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Hyundai is considered one of the top automobile manufacturers in the world. The combination of technological innovation and reliability are among Hyundai's trademarks. Those qualities are visible in their compact SUV line, the Santa Fe. If you are on the market for one, we asked experts and trusted reviewers to help you decide if the Sante Fe is the car for you.
All-wheel Drive (AWD) configuration is optional for fourth-generation (2018-present) Hyundai Santa Fe. Buyers can also opt for the standard Front-wheel Drive (FWD) configuration. Here are the Santa Fe models where the All-wheel Drive configuration is available:
- 2018 - All trim levels
- 2019 - All trim levels
- 2020 - All trim levels
- 2021 - All trim levels
- 2022 - All trim levels
Now that you know that Hyundai offers AWD capability on their Santa Fe, you might be interested in all the available trim levels or the innovations it can offer on the road. For more on this, head on over to the rest of the article.
Hyundai Santa Fe Trim Levels
Hyundai released the 2022 Santa Fe model in five different trim levels and six colorway options. The trim levels are SE, SEL, XRT, Limited, and Calligraphy. This selection of trim levels will suit a specific comfort preference that every consumer wants.
On the mechanical side, all trim levels offer two drivetrain options. You can either opt for the standard FWD drivetrain or the AWD variant.
However, when it comes to the engine. The Limited and Calligraphy trim levels come with a 2.5L 4-cylinder turbocharged engine while the SE, SEL, and XRT come with the standard 2.5L 4-cylinder engine.
Santa Fe SE
The SE is the most basic trim option of the Santa Fe. With prices starting at $27,000, it is a good entry-level option when you want to get into the Hyundai compact SUV line of vehicles. It comes with the standard 2.5L engine that produces 191 hp at 6100 rpm and 181 lb.-ft. of torque at 4000 rpm.
On the interior, the SE comes with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment display. The display can also connect to your smartphone through either Apple's Carplay or Andriod's Auto car application. With this, you can safely access all your favorite applications and music without using your phone.
When it comes to seating options, the SE comes with stain-resistant cloth seats. The fabric's stain-resistant technology eliminates unwanted odors and prevents stains caused by spills. The second-row seats use a 60/40 layout with reclining capabilities.
Santa Fe SEL
The SEL is the next trim level after the SE. It comes with all the bells and whistles that the SE has and some additional features. It has a keyless entry feature so that you can open doors without getting the keys out. Engine start/stop button is also added on this trim level.
Aside from having an 8-inch display, the SEL also has a wireless charging pad located at the middle console. You can also use your phone to start the car. Using Hyundai's Bluelink car system, you can control things like ignition, door locks, alarms, and many more using only your mobile phone. The SEL also comes with a Harman Kardon audio system with 12 speakers, including a subwoofer and an external amplifier.
Another upgraded feature that the SEL has is the heated front and rear seats. The fabric is the same as the SE but now you get heating capabilities. Another thing, the side-view mirrors are also heated for additional safety in cold weather driving.
Prices for the SEL start at $29,100.
Santa Fe XRT
The XRT trim takes all the upgraded features of the SEL and then adds more tech, all on a "rugged" looking exterior.
The front grille, side-view mirrors, wheel rims, and the front and rear skid plates are either painted black or in a shade of dark grey. Hyundai also added black roof cross rails and black side moldings and side steps unique only on the XRT trim.
The XRT's steering wheel is also an eye-catcher. Wrapped in premium black leather, the steering wheel sits just in front of a 12.3-inch fully digital gauge cluster. It also comes with an automated rear liftgate and one-touch 2nd-row seat access that makes folding down the seats hassle-free and convenient.
The XRT trim is the sportiest and most rugged-looking Santa Fe out of the five trim levels. If you're looking to drive long distances and possibly some off-road trips, this Sante Fe is perfect for you. Make no mistake: this trim level didn't skimp out on all the comfort and nifty features.
Prices for the XRT start at $32,450.
