First Drive: 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe Takeaways You Need to Know

We are enjoying a week with the Hyundai Santa Fe and taking notes about every minute so far. There are a few surprising things that you need to know about the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe that can’t be ignored. Check it out! 

Is the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe worth buying? 

2022 Hyundai Santa Fe review
2022 Hyundai Santa Fe | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

Yes, the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe is an excellent SUV to consider. The Santa Fe is spacious, comfortable, and capable. Plus, it provides plenty of value thanks to a long list of standard features and safety aids. 

We will provide a complete Hyundai Santa Fe review soon, but we’re still learning what’s good and bad about it. But we’ve learned a lot of important things about it so far, some of which may be surprising. 

1. The Santa Fe is fun 

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe has a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 191 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque. But you can upgrade to the 2.5-liter turbocharged engine for 281 hp and 315 lb-ft of torque. 

The Santa Fe has a peppy acceleration and can reach 60 mph in about 6.6 seconds. The handling is direct, and it corners well for confidence around tight curves. However, the Mazda CX-5 does feel a little more stable. 

You can use the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters for even more excitement. Also, the Sport Mode makes throttle times more responsive for a more athletic experience. The faster acceleration is definitely noticeable. 

2. The Hyundai Santa Fe is comfortable 

2022 Hyundai Santa Fe interior
2022 Hyundai Santa Fe interior | Hyundai

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe has large, well-padded seats for a comfortable ride. The suspension is smooth, and most impacts are absorbed with ease. Plus, the cabin is well insulated to keep wind and road noise at bay. 

You can use the sounds of nature for relaxing ambient noise. The Comfort Mode provides a smoother, more relaxing drive for a low-effort experience. It’s pretty nice after a long day of work and running errands. 

3. The tech is incredible 

There are plenty of customization options to cater to your personal preferences, and the Hyundai Santa Fe has unique features. For example, the head-up display changes colors based on your speed. 

If you’re going the speed limit, it’s white. But going over the speed limit changes the color to yellow, and going more than five miles over the speed limit changes the color to orange! 

The 103-inch infotainment display has crisp, bright graphics and works quickly. The digital gauge cluster is easy to customize. Also, there is a video display of the lane behind you when you change lanes. 

Plus, the Remote Parking Assist system allows you to pull the SUV forward and back it up with the keyfob. The parking sensors will automatically detect obstacles in the way and stop if needed. 

4. The Santa Fe can go off-roading 

A 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid shows off its capability on a remote road.
2022 Hyundai Santa Fe | Hyundai

We aren’t saying the Hyundai Santa Fe can keep up with a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, but it can tackle some light off-roading challenges. It’s available with AWD and has an 8.2-inch ground clearance. 

There is a Snow Mode for slippery situations, a locking center differential, and hill descent control. We took it in the mud and over some dips and felt very confident. The Santa Fe is stable on inclines with wet gravel and thick mud. 

It has plenty of power to avoid getting stuck, and we didn’t scrape the undercarriage or bumpers. It’s surprisingly capable. 

5. The Santa Fe is spacious 

There is plenty of room in the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe. The front and second rows have room for taller passengers to stretch out. Also, the adjustment controls allow shorter folks to find the perfect driving position. 

There are 36.4 cubic feet of cargo space n the rear with up to 72.1 cubes total. Plus, there is an under-floor storage compartment with cubbies in the rear, and the center console is pretty deep. 

You can also store your bags in the gear tunnel in front of the center console. However, the cup holders are narrow, and the wireless charging pad is a little tight. 

So far, we’re impressed with the Santa Fe, but we have more to learn about it. Stay tuned for our full review!

RELATED: The Hyundai Santa Fe is More Satisfying Than the Honda Passport