The 2022 Honda Civic is fully redesigned. Everybody knows the Civic; in the U.S., over 12 million have been sold since 1973. Odds are, if you haven’t owned a Civic yourself, you probably know a dozen friends who have. Here’s what’s new in the Civic for 2022.
2022 Honda Civic – Exterior Styling
Styling is all new in the 2022 Civic. If you’re familiar with the latest version of the Civic’s big sister, the Accord, you’ll spot some similarities. But overall, there’s little that stands out about the new Civic design. I always appreciate clean automotive styling, but this veers toward generic and doesn’t stand out from the Nissan Sentras and Subaru Imprezas of the world. The only detail that you might notice, as I did, is the prominent neanderthal-esque brow ridge in the front end styling, above the Honda badge. That styling element likely benefits pedestrian safety though, so I’ll give it a pass.
There’s little resemblance to the previous generation, which has been on sale since the 2015 model year, and I’m okay with that. The previous Civic, especially in hatchback and high-performance Type R trims, was a lot to handle visually. Everywhere you look, there were creases and spoilers and fake vents. Details everywhere, and it was too much. So, I’m pleased to see that Honda has shown some restraint in the 2022 Civic sedan’s styling. Although, Honda has yet to unveil the redesigned Civic Hatchback, sporty Si version, and new Type R. But in my opinion, the new designs of those models can only be an improvement.
2022 Honda Civic – Interior
Like the exterior, the interior styling can best be described as clean in the 2022 Honda Civic. The controls look like they’ll be user-friendly. The only distinguishing element is the metallic grate spanning the dash from door to door, which conceals the air vents. The interior of the previous Civic was definitely attempting to be more stylish, but the new model goes for a far more simple look. And that’s not a knock – there’s an elegance to clean, refined design that I appreciate.
2022 Honda Civic – Powertrain
The engines used in the new Civic sedans are mostly carryovers from the last generation. And that’s fine, because those engines were already acceptably powerful for the class, and fuel-efficient. Both engine choices are paired with an updated version of the previous Civic’s continuously variable transmission (CVT).
The LX and Sport trims will use the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, which makes the same 158 horsepower as last year. Fuel economy is improved thanks to subtle tweaks and the updates to the CVT. In LX trim, the old Civic returned 30 miles per gallon in the city, 38 on the highway, and 33 in combined driving according to the EPA. The 2022 Civic LX increases all three figures to 31, 40, and 35 miles per gallon respectively.
The EX and top Touring trims of the 2022 Honda Civic will use the 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. With this engine, minor changes result in a 6 horsepower increase for a total of 180. Fuel efficiency figures mostly remain the same as last year, although the Civic EX should be the fuel economy champ of the Civic sedan lineup. The EPA expects 33 miles per gallon in the city, 42 on the highway, and 36 combined. That marks a 1 mpg improvement over last year’s city figure. The others are unchanged.
All 2022 Civics will feature two drive modes: Normal and Eco. Eco mode will dull the throttle response and air conditioning to boost fuel efficiency. The Sport and Touring trim add a Sport mode, which will make the car feel more responsive. And, it will turn your gauges red!
Cool Features & Innovations
There are some new features available for the first time on the Civic, but there isn’t much here that you can’t also find in the competition. Honda touts a few Civic firsts, like standard LED headlights on all trims, and an available digital gauge display, premium Bose sound system, wireless charging pad, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Those are all lovely features, but none are innovative. Most are already available in the compact sedans from other automakers.
However, I do give Honda credit for continually tweaking safety features. For example, new frontal airbag designs are intended to reduce brain and neck injuries in a crash. The rear seats now feature side impact airbags. Additionally, as for safety technology, updates to Honda’s already excellent Honda Sensing suite of advanced driver assistance systems keep it at the forefront. Honda Sensing is standard on all Civic trims, although you have to upgrade to the EX or Touring for blind spot monitoring.
Small and compact cars are dying. Equivalently-priced SUVs and crossovers are their murderer. With the 2022 Honda Civic, I’m skeptical as to whether minimal upgrades to an admittedly already competent entry will be enough to shift this trend. There’s little to get excited about, and the competition gives you more. The Toyota Corolla (especially in sporty SE and XSE trims) delivers a legitimately engaging, fun-to-drive experience and impeccable reliability. The Mazda 3 feels sophisticated, luxurious, and upmarket. The Hyundai Elantra has standout styling (whether you like it or not) and cool technology for reasonable prices. The Subaru Impreza is honest and practical, with standard all-wheel drive.
The Civic faithful will find a lot to like here, and I’m sure Honda will sell a lot of their redesigned Civics. But it seems that other automakers recognize that in order to justify the continued existence of their compact sedans in an ever shrinking segment, they need to give buyers a reason to want one of their offerings on an emotional level. By maintaining the Civic’s status quo and doing little to move the needle for the compact sedan class, it doesn’t seem like Honda is doing the same. And I expect more from an industry-leading automaker like Honda.
The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz was just unveiled, and Hyundai wants you to consider it part of a brand new automotive segment. Even if it has an open cargo bed, don’t call it a pickup truck. This is a Sport Adventure Vehicle, thank you very much. Whatever that may mean, the Santa Cruz is based on the new Tucson compact crossover, but with the addition of a small cargo bed at the rear.
Production of the Santa Cruz starts in June, and it should be hitting dealerships by the end of this summer. Hyundai says the Santa Cruz will add an extra 1,200 jobs at their Montgomery, Alabama plant.
Hyundai is marketing the Santa Cruz toward young, active, urban customers. Those who may live and work in the city, but like to spend their free time outdoors, with all their gear and equipment. But to facilitate easy urban commuting, Hyundai touts the Santa Cruz’s smaller size and better maneuverability relative to other midsize trucks.
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz: Styling
I love it. I think it looks so cool! At the front end, there’s an immediate resemblance to the new Tucson including the neat lighting elements built into the grille. Although, it doesn’t appear that the Santa Cruz and Tucson share any body panels in spite of the clear similarity.
The Subaru Baja was the last car/SUV/truck amalgamation that we’ve seen in this market, sold from 2003-2006. It was a cool vehicle, but awkward-looking. By stretching the Tucson’s wheelbase, Hyundai avoided a similar fate here, and the Santa Cruz has a handsome and well-proportioned profile. The side body panels are nicely sculpted. Hyundai added some creases in the bodywork, like those seen in recent redesigns of the Tucson and Elantra sedan, though they aren’t as severe here. There are subtle fender flares, and enough plastic body cladding to give a rugged appearance.
“Santa Cruz” lettering stamped into the tailgate lends a styling element often used in pickup trucks. However, unlike most trucks, the taillights are horizontally oriented, and spread onto the tailgate.
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz: Interior
In the front row of the Santa Cruz’s interior, it appears virtually identical to that of the Tucson. And I think that’s a good thing. The clean, symmetrical design of the dashboard, hoodless digital gauge cluster, and well-placed, sleek infotainment and climate controls give the Santa Cruz the most stylish interior of any compact or midsize pickup truck, hands down. The only difference that I noticed between the Santa Cruz and Tucson is the gearshift. Hyundai replaced the Tucson’s pushbutton gear selector with a more conventional, truck-y “PRND” gear lever.
For the back seat, space appears good, if not as roomy as the Tucson (although Hyundai has yet to release detailed specs on the Santa Cruz). Another typical truck touch is the storage available under the rear seat’s bottom cushions.
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz: Powertrain
The Santa Cruz will be available with two powertrains. The standard option is a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder making around 190 horsepower, paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. This engine and transmission combination appears to be borrowed more or less unchanged from the Tucson. The Santa Cruz can tow up to 3,500 pounds with this standard engine.
The Santa Cruz’s optional powertrain surprised me. A version of the 2.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder used in the sporty Sonata N Line will be optional on the Santa Cruz. In this application, Hyundai promises at least 275 horsepower. Also similar to the Sonata N Line, this engine will be paired with an 8-speed dual clutch automatic transmission. Towing capacity with this powertrain is a pretty impressive 5,000 pounds for a vehicle of this size.
