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Round 2: The 2023 Hyundai Tucson Limited PHEV AWD


2023 Hyundai Tucson Limited PHEV AWD front 3/4 view

Back in the day, Volkswagen ran very clever ads pointing out that the VW Beetle always looked the same, year after year, but underneath the skin, there were changes.


1959 VW print ad---80 changes


2023 Hyundai Tucson Limited PHEV rear 3/4 view

The 2023 Hyundai Tucson Limited PHEV may look like the 2022 I reviewed last year with a bump to the price tag, but if you look closely enough, Hyundai has sweetened an already sweet deal.



2023 Hyundai Tucson Limited PHEV hood up


2023 Hyundai Tucson Limited PHEV hybrid powerplant

None of those changes are under the hood---so I'll just say what I said last year: The Tucson PHEV's 1.6-liter turbocharged four is combined with an electric motor for fuel economy (an EPA-estimated 35 miles per gallon combined city/highway). And that's great.


But what a plug-in hybrid does is add miles that are purely electric---no gasoline involved. Miles you get back simply by recharging the car. These days most PHEVs deliver between 30 and 40 miles on a charge, and the Tucson PHEV promises 33. So, if you drive less than 33 miles in a day, you can recharge at home at night and until the day comes when you drive more than 33 miles, you're not using any gasoline or putting any tailpipe emissions into the air.

And when that day comes, you've reduced both of those by 33 miles worth of driving.

For most people, it can be a very long time before they dip into the gas tank---and an even longer time between visits to the gas station for a fill-up.

2023 Hyundai Tucson Limited PHEV rear liftgate open


2023 Hyundai Tucson Limited PHEV rear seat


2023 Hyundai Tucson Limited PHEV front seats


2023 Hyundai Tucson Limited PHEV front seat detail


2023 Hyundai Tucson Limited PHEV instrument panel

No, the changes between the 2022 and 2023 Hyundai Tucson Limited PHEV are in the form of features that were either extra-cost or only on certain models being made standard. Seat belt reminders are now standard for all occupants, not just the driver. Previously unavailable rear side airbags are now standard, as are rear outboard seatbelt pretensioners and load limiters. Same goes for haptic feedback through the steering wheel for lane-keeping assist and blind-spot collision-avoidance asssist. Amazon Gray, the color our test vehicle wore, previously available on all Tucsons, is now strictly for the hybrid and PHEV, and there's a new shade of gray, Hampton Gray, that's available on all.


Base price for the 2023 Hyundai Tucson Limited PHEV AWD is $46,095, including destination. And that brings a very complete vehicle. Standard at that price---a panoramic sunroof, 19-inch alloy wheels, automatic LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, LED taillamps, proximity key with pushbutton start, hands-free power liftgate with auto-open, leather-trimmed seats with driver memory, ambient interior lighting, dual automatic temperature control, a leather-wrapped heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, rain-sensing wipers, wireless device charging, a comprehensive suite of active safety features and a Bose premium audio system.



2023 Hyundai Tucson Limited PHEV steering wheel and instrument cluster


2023 Hyundai Tucson Limited PHEV center stack

The 2023 Hyundai Tucson Limited PHEV AWD is so well-equipped, our tester had only one extra-cost option---carpeted floormats ($210). So the bottom line of the window sticker reads $46,305.



2023 Hyundai Tucson Limited PHEV AWD front view


2023 Hyundai Tucson Limited PHEV AWD side view


2023 Hyundai Tucson Limited PHEV AWD rear view

I hate to recycle more content from my '22 Tucson PHEV review, but I really can't sum up any better than this: "Factor in all-wheel drive, high feature content, the plug-in hybrid and that's a fair price, offset by the likely gasoline savings if you often drive fewer than 33 miles in a day. PHEVs are high on our list of recommendations for people who want to go beyond a simple hybrid but aren't yet ready for the leap to a pure EV. And the Tucson PHEV is a strong choice."


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