Car Reviews

2022 Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV First Drive Review: A savvy choice

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — We’re rapidly seeing how devoted Hyundai is to getting electrification proper. Take the Ioniq 5, for example, and the oodles of reward we’ve heaped upon it and its platform-sharing cousin, the Kia EV6. However Hyundai’s not new to electrification. We’ve loved the Ioniq trio and the Kona Electrical for a while now. However because the trade continues to maneuver towards an electrical future, Hyundai additionally has some half-steps in place for many who won’t be able to utterly push off from the inner combustion pier. Hyundai has a few plug-in hybrids, which may be simple to miss within the shadow of the brand new and upcoming EVs, and even of their bigger gas-powered nameplates upon which they’re primarily based. We’ve already had the possibility to familiarize ourselves with the 2022 Tucson PHEV and its great worth proposition – now it’s time for its midsize sibling, the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV.  

Now, we had been splitting our day amongst a number of automobiles as a part of a Hyundai-sponsored occasion so our time with the automobile was temporary, nevertheless it was nonetheless sufficient to depart an enduring and optimistic impression.

The Santa Fe PHEV pairs Hyundai’s Smartstream turbocharged 1.6-liter gasoline engine and six-speed computerized transmission with 66.9-kilowatt (about 87-horsepower) electrical motor and 13.8-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion polymer battery. That’s good for a complete system output of 261 horsepower. It’s sufficient to create a cognitive disconnect figuring out when the car strikes so eagerly when such a small-displacement engine is churning underneath the hood (the engine itself produces 178 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque). This pretty innocuous however admittedly good-looking household crossover truly feels sporty accelerating by means of city and onto the freeway. Moreover, this PHEV comes commonplace with all-wheel drive (a mechanical one too, versus merely having an electrical motor on the rear axle), so along with giving a degree enhance to confidence in unhealthy climate, it performs that punchy acceleration with out wheelspin or torque steer.

The Santa Fe PHEV’s onboard charger can settle for electrical energy from a 240-volt supply at a fee of three.6 kW. That’s not all that quick, contemplating one thing just like the Ioniq 5’s 11-kW onboard charger, nevertheless it doesn’t have to be. With simply 13.8 kilowatts of capability, the battery can recharge in about 4 hours. A full cost is nice sufficient for an EPA-rated 31 miles of all-electric vary, and a gasoline engine is at all times able to do the work when the battery is depleted. With gasoline and electrical energy, it’s rated at 76 miles per gallon equal. With no electrical vary obtainable, it nonetheless boasts a powerful 33 mpg mixed. There’s a button that permits you to toggle between EV and hybrid modes, however the automobile will mechanically revert to hybrid mode — nonetheless utilizing the brakes and coasting for regen and the e-motor for energy — when the battery is depleted. There are additionally the identical drive modes — Regular, Eco, Sport, Good and Snow together with an AWD lock button — selectable from a rotary dial that you simply’d discover in different Hyundai automobiles.

Whereas its electrical energy is handy and the general powertrain pleasantly potent, the actually spectacular factor about our tester was its beautiful inside. This Restricted trim featured quilted Nappa leather-based seats, with a fantastic mixture of leather-based, delicate plastics and shiny almost-carbon-fiber-like plastic trim all through the cabin. The tremendous supplies on well-sculpted types create a welcoming and comfy place to spend time. A panoramic sunroof helps deliver mild to each rows of seating. The infotainment display is straightforward to make use of, and the digital instrument cluster is crisp and clear. There are many locations to retailer small objects, together with a cubby underneath the middle console’s management. To the rear of these controls, in entrance of the bigger middle console bin, is a lined cubby with a USB port inside. Simply behind that, subsequent to the cupholder, is one other storage slot the place you possibly can stash you cellphone vertically and cost it wirelessly.

The Santa Fe is stuffed with different helpful tech, particularly on this restricted trim. It options Hyundai’s strong Freeway Driving Help suite, with adaptive cruise management, lane centering steering help and various lively security options. With the digital instrument panel, you get the blind-spot digital camera feed proper in entrance of you everytime you use your flip sign. It additionally has an easy-to-read head-up show with a wealth of data that’s configurable from an infotainment menu. Hyundai doesn’t cover an important controls within the touchscreen, although, placing issues like audio and local weather controls, heated/ventilated seats, heated steering wheel, and issues like brake auto maintain, hill descent management and parking assist buttons on the middle console.

Pricing for the Santa Fe PHEV begins at $41,295, together with $1,295 in vacation spot, for the SEL trim. That’s $8,850 greater than the gas-only SEL AWD, and $1,640 greater than the usual hybrid (HEV) in SEL Premium trim (which is the equal of the gas-only SEL trim with the Premium Package deal). The Restricted trim, at $47,305 represents a greater worth in comparison with the gas-only powertrain — it’s simply $4,900 above the Santa Fe Restricted AWD — however $5,300 greater than the Hybrid Restricted. Sure, the standard-hybrid Restricted prices much less than its gas-only counterpart. Nevertheless, whenever you issue within the PHEV’s eligibility for $6,587 in federal tax credit (to not point out gas financial savings), it’s onerous to knock the worth of the luxury-adjacent plug-in.

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV is a shock gem within the Hyundai lineup, with a sporty however environment friendly powertrain, a wonderful inside and a great deal of helpful expertise. Our temporary drive left us wanting extra seat time within the PHEV to higher get to know its ins and outs. It was sufficient, although, to guarantee us we’d be comfortable residing with this electrified crossover, particularly contemplating the closest PHEV competitors moreover its Sorento cousin, is the smaller Toyota RAV4 Prime. For somebody searching for a snug and succesful midsize SUV, and trying to get right into a plug-in car with out utterly ditching the vary and comfort of a gasoline motor, the fashionable Santa Fe PHEV could be a savvy alternative.

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