2023 Hyundai Tucson Plug-in Hybrid: 9 things to know

Update: ‘Pricier than the old model’ section added.

A total of 150,949 Tucsons were delivered in the U.S. market in 2021, making it Hyundai’s best-selling model. The full model change for MY2022 and the expansion of powertrain options to include hybrid and plug-in hybrid could bring record annual sales for the SUV in 2022 and 2023, provided supply constraints are managed well.

Hyundai Motor America claims that the 2023 Hyundai Tucson Plug-in Hybrid is a “carry-over model,” meaning that it entails soft changes. Here are 9 things you need to know about the incoming PHEV.

The most powerful Tucson configuration

The 2023 Hyundai Tucson Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) uses the same internal combustion engine as the Tucson Hybrid (HEV). The 1.6-liter T-GDi turbocharged gasoline direct-injection four-cylinder mill produces 180 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 195 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,500-4,500 rpm. The 2023 Hyundai Tucson Plug-in Hybrid also shares a 6-speed automatic torque converter transmission with the Tucson HEV.

Hyundai Tucson Hybrid
The 2023 Hyundai Tucson Plug-in Hybrid shares the 1.6L T-GDi engine with its hybrid counterpart. Image Source: Hyundai

With a higher-output motor and a larger battery, the plug-in hybrid variant boasts more advanced electrification. Here is a table that compares the mechanical differences between the hybrid and plug-in hybrid:

ParameterHyundai Tucson Hybrid SpecificationHyundai Tucson PHEV Specification
Engine1.6L T-GDi1.6L T-GDi
Engine Max. Power180 hp at 5,500 rpm180 hp at 5,500 rpm
Engine Max. Torque195 lb.-ft. at 1,500-4,500 rpm195 lb.-ft. at 1,500-4,500 rpm
Electric Motor Power59 hp at 1,600-2,000 rpm90 hp at 2,100-3,300 rpm
Electric Motor Torque195 lb.-ft. at 0-1,600 rpm224 lb.-ft. at 2,100 rpm
Combined Power226 hp261 hp
Combined Torque258 lb.-ft.258 lb.-ft.
BatteryLithium-ion PolymerLithium-ion Polymer
Battery Voltage270 V360 V
Battery Energy Storage Capacity1.49 kWh13.8 kWh
Battery Power Output64 kW88 kW
Charge PortNoYes
On-board Charger Peak Power7.2 kW at 240 V
100% Charging Time~2 hours
Expected EV Range (EPA)33 miles
Expected Total Range (EPA)Up to 521 miles420 miles
Transmission6-speed automatic6-speed automatic
Drivetrain LayoutAWD (with HTRAC)AWD (with HTRAC)
Fuel efficiencyUp to 38 MPG (combined)80 MPGe (combined, elec + gas)/35 MPG (combined, gas)
2023 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid and 2023 Hyundai Tucson Plug in Hybrid specifications compared (Source: Hyundai)

Electric range is not as good as the Toyota RAV4 Prime

The Hyundai Tucson PHEV’s current EPA-estimated EV mode range is 33 miles, and we don’t expect it to change with the MY2023 update. This is markedly lower than the 42-mile EPA-estimated range of the Toyota RAV4 Prime (PHEV).

The Tucson PHEV’s combined fuel economy rating is 80 MPGe (electricity + gasoline)/35 MPG (gasoline), which should remain unchanged when it enters the 2023 model year. The Toyota RAV4 Prime would crush it in this aspect as well, with 94 MPGe (electricity + gasoline)/38 MPG (gasoline). On a full charge and a full tank, the South Korean SUV can provide a range of 420 miles currently, while the Japanese SUV can cover a much longer distance of 600 miles.

Hyundai Tucson Plug-in Hybrid front three quarter live image
As before, the 2023 Hyundai Tucson PHEV will feature the company’s HTRAC AWD system as standard. Image Source: Hyundai

Standard AWD

The new-generation Hyundai Tucson is the first Hyundai SUV where the plug-in hybrid variant gets the HTRAC AWD system standard. This feature, useful in harsh weather conditions, has been carried forward to the 2023 model.

Not manufactured in the U.S.

