The Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Will Pay For Itself in Only 2 Years With Current Gas Prices

“There’s never been a better time to buy a hybrid,” says Jake Fisher, senior director of CR’s Auto Test Center. Truer words and all that. The fact is, gas prices are climbing due to a laundry list of factors, chiefly the war raging between Russia and Ukraine. No matter the reasons, we are stuck with these prices, but maybe we can pay them less often. According to a recent study, the Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid can save you enough gas to pay for the hybrid upcharge in only two years with current gas prices. 

Quartz White 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe fording a stream
Quartz White 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe | Hyundai

Do hybrid cars really save you money? 

Automakers are adding more hybrid models to the car market at blistering speeds. “It’s not just the Toyota Prius anymore,” Fisher says. “Today’s consumers can choose hybrid pickups, three-row SUVs, large cars, minivans, and luxury cars that offer excellent fuel efficiency.” 

Consumer Reports compared hybrid and non-hybrid versions of various models and found some pretty interesting and hopeful results. The 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe is so much more efficient than its non-hybrid counterpart that the extra cost for the hybrid version pays for itself in only two years. 

Is the Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid worth it? 

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid tearing up a dirt road
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid | Hyundai

Consumer Reports struggles with the 2022 Santa Fe, in general. Overall, the model landed a 58/100 on CR’s extensive testing process. Things like poor predicted reliability, low customer satisfaction, and an underpowered base engine contribute to this low score.  

However, as of 2021, the Santa Fe got an optional hybrid version, which kind of changes everything. As SUVs somehow continue to grow in popularity, the sedan game is getting weaker by the day. It used to be that the trade of getting an SUV was more room and comfort in exchange for worse fuel economy. That’s not so true anymore. 

Kelly Blue Book (KBB) tested the Hybrid model and told a different story from the base model, indeed. KBB gave the hybrid version a glowing 4.8 out of five, mostly because of its killer fuel economy. 

How much does the 2022 Santa Fe Hybrid cost? 

The base gas-powered Santa Fe yields 24 mpg and starts at $27,200. The 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid gets over 30 mpg on average on both highways and in town. The Santa Fe Hybrid starts a $33,900. If you want anything with some flair, prices can quickly exceed $40,000. As you can see, the hybrid option is a pricy one. How can this be worth it? 

With gas prices hovering in the mid-$4s, CR says that the amount of fuel saved from the base model to the Santa Fe Hybrid will pay back the added $4k-$5k upcharge. These figures are based on $4 per gallon on gas and driving 12,000 miles per year. 

The Santa Fe Hybrid is also a more thrilling drive outside of just saving money on gas. Unlike the sluggish base-model engine, the Santa Fe Hybrid answers the right pedal with a bit of snap. The hybrid Santa Fe makes a whopping 226 hp compared to the base model making 191 hp. There is a more powerful turbocharged version of the base 2.5-liter engine, but with the hybrid also making more power and saving a boatload on gas, what’s the point? 

New for the 2022 model is the Plug-In Hybrid version. This new configuration makes 261 hp between the electric motor and Hyundai’s 1.6-liter (the same engine as the normal hybrid). 

Maybe its time to look at the Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid

Gas prices aren’t likely to calm down anytime soon. With the war in Europe raging, alongside all the other things that have made the last two years so fun, makes the idea of cheap gas seem pretty far away – not to mention the summer gas spike we have come to expect every year. 

This study shows that driving the right car responsibly can actually save real amounts of money to those savvy enough to take advantage of the research. Sure, it will cost a little more upfront, but the math doesn’t lie. 

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