All-wheel drive will be available with either powertrain.
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz: Cool Features & Innovations
The interior of the Santa Cruz shares many of the cool touches from the Tucson. An 8″ touchscreen is standard, and includes wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. A larger 10.25″ touchscreen is available on higher trims, and if it’s like the Tucson, I expect this version to require a wired connection for phone integration. Hyundai’s digital key feature will be available, which allows you to use an Android smartphone as the Santa Cruz’s key.
Safety technology also appears very similar to that in the Tucson. Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian and cyclist detection will be standard. Also standard will be lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, and driver attention warning. Available safety systems include blind spot warning with collision-avoidance assist, blind spot cameras displayed in the instrument cluster, Hyundai’s Highway Drive Assist system with adaptive cruise control, and a 360-degree bird’s-eye-view camera.
The Coolest Feature: The Cargo Bed
Most of the Santa Cruz’s coolest features involve the cargo bed. It’s just under 4 1/2 feet long from front to back, making it the smallest cargo area of all compact and midsize trucks. Hyundai added a lockable trunk under the bed’s floor. There’s also a tonneau cover which retracts like a roll-top desk. Closing the tonneau creates a lockable and water-resistant (though possibly not waterproof) cargo area. Steps built into the bumper facilitate easier access to whatever you’re hauling around in the back.
The Santa Cruz uses a traditional drop-down tailgate. I wish Hyundai implemented a two-way tailgate, like the Honda Ridgeline does. The ability to access your cargo by either dropping the tailgate or swinging it out like a conventional door could be useful. And while the retractable tonneau cover is a great touch, the strap used to pull it closed feels like an inelegant solution. A powered closing feature for the tonneau would be nicer. However, depending on the Santa Cruz’s pricing, I’ll consider this a reasonable concession to make.
Speaking of pricing, Hyundai has yet to announce how much the Santa Cruz will cost. Base versions of mid-size trucks from Ford, Chevrolet, Toyota and Nissan start around $25,000-27,000. I’m hopeful that the Santa Cruz will start around the lower end of that range as well.
I love the Santa Cruz. Although I have no real need for a vehicle with an open cargo bed, I’d like to be the kind of person who does. As a friend on Twitter pointed out, the Santa Cruz will be successful from a marketing perspective if Hyundai can create that desire even if there is no rational need. But I am cautiously optimistic. I mentioned the Subaru Baja earlier – a vehicle built with a similar purpose. And it wasn’t a sales success.
Hyundai is smart to market the Santa Cruz to urban, active customers – those who might otherwise purchase a two-row SUV – rather than try to compete directly with other pickups. Most American truck buyers are likely to look at the Santa Cruz and think “What does Hyundai know about pickups?” and write it off. Honda’s larger car-based Ridgeline pickup has struggled to take hold in the marketplace, and I think that’s largely due to typical pickup shoppers not viewing the Ridgeline as a legitimate truck.
But it’s expected that Ford will soon introduce the Maverick, a unibody (i.e., car-based) truck of their own. Ford is arguably the most legitimate truck manufacturer of them all, as Ford’s F-Series trucks have remained the best-selling vehicle in America since 1981. In joining the fray, Ford may bring legitimacy to the small unibody truck marketplace as a whole. But Hyundai was here first!
Thank you very much for reading. If you know someone who might be interested in learning more about the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, please share this post!
And as always, if you’re thinking about a new car and are feeling overwhelmed by the whole process, get in touch. I’d love to help you out!
Welcome to part 2 of the survey results from drivers of electric vehicles! This post will address the biggest worries that people have about EVs: long-distance road trips, and range anxiety. Also, I gathered some great advice from survey respondents for people like you (and me) – those who might be unsure whether they’re truly ready to make the switch to an electric vehicle.
If you didn’t catch part 1, check it out here. It’s all about charging at home, using public charging stations, and the costs involved. Don’t miss it!
Road trips in electric vehicles
Those considering switching from gas to electric might have concerns about taking long road trips. The availability of charging stations along the route, plus the time spent charging, is something that needs to be considered. I asked about road trips in my survey, and here are a few of the responses.
Planning helps. Tesla Superchargers are generally great. Near food and sometimes lodging. With dogs, walked them. With kids, bring a frisbee or food and have a picnic. It is best to have chargers at lodging. I usually pick hotels that way.
Aaron Westminster, CO
We generally use the bathroom, get snacks or something to eat, or watch tv while the car is charging. It’s caused us to “slow down” a bit when driving long distance. Forced short breaks have been a blessing.
Sean Benton Harbor, MI
I would probably rent a gas powered car. No patience for waiting if I’m on the way somewhere.
Greg Orange, CA
I bought my Chevrolet Bolt in Ohio and drove it back to Florida. We had to stop two or three times per day and also we only stayed at hotels that had charging stations. Marriott was very good about that. And it was such a relief to discover that almost all of the Walmarts now have charging stations. One time a Dunkin’ Donuts had a charger! So we would wander into the store and use the bathroom and buy coffee and just wait.
Kevin Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Based on most of the responses I’ve collected, it sounds like Tesla’s sedans and SUVs are the best EVs for long-distance travel. The prevalence of Tesla Superchargers along major highway routes, and their recharging speed, goes a long way toward minimizing the inconvenience of road tripping in an electric vehicle.
If you drive a non-Tesla EV, long-distance trips are possible, but incompatibility with Tesla’s Supercharger network means that more planning and time may be required. There are big investments being made in charging infrastructure at the federal, state, and local government level, as well as by automakers. As it improves, I predict that taking long road trips in an EV will be less of an issue as time goes on.
One of the largest hang ups that people have with electric vehicles is the concept of range anxiety. This is the fear that your car’s battery won’t have enough juice to get you to your destination, or to a charging station. In the earliest days of the EV, before the charging infrastructure is what we have today, range anxiety was (and still is, for many) a very real concern. So, I asked owners what their personal experience has been with this phenomenon.
Yes, I had range anxiety in the beginning. After a few months that goes away. I generally use route planners for long, cross-country road trips to help quell range anxiety.
Jeremy Atlanta, GA
This is our 3rd EV lease and I used to have a lot of anxiety. That has improved unless I go to new places where there are not many chargers or it is close to my limit. Sometimes I am afraid to run the heat or AC.
Amy Portland, OR
I had range anxiety for the first week of ownership, but went on a long road trip and after having no issues, and after seeing how convenient it was to wake up to a full charge every morning, the anxiety went away quickly.
Patrick Gaithersburg, MD
On the first long trip I was a bit worried, but navigation worked fine to get us to the destination with charges. I mostly have it when I have family in the car who could be whiny.
d’Artagnan Washington, DC
It diminished significantly after 2 months and more or less disappeared when I got level 2 charging a year after purchase.
Ben Marietta, GA
Yes, it’s still there, but for common routes, it’s less because I know where to find the nearest public chargers.
Atul Vancouver, WA
Again, range anxiety is a real thing. While you’re acclimating to an EV, it will definitely take some planning on your first few longer trips. But these days, electric vehicles with 250+ miles of range on a full charge are becoming commonplace. It won’t be long before the range of an EV exceeds the driving range of a gasoline-powered car with a full tank. And as the charging infrastructure continues to improve, range anxiety will no longer be a source of worry.
Maintenance costs of electric vehicles
Electric vehicles will save you money over gas-powered vehicles when it comes to maintenance, too. Electric motors are simpler than conventional internal combustion engines, and have fewer moving parts. No more oil changes, and no more spark plugs.
One of my final questions was whether each respondent was now committed to electric vehicles based on their entire experience.
Over 76% said that they were, and plan to only drive electric vehicles in the future. 19% said that they plan to own an EV, but will likely own a second gas-powered vehicle as well. Only one person stated that they want to go back to gasoline. I reached out to that respondent to see if he would elaborate, but I didn’t hear back.
Even so, that 95% of EV owners are committed to driving electric in the future is telling.
Ready to make the leap?
In my last question in the survey, I asked what advice EV drivers might give to someone who is hesitant to make the switch from gasoline. Here are a few of the responses.
