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2022 Hyundai Tucson Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons.

2022 Hyundai Tucson Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: SE vs SEL and Limited

Compare the 2022 Hyundai Tucson Trims - SE vs SEL and Limited. What is the difference between them?

Looking for a capable small SUV to help you navigate the hustle and bustle of life? If so, the freshly revamped 2022 Hyundai Tucson might be just the addition. Hyundai has often played things kind of safe with the Tucson, but not anymore - the Tucson is here to compete.

Marking the Tucson's entrance into the fourth generation for the line-up, there are a slew of exterior design elements that give the Tucson more than just a mere facelift. Here, you will see squared-off wheel arches, eye-catching lines, and a new swooping headlight design. And, on the inside, you get even more: a hard button-free center stack and a new shroudless digital information display are included in the changes.

You can select from the traditional gas-powered model or go for one of the two hybrid options. One is a standard hybrid while the other is a plug-in hybrid, which will give the vehicle 28 miles of all-electric range.

What remains the same? You are still going to get Hyundai's excellent overall value and generous warranty coverage. But which trim level should you choose? There are three to select from: the SE, SEL, and Limited. Based on your needs, one might work better than the others. Let's break down the details of these trim levels so that you know exactly what to expect when you go to test drive a 2022 Hyundai Tucson.

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Compare the SE vs SEL Trims. What is the difference?

Let's start off by comparing the 2022 Hyundai Tucson SE and SEL. These two trims have some differences, but how much of an upgrade is the mid-tier SEL? Well, let's examine the package options. There are none for the SE, but there are two on the SEL. The $2,600 Convenience package provides you with numerous additions. These include a hands-free smart power liftgate with automatic open, a power tilting and sliding sunroof, 19-inch alloy wheels, a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, wireless charging, Hyundai digital key, and ambient lighting in the center console and foot well areas. On the outside, the Tucson gets upgraded to LED lights. There are also an auto-dimming interior rearview mirror with the HomeLink universal garage door opener, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shift knob, dual-zone climate control, fabric on the soft-touch door panels, and the Ultrasonic Rear Occupant Alert.

Now, if you choose to equip the other available package for the SEL - the Premium - you get a few more features. This upgrades you to seats trimmed in leather, ventilation on the front seats, a premium Bose sound system, the Hyundai crest and a premium dark chrome grille, and premium LED daytime running lights. And that comes at an additional cost of $1,700, which might be easy for some buyers to justify given the Tucson's inherently good value.

Time to get into what really separates the base SE from the SEL trim. Fuel economy will not differ between the gasoline variants at all since each of the three trim levels is outfitted with the same powertrain configuration. They all get 29 miles per gallon combined (26 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway) on the front-wheel drive model and, on the AWD variant, 26 mpg combined (24 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway). And that is all on a 14.3-gallon fuel tank.

So, just what are the mechanical specs? There is a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 187 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque. If you opt for the standard hybrid, you get the hybrid components with a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that puts forth 227 hp in total. The plug-in hybrid has the same 4-cylinder as the standard hybrid but is able to get a total output of 261 hp. Front-wheel drive is standard on all trims, but all-wheel drive is available as an option for each. An 8-speed automatic comes standard across the board, and there is Idle Stop & Go included.

This two-row, five-seater small SUV has a max towing capacity of 2,000 pounds with the trailer brakes included. Without them, it can tow 1,650 pounds. Drive Mode Select comes with the vehicle, and you get an independent MacPherson front strut with coil springs mixed with an independent multi-link rear suspension design. In the front and rear, you get gas-pressurized shock absorbers. A 4-wheel disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System, Motor-Driven Power Steering (MDPS), and 17-inch alloy wheels all come equipped on the SE and SEL. Of course, the 19-inch wheels can be swapped in on the SEL if you'd like some bigger wheels.

The slew of standard safety equipment is mostly the same across the board. The SE and SEL both come with adjustable front-seat shoulder belt anchors, a LATCH system for child car safety seats in the rear, a power window lock-out button, child safety locks in the rear, the Electronic Stability Control with Brake Assist and Traction Control System, vehicle stability management, and a tire pressure monitoring system. Add to that some helpful driver aids, including the driver attention warning (which will sound if its sensors detect you are becoming too tired to drive or too distracted), forward collision mitigation, a rear seat reminder, lane keep assist, and lane follow assist. To add more, the SEL equips Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist, and Safe Exit Warning. Of course, you can get the Ultrasonic Rear Occupant Alert added on as an option.

The exteriors of these two trim levels look fairly similar, but there are a few ways to distinguish them. Both the SE and SEL come with LED front headlights, daytime running lights, and turn indicators. They have automatic headlights, high beam assist, a Roof-mounted Center High-Mount Stop Lamp, body-colored side mirrors and door handles, and solar control front glass. On top of that, each trim comes with an acoustic-laminated windscreen, 2-speed intermittent variable front windshield wipers, a rear spoiler, and a shark fin roof antenna.

