Hyundai certainly can offer lots of variety if one zeroes in their sport utility vehicle search to the popular Santa Fe.
Some shoppers might opt for the traditional gas-powered Santa Fe, a smart choice among midsize SUVs.
Yet so are two other versions of the Santa Fe – the hybrid and the new plug-in hybrid that gets roughly 31 miles in electric-only mode. This review will focus on the gas-powered Santa Fe.
The Santa Fe has been around since 2005 and in recent years has been making Hyundai some cash. For the past eight years, the Santa Fe has hit sales of 101,000 or more, after having never reached that mark in its first nine years. It has an all-time high of 133,171 (2017) and last year’s sales were 112,705.
What makes the Santa Fe a sought-after SUV? It has an appealing exterior, gets solid gas mileage, handles well, and offers acceptable performance. In short, the Santa Fe is a lot of car for the money, starting at roughly $27,500 for the base model.
The 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe comes in five trim levels (SE, SEL, XRT, Limited, Calligraphy). In the Hyundai lineup, the Santa Fe fills the gap between the compact Tucson and the midsize Palisade.
There’s no doubt that Hyundai is enamored with its SUVs. Besides introducing the Venue last year, it also debuted the Palisade, the brand’s largest-ever vehicle. Other Hyundai SUVs are the Kona and Ioniq, an electric-powered model.
Hyundai made numerous changes to the Santa Fe in its 2019 redesign, the biggest one being the elimination of the third row. Since the seating was undersized and only suited for kids, a third row is hardly missed.
The Santa Fe and the Kia Sorento have a lot in common and are both built on the same platform. Although Kia and the Hyundai Motor Group operate independently, Hyundai is the parent company of Kia Motors.
All Santa Fe models are front-wheel drive and each one can be equipped with optional all-wheel drive. The brand has two engine choices, one of them a turbocharged model.
The standard engine is a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder that generates 191 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. The knock against it is feeling lively while driving around town, but sluggish at higher speeds, evidenced by the 0-60 mph time of 8.9 seconds.
The turbo Santa Fe engine is a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder that produces 281 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque. It’s much quicker than the standard model, going 0-60 mph in 6.2 seconds. Fuel economy is 21-25 mpg for the turbo model and 25-28 mpg for the standard one.
Although not considered athletic, the Santa Fe is satisfying to operate and provides the driver with a good degree of confidence. The SUV corners with efficiency and there’s no problem squeezing into tight parking spaces.
Standard safety features include, driver attention warning, forward collision mitigation, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, pedestrian and cyclist detection, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control.
AT A GLANCE – 2022 HYUNDAI SANTA FE
- Performance: 2.5-liter, four-cylinder, 191 horsepower; turbocharged 2.5-liter, four-cylinder, 281 horsepower
- Mileage estimate: 25-28 mpg; 21-25 mpg
- Price estimate: $27,500 to $42,900
- Warranty: 5 years/60,000 miles; Drivetrain: 10 years/100,000 miles; Roadside assistance: 5 years/unlimited; Corrosion: 7 years/unlimited
The Santa Fe interior is smartly designed and fairly spacious. It has an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen and all the controls are laid out within easy reach. Standard features include Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration with wireless connectivity, and four USB ports – two in front and two in back.
The front seats are comfortable and offer ample head and leg room for taller passengers. The rear seats are also comfortable, spacious and we love that they also recline. The cargo area is roomy at 36.4 cubic feet behind the rear seats and stretches to 72.1 cubes with the second row folded to the floor.
We endorse the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe for its overall quality and good price point. It has lots of admirable qualities and there’s no mystery why it’s a popular choice among midsize SUVs.
Weidel on Wheels is featured regularly on www.tahoeskiworld.com. Auto writer Jeffrey Weidel can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jeffweidel.