Where the standard Tucson is made at the company’s Alabama factory in the United States, the Hyundai Tucson Plug-in hybrid production takes place in Ulsan, South Korea.

Revised trims

As with the current model, the 2023 Hyundai Tucson Plug-in Hybrid will be available in SEL and Limited trim levels. These trims will, however, undergo some changes.

Hyundai has revised the SEL trim to include a wireless smartphone charger and Hyundai Digital Key. An 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, an 8-way power driver seat with power lumbar support, front-seat heating, Smart Cruise Control with start/stop, Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist, and Rear Cross-Traffic Avoidance Assist are some of the main carried-over features.

Compared to the base trim, the top-end trim includes additional/better kit like a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with navigation, an 8-way power front passenger seat, front-seat ventilation, heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, Surround View Monitor, Blind-Spot View Monitor, front and rear parking sensors, Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist – Reverse, and Remote Smart Park Assist.

Least spacious Tucson variant

The plug-in hybrid variant of the Tucson has some compromises with respect to capacities compared to the ICE and hybrid variants, as the bigger battery, motor, and power electronics take up space.

Dimension/CapacityTucson GasTucson HEVTucson PHEV
Total interior volume (w/o pano sunroof)146.9 cu. ft.146.7 cu. ft.137.8 cu. ft.
Passenger interior volume (w/o pano sunroof)108.2 cu. ft.107.9 cu. ft.105.9 cu. ft.
Cargo capacity, rear seats up (cu. ft.)38.7 cu. ft.38.7 cu. ft.31.9 cu. ft.
Cargo capacity, rear seats folded down (cu. ft.)74.8 cu. ft.74.5 cu. ft.66.3 cu. ft.
Fuel Tank14.3 gallons13.7 gallons11.1 gallons
Source: Hyundai

New color

The 2023 Hyundai Tucson PHEV will be available in a new shade of white called Serenity White Pearl, the replacement for the Quartz White option. Amazon Gray, Phantom Black, Deep Sea, and Shimmering Silver will be the additional color choices available on the 2023 Tucson PHEV, carried over from the current model.

Hyundai’s most popular PHEV in the U.S.

The Tucson PHEV is the most popular plug-in Hyundai model in the U.S., as per Wards Intelligence data (via wardsauto.com). Of the 3,678 plug-in hybrids sold through April 2022, up from 779 in 2021, 1,793 were Tucson PHEVs. The compact plug-in hybrid SUV accounts for nearly half (49%) of the PHEVs Hyundai sold in the country. The Santa Fe PHEV, with 1,100 units, ranked second, while the Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid’s sales were flat. Note that the Ioniq eco-car family is no longer on sale in the U.S.

Pricier than the 2022 model

The prices of the PHEV have gone up with the MY2023 update. The 2023 Hyundai Tucson SEL Plug-in Hybrid retails at USD 37,050, which makes it USD 1,650 costlier. The 2023 Hyundai Tucson Limited Plug-in Hybrid is priced at USD 44,310, which makes it USD 1,110 more expensive than the previous model. Hyundai charges a standard destination fee of USD 1,295 on the MSRP of both models.

For comparison, the Toyota RAV4 Prime is available in SE and XSE trims, for a price of USD 40,300 (excl. USD 1,335 destination fee) and USD 43,625 (excl. USD 1,335 destination fee). Prices may increase when it receives its MY2023 update. The same goes for the Ford Escape PHEV, although it is currently much cheaper, priced from USD 35,455 onwards (excl. USD 1,495 destination fee). The 2023 Subaru Crosstrek is another affordable alternative, priced at USD 36,845 (excl. USD 1,225 destination fee).

2023 Hyundai Tucson Plug-in Hybrid FAQs

What is the 2023 Hyundai Tucson PHEV EV range?

The Hyundai Tucson PHEV’s EV range will likely be 33 miles (EPA est.).

What is the 2023 Hyundai Tucson PHEV release date?

The 2023 Hyundai Tucson PHEV is expected to go on sale in late 2022.

What is the 2023 Hyundai Tucson PHEV price?

The base 2023 Tucson PHEV costs USD 37,050 (excluding USD 1,295 destination fee).

Featured Image Source: Hyundai