The SEL does quite a bit to distinguish itself from the outside though. It comes with LED taillights and leaves the option open for equipping premium LED daytime running lights. The side mirrors are heated, and LED colored turn indicators are standard. Also equipped is rear privacy glass. The wipers up front are Aero, and there are roof side rails up top. The Proximity Key entry with push button start is also standard.

Inside, these trims have some core similarities. The SE and SEL both have stain-resistant cloth seats, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, a dual level cargo floor, cargo-area remote release for the back seats, an 8-inch color touchscreen audio, wireless smartphone app connectivity with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, HD Radio, two front USB outlets, manual air conditioning, and a rear window defroster with a timer. Add to that steering-wheel mounted controls, Bluetooth capabilities, a tilting and telescoping steering wheel, remote keyless entry, and two 12-volt power outlets for a well-rounded interior.

But, of course, the SEL takes things up a notch. It adds more standard features, including an 8-way power driver's seat, 3-step heated front seats, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Blue Link Connected Car Services, the Blue Link Remote Package, two second-row USB outlets, rear air vents, proximity key, Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go, and auto-up/down on the power front windows. Options you can tack on include LED interior lighting, ambient interior lighting, the auto-dimming rear-view mirror with HomeLink, and everything else included in the trim level's two package options.

Compare the SEL vs Limited Trims. What is the difference?

The SEL packs a lot of value in, but the Limited goes farther. It takes everything that you can get in the SEL's Premium and Convenience Packages and makes it standard issue. What does not change are the mechanical specs, so don't expect an upgraded performance. But what you can expect to find are more advanced driver aids. The Limited tacks on Reverse Parking Collision Avoidance Assist, Forward and Reverse Parking Distance Warning, a Blind Spot View Monitor, a Surround View Monitor, Highway Driving Assist, Navigation Based Smart Cruise Control with curve control, and Remote Smart Park Assist. Even some luxury vehicles do not equip all of these features, so you get treated to a lot of value even on the line-topping Limited trim level.

On the outside, the Limited distinguishes itself in a few ways. It upgrades to projector beam LED headlights and adds the premium daytime running lights as standard equipment. The side mirrors gain a sleek chrome accent, and there are chic new front and rear premium fascia. The premium dark chrome accent grille is made standard too., and you get gloss black pillars added onto the body. The windshield wipers have a rain-sensing ability, and there is a panoramic sunroof to let in a bunch of extra light during the day. Hyundai's Hands Free Smart Liftgate comes standard with its auto open and adjustable height setting included. And, of course, Hyundai Digital Key is also now standard issue.

But just how different is the interior? Does that help justify the price jump? Well, it certainly sees some fun additions. The Limited's cabin gains leather appointed seating surfaces, and the 8-way power adjustable driver's seat is standard. That seat also comes with memory settings. The rear outboard seats have "high" and "low" heat settings. Also, there is a new 10.25-inch touchscreen display with built-in navigation and traffic flow readouts that show incident data via HD Radio. The previously optional Bose premium sound system is equipped, and you get the Blue Link Guidance Package too. The Surround View and Blind Spot View Monitors are included, as is wireless charging for your devices.

Take note that dual-zone automatic climate control is made standard on the Limited Trim. Also added on is Voice Controlled HVAC with its capacitive-touch switches and Multi-Air Mode for easier changing of settings. The leather-wrapped steering wheel is optional, but the leather-wrapped gear shift knob is still optional. There is a heated steering wheel, paddle shifters mounted to the steering wheel, and button-type shift-by-wire. The auto-dimming rear-view mirror with HomeLink, LED interior lighting, and 64-color expanded ambient interior lighting round out the lengthy list of features included on the Limited trim.

Buying Tip: To avoid overpaying on a new car, shop prices online first. Get up front pricing before you walk into a dealership. We recommend the following free services; Car Clearance Deals,   Edmunds,   CarsDirect,   NADAguides  &  Motortrend. These free services will offer you the lowest prices and supply you with multiple competing price quotes. You will know the best price before you visit the dealer.

Which Trim to Choose?

There really is no wrong way to go with the 2022 Hyundai Tucson. The new engine line-up with two hybrid options is downright exciting since it gives you more options to choose from. And, of course, the list of standard tech and safety features is one of the longest in this segment. This is a great way to kickstart the fourth Tucson generation.

But which trim level should you buy? The base SE is the most affordable but leaves no room to customize with packages. The Limited is a fantastic choice for a line-topper, but it might be a little bit out of the average buyer's budget. That leaves the mid-tier SEL trim level, which equips a lot of standard features. You can choose to tack the Convenience and/or Premium Packages on for a reasonable price bump, but they might also not be necessities for you.

Going with the SEL trim level gets you the most value possible from a value-packed vehicle. The Hyundai Tucson is here, ready to show up the competition in 2022 with its new powertrain options and even beefier list of features than before.

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