It takes a little getting used to, but I love it! Driving past a gas station and seeing prices makes me a happy I never need to do that.
Sean Tacoma, WA
If they were to buy an EV right now they need to carefully look at their driving needs and buy accordingly. If I could’ve afforded to, I would’ve purchased the Leaf Plus with the larger battery with longer range. I love my EV but you can’t charge it just anywhere, like you can fill an ICE vehicle. That being said I am so glad I purchased mine. In some ways I feel like a pioneer… like I’m driving a horseless carriage while others are still driving a horse and buggy. EVs are the future. Don’t be afraid of them, but make sure you are realistic about your needs and what is required to keep your EV charged.
Lorraine Corning, NY
Just do it. Get a vehicle with at least a 200 mile range and stop spending $ on and pumping gas. I haven’t been to a gas station in at least 5 years and don’t miss it. EV cars are very quick, quiet, very little maintenance, economical, and go much further than you probably think. It’s an amazing feeling traveling all over the city with little impact on the environment, not to mention no noise and light on the wallet.
Greg Orange, CA
Most people worry about where or how to charge your EV. Now owning an EV I worry about people that have to stop for gas all of the time. You never know when the price of gas is going to go up while electricity is regulated in most states. I like the peace of mind knowing that every time I get in my car that it has the equivalent to a full tank of gas at a fraction of the price.
Ryan Raleigh, NC
EVs involve a bit of a mental switch – most folks worry about range anxiety when it’s rarely an issue with how far most of us drive. And think of it like your phone – if you have the ability to charge your EV at home, it’s like charging your phone. You plug it in when you get home and it’s ready to go the next morning. It’s a very different mindset from needing to stop to get gas.
Sean Benton Harbor, MI
Electric vehicles require a shift in your habits…
Ryan and Sean, above, make a great point that I want to hammer home. With a gasoline-powered vehicle, if you’re like me, you drive until your tank is on “E” and your gas warning light comes on, and then you go fill it up. Driving an electric vehicle in this same way would result in long and inconvenient charging times. Instead, with an EV you need to get into the habit of topping up the battery as often as possible. Anytime you return home, plug in your car. At work or at the grocery store, if you have access to an affordable charging station, replenish your battery.
Once you’ve adjusted to this new habit, I believe that most drivers could have nearly all of their personal transportation needs met perfectly by an electric vehicle.
Realistically, until DC Fast Charging infrastructure improves even more, to eliminate range anxiety and further minimize the shortcomings of long-distance travel in an EV, I realize that most consumers will remain unwilling to make the switch from gasoline. Even if an electric vehicle would suit 99% of their driving, worries about longer trips are likely to be a dealbreaker.
But I’ll leave you with this. The next time you’re shopping for a new car, consider the type of driving you do most often. Especially if you’re part of a multi-vehicle household – do you truly need two (or more) vehicles that run on gasoline? Or could one of them be replaced with an EV?
Vehicles powered by fossil fuels are a thing of the past. They’re dinosaurs, and electric vehicles are the asteroid. Maybe you’re not ready to make the switch now, but the way the market is going, we’re all going to be switching to EVs – possibly sooner than you might think.
Thank you for reading. If you need help selecting your next vehicle, electric or otherwise, and want to make sure you’re getting a good deal just like these fine folks, let’s talk!
Now, maybe you’re unsure whether you’re ready to make the switch to an EV. Maybe you don’t think your lifestyle and driving habits are compatible with an electric vehicle. News like this might stress you out.
I created a survey for those who already drive electric vehicles, and responses came in from all over the country. I’ll split the survey results into two parts. In this one, we’ll talk all about charging. How much does it cost to charge an electric car at home? Do you have to install complicated equipment? What about charging when you’re out on the road – is that expensive? Read on and find out!
Part two is coming in a few days. In that post, those surveyed will tell you all about life with an electric vehicle. I’ll share their experiences in taking long road trips, and dealing with range anxiety. I’ll also share their advice on what you should know if you’ve thought about going electric, but are hesitant to make that leap. Stay tuned!
In sharing the survey results, it’s my hope that you’ll see electric vehicles as a more valid option than you may have before reading this post. But in my opinion, EVs are an inevitability. Relying on fossil fuels to operate our motor vehicles is not sustainable, and electric cars will replace those which run on gasoline. It’s only a matter of time.
Electric vehicles represented
I collected feedback from drivers of the most common electric vehicles. More than half drive a Tesla. Owners of the two other most popular EVs, the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Bolt, are represented here too.
Who is an EV-only household?
My assumption was that it would be easier to make the switch to an electric vehicle if you have a second, internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle available to you in your household. That vehicle could be used when driving an EV might be less convenient.
Two thirds of respondents do own or otherwise have access to a gasoline-powered vehicle in their household. However, a third have either managed to go all-in on EVs, or only own one vehicle which is an EV.
Electric Vehicles: Home charging vs. Public charging
Next, I asked about charging habits. I wanted to learn how often most EV drivers charge their car at home, versus using a public charging station.
The vast majority of respondents (71.4%) charge their car at home most of the time, but do rely on public charging on occasion. Only 9.5% said that it’s an even split on using public charging stations and home charging. But I was surprised to learn that 19% of surveyed EV drivers don’t charge at home at all. They use public charging stations exclusively.
I’m sure that charging at home is the most convenient option, but even if you live in an apartment or condo and wouldn’t be able to plug your car in, it’s possible to make EV ownership work using public charging alone.
One more thing to note. Several responses mentioned that they did use public charging stations far more often before the COVID-19 pandemic. But logically, during lockdowns and while working from home, most electric vehicle drivers find home charging to be more than adequate.
Next, I was curious about EV owners’ home charging setups. I asked whether those who charge at home use Level 1, or faster Level 2 charging. Level 1 charging uses a standard household electrical outlet, whereas Level 2 is much faster but requires a 240-volt outlet like those used for an electric kitchen stove.
I was surprised that Level 1 charging is used as widely as it is. As an EV outsider (that is, someone who has yet to switch from gasoline to electric), I assumed that you’d need access to faster Level 2 charging to make an electric vehicle feasible day to day. But Level 1 charging can meet the needs of many EV drivers.
Level 1 Charging might be more than sufficient for typical daily use
After a quick Google search, the average (pre-pandemic) commute is about 16 miles each way. Different electric vehicles will charge at different rates on Level 1, but I’ll use the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt for an example. I prepared a blog post recently on this car, and on Level 1 charging, the Bolt will add about 4 miles of range per hour. If you work a traditional 9-to-5, let’s assume that you plug your car in when you get home at 6:00 P.M., and unplug before you leave in the morning at 8:00 A.M. During those 14 hours, your Bolt would add 56 miles of range. This is more than enough to cover that 32 mile daily commute, with plenty of cushion for the occasional post-work errand on the way home.
Plus, the best part about Level 1 charging is that it usually doesn’t require any special electrical work to accommodate it. You might only need an extension cord.
Normally my commute is quite small (COVID made it non-existent). Not having installed a level 2 yet just means a long charge time if I come in with a low battery.
Sean Benton Harbor, MI
Level 2 Charging: What’s the installation cost?
For the convenience of faster Level 2 charging, most survey respondents needed to have electrical work done at their home. The cost of these electrical upgrades, typically to install the 240-volt outlet, will vary depending on your home, the scope of work, and your electrician. Those surveyed paid anywhere between $200 and $1,500 to enable Level 2 charging, and the average reported cost was $801.
Home Charging: What’s the cost to charge your car?
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how much your electric bill would increase as a result of charging your EV. Electric rates vary nationwide, but for those who tried to make the comparison, what was the difference in the typical electric bill? The most common answer was in the ballpark of $20 per month. And multiple responses mentioned that they have solar panels installed on their roof, which can greatly minimize or eliminate the (already affordable) cost of EV charging.
My electric bill went up $20 a month whereas I had been spending $60 a month on gas. So the EV actually saved me money. Now I have a solar roof and it costs me nothing to charge my car.
Next, let’s break down public charging. In my research, I found that there were a variety of different ways that public charging stations charge for their use.
