Every carmaker is looking for a piece of the intense action in the compact utility segment, which is growing steadily as manufacturers crowd into the space.
The reason for the popularity of compact utilities is not hard to unravel since the vehicles remain relatively affordable and the vehicles themselves are versatile and relatively economical since their fuel economy is relatively good when compared to larger vehicles widely used by Americans.
During the past couple of years, the Hyundai Santa Fe has managed to mount a challenge to the segment’s traditional leaders such as the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CRV.
The Santa Fe is roomy, nicely equipped and the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Limited with an all-wheel-drive system gets better than 30 mpg, making it attractive to consumers concerned about fuel economy, but are not quite ready for an electric vehicle.
Hyundai’s designers have managed to dress up the standard utility vehicle silhouette with nicely crafted sheet metal, a distinctive front fascia that incorporates the light fixtures and the Hyundai badge with on a highly stylized grille.
The overall exterior design also seems to emphasize the Santa Fe’s practical and versatile character. The appearance of the Santa Fe also is enhanced, 19-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, LED daytime and taillights. The Santa Fe’s rear tailgate also is styled to fit neatly into the vehicle’s overall design scheme.
The 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Limited comes with a well-stocked interior featuring multiple screens, including a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster with the vehicle’s important information. In addition, there is a 15-inch touch screen in the center stack for entertainment and navigation. The screen is set into a handsome dashboard and accented with bright material to complement overall design of the Santa Fe’s interior space.
The interior is comfortable, nicely furnished and filled with the latest technology for driver assistance and communications. In addition, thanks to the 108.9-inch wheelbase and ample headroom, there is plenty space in the cabin for passengers. The visibility from the driver’s seat in excellent and the interior lighting is well modulated for night driving.
The 2022 Santa Fe Hybrid Limited is powered by a 1.6-liter, turbocharged, inline 4-cylinder engine, which is coupled to permanent magnet synchronous electric motor through Hyundai’s hybrid system.
A 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters is part of the Santa Fe’s powertrain, which also includes an all-wheel-drive system. The U.S. Environmental Protection gives the Santa Fe hybrid a combined fuel economy rating of 32 mpg, including 33 mpg in city driving and 30 mpg out on the highway.
Safety and Technology
The 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe has a full complement of airbags for protection in frontal and side-impact collisions. It also is equipped with forward collision avoidance, blind-spot detection, high-beam assistance, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assistance and driver attention warning.
In addition, the vehicle is equipped with Bluetooth, Sirius XM radio connection and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as rain-sensing windshield wipers. The version I drove was equipped with a Harmon Kardon premium audio system.
Even though the vehicle seems a bit overweight at 4,226 pounds, the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Limited has ample power out on the highway and for getting around town. The suspension on the Santa Fe also feels well-tuned and the vehicle does well as it travels over all sorts of pavement.
Overall ride and handling are pleasant, making the ute a friendly vehicle for commuting or running everyday errands. It also has good brakes and the steering is well balanced with a nice feel.
2022 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Limited Specifications
|L: 188.4 inches/W: 74.4 inches/H: 67.3 inches/Wheelbase: 108.9 inches
|1.6-liter 4-cylinder w/electric motor; 6-speed automatic transmission and AWD
|33 mpg city/30 mpg highway/32 mpg combined
|226 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque
|As tested: $41,580 including $1,225 destination charge.
The Hyundai Santa Fe stands measures up well against some very tough competition thanks to its spacious interior, sturdy powertrain and long list of features. The features and the hybrid powertrain push the manufacturers suggested retail price, or MSRP, about $40,000, which probably puts it out of reach for a lot of the buyers, who have it on their list of vehicles to consider.
However, it is a solid, versatile vehicle capable of meeting the needs of lot of young families or retirees, looking for something smaller and more economically.
2022 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Limited — Frequently Asked Questions
Does the Hyundai Santa Fe have a third row?
While the new Hyundai Santa Fe is not equipped with third-row seats, it does boast ample space, multiple comfort and technology features, and plenty of cargo room. The current Santa Fe is a five-seat midsize crossover that is smaller than the three-row Palisade but larger than the Tucson.
Which is better Santa Fe or Tucson?
You really can’t go wrong with either SUV. The Santa Fe has better acceleration, but the Tucson achieves significantly better fuel economy. Though the Santa Fe comes equipped with more standard features, the Tucson has a lower starting price, making upgrades more affordable. Both models earn accolades for their long warranty.
How many mpg does the Hyundai Santa Fe get?
Hyundai claims the Santa Fe Hybrid should return 40 mpg around town and closer to 30 mpg at motorway speeds. This seems realistic for a large SUV; the Toyota Highlander returns similar figures. Because of the size and weight of the Santa Fe, you don’t expect it to be fun to drive, but it does feel planted and grips the road well.