Crossover & Midsize

Is the 2022 Hyundai Tucson Cheating Off the Design of the Ford Mustang?

Many people were looking forward to the possibility of a redesigned, fourth-generation Hyundai Tucson in 2021. But next year’s vintage won’t feature any significant changes. Derek Joyce, Hyundai‘s product manager, told media in June that the compact SUV will remain identical to the 2020 model. We’ll have to settle waiting until 2022 for the new Tucson to hit showrooms. The good news is, we finally got a sneak peek at what the highly anticipated redesign will look like—at least we hope so.

The 2022 Hyundai Tucson features subtle Vision T design cues

While the 2022 Hyundai Tucson may have a new look, certain features popped up elsewhere. At the 2019 LA Auto Show, Hyundai revealed its Vision T plug-in hybrid SUV concept. The Korean automaker communicated that the Vision T concept is a preview of the new “design language” for its future crossovers. Rumors were that the Vision T concept foreshadowed the styling of the fourth generation Tucson.

The 2022 Hyundai Tucson will also represent Hyundai’s “Sensuous Sportiness” design language we’ve already seen in the 2020 Hyundai Sonata. The Sensuous Sportiness design language incorporates four elemental principles: technology, architecture, styling, and proportion. Like the Vision T concept, the 2022 Hyundai Tucson will have a chunkier and more muscular look, sharp creases, strong shoulders, and a trapezoidal wheelbase.

Some, like MotorTrend, are also claiming that the 2022 Hyundai Tucson’s taillights were very similar to those found in the Ford Mustang. However, unlike the Mustang’s iconic three vertical LED light bars, the Hyundai Tucson only features two. Those two vertical LED light bars are linked together by a full-width LED light bar. The LED light bar slightly curves around the SUVs body, flawlessly flowing into an eye-catching crease. This unique look seems to take away from any claims that Hyundai copied something from the Ford Mustang.

The 2022 Hyundai Tucson’s front end is mean

The 2022 Tucson’s front end features a geometrically designed grille that looks sort of “jewel-like.” Falling in line with Hyundai’s Sensuous Sportiness, it employs futuristic Parametric Hidden Light technology. This enables the LED lighting elements to be fused into the SUV’s chrome brightwork. Its triangular light signature seems to be visible only when the LEDs are illuminated. 

No one has yet to see a photo of the 2022 Tucson without its headlights on, so we’ll have to wait to see if that’s the case. Furthermore, everyone is merely assuming they’re headlights; they could also be fancy auxiliary daytime running lamps. Either way, this sneak peek shouldn’t be mistaken as the final design, and a lot can change from now and production time.

What experts predict will be under the hood

2022 Hyundai Tucson parked in grey
2022 Hyundai Tucson | Hyundai

RELATED: Hyundai Didn’t Do Enough to Make the 2021 Tucson Stand Out

To get an idea of the 2022 Tucson’s prospective engine capabilities, one must understand the current model’s strength and dynamism. The Tucson features two engine alternatives: the base model is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 161 hp and 150 lb-feet of torque. The slightly better engine is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that produces 181 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque. The latter model comes standard on the Tucson SEL, Sport, Limited, and Ultimate trim models. In terms of SUVs its size, that’s pretty impressive.

As for what Hyundai has planned for the 2022 Tucson, you’ll have several engine options to choose from as well—most likely with only slight power increases. For example, a 1.6-liter CRDi turbo-diesel is a “mild-hybrid” turbo-diesel that produces 180 hp and 195 lb-ft. Another option might be a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 290 hp and 310 lb-ft. It’s also rumored that a hybrid engine will part of the 2022 Hyundai Tucson lineup, with a combined output of 230 hp and 258 lb-ft.

Simplistic yet modern dashboard design

From the images, it looks like Hyundai is keeping to its simplistic interior design strategy. There’s a modern dashboard design featuring a completely digital instrument cluster. There won’t be a shifter protruding from between the armrest and dashboard, thanks to a push-button transmission. 

The infotainment and climate control center is also completely digital. But don’t get too excited about what you see now because concepts cars are prone to significant changes depending on many factors. We can only hope that Hyundai can make it happen.