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Hyundai’s performance sub-brand carries plenty of cachet among enthusiasts thanks to the stellar Elantra N and Veloster N sport compacts. So it’s not surprising that the automaker would want to cash in on that brand equity with something like the 2022 Hyundai Tucson N-Line, which wears some aggressive styling cues and that all-important letter denoting high performance.
But unlike the Kona N-Line and its snappy turbocharged engine, the sporty Tucson variant only wears the clothes of an athlete, keeping the regular crossover’s naturally aspirated 2.5-liter inline-four and six-speed automatic transmission. It’s the only N or N-Line product not to have a turbo, which will disappoint anyone seeking a family-friendly garage mate for their powder-blue Elantra. But those with less sporty pretensions will find a lot to like about the stylish, practical Tucson N-Line, which retains its siblings’ reputation for efficient, comfortable motoring – while adding some cool design cues to up the visual impact.
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|Quick Stats||2022 Hyundai Tucson N-Line HTRAC|
|Output:||187 Horsepower / 178 Pound-Feet|
|Drive Type:||All-Wheel Drive|
|Efficiency:||24 City / 28 Highway / 26 Combined|
Gallery: 2022 Hyundai Tucson N-Line HTRAC Review
- Exterior Color: Quartz White
- Interior Color: Black
- Wheel Size: 19 Inches
The Hyundai Tucson is already a bold little crossover thanks to its chiseled fenders, triangular slashes in the sheet metal, and bumper-mounted headlights residing beneath stealthy little turn signals within the grille. The N-Line adds a bottom-feeder front air intake; gloss black mirror caps, roof rails, and headlight bezel; stylish 19-inch wheels; and a reshaped rear diffuser with a polished twin-tip exhaust. Adding to the appeal is my tester’s crystalline Quartz White paint, which looks great on the N-Line’s color-matched body cladding. In my opinion, the Tucson is already pretty stylin’, and the N-Line adds more fun things to look at.
The Tucson N-Line gets trim-exclusive black leather and cloth upholstery, and there are red accents everywhere – the seat piping and gearshift lever stripe to name a few. The N badge is embossed into the front seatbacks and appears on a little badge on the bottom of the thick-rimmed, red-stitched steering wheel. There’s also a sweep of black trim on the passenger-side dashboard that gets a funky geometric design. A bold center stack design helps the Tucson stand out even more, and adequate, class-competitive materials don’t disappoint.
- Seating Capacity: 5
- Seating Configuration: 2 / 3
- Cargo Capacity: 38.7 / 80.3 Cubic Feet
Like other Tucsons, the N-Line is a comfortable and spacious small crossover, with class-leading rear seat space and an impressive cargo area. The standard reclining second-row bench is a nice feature not commonly seen in this class, too. The N-Line improves on things a bit with its unique leather/cloth upholstery, which provides a rich-feeling and thermally friendly cabin – no toasted buns here, even if the car’s been parked in the sun for a few hours. If you miss that feeling, don’t worry. Heated front seats are standard.
Unfortunately, the 19-inch wheels exact a slight penalty in ride comfort, yielding some busy motions when traversing blemishes in the pavement. And the Tucson isn’t exceptionally well insulated from road noise. Expect some tire slap and roar on gritty surfaces like grooved concrete and old asphalt. Overall, the Hyundai is tolerable, but the Nissan Rogue does freeway comfort better.
- Center Display: 8.0-Inch Touchscreen
- Instrument Cluster Display: 12.3 Inches
- Wireless Apple CarPlay / Android Auto: Yes / Yes
Building off the mid-tier Tucson SEL Convenience, the N-Line gets an 8.0-inch touchscreen display instead of the Limited model’s 12.3-incher. But there’s a surprise benefit to going small: standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Oddly, the bigger infotainment screen only gets wired smartphone mirroring, so I won’t complain about the N-Line’s lesser display too much. As on other Hyundai products, the infotainment software is nicely organized and customizable, with two favorites buttons that can be coded to your frequently used features.
A 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster also comes standard, but it’s nothing to write home about – just two large dials whose color scheme changes with the drive mode. More impressive is the Tucson N-Line’s standard Digital Key, which works with the Hyundai mobile app to allow you to unlock, start, and drive your crossover even if you don’t have a physical key on you. You can also give others timed access to the car, helpful if you’re loaning it out to a friend or letting the teenager borrow it just this once.
save over $3,400 on average off MSRP* on a new Hyundai Tucson
- Engine: 2.5-Liter Inline-Four
- Output: 187 Horsepower / 178 Pound-Feet
- Transmission: Six-Speed Automatic
With a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder under the hood, the Tucson N-Line is far less athletic than its styling (and badging) would indicate. Adding to the straight-line frustration is a six-speed automatic that’s down two cogs from the Toyota RAV4, though I suppose I should be grateful Hyundai didn’t go the CVT route as on the Nissan Rogue, Subaru Forester, and Honda CR-V. Still, when accelerating up an onramp or passing slow-moving traffic, the Tucson N-Line demands some patience – its 187 horsepower and 178 pound-feet come up short on the Honda (190 hp), Nissan (201 hp), and Toyota (203 hp).
In fact, the Tucson is less powerful than its little sibling, the Kona N-Line. That vehicle gets a turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four, which sends 195 hp and 195 lb-ft through an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox, with snappy performance that befits its spec chart. Why this powertrain wasn’t used in the Tucson is anyone’s guess.
- Driver Assistance Level: SAE Level 2 (Hands-On)
- NHTSA Rating: Five Stars Overall
- IIHS Rating: Top Safety Pick+
The Hyundai Tucson N-Line comes standard with the automaker’s battery of driver-assist and safety systems, including full-speed automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and prevention, lane centering, and blind spot monitoring. And as one would expect of a modern Hyundai, it all works well in both free-flowing traffic and cut-and-thrust rush hour.
- City: 24 MPG
- Highway: 28 MPG
- Combined: 26 MPG
|Efficiency||Fuel Economy||Recommended Fuel|
|Hyundai Tucson N-Line HTRAC||24 / 28 / 26 MPG||Regular|
|Honda CR-V EX AWD||27 / 32 / 29 MPG||Regular|
|Nissan Rogue SL AWD||28 / 34 / 31 MPG||Regular|
|Toyota RAV4 XLE AWD||27 / 33 / 29 MPG||Regular|
- Base Price: $25,800 + $1,295 Destination
- Trim Base Price: $33,995
- As-Tested Price: $34,395
Starting at $27,095 with destination, the standard Tucson SE is a good value. The N-Line starts at $32,495 with destination, rising to $33,995 if you opt for all-wheel drive. My tester’s sole option was that $400 Quartz White paint, a bargain if you ask me. $34,395 feels like a good price for the equipment and space on offer, although if you can live without the N-Line styling additions, the Tucson SEL Convenience package costs $1,500 less for the same features.
When compared to the genuine improvements the Sonata, Elantra, and Kona N-Lines get, the Tucson is a bit of a letdown. That said, my sparkling white Tucson is probably the most attractive member of its model family, so if you can reconcile its boring driving dynamics with the supposedly sporty N-Line badge, it would make for a pleasant, comfortable family crossover.
Tucson Competitor Reviews:
2022 Hyundai Tucson N-Line HTRAC