment system, while not flashy, does its job very well. Hyundai's compact crossover can stand tall with any of its competitors, including the Honda CR-VNissan Rogue, and Toyota RAV4.

For those who favor a performance-oriented look and feel, the Tucson N Line improves on a very good basic package. The N Line additions do nothing to limit the vehicle's usefulness as an SUV, but they enhance its good looks and interior comfort. The N Line is not for everyone. Some might find that the mid-line SEL or top-of-the-line Limited matches up better with their overall desires. But the Tucson N Line is a very appealing variant of a high-value compact SUV.

Jack R. Nerad has been reviewing cars, trucks, vans, and sport utilities for more than three decades. He managed the editorial efforts of Motor Trend magazine and Kelley Blue Book and currently is the host of the SportsMap Radio Network program America on the Road, which is available on Apple Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, Stitcher, and other outlets.

The opinions expressed in this review are the author’s own, not J.D. Power’s.

No portion of these reviews may be reproduced, distributed, publicly displayed, or used for a derivative work without J.D. Power’s written permission. © 2022 J.D. Power

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