Half of public charging station users pay either per kilowatt-hour, or per minute. This is a determination set by each state. The per-kWh method was the most common among survey respondents, however. And some stations will charge a flat rate for their use, regardless of the time or electricity consumed. Many EV drivers have access to free public charging, whether it’s provided at their place of employment, or offered by the manufacturer (such as, those with free access to Tesla Superchargers).
In this regard, we’re still in the Wild West. But in the way you can stop at any gas station in the country knowing that you’ll pay per gallon, I’d wager that the manner in which you pay to use public charging stations will also be standardized as EVs become more mainstream.
Cost of public charging
My next question was about the typical cost of using a public charging station. These varied considerably due to the different ways that stations charge for their use. Additionally, some stations may charge different rates based on the time of day, for peak and off-peak rates. Another variable is whether a particular charging station provides Level 2 charging, or faster Level 3 (commonly called DC Fast Charging) capabilities. Level 3 will be more expensive than Level 2.
For those who use a station that charges a flat fee, regardless of the duration or kilowatt-hours consumed, the typical cost ranges from $2.00 to $8.00.
For stations that charge either per minute or per kWh, a major determinant of the total cost is the EV’s battery size. In an ICE vehicle, this would be like comparing the costs to refuel a small car with a 10 gallon gas tank against a large truck with a 25 gallon tank. Naturally, the truck will have higher refueling costs.
But whether EV drivers pay per minute or per kilowatt hour, drivers of the Nissan Leaf reported paying between $2.00 to $5.00 for public charging. And in the Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla models, larger battery capacity means that owners typically pay between $7.00 and $20.00 at a public charging station.
So, public charging costs are all over the map. But if you’re like most of the respondents in my survey and would do about 75% of your charging at home, the costs to “fuel” your EV would be less than what the typical driver spends on gasoline.
Issues with public charging
I was also curious whether EV owners encounter any issues using public chargers. I’ve heard anecdotes about units not operating properly. But I’d also think it could be frustrating to come upon a station to find all chargers in use. If this happens at a gas station, you just wait a few minutes. But if a car is using a public charger for 30 minutes at a time, what can you do?
It is frustrating when you are planning a trip and are concerned you may not have a charger available when you need it. Careful planning is required. If equipment isn’t working properly I try to notify the location (car dealership, etc.), that the equipment isn’t working. I’ve been met with indifference, unfortunately.
Lorraine Corning, NY
I just go elsewhere or wait.
Ben Marietta, GA
Occasionally we will have a full station or an inoperative charger. Not often. Tesla also tells you ahead of time how many stalls are available at your chosen location and if any are out.
Dan Boston, MA
Equipment issues are the most common problem – though “Tesla culture” has developed ways of communicating problems (e.g. flipping the charging cable over the top of a supercharger unit to indicate that it is not operating correctly).
Sean Benton Harbor, MI
So, these issues do exist. However, several responses mentioned various apps that help you find charging stations, and allow you to report when there’s an issue. But I’m optimistic that as public charging stations become more common and standardized, they’ll also become more reliable and these issues will become a thing of the past.
That’s all for Part 1!
Please reach out if you have any questions about the costs of charging an electric vehicle. Also, let me know and comment below: are the costs what you expected? Or are they lower or higher than you thought they would be?
You may be wondering about taking long road trips with an electric vehicle. Or think you’d be anxious about running out of power in an EV. And what about maintenance costs? Gas-powered cars have been around forever, so these newfangled EVs must cost a fortune to maintain and repair, right? Stay tuned for Part 2 and I’ll fill you in!
And, I want to give a huge thanks to everyone who participated in my EV survey! Whether I quoted you or not, I could not have compiled all this information without your help. I appreciate your time, and hope you enjoy the post!
Thank you for reading!
Are large luxury SUV buyers ready to spend six figures for a Jeep?
Jeep is finally entering the large SUV and large luxury SUV segments with the 2022 Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. The original Wagoneer was introduced for 1963, and was sold until 1991 with only minimal changes. Later versions of classic Wagoneers are well known for their faux wood-paneling, though sadly that feature is not on the 2022s. If I may be vulnerable for just a moment, I’ll go out on a limb and say that I’m ready for wood paneling to make a comeback! In any case, similar to the classic Wagoneers of yesteryear, these are true trucks with body-on-frame architecture. The new Wagoneers are not car-based crossovers.
The more affordable Wagoneer targets customers who might otherwise consider a well-equipped trim of the Chevrolet Tahoe or Ford Expedition. The luxury-focused Grand Wagoneer has the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator set in its sights.
Just like Lee Greenwood, Wagoneers are proud to be an American. They’re built in Warren, Michigan, and little American flags accompany the “Wagoneer” badging. Speaking of badges, you won’t find a Jeep logo anywhere on these big behemoths. Stellantis, Jeep’s parent company, would have you consider the Wagoneer to be a “premium extension of the brand,” separate and distinct from ordinary Jeeps.
2022 Jeep Wagoneer & Grand Wagoneer: Styling
The 2022 Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are a pair of handsome trucks. Even if they lack Jeep badges, they’re instantly recognizable as such due to the familiar slotted grille design. They wear enough modern touches to avoid gauche retro styling, yet the upright and square appearance references the Wagoneers of old. To my eyes, as a fan of classic SUV lines, they look fantastic. I’d go so far as to say the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are the most attractive SUVs in their respective classes.
2022 Jeep Wagoneer & Grand Wagoneer: Interior
If Jeep’s intent was to create a premium experience with the new Wagoneers, it appears that they’ve hit their mark with the interior. In the Wagoneer, Nappa leather upholstery is standard. The style and materials used is beyond what you’ll find in the full-size SUVs from Ford or GM. And the Grand Wagoneer is even more luxurious. That model has available quilted leather seats, satin walnut wood, and real aluminum trim detailing. Interior space should be highly competitive as well, since Jeep claims best-in-class total passenger volume, cargo space behind the third row seat, and second and third row legroom.
2022 Jeep Wagoneer & Grand Wagoneer: Powertrain
The 2022 Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer exclusively use V-8 engines. On the Wagoneer, it’s a 5.7-liter that makes 392 horsepower. The standard Wagoneer is actually a mild hybrid, and uses a small electric motor and generator plus a small battery pack, to aid in fuel efficiency. Regardless, even though Jeep hasn’t released fuel economy estimates yet, even with this hybrid configuration I’d expect the Wagoneer to be a thirsty ol’ girl. A Prius this is not.
Move up to the Grand Wagoneer, and you get a 6.4-liter V-8 engine that’s good for 471 horsepower. There’s no pretense of efficient driving with this engine, as it lacks the hybrid components of the Wagoneer. Like you’d probably expect of any V-8 engine making nearly 500 horsepower, don’t be shocked when you discover the Grand Wagoneer isn’t a fuel efficiency champ.
If fuel economy might be lacking, towing capacity is not. A properly-equipped Wagoneer can tow up to 10,000 pounds.
2022 Jeep Wagoneer & Grand Wagoneer: Cool Features & Innovations
The 2022 Wagoneers go all in on screens. They’re everywhere, and in the Grand Wagoneer, Jeep brags that there are 75″ worth of screens throughout the interior. The front passenger has their own screen, directly in front of them on the dash. Through this screen, the passenger can assist with the navigation system, control the rear-seat entertainment system, or stream Amazon Fire TV. And because I know my mom will ask, there is a filter on this passenger screen to prevent it from distracting the driver. Between the front passenger screen and screens for the rear seat passengers, everyone can watch their own selection from Amazon’s catalog, listening with their own headphones. If you take a road trip in a Wagoneer, you may not have to speak with your family even once! Beyond video entertainment, McIntosh premium sound systems are available with up to 23 speakers.
Available at launch will be a hands-on autonomous driver assist system. It will use adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist with lane centering to control position and speed, but it requires the driver’s hands to be on the wheel. Coming later is a hands-free system which is available for use only on approved roads. This sounds similar to Super Cruise, available in some General Motors vehicles, which I discussed in my previous blog post. Otherwise, the expected suite of advanced safety systems will be present here as well.
