Only 1 Hyundai SUV Isn’t Recommended by Consumer Reports

As a manufacturer, Hyundai performed exceptionally well in the Consumer Reports tests for the 2022 model year, with some of its vehicle offerings getting high ratings from the independent testing body. One example is the 2022 Hyundai Sonata, with an overall score of 83 out of 100. The SUVs performed significantly better than most of Hyundai’s other car types, with three out of four highly recommended options. So which was the option that was left out?

A white 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe driving down the road.
Hyundai Santa Fe | Hyundai Motor Company

The highest-rated option is the 2022 Hyundai Tucson, with its overall rating being 89 out of 100. According to Consumer Reports, only the Subaru Forester performs better with a 90 out of 100, although there are still some untested alternatives.

The road test report revealed good things about the car, including great handling, excellent fuel economy in the hybrid option, and good brakes. Buyers even get a quiet, comfortable ride depending on the trim option. The only major gripe seems to be a slow acceleration in the base model.

As for the predicted owner satisfaction and predicted reliability scores, the Tucson gets a stellar 5 out of 5 scores in both. This is expected as the 2019 to 2021 models haven’t had many reliability issues, and more than 8 out of 10 previous owners are satisfied with the car.

The 2022 Hyundai Palisade is another high achiever with its 87 out of 100 overall score. Surprisingly, it gets an 88 out of 100 in the road test, and just like the Tucson, there’s very little to complain about. Positives include a powertrain with exceptional performance, not to mention a comfy, spacious interior despite having three rows of seats.

That said, steering wheel feedback may not be the best, and owners should expect some body roll. The predicted reliability and owner satisfaction scores knock the Palisade a peg or two below the Tucson. The mid-size SUV gets a 4 out of 5 in both, although objectively speaking, these scores are still pretty good.

Lower on the pecking order is the 66 out of 100 scores of the 2022 Hyundai Kona. As an inexpensive subcompact, a 71 out of 100 on the road test isn’t bad, and the Kona even outdoes some competitors with higher overall scores like the Chevrolet Trailblazer and Mazda CX-30.

The cabin letting in noise, ride stiffness, and the car being slow are some of the gripes noted by the road test report. On the bright side, the handling makes the Kona enjoyable to drive, and the car’s controls are a cinch to use.

Although the 2021 model didn’t have any major engine issues, the car’s history shows reliability may vary from year to year hence the 3 out of 5 rating. Furthermore, comfort is not one of the car’s strong suits resulting in a 3 out of 5 predicted owner satisfaction rating.

With 58 out of 100 as its overall score, the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe is the only Hyundai SUV not recommended by the independent testing body. It performed just as well, if not better than the other Hyundai SUVs in the road tests getting a 76 out of 100.

The Consumer Reports road test report indicates the main issues include an underpowered engine resulting in sluggish acceleration, a clunky transmission, and lastly, the suspension is a little too firm.

Nevertheless, what brings down the Santa Fe’s overall score the most is the predicted reliability rating at 2 out of 5. This makes sense given that previous model years of the compact SUV haven’t exactly been the most reliable. On the other hand, predicted owner satisfaction isn’t as bad, with a 3 out of 5 rating.

What Consumer Reports likes Most about the Hyundai Santa Fe

With a 76 out of 100, the 2022 Santa Fe definitely had a few significant positives, including better-than-average fuel economy for the hybrid option, great brakes, and secure handling. Furthermore, space is abundant in both the front and rear rows, and the SUV offers excellent road visibility.

A rear occupant alert system is also part of the package, and it can help keep track of your children and pets if need be. That said, the system in the lowest trim levels is basic but gets better in the SEL trim and higher.

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