By Peter Perrotta
It’s that time of year when I need to clean out the On The Road notebook and catch you up on several cars that I tested last year.
I’m going to lead off with one of my all around favorites, the 2022 Mazda 3 Turbo AWD.
After that I will take a look the 2022 Lexus 450H plus and then the Hyundai Tucson Limited Hybrid.
I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating. The Mazda lineup of vehicles is probably one of the most underrated out there since it gets dwarfed by the sheer volume of vehicles Toyota and Honda and Nissan pump out.
Mazda doesn’t sell near the volume of vehicles than its Big Three Japanese competitors, but when it comes to quality and reliability it’s top of the heap.
I recently tested the 2022 Mazda 3 Turbo AWD – a compact sedan – and was extremely impressed with its all around offerings.
This vehicle is neatly designed, comfortable, handles well and at 27 miles per gallon Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fuel consumption is economical as well.
It competes in this space with the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and VW Jetta. For my money I would put the Mazda 3 Turbo at the top of that list.
The folks at Car and Driver gave that Mazda 3 a 9 out of possible 10 ratings and placed it on their “Editor’s Choice” list for 2022.
The 2022 Mazda 3 offers very little changes to the previous year’s model except that it now offers this vehicle in a blacked-out Carbon Edition Package.
There are eight different trim levels of the Mazda 3 starting with the base model at $22,215 and all the way on up to the Turbo Premium Plus (which is what I drove) for a base price of $34,515.
If you are in the market for a compact sedan, you would be remiss to not check out the Mazda 3.
2022 Lexus NX 450H plus
Hybrids and plug-in hybrids are all the rage these days and perhaps Lexus and its parent company Toyota do it best when it comes to these types of vehicles.
The NX 450 H is a sub-compact crossover plug-in hybrid that has an impressive EPA fuel consumption rating of 36 miles per gallon (mpg) when being used as a gasoline only vehicle and a whopping 84 mpg when you use it as a combined gas and electric powered vehicle.
Personally, I recommend the plug-in hyrbrid vehicle over an EV vehicle because it gives you more choices.
Moreover, my experience with a strictly electric vehicle has shown that the charging infrastructure is not built out enough yet to make it very convenient for the EV owner.
The advantage a vehicle like the NX 450 H has over an EV (electric vehicle) is that it is much more versatile. It can be driven as gas only, hybrid or solely electric.
The NX 450 H plus luxury model I tested for one week carries a base sticker price of $55,650. With options, the bottom line sticker price of my tester came in at $62,960.
There are six different trim levels of the NX, starting with the base gas powered NX250 at $39,500 all the way on up to the top-of-the-line NX450 plus F Sport with a base sticker price of $58,550.
The 2022 version of the NX offers a completely redesigned model that is quite impressive.
The folks at Car and Driver give the NX line an impressive 8 out of 10 overall rating.
Hyundai Tucson Limited Hybrid AWD
Redesigned for 2022, the Hyundai Limited Hybrid AWD offers an economical sub compact crossover. This is strictly a traditional hybrid vehicle with no plug-in capabilities.
The EPA fuel consumption ratings come in at 37 mpg overall with an estimated annual fuel cost of $950. This vehicle uses 2.7 gallons of gas per every 100 miles you drive it.
I found the Tucson to be comfortable while handling well.
This Tucson is powered by a 1.6-liter turbo engine that is paired with a 59-horsepower electric motor for a total of 226 horsepower and 258-pound feet of torque.
The Tucson Hybrid can go from zero to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds.
Cargo room and sight lines on the Tucson are well above average and all around it is a solid offering in the sub compact hybrid category.
Peter Perrotta’s On The Road column appears every other week. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On The Road is sponsored by Capital Motor Cars of Springfield, N.J. the leading new car leasing specialists in the Tri State area.