As Jeeps, you would expect the 2022 Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer to have respectable off-road chops. And they shouldn’t disappoint. First, you have your choice of three different four-wheel drive systems. Plus, an available adjustable air suspension will provide up to 10 inches of ground clearance. Additionally, if you want to do some Oregon Trail cosplay and ford a river, you can do so in your 2022 Wagoneer in up to 2 feet of water.
2022 Jeep Wagoneer & Grand Wagoneer: Premium Experience, and Premium Price
Another way that Jeep will attempt to establish the Wagoneer as a luxury sub-brand is through Wagoneer Client Services. This includes 24/7 concierge support, and vehicle pickup and delivery for service with a loaner. Additionally, oil changes and tire rotations are free for five years. Jeep is also promising a special purchasing experience, since dealerships must pass special certification to sell these models.
The 2022 Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer will have a premium price to match the vehicle’s luxurious and stylish accommodations. To start, the base trim Wagoneer (which is not available at launch, and is oddly not available with four-wheel drive) will be $59,995. That is about $10,000 more than the starting price of the Tahoe and Expedition. However, once you option the Chevy and Ford to match the Wagoneer’s higher level of standard equipment, the price is more competitive. But more challenging to justify is the fact that the least expensive Wagoneer with four-wheel drive starts at $72,995.
If you have your heart set on the Grand Wagoneer, the most affordable version will set you back $88,995. This is about $12,000 more than your basic Cadillac Escalade or Lincoln Navigator, and more expensive even than the BMW X7 and Mercedes-Benz GLS. At this starting price, this is Land Rover Range Rover territory, folks. The most expensive trim of the Grand Wagoneer is a startling $105,995.
I could see the standard 2022 Wagoneer being a sales success. Once the Jeep faithful outgrow their Grand Cherokees, they may be pleased to finally have a larger option without switching to a competing brand. And it seems like there’s enough Jeep-ness here to keep the devotees satisfied, from the styling to the capability of the Wagoneer.
However, the luxury-minded Grand Wagoneer might be a bigger ask. Luxury SUV buyers haven’t had much reason to set foot in Jeep showrooms before. Both the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are unquestionably upscale in their accommodations, and they look fantastic. And it’s clear that Jeep is trying to remove the association with the common folk in their Jeep Renegades and Compasses, in creating a unique purchasing and ownership experience for Wagoneer customers. But it remains to be seen whether that’s enough. And, whether customers are ready for a Jeep with a six figure price tag, no matter how nice it is.
However, even if you’re in love with the new Wagoneers, hold off on putting down that $500 reservation at Wagoneer.com. Many Jeep models have a spotty reliability history, so I’d recommend waiting for at least the first year until reliability data begins rolling in on the Wagoneers. At that point, check back in with me and I’ll let you know whether the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are Tom the Car Pro approved.
Thanks for reading!
The First Affordable Long-Range EV Gets an Upgrade
General Motors has pledged to introduce 30 new electric vehicles worldwide by 2025, and two of those 30 vehicles are the new 2022 Chevrolet Bolt Electric Vehicle (EV) and Bolt Electric Utility Vehicle (EUV). The Bolt has been a success for General Motors. When it was introduced in 2017, it beat the Tesla Model 3 to market and became the first affordable long-range EV. Over 100,000 Bolts have been sold around the world, and 75% of Bolt owners are new General Motors customers.
The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt lineup has expanded to include the standard Bolt EV and the new Bolt EUV. The Bolt EV receives styling tweaks and interior upgrades, but the EUV is new for 2022. GM hopes you’ll cross shop the EUV against electric crossovers. The EUV is six inches longer than the standard Bolt, riding on a longer wheelbase. Comparing the interior dimensions of the two, all of the EUV’s extra length benefits rear seat passengers where there is three inches of additional legroom. All other dimensions are virtually identical between the two Bolts, including cargo space. Unlike most crossovers, the Bolt EUV is not available with all-wheel drive. Both the Bolt EV and EUV are front-wheel drive only.
2022 Chevrolet Bolt: Styling
On the previous Bolt, the upright hatchback styling gave it a dweeby look. I’m not convinced that Chevy refreshed the Bolt EV’s styling enough to take it out of dork territory, but at least it doesn’t look worse than before. If you were fine with the old Bolt’s styling, you won’t mind the way the 2022 Bolt EV looks. If you hated it before, the 2022 refresh probably won’t change your opinion.
On the EUV, Chevy says it has SUV/crossover styling elements, but I don’t really see it. The Bolt EV and EUV don’t share a single piece of sheetmetal, but they sure look incredibly similar. Looking at them side by side, you can identify a few extraordinarily minor differences. But when you see a new Bolt traveling down the road without the other to compare it against, I’m confident most people would be unsure whether they’re looking at a Bolt EV or Bolt EUV.
2022 Chevrolet Bolt: Interior
The interior is where the previous Bolt had the most room for improvement. The seats were thin, flat, and hard, and the materials used felt cheap and low quality. The interior accommodations of the 2022 Bolts appear nicely upgraded over the outgoing model. Whether you choose the Bolt EV or EUV, they both use the same materials, dashboard design, and seats. The overall look is more appealing, both in style and quality. More soft-touch materials are used on the doors and dashboard, and the seats have more padding than earlier Bolts.
2022 Chevrolet Bolt: Powertrain
Both 2022 Bolts will be powered by the same electric motor and battery pack as the previous Bolt. It generates 200 horsepower, and should continue to provide quick and powerful acceleration. Combined with the Bolt’s nimble handling and low center of gravity as a result of the battery’s placement below the floor, the Bolt is more entertaining to drive than you might assume based on the vehicle’s mission and styling.
On a full charge, the 2022 Bolt EV can travel 259 miles. The range drops slightly to 250 miles for the EUV.
An upgraded charging cord is standard on the Bolt EUV and optional on the EV. It is compatible with both Level 1 and Level 2 charging. Level 1 charging, using a standard household outlet, adds 4 miles of range per hour. Faster Level 2 charging uses a 240-volt outlet (like those used for an electric clothes dryer), and will fully charge a depleted battery in 7 hours. If you need an electrical upgrade at home to enable Level 2 charging of your Bolt, Chevrolet will cover the cost.
For charging on the go, public DC Fast Chargers will add up to 100 miles of range in half an hour. GM is partnering with EVgo, the largest domestic network of public fast chargers, to increase accessibility. They want to add over 2,700 more fast charging stations nationwide by 2026.
2022 Chevrolet Bolt: Cool Features and Innovations
The biggest new feature on the 2022 Bolt is the addition of GM’s Super Cruise semi-autonomous hands-free driving system. It was previously a Cadillac exclusive, but it will be an option on the Bolt EUV. Super Cruise utilizes adaptive cruise control to maintain a safe following distance from vehicles ahead, and also uses lane keeping assistance with centering to keep the vehicle properly positioned within the lane.
Super Cruise can only be used on specific highways, although GM says over 200,000 miles of American roads are compatible. An illuminated status bar along the top of the steering wheel communicates whether Super Cruise is active. Sensors and cameras watch to make sure the driver is attentive. If the driver stops watching the road, the system will alert them to resume control of the wheel, and then deactivate. So, Super Cruise will not allow you to play Pokemon Go or crawl into the back seat for a nap while hurtling along at highway speeds.
Most advanced safety technologies come standard on both Bolts. And while this isn’t exactly an innovation, a sunroof is available on a Bolt for the first time. It’s an option on the EUV.
2022 Chevrolet Bolt: Pricing
Both the 2022 Bolt EV and EUV will be cheaper than the outgoing 2021 model – kinda. The current Bolt starts at $37,890 including destination charges. The 2022 Bolt EV will start at $31,995, and the EUV is only $2,000 more than the EV.
One factor at the forefront of the mind of most EV shoppers is tax incentives. General Motors and Tesla have each sold over 200,000 EVs, and therefore their cars are no longer eligible for the federal $7,500 tax credit. Chevrolet responded by offering big discounts on the 2021 Bolt ($8,500 off as of this writing) but perhaps they’re hoping that dropping the price on the 2022s justifies also dropping the steep discounts.
