Monday, February 19, 2024




Hyundai seems to have hit a hit a sweet spot in the plug-in version of its Tucson Plug-in SUV with only minor updates the last couple of years since introducing the PHEV model in the 2022 redesign,

The Plug-in (or PHEV) Tucson comes with a nice catalogue of standard features and actually provides a perkier ride than gas-only versions with the 1.6-liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder gas engine-electric motor drivetrain delivering a combined 261 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.

A 6-speed automatic transmission also instead of a CVT (continuously variable transmission) commonly found in hybrid drivetrains makes good use of that power in every day traffic. 

All-wheel drive also is standard on the Hyundai Tucson PHEV.

Naturally, in addition to the extra power with the PHEV, you also get a big boost in fuel economy. The 2024 Hyundai Plug-in offers 33 miles of electric-only driving and sips fuel at the rate of 35 miles-per-gallon of combined electric-gas operation, giving it a range of 420 between fill-ups and charges.

The government rates the gasoline versions with front-wheel drive at 25 miles-per-gallon city, 32 highway, and 28 combined wit a total range of 333 miles.

Only two trim levels with the SEL serving as the base model carrying a starting price tag of $40,100 when the $1,375 destination and delivery charge is included. This review is based on the Limited trim that takes the Tucson PHEV into the mid-$40,000 range with a total of $46,825 including the freight charge.

Standard equipment includes a panoramic sunroof, 19-inch wheels, automatic LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, and LED taillights, and roof side rails.

Comfort and convenience features include push-button start, hands-free power liftgate, leather-trimmed seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual automatic temperature control with rear vents, heated and ventilated power front seats, heated rear seats, surround-view camera, rain-sensing windshield wipers, parking assist, wireless device charging, a 10.25-inch instrument cluster, 10.25-inch touchscreen with navigation, Bose premium sound system, and Smart Cruise Control that is Hyundai’s upgraded adaptive cruise control system.

Safety technology includes frontal collision avoidance assist, blind spot collision assist, rear cross-traffic collision assist, front and rear parking distance warning, safe exit alert, and the usual collection of seat belts and airbags. Engaging the turn signal activate’s Hyundai’s blind-spot monitor that displays in the instrument panel what might be coming up from behind you. 

The driver’s seat also includes lumbar support and a memory function.

The cabin itself is roomy and if not premium level at least upscale and eye-pleasing. Front-seat riders get 41.4 inches of legroom and those in the second row get 39.5. Not sure what is gained, if anything, by it, but a push-button panel on the center console is used to select gears instead of a shift leaver.

Cargo space with all seats in place is 31.9 cubic feet. That is considerably less than what you get with gas-engine and HEV (standard hybrid) models because of the PHEV’s battery pack, but it expands to 66.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.

All in all, the Hyundai Tucson PHEV gives you a comfortable way to ease into the so-called electrification revolution that the government seems to be forcing on us with no range worries or recharging woes that are inherent in all-electric vehicles.

What I liked about the Hyundai Tucson Plug-in:
The hybrid drivetrain provides a peppier performance than the standard gasoline version.The cabin is roomy and quiet. There’s a semi-premium feel about it. Cargo space is plentiful. Infotainment features are plentiful and user-friendly.with one quibble (see below). The transition from EV mode to the gas engine is seamless.

What I didn’t like about the Hyundai Tucson Plug-in: I would prefer knobs to adjust volume and surf the radio dial instead of having to push a button on the centerstack facing. The touch-style operation can be distracting for the driver to use. Only two trim levels are offered on the Plug-in.

Would I buy the Hyundai Tucson Plug-in? Yes. The Plug-in version offers the best of two worlds when it comes to the drivetrain with the capability of handling short hops via electric drive while offering a gas engine for longer excursions. 

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