Hyundai Santa Fe

The Santa Fe comes in 3 trims the SE, SE Ultimate and the Limited Ultimate, while the Sport model comes in a 2.4L. 2.0L Turbo and 2.0L Turbo Ultimate. All models come standard as front-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is an option across the board.

The Santa Fe Sport is powered by either one of two available engines. Both of which are mated to a 6-speed automatic. The standard engine is a 2.4L 4-cylinder making an impressive 185 horsepower. It also produces best-in-class fuel economy, rated at 22 mpg city and 27 mpg on the highway. The Santa Fe Sport 2.0T is powered by a turbocharged 4-cylinder making 240 horsepower. With power equivalent to or better than many of the V6 engines in its class, the Santa Fe Sport 2.0T still returns 19 mpg city and 27 mpg highway.

The Santa Fe, with three rows of seating, comes standard with a 3.3L V6 making 290 horsepower. Once again, power and fuel economy compare positively to most of its rivals. The Santa Fe accomplishes this feat with a combination of slippery aerodynamics, light weight, a 6-speed transmission and state-of-the-art direct injection on all of its engines.

The Santa Fe has plenty of standard equipment. Even the base Sport model comes with features such as air conditioning, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel with integrated stereo controls, second-row ventilation, power lumbar support, a trip computer and outside thermometer, cruise control, keyless entry, a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 player, a 3-month subscription to Sirius XM satellite radio and Bluetooth connectivity.

Buyers opting for the Sport 2.0T get the more powerful engine, along with additional exterior features such as 18-inch wheels, fog lights, heated mirrors, automatic headlight control and a windshield wiper de-icer. Inside, the 2.0T differs from base models with the inclusion of a leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a color LCD screen in their gauge cluster, an 8-way power adjustable and heated front seat and a compass.

The Santa Fe SE comes very similarly equipped to the base Sport, though with a much bigger engine and 3-row seating. Notable differences include standard fog lamps and 18-inch wheels on the SE. Likewise, Santa Fe Limited models echo many of the features of the 2.0T, though the Limited is better equipped, including dual-zone climate control, heated second-row seats, a leather interior, a power adjustable front passenger seat, a power rear lift gate, a rearview camera, blind spot detection, an uprated audio system and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Optional equipment includes HID xenon headlights, ventilated seating, front seat and side mirror memory, heated steering wheel, auxiliary outlets and premium audio systems.

All Santa Fe models come with plenty of safety equipment. Acceleration is monitored by a traction control system, while braking is aided by 4-channel anti-lock brakes featuring electronic brake distribution. Airbags are plentiful with front, side and roof-mounted airbags, as well as a driver's knee airbag. Seatbelt pre-tensioners, an anti-theft system and a tire pressure monitoring system round out the Santa Fe's safety features.

Editors' Review

Hyundai is the latest manufacturer to come out with an off-road appearance package for its SUVs, and the 2022 Santa Fe is the first model to receive the new XRT treatment. While the Santa Fe remains a great SUV and the XRT bits do give it a fairly cool look, this new model doesn't add enough substance and has some major shortcomings.

Instead of being a package that you can add to different trim levels, the XRT is its own standalone trim that builds off the Santa Fe SEL with Convenience package. The XRT has different fasciae with faux skid plates finished in dark silver, additional black plastic moldings on the lower bumpers and doors, fairly useless side steps, black mirrors, a matte black grille with a new pattern, adjustable roof rails and black 18-inch wheels. The differences are more apparent on a brighter color; this XRT's Portofino Gray paint masks most of the changes.

Upper trim levels of the Santa Fe get an excellent turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and the SUV's hybrid and plug-in-hybrid models are offered in the midrange SEL trim, but the XRT is only available with the base naturally aspirated 2.5-liter inline-4. Front-wheel drive is standard, a strange choice for an SUV with aspirationally rugged looks, but my XRT test car has the $1,700 optional all-wheel-drive system. An eight-speed automatic is also standard across the lineup.

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The Good ~ Many standard convenience features ~ Spacious, high-quality interior ~ Great ride

The Bad ~ XRT styling is just cosmetic ~ Base engine is far too slow ~ Missing some nicer options

The Bottom Line The Santa Fe XRT is rugged in appearance only.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 7
  • Features 8
  • Design 9
  • Media 8

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