On paper, the 2022 Bolts are cheaper than the outgoing model, but when you factor in the incentives typically available on the existing car, the new models won’t be less expensive. But regardless, they’ll continue to be an awesome value in the EV marketplace.
The 2022 Chevy Bolts will start arriving at dealerships this summer.
I’m a big fan of the Chevy Bolt. I don’t mind the dorky looks, and love the impressive engineering and cool tech. The Bolt is peppy to drive, and the interior space and driving range make it practical for daily use. According to data from Consumer Reports, owner satisfaction ratings are high, and predicted reliability scores are excellent. And the new 2022 Bolts are poised to add to the reasons why the outgoing Bolt is one of the best affordable EVs on the market.
However, Chevrolet’s attempt to elongate the Bolt by a few inches and then call the EUV a crossover feels like a stretch. Pun intended. The EUV is barely any taller than the standard Bolt, there’s no increased cargo capacity, and aside from more rear seat legroom, passenger space is the same. You can’t get the EUV with all-wheel drive, and even in appearance, the EUV looks just like the Bolt EV. Don’t get me wrong, though. The EUV looks to be as appealing a package as the conventional Bolt. I’m just not going to call it a crossover. Sorry, Chevy.
I credit the 2017 Bolt for kicking off the current shift in the industry toward more affordable long-range EVs. And I commend Chevrolet for the steps they’re taking to make the 2022 Bolts, and EVs in general, more accessible. As more automakers aim to compete in this space, consumers will find more EVs available at more affordable prices with driving ranges that encroach ever closer to that of gasoline-powered cars. As the infrastructure of fast charging networks improves along highways and removes that final major roadblock toward mainstream EV adoption, it’s only a matter of time before driving an EV becomes as foregone a conclusion as driving a conventional car is today. Mark my words!
For more 2022 Chevrolet Bolt content, check out this page on Chevy’s website. And click here to read another recent post about an upcoming EV, the Hyundai Ioniq 5!
What do you think about the new Chevy Bolts? Comment below and let me know. And if you know someone who might enjoy this post, please share it with them! And as always, thank you so much for reading. I appreciate it!
The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 crossover will be the first vehicle to kick off the company’s new Ioniq sub-brand of battery electric vehicles. After the Ioniq 5, Hyundai will be adding an electric sedan, the Ioniq 6, and the Ioniq 7, a large electric SUV.
I’ll go ahead and get this out of the way now: I’m obsessed with this car. Let me tell you why.
2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5: Styling
In pictures, the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 looks like a small hatchback due to its proportions. But, don’t be fooled. This thing is larger than the photos might suggest. In length, it will be larger than the Tucson compact SUV, but smaller than the midsize Santa Fe. The large wheels and short front and rear overhangs are what trick your eye and make you think hatchback, but it’s a matter of scale. The Ioniq 5’s wheelbase is long. It’s about 4 inches longer than that of Hyundai’s largest SUV, the Palisade. So if the Ioniq 5 looks like a hatchback to you, like it does to me, it’s a pretty big one.
I’m still on the fence about some exterior surfacing details, such as the wheel arches, and along the bottom of the doors. Otherwise, I love the way the Ioniq 5 looks. The flush door handles are slick, and the “pixel-like” lights at the front and rear are distinctive. Overall, this looks like a concept car, but it’s not. This is the production version that will go on sale soon.
2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5: Interior
The interior of the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 looks sleek and modern. Combined within one single panel are the digital gauges and infotainment screen. There is a small array of switchgear below the center screen, contributing to the minimalistic feel. Large windows, the low dashboard, and glass roof provide a bright and airy appearance. The interior uses sustainable, eco-friendly materials like recycled plastic bottles, and plant extracts and fibers.
Space and usability promise to be impressive, too. The floor is completely flat, and built-in leg rests in the front seats can make your Ioniq 5 a rolling lounge. But maybe don’t use those while driving. There should be almost 19 cubic feet of cargo space in the rear, which expands to about 56 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. There will be a small “frunk” too, under the hood.
2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5: Powertrain
The Ioniq 5 will be available with single or dual electric motors, and two different battery capacities.
Single Motor: Rear-Wheel Drive
With the single motor driving the rear wheels and the smaller battery, the Ioniq 5 will make about 167 horsepower and should accelerate from 0-60 miles per hour in the mid-8 second range. With the single motor and larger battery, horsepower increases to 214, and acceleration drops to around 7.4 seconds. This combination will be the range champ of the lineup, and should be able to hit at least 292 miles on a full charge according to estimates. Hyundai has yet to provide range estimates for the other configurations.
Dual Motor: All-Wheel Drive
Adding a second motor for the front wheels will give the Ioniq 5 all-wheel drive, and with the smaller battery, total horsepower is 232. Acceleration drops to around 6 seconds in this configuration. For greatest performance, you’ll want the Ioniq 5 with the dual motor, large battery combo. Horsepower jumps to around 302, and 0-60 will take barely over 5 seconds.
The Ioniq 5 can accommodate very quick charging times, if you have access to public DC fast chargers. Hyundai says it will take only 18 minutes to charge the battery from 10% to 80% of capacity. To add about 60 miles of range, only 5 minutes of charging is necessary. This capability can greatly minimize one of the major perceived shortcomings of electric cars. You could take the Ioniq 5 on a long road trip with minimal additional disruption over driving a conventional gasoline-powered vehicle. Charging times on slower home systems have yet to be announced.
2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5: Cool Features and Innovations
One of the coolest innovations in the Ioniq 5 is an augmented reality heads-up display (AR HUD). Hyundai says it can project navigation directions and safety warnings onto the car’s windshield, giving you all pertinent information without taking your eyes off the road. Cadillac has a similar feature in the new Escalade, except its AR display uses the digital gauge cluster, not a heads-up display. In Cadillac’s system, a camera displays the view in front of the vehicle, and can overlay your navigation’s turn-by-turn directions on what you see in real time. It displays graphics to show you exactly which lanes to use for an offramp, or exactly which street on which to turn. You can watch a minute of this Doug DeMuro video to see what I’m describing. We’ll have to wait and see exactly how Hyundai’s AR HUD system operates, but this technology is next level, and awesome.
There’s a Vehicle-to-Load feature too, which turns the Ioniq 5 into a rolling power supply. There are two ports, one inside below the rear seat, and one outside in the car’s charging port, which can charge devices like an electric scooter, or camping equipment. Also, the glass roof can be equipped with solar panels, to collect power to supplement the battery pack.
You can expect Hyundai to announce more details about the Ioniq 5’s charging times and driving range for each motor and battery configuration before the on-sale date in the Fall of 2021. Pricing also has yet to be announced. Although, of note, Hyundai EVs still qualify for the federal government’s full $7,500 tax credit. Tesla and GM’s EVs do not (the tax credit expires once an automaker sells 200,000 electric models). Your state or municipality may offer other tax incentives as well.
Ready or not, electrification is absolutely the future of the automotive industry, and it’s wild to see the strides that manufacturers are making over a relatively short amount of time. The Hyundai Ioniq 5 looks like it will be a design and engineering powerhouse, and it’s the vehicle I’m most excited about for 2022.
The redesigned 2022 Nissan Pathfinder can’t come a moment too soon. Nine years ago, Nissan redesigned the Pathfinder from a rugged, truck-based sport utility into a car-based crossover. And over those 9 model years, an eternity for the mid-sized SUV segment, its styling has remained amorphous and generic. Nissan provided little reason for SUV shoppers to select the Pathfinder, reflected by its poor sales figures. Last year, Nissan sold 48,579 Pathfinders – the worst sales performance of any mid-sized three-row SUV. For comparison against the top seller in the class, Ford sold 226,217 Explorers. So most certainly, the new 2022 Nissan Pathfinder can only be an improvement over its replacement.
2022 Nissan Pathfinder: Styling
The exterior styling of the new Pathfinder is a major upgrade. It looks more truck-like, more reminiscent of the capable Pathfinders of old. Gone are the anonymous soft curves of the current model. The Pathfinder wears more straight lines and looks more tough, but still cleanly styled. As for distinctive elements, the new headlight design looks cool, and on models with the contrasting black roof, the detail of the C-pillar makes the new Pathfinder recognizable at a glance.
