Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Hyundai Santa Fe mid-size SUV is stylish and sophisticated

After design revisions, mechanical upgrades and the addition of a hybrid powertrain for 2021, Hyundai’s upscale two-row mid-range SUV Santa Fe is a carryover for 2022. A new plug-in hybrid model complements the product range along with XRT equipment with exclusive appearance features that combine with outdoor Activities are connected: underrun protection, steps, roof rails and the like.

All in all for 2022, Santa Fe is available with a standard powertrain in five trim levels: SE, SEL, XRT, Limited and Calligraphy. There are three configurations in hybrid form: Blue, SEL Premium and Limited. SEL Convenience and Limited are available as plug-in hybrids.

Each model with a standard drivetrain has front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive is available at an additional cost. Hybrid models are all-wheel drive only.

The SE, SEL, and XRT types are powered by a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 191 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. Its EPA rating with front-wheel drive is 25 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, and 26 mpg combined. The numbers for AWD are 22/25/24 mpg.

Limited and Calligraphy models have a more powerful 2.5-liter turbo four-cylinder developing 281 horsepower and 311 pound-feet, with fuel economy ratings of 22/28/25 mpg for the FWD and 21/28/24 mpg for the AWD.

The controls in the mid-size Hyundai Santa Fe SUV are easy to see, reach and operate. (Manufacturer photo)

The blue model has the best rating among the hybrids: 36/31/34 mpg. The plug-in hybrids (PHEV) have a miles-per-gallon equivalent (MPGe) of 70 and a range of 30 miles in all-electric mode.

Standard engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, while the hybrids get a six-speed transmission.

Prices for the 2022 model year for FWD models (including a target fee of $ 1,225) range from $ 28,425 for an SE to $ 42,185 for the calligraphy. AWD costs $ 1,700 extra on all equipment. Hybrid prices start at $ 34,975 and PHEVs start at $ 40,575.

The Hyundai Santa Fe Calligraphy model I drove made its debut as a 2021 model. It has all the functions of the previous top model Limited, which is already full of special features, and is also equipped with unique high-style alloy wheels, a headliner made of eco-suede, colored head-up display, premium exterior and interior design accents, Ambient lighting and quilted leather seats.

I’m not a fan of quilting, although I think it looks great on quilts. The quilting of Calligraphy is at least tastefully done, is limited to limited areas and does not take up the entire seat area.

Otherwise, the interior of the Santa Fe Calligraphy is peach-colored. It fulfills the basic three requirements of spacious, comfortable and quiet and doubles up by placing the controls in logical places and making them easy to see and use. The styling is clean and practical, not fancy, and the materials are solid and top-notch.

A central eye-catcher in the interior is the tasteful 10.25-inch touchscreen, which rises from the middle dashboard and operates the infotainment system, which includes a Harman Kardon premium audio system with 12 speakers. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are included as well as the essential physical controls for volume and tuning controls, which are located at the bottom of the center console.

The layout of the Santa Fe as a two-row mid-size SUV offers plenty of space for the passengers in the rear seats as well as a large cargo area. The cargo volume with the rear seats folded is 72.1 cubic feet, and with the seats upright (they are leaning back, by the way) there is still a spacious 36.4 cubic feet available.

The turbo four engine provides ample lift and the rest of the Santa Fe completes the package by offering a civilized ride and capable handling.

The Hyundai Santa Fe is a mid-range SUV with space for up to five passengers.  The upscale calligraphy model is shown here.  (Manufacturer photo)

The Hyundai Santa Fe is a mid-range SUV with space for up to five passengers. The upscale calligraphy model is shown here. (Manufacturer photo)


Base price including destination fee: $ 43,275

Price as driven: $ 43,430

Mary Lowry is a member of the Motor Press Guild and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. She lives in Snohomish County. Vehicles are only made available by car manufacturers for test purposes as a one-week loan. The manufacturers do not control the content of the reviews.

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