2022 Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV Quick Review | A wise choice

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – We quickly see how dedicated Hyundai is to good electrification. Take the Ioniq 5, for example, and the heaps of praise we’ve heaped on it and its platform-sharing cousin, the Kia EV6. But Hyundai is not new to electrification. We’ve been enjoying the Ioniq Trio and the Kona Electric for a while now. But as the industry continues to move towards an electric future, Hyundai has also rolled out half-steps for those who might not be ready to leave the internal combustion jetty altogether. Hyundai does offer a few plug-in hybrids, which might be easy to overlook in the shadow of new and upcoming EVs, or even their larger gasoline-powered nameplates on which they’re based. We’ve already had the chance to familiarize ourselves with the 2022 Tucson PHEV and its tremendous value proposition – now it’s time for its mid-size sibling, the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV.

Now we were splitting our day between several vehicles as part of a Hyundai-sponsored event, so our time with the car was brief, but still enough to leave a lasting and positive impression.

The Santa Fe PHEV pairs Hyundai’s 1.6-liter Smartstream turbocharged gasoline engine and six-speed automatic transmission with a 66.9-kilowatt (about 87 horsepower) electric motor and 13.8-liter lithium-ion polymer battery. kilowatt hours. That’s good for a total system output of 261 horsepower. Just creating a cognitive disconnect knowing when the vehicle is moving so eagerly when such a small displacement engine is revving under the hood (the engine itself produces 178 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque) . This fairly innocuous but admittedly good-looking family crossover actually feels sporty while speeding through town and on the highway. Additionally, this PHEV comes standard with all-wheel drive (a mechanical one too, as opposed to just an electric motor on the rear axle), so as well as giving a confidence boost in bad weather, it performs that punchy acceleration without wheelspin or torque steering.

The Santa Fe PHEV’s on-board charger can accept electricity from a 240-volt source at a rate of 3.6 kW. It’s not that fast, considering something like the Ioniq 5’s 11kW on-board charger, but that’s not necessary. With only 13.8 kilowatts of capacity, the battery can recharge in about four hours. A full charge is enough for an EPA-rated all-electric range of 31 miles, and a gas engine is always ready to do the job when the battery is depleted. With gas and electric, it’s rated at 76 miles per gallon equivalent. With no electric range available, it still clocks up an impressive 33 mpg combined. There’s a button that lets you switch between EV and hybrid modes, but the car will automatically revert to hybrid mode — still using the brakes and coaster for regeneration and the electric motor for power — when the battery is low. exhausted. There are also the same drive modes – Normal, Eco, Sport, Smart and Snow with an AWD lock button – selectable from a rotary dial that you’ll find in other Hyundai vehicles.

While its electric power is convenient and the overall powertrain is pleasingly powerful, the really impressive thing about our tester was its gorgeous interior. This Limited trim featured quilted Nappa leather seats, with a nice combination of leather, soft plastics and almost carbon fiber gloss plastic trim throughout the cabin. Noble materials on well-sculpted forms create a welcoming and comfortable place to spend time. A panoramic sunroof brings light to both rows of seats. The infotainment screen is easy to use and the digital instrument cluster is crisp and clear. There are plenty of places to store small items, including a locker under the center console control. To the rear of these controls, in front of the larger bin in the center console, is a covered compartment with a USB port inside. Just behind, next to the cup holder, is another storage slot where you can store your phone vertically and charge it wirelessly.

The Santa Fe is packed with other useful tech, especially in this limited version. It includes Hyundai’s robust Highway Driving Assist suite, with adaptive cruise control, lane-centering assist and a number of active safety features. With the digital dash, you get power from the blind spot camera right in front of you every time you use your turn signal. It also has an easy-to-read heads-up display with a wealth of configurable information from an infotainment menu. Hyundai doesn’t hide the most important controls on the touchscreen, though, putting things like audio and climate controls, heated/ventilated seats, heated steering wheel, and things like automatic brake hold, control downhill and park assist buttons on the center console. .

Pricing for the Santa Fe PHEV starts at $41,295, including $1,295 destination, for the SEL version. That’s $8,850 more than the gas-only SEL AWD and $1,640 more than the standard hybrid (HEV) in the SEL Premium trim (which is equal to the gas-only SEL trim with the Premium Package). The Limited trim, at $47,305, is better value over the gas-only powertrain – it’s just $4,900 above the Santa Fe Limited AWD – but $5,300 more than the Hybrid Limited. Yes, the standard hybrid Limited is cheaper than its gas-only counterpart. However, when you factor in the PHEV’s eligibility for $6,587 in federal tax credits (not to mention fuel savings), it’s hard to knock the value of the adjacent luxury plug-in.

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV is a surprise gem in Hyundai’s lineup, with a sporty yet efficient powertrain, great interior, and plenty of useful tech. Our brief drive left us wanting more seat time in the PHEV to get to know its ins and outs better. It was enough, however, to assure us that we’d be happy living with this electrified crossover, especially considering that the closest PHEV competition besides its Sorento cousin, is the smaller Toyota RAV4 Prime. For someone looking for a comfortable and capable midsize SUV and looking to step into a plug-in vehicle without completely giving up the range and convenience of a gas engine, the stylish Santa Fe PHEV would be a savvy choice.

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