2022 Nissan Pathfinder: Interior
Nissan’s latest interior designs have been a model of simplicity and user-friendly design, and that continues with the new Pathfinder. Although few interior design touches stand out, controls are sensibly arranged and materials look high quality. There’s seating for eight passengers, or seven with optional second row captain’s chairs. Space looks good for the first and second rows, but like most in this class, save the third row for kids. At least Nissan’s second row seats can slide forward for third row access with a forward-facing child safety seat installed – a feat many competitors cannot claim.
Other cool features include wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto, and a full suite of standard advanced safety technology. A 360-degree camera system is available too, sure to make parking this big brawny SUV a piece of cake.
2022 Nissan Pathfinder: Engine
The 2022 Pathfinder’s engine is unchanged from the predecessor. It’s a 3.5-liter V-6 engine, making 284 horsepower. This engine is a tried-and-true design, and has been used in various Nissan vehicles for around 15 years with regular improvements. Nissan’s V-6 engines are smooth and refined. Consumers will likely find the new Pathfinder more than adequately powerful. Nissan has yet to release fuel economy estimates. The outgoing Pathfinder using the same engine is rated for 20 miles per gallon in the city, 27 on the highway, and 23 in combined driving by the EPA.
2022 Nissan Pathfinder: Transmission
If the engine isn’t big news, the new transmission is. I’ve rambled on about Nissan’s continuously variable transmission (CVT) before. Nissan committed to CVTs for years for their fuel efficiency benefits, but long term durability is dubious. I made my case toward the end of this post on the 2021 Nissan Rogue. Nissan claims to have addressed issues with the transmission, but it’s challenging to see any concrete proof of this when examining reliability data.
But the 2022 Pathfinder no longer uses a CVT. Instead, a conventional 9-speed automatic is standard. Chrysler and Honda used this same transmission in some models, but it hasn’t been a model of flawless design. Its software programming can make the transmission seem confused about which gear to select, and shifts aren’t always imperceptibly smooth. It remains to be seen how Nissan programmed this transmission for application in the new Pathfinder. But it might be a win if it’s more robust over the long haul than Nissan’s CVT.
I’m curious about Nissan’s motivation for switching to a conventional automatic transmission. Maybe they found that their CVT no longer had the fuel efficiency advantage over a regular automatic that it once did, or maybe prospective buyers complained about the CVT’s unusual feel. Or perhaps the increasing frequency of anecdotes about transmission failure became too much for Nissan to ignore. Regardless, I’ll be watching to see whether this signals a shift at Nissan, and whether they start using conventional automatics in more models going forward.
What remains to be seen… Reliability
The existing Pathfinder has a spotty reliability history. According to owner survey data from Consumer Reports, the 2020 model is rated less reliable than the average new vehicle. Pathfinder owners have reported issues with the vehicle’s climate control system, and in-cabin electronics. And on 2013-2017 Pathfinders, evidence is present of issues with those pesky transmissions. Far more Pathfinder owners reported needing minor or major transmission repairs than owners of other vehicles.
The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder will go on sale during the summer of 2021. Pricing for the new model has not been announced, but the current Pathfinder ranges from $33,075 to $46,400 including destination charges.
The new Pathfinder looks like it should be a big improvement over the outgoing model. It has handsome styling, with a tidy and well-designed interior. And now that the potentially troublesome CVT has been replaced, if Nissan can improve reliability over the current model, the 2022 Pathfinder might be the first Nissan to be Tom the Car Pro approved.
The 2022 Hyundai Tucson is all-new. The Tucson is Hyundai’s compact crossover, competing with powerhouses like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 in one of the most competitive automotive segments. The current Tucson was last redesigned for 2016. After six model years, you’d think it would start feeling its age, especially when compared with newer rivals. Even so, the Tucson was Hyundai’s best selling model in 2020. That they sold over 123,000 units speaks to the competitiveness of the current model, and how hot the compact SUV marketplace truly is. Therefore, you’d think Hyundai might want to play it safe with a full redesign of their most popular vehicle. But that’s not what they’ve done.
The 2022 Tucson is bigger than the outgoing model. It’s longer, wider, and taller, and the wheelbase is 3.4 inches longer. And compared to the last Tucson, interior space is up with an additional 6 cubic feet of passenger space. Drivers and passengers will find additional space for their heads, legs, and shoulders compared to the outgoing 2021 Tucson. There’s 7.7 more cubic feet of space for cargo with the rear seats up, and nearly 12 more once they’re folded down.
In exterior dimensions, the new Tucson is similar to rivals like the Subaru Forester, Mazda CX-5, Nissan Rogue, and the aforementioned CR-V and RAV4. However, its wheelbase is at least 2 inches longer, which enables the Tucson to provide more rear seat legroom than any of those competitors. Cargo space is toward the top, though not the best in class.
A Tucson for all.
Hyundai’s aim is to have a Tucson to meet the needs of every compact SUV shopper. It will be available in entry-level SE, midrange SEL, and top-spec Limited trim levels. A sporty N Line version will be available. More details are coming, although this may be mostly an appearance package with no major performance upgrades over standard Tucsons. There’s a gasoline/electric Hybrid, as well as a gasoline/electric Plug-in Hybrid Tucson, both available in Blue or Limited trims. The non-Hybrid Tucsons come standard with front-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is an option. Both Hybrids have all-wheel drive as standard equipment.
Pricing hasn’t been announced for the 2022 Tucsons, but it would be reasonable to anticipate slight increases over the 2021s. The outgoing 2021 Tucsons range in base price from $24,885 up to $33,235 including destination. Hyundai has never made a Hybrid or Plug-in Hybrid Tucson before, so there’s no pricing point of reference for these more efficient variants. The conventional gasoline and Hybrid 2022 Tucsons will be hitting dealerships in the spring, with the Plug-in Hybrid coming in summer. The sporty N Line is coming later in 2021.
2022 Hyundai Tucson: Distinctive Styling
As I said above, they didn’t play it safe with the new 2022 Hyundai Tucson. That much is apparent just from looking at it. Hyundai calls it their Sensuous Sportiness (I’m not making that up – and I may start referring to myself as sensuous and sporty) design identity. There’s no denying that you’ll be less likely to lose the 2022 Tucson in the Costco parking lot among a sea of its look-alike competition. Whether you love its looks or not, the Tucson stands out.
I geek the hell out over automotive lighting, and the Tucson has some of the most interesting lighting elements in the industry. The headlights are mounted below and separate from the grille and turn signals, but the setup for the running lamps are the most distinctive. Once illuminated, five triangles light up on each side of the grille. But when they’re off, these lighting elements disappear within the grille’s design.
At the rear, there’s a full-width light bar, and two triangular segments that jut down on either side. Within each of those elements are smaller triangles, only visible up close, repeating the theme from the running lights up front.
Creases and other details…
Possibly the most controversial styling elements are the sharp, dramatic, angular creases along the sides of the 2022 Hyundai Tucson. Designers decided to forego the smooth, curvy body sculpting commonly used in other compact crossovers. Similar styling elements were used in Hyundai’s newest Elantra sedan, but I think the effect is more successful here. Perhaps the Tucson’s taller, broader sides are to thank for this.
Another cool detail is the chrome line running from the sideview mirrors, up above the windows, then widening as it runs down the D-pillar at the rear of the Tucson. It balances the design and creates the illusion of a sleek roofline, even though the overall body lines are relatively upright to preserve passenger and cargo space. Visual clutter is kept to a minimum at the rear end. The rear wiper is hidden within the rear spoiler, and I like the way the Hyundai logo is seemingly integrated within the rear glass.