Santa Fe Limited
We are now entering the top-of-the-line trims on the Hyundai Santa Fe. The prices on this trim level start at $39,100. But for that price, you get exactly what you pay for.
The Limited trim comes with a 2.5L 4-cylinder turbocharged engine capable of producing 281 hp at 5800 rpm and 311 lb.-ft. of torque at 4000 rpm.
It also sports larger 19-inch alloy wheels compared to 18-inch wheels of lower trim levels. Hyundai also included a panoramic sunroof for a more luxurious driving experience. The seating has also been upgraded to leather, coupled with an Integrated Memory System (IMS) which you can set your preferred driving position with a press of a button.
The infotainment console has also been upgraded. The Limited comes with a 10.25-inch touchscreen display that now provides parking assistance information to the driver.
This trim also includes a Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA) feature that essentially lets the car park and unpark by itself without any driver intervention. This feature is great for parking in tight spaces.
Santa Fe Calligraphy
This is the highest and the most luxurious trim level that you can get. All of the features found on lower trims, plus some more for added comfort and luxury, come standard with the Calligraphy.
Quilted Nappa leather seats with accent trimming, premium finish grille, interior ambient lighting, and larger 20-inch alloy wheels have been added to the Calligraphy trim.
One of the niftiest features added to the Calligraphy trim is the Heads-up Display (HUD). Relevant information such as speed, navigation, and other entertainment applications is projected into the windshield so that you don't have to take your eyes off the road.
This is peak luxury and safety when it comes to Hyundai automobiles.
Prices for the Calligraphy start at $41,100.
Hyundai Santa Fe Safety Features
Hyundai has always been regarded as superior when it comes to safety. In fact, in 2021, the IIHS awarded the TOP SAFETY PICKS to Hyundai automobiles for their road safety features. J.D. Power Analytics also regarded Hyundai as an industry leader when it comes to quality.
Here's a list of the driving and parking safety features that all Santa Fe trims come with:
- Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection (FCA-Ped)
- Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA)
- Blind-Spot View Monitor (BVM)
- Lane Following Assist (LFA)
- Lane Keeping Assist (LKA)
- Driver Attention Warning (DAW)
- High Beam Assist (HBA)
- Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA)
- Rear Occupant Alert (ROA)
- Safe Exit Assist (SEA)
- Safe Exit Warning (SEW)
The list only covers what Hyundai refers to as safety features. There are also some innovations included that provide additional driving convenience when you're on the road. With a plethora of safety-oriented features, you can be sure that driving in a Santa Fe will be as safe as it is comfortable.
How Does Hyundai Santa Fe All-Wheel Drive Work?
Hyundai provides all of its AWD vehicles with its very own HTRAC system. The "H" stands for "Hyundai" and the "TRAC" is just a shortened version of the word "Traction". It's a multi-mode smart system that automatically provides traction whenever needed.
The system will also switch to front-wheel drive on typical road conditions to prioritize fuel economy. However, when a loss of traction is detected or when the driver engages it manually, torque is diverted to the rear axle to maximize grip and performance.
Is Hyundai Santa Fe Reliable?
No car is created perfectly. While the recent Santa Fe models fared well in reliability tests and reviews, this vehicle has its fair share of problems. One Edmunds consumer reviewer stated that they had the "check engine" light on at just 2,000 miles.
Another reviewer also complained that the Forward Collision-Avoidance (FCA) system malfunctioned. And as a result, put the car into collision control mode and they lost steering control.
While these reviews are concerning, this does not paint the whole picture. Edmunds rated the 2021 and 2022 Santa Fe a 7.7/10, which means it's a pretty decent car overall.
The SUV market is saturated with new and innovative products every single year, all competing for the glory of being regarded as the best overall car of the year.
With an abundance of safety-oriented features, fairly large cargo capacity, sleek and stylish exterior and interior, and the competitive pricing help make it a pretty good deal. With that said, always remember to drive safely.
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