IT’S A BEST BUY BECAUSE:
The Santa Fe is a versatile, pleasant midsize SUV that offers respectable cargo room and comfortable seating for five, along with a broad variety of trim levels and powertrains.
Fuel economy slightly trails comparable class rivals.
The Santa Fe shares its basic powertrains and some of its technology features with the Kia Sorento, but the Sorento comes with a third-row seat (albeit a small one).
WHAT IS IT?
The Santa Fe is a two-row, 5-passenger midsize SUV that slots in below the three-row Palisade in Hyundai’s SUV lineup. It was redesigned for 2019 and saw a substantial refresh for 2021 which netted new powertrains (including a hybrid), updated styling, and a top-line Calligraphy model. SE, SEL, and new-for-2022 XRT models get a 191-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder that’s paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission, while Limited and Calligraphy models step up to a 281-hp turbocharged 2.5 four that’s mated to an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic. Santa Fe Hybrids come in Blue, SEL, and Limited trim with standard all-wheel drive and a 226-hp turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder hybrid powertrain. The new-for-2022 Santa Fe Plug-in-Hybrid comes in SEL and Convenience trim and is powered by a 261-hp version of the turbo 1.6 engine, with a larger battery pack and a more powerful electric motor. Santa Fes are available with a full complement of safety features, including Rear Occupant Alert (which warns of potentially forgotten passengers or items in the back seat) and Safe Exit Assist (which can detect an object approaching from the rear and keep the child safety locks activated until the object passes). Other available features include a digital gauge cluster, 360-degree surround-view monitor, heated steering wheel, heated/ventilated front seats, and a height-adjustable hands-free power liftgate.
After its significant refresh for 2021, the Santa Fe adds the above-mentioned Plug-In Hybrid version and off-road-appearance XRT trim level. The XRT gets distinctive touches such as unique wheels, body-side steps, skid plates, and blacked-out body trim.
The base 2.5-liter engine is rated at 25 mpg city/28 mpg highway with front-wheel drive and 22/25 with all-wheel drive. The turbo 2.5 engine is rated at 22/28 with FWD and 21/28 with AWD. Santa Fe Hybrids are rated at 36 city/31 highway in base “Blue” trim and 33/30 otherwise. The Plug-in Hybrid is rated at 33 mpg in combined city/highway driving and 76 MPGe, with a targeted pure-electric driving range of 31 miles. During Consumer Guide® evaluation, a Calligraphy averaged 23.4 mpg and a Hybrid Limited averaged 34.5 mpg, both in tests that consisted of 55-percent city driving. All Santa Fes use regular-grade gas.
VALUE IN CLASS
The Hyundai Santa Fe is a fine everyday family hauler that comes in a wide range of “flavors,” all of which offer excellent value for the money. The significant update for 2021 brought a raft of noteworthy improvements that made the Santa Fe a more compelling choice in its highly competitive class, and the new plug-in-hybrid powertrain and fashionable XRT model further bolster its standing.
|BASE PRICE RANGE||$27,200 – $45,360|
|BODY STYLES||4-Door Wagon|
|AVAILABLE ENGINES||191-HP, 2.5-Liter 4-Cyl.; 277-HP, Turbocharged 2.5-liter 4-Cyl.; 226-HP, Turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-Cyl./Electric; 261-HP, Turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-Cyl./Electric|
|DRIVE WHEELS||Front or All-Wheel Drive|
|EPA FUEL-ECONOMY RANGE||21-36 MPG|