2022 Hyundai Tucson: That Interior, Though
If the Tucson’s funky head and taillights and wild creases didn’t scare you off, you’re in for a treat once you get inside. The Tucson does in fact have more passenger space than both the outgoing version and most competitors, but the open and inviting interior will make it feel roomier still. The dashboard looks modern and clean, and appears low and out of your way. This is emphasized by the lines created by the HVAC vents running from end to end and wrapping into both front doors. The most intriguing feature is the lack of a hood above the gauges, which is typically used to control glare. It remains to be seen whether Hyundai’s designers have found an alternate way to avoid this problem. But the lack of a dome over the instruments creates a more symmetrical and less-obtrusive overall appearance to the dash.
2022 Hyundai Tucson: Available Powertrains
The standard gasoline engine…
The conventionally-powered 2022 Hyundai Tucson will use a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine making 187 horsepower. This new standard engine makes more power than both available engines in the outgoing Tucson, but is also more efficient. Hyundai anticipates a combined 28 miles per gallon with front-wheel drive. With all-wheel drive, I’d expect a drop of 1-2 mpg. We’ll have to wait to see how the EPA testing compares to Hyundai’s figures. But if the new Tucson could hit 28 mpg in real-world driving, that would make it one of the more fuel-efficient entries in its class. An 8-speed automatic transmission is paired with this standard engine. No noisy, droning continuously variable transmission here.
The gasoline/electric Hybrid…
In the Hybrid Tucson, a 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder is paired with an electric motor to make 226 total horsepower. Hyundai says the Hybrid will be 30% more fuel efficient than the 2.5-liter standard engine. Doing some quick math, we’re looking at about 36 mpg. Next to the Tucson Hybrid’s competition like the Ford Escape Hybrid, Honda CR-V Hybrid, and Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, 36 mpg is competitive. Hyundai also claims 500 miles of range on a single tank of gas. The transmission used here will be a 6-speed automatic, and all-wheel drive is standard.
The gasoline/electric Plug-in Hybrid…
The Plug-in Hybrid Tucson uses a 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder gasoline engine combined with a larger electric motor to make 261 total horsepower. It also uses a 6-speed automatic transmission, and comes standard with all-wheel drive. It uses a larger battery than the regular Hybrid, with an electric-only driving range of 28 miles on a full charge. Once depleted, the Plug-in Hybrid Tucson will operate like a standard hybrid. Hyundai says that, when factoring in the electric-only range, the Plug-in Hybrid will get over 70 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe). If you have access to a level 2 charger (like most public charging stations), the battery can be fully recharged in less than two hours. At home, installing level 2 charging capabilities would require some electrical upgrades. Level 1 charging, which uses a conventional three-prong household outlet, will be considerably slower. Hyundai hasn’t provided estimated level 1 recharging times.
Compared to other plug-in hybrid crossovers, the Tucson’s figures are less competitive. The Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid will get 100 MPGe, with 37 miles of electric-only range, and the Toyota RAV4 Prime delivers 94 MPGe with 42 miles of driving on electricity alone. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV returns 74 MPGe, but with only 22 miles of electric range. But if Hyundai prices the Tucson Plug-in Hybrid competitively, these might become reasonable tradeoffs.
Plug-in hybrids can make for excellent family vehicles, in my opinion. The types of short trips that parents often make ferrying kids around are normally well within the limits of the range of their batteries. Keep the charge topped up between trips, you could do most errand-running without using any gasoline. And, no range anxiety here – you have the hybrid powertrain when needed for longer jaunts. Offering the Tucson as a Plug-in Hybrid is a smart move.
2022 Hyundai Tucson: Cool Features
Beyond styling, the interior, and a range of powertrain choices, the 2022 Hyundai Tucson also has some unique features that, even if not class-exclusive, may set it apart from competitors.
You may remember Hyundai’s popular “Smaht Pahk” commercial from last year’s Super Bowl. On the 2022 Hyundai Tucson Limited, Smart Park will be standard. From outside the vehicle, you can press a button on the key fob to either park or remove the Tucson from a tight parking space. Sensors make sure the vehicle doesn’t hit anything, or anyone.
Personally, I shudder at the door dings that would result from wedging your expensive new automobile between two poorly parked cars. If you’re parking so close to a neighboring vehicle that you wouldn’t be able to get out, I’m not sure that the owner of that vehicle would be especially pleased with you – whether they were the crappy parker in the first place, or not. But, I could see this feature being useful if you have a tight garage at home. Otherwise, it’s at least a cool party trick.
Through a smartphone app, some trims of the Tucson will be capable of using Hyundai’s Digital Key. It allows your phone to be your key to unlock, lock, and start the vehicle. Physical keys need not be present. At the moment, this functionality is limited to the Android operating system – finally giving Android smartphones an advantage over iPhones. Oh snap!
Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay…
Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is a great addition. In other vehicles, before you can integrate your smartphone’s navigation or music streaming apps with your car’s touchscreen, you have to plug your phone into one of the car’s USB ports. This requirement of a wired connection means you’d often have to take your phone out of your pocket or bag before every trip. And since your phone would already be charging the old fashioned way, the increasingly common built-in wireless charging pads are often superfluous or a waste of interior storage space.
Adding wireless integration for this functionality makes it far more useful. There’s no requirement to get your phone out in order to pair compatible apps with the car’s touchscreen. And if you need to charge your phone, drop it onto the wireless charging pad. No more charging cables cluttering up your car’s interior.
Interestingly, it looks like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard across the Tucson range, but wireless integration is standard on all trims except for the top-of-the-line Limited. And wireless phone charging will be optional on the SEL and Blue trims, but standard for the N Line and Limited.
Hyundai Blue Link…
The Blue Link Connected Car system is a handy feature. It provides remote start ability, locking and unlocking the doors remotely, and stolen vehicle recovery functionality. If you leave your Tucson’s windows down or your doors unlocked, the system will notify you. Blue Link is controlled by a smartphone app, Amazon Alexa, or Google Assistant. It’s standard on all trims except for the SE, where it is unavailable.
Advanced safety technology…
The 2022 Hyundai Tucson will have a wide array of advanced safety tech. Forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and lane keeping assist with lane centering are standard on all trim levels. Also standard is a driver attention warning system. Using sensors, it will sound a warning if the driver appears distracted or drowsy.
On SEL trims and up, the forward collision warning system adds cyclist detection, plus a warning and automatic braking if you’re making a left at an intersection and there’s an oncoming vehicle approaching. Also included is a blind spot warning system with collision avoidance. Beyond warning you when you may be about to change lanes into an adjacent vehicle, this system can also steer and brake to avoid the accident. Also included is rear cross traffic alert with automatic emergency braking. These trims also add adaptive cruise control.
Tucson Limited trims add a 360-degree camera system, along with cameras that display the vehicle’s blind spots in the instrument panel when the turn signals are used. The Limited also adds a highway drive assist system, which uses the Tucson’s navigation system, lane keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control to keep the vehicle positioned properly in the lane at a safe following distance from vehicles ahead, while following posted speed limits on highways.
While not a sexy topic, I’m a big fan of these safety technologies and I commend Hyundai for making them widely available on the new Tucson. Check out this blog post if you’d like to learn more about these advanced driver assistance systems.
Warranty and maintenance…
No discussion of a Hyundai vehicle is complete without talking about the warranty. It remains one of the best in the industry, with bumper-to-bumper coverage for 5 years or 60,000 miles, and powertrain coverage for 10 years or 100,000 miles. An additional pot sweetener is complimentary maintenance. For 3 years or 36,000 miles, your oil changes and tire rotations are free.
In the compact crossover segment, consumers are swamped with choices with practical appeal, being comfortable, competent, and useful. I’m confident that Hyundai’s new Tucson will be all of these things, but Hyundai knows this won’t be enough to stand out in such a crowded and highly competitive class. So they gave it sharp and distinctive styling, a gorgeous interior, several powertrain options, packed it with cool and convenient features, and added lots of advanced safety technology. In doing so, beyond practical considerations, Hyundai created a new Tucson that can appeal to a customer’s emotional wants and needs, too. I think it’s an absolute standout.
Thank you so much for reading! But I’m curious – what do you think about the new 2022 Hyundai Tucson? Do you like the way it looks, or is it too funky for you? Or, are you an angry Android user, offended by my earlier dig? Comment below and let me know. I want to hear what you have to say!