2022 Hyundai Santa Fe

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2022 Hyundai Santa Fe Review: Sensible Never Looked This Good

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe is just three years old yet there are already several newer Hyundais that have been introduced after it. It remains a compelling buy, and it's set to get even more attention if only because Hyundai is a bit on a roll now. The Hyundai Santa Fe is a value offering that offers a sizable midsize SUV at compact German SUV pricing. The best thing about it is that it doesn't feel like a budget offering. It has an upmarket interior and a sweet range of gas-only engines delivering between 191 and 281 horsepower. You can even have it as a hybrid or a plug-in hybrid, with the latter's power specs nearly matching the gas-only turbo model. It's a strong competitor for other SUVs like the Honda Passport and Kia Sorento. Still, even fans of upmarket German SUVs like the Audi Q5 should look this way if they want to reduce car premiums without losing out on that luxury feel.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 9 /10
  • Performance 8 /10
  • Fuel Economy 8 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 10 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 10 /10
  • Reliability 9 /10
  • Safety 10 /10
  • Value For Money 9 /10
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2022 Hyundai Santa Fe Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe?

The 2022 Santa Fe carries over, with some minor tweaks to the standard safety kit from the SEL trim upwards. As standard, all models from the SEL trim come standard with blind-spot collision avoidance assist, rear cross-traffic avoidance assist, and safe exit assist. These same features will follow for SE models produced at a slightly later date. The big news is that the Santa Fe is now available as a plug-in hybrid, which we review separately. The newly added XRT trim is basically an appearance package, helping the Santa Fe look a bit more rugged and adventurous. According to Hyundai, the Calligraphy will be discontinued, but at the time of writing, it was still available.

Pros and Cons

  • Powerful turbocharged engine
  • Spacious interior
  • Excellent cargo capacity
  • Class-leading warranty
  • Impressive standard safety kit
  • The non-turbo engine is sluggish
  • Not fun to drive
  • Low towing capacity

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2022 Hyundai Santa Fe Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
2.5L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
2.5L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

It's pretty apparent that the suspension setup was tuned for comfort more than anything else. It does have light, responsive steering, and powerful brakes, however. That makes it easy to handle around town and a pleasure on the highway. It doesn't like being chucked into a corner, but that's hardly what it was built for. The main thing is that it provides a relaxing ride on all surfaces, and you need a reasonably big bump to upset the suspension.

Now that Hyundai introduced the adventure-ready XRT, it's worth discussing how the Santa Fe behaves off-road. Let's start with the obvious. The Santa Fe is not equipped with low-range gearing or any sort of differential lock. It has a basic HTRAC AWD system that activates the rear axle when the front wheels start slipping. That's ideal for snow and gravel, but not much more than that. The Santa Fe is easily defeated by a gravel road with a washboard surface, but it has all the necessary electronic nannies to keep it in a straight line. You can feel the rear-end go light, but the electronics interfere way before you even get a chance to start worrying about it. This applies to the FWD model as well. The only reason to opt for AWD is snow. For everything else, the FWD car is good enough.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe a good SUV?

The Hyundai Santa Fe is a good SUV, but not a great one. It doesn't have one unique selling point you can point at, which will make its life extremely difficult. The problem is not the car but rather the segment and price range it competes in. There are a plethora of capable SUVs for sale in the $30,000 to $45,000 price bracket. For roughly the same price, you can get the larger Hyundai Palisade or the Kia Telluride. Kia's version of the Santa Fe, the Sorento, is also newer, and that's before you get to Japanese rivals like the Mazda CX-9 and Toyota Highlander. Similarly priced US rivals include the Jeep Grand Cherokee L, Ford Explorer, and even the all-new Ford Bronco Sport. We do like the hybrid's exceptional fuel consumption, affordable price, and quality. Not to mention the stellar warranty, which proves that Hyundai has lots of faith in its products. The Santa Fe is perhaps perfect for non-gearheads who simply want an affordable, dependable SUV that will get them where they need to go in comfort. We think the Santa Fe is a good car, but there are better options out there.

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2022 Hyundai Santa Fe Comparisons

Kia Sorento CarBuzz
Hyundai Tucson CarBuzz

2022 Hyundai Santa Fe vs Kia Sorento

The Santa Fe and Sorento are essentially the same car with the same engine options. There are notable differences to help choose between the two, however. The Sorento is newer and, to our eyes, the more handsome of the two. Styling is subjective, so we'd instead focus on the areas that matter. The Sorento hybrid is more frugal, managing 39/35/37 mpg compared to the Santa Fe's best of 36/31/34 mpg. You can also have the Sorento with 3rd-row seating, though we don't think it adds anything to the package. Like the Santa Fe, the Sorento is also handsomely equipped across the range. Finally, at $29,490, the base Sorento is more expensive than the base Santa Fe. The top-spec EX hybrid retails for $38,290, which is a healthy saving over the Santa Fe hybrid Limited's $40,160 price. The Santa Fe is a great SUV but we'd pick the newer Sorento instead.

See Kia Sorento Review

2022 Hyundai Santa Fe vs Hyundai Tucson

The Tucson is one of the latest Hyundai products, and it's a sensational car. It has an exciting exterior and a beautifully crafted interior. In a battle between the Santa Fe vs the Tucson, can the older and more conservative model match its stylish little brother? The Santa Fe is a size up from the Tucson, but it's not as clear-cut as that. While the Santa Fe has a 108.9-inch wheelbase, the Tucson's 108.5-inch wheelbase isn't that behind. The differences in headroom and legroom are hardly worth mentioning, but we should take a closer look at the cargo capacity. The Santa Fe has 36.4 cubes, and the Tucson has even more. ICE and hybrid models have over 41 cubes with both rows in place, while the plug-in hybrid still offers 31.9 cubes. Essentially, you're not giving anything up when it comes to space. The Tucson is also more affordable, another factor that makes it our choice in this match-up.

See Hyundai Tucson Review

2022 Hyundai Santa Fe Popular Comparisons

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