The EPA has published the fuel economy ratings for the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV and we’re liking what we see. In EV mode, the crossover can travel up to 31 miles before the gas engine kicks in. In hybrid mode, the EPA rates the Santa Fe PHEV at 33/32/33 mpg city/highway/combined, which is excellent considering the crossover’s size and standard AWD system.
Compared to the standard Santa Fe Hybrid, the PHEV is less efficient than the Blue grade, which is rated at 36/31/34 mpg. Other versions of the Santa Fe Hybrid are rated at 33/30/32 mpg, which is similar except for the highway and combined rating where the PHEV is rated higher by 2 mpg and 1 mpg respectively.
Currently, the closest competitor to the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV is the Toyota RAV4 Prime. However, that model is a segment smaller and has a larger 18 kWh battery versus the Santa Fe’s 13.8 kWh unit. As a result, the RAV4 Prime can travel up to 42 miles in EV mode. The mechanically similar Kia Sorento PHEV will likely get a similar EV mode range as the Santa Fe PHEV since it uses the same 13.8 kWh battery. However, the Sorento has three rows of seating, which may make it heavier than its two-row Hyundai cousin. Another possible upcoming competitor is the Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe. That could use the same 375-hp hybrid system as the Wrangler 4xe, potentially giving it more power than the Santa Fe.
Powering the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV is the same plug-in hybrid system set to go into the Tucson and Kia Sorento. That utilizes a 1.6-liter turbo-four coupled to a 99-hp electric motor, a 13.8-kWh lithium-ion battery, and a six-speed automatic transmission. The total system output is 261 hp. With a full tank and charge, the EPA says that the Santa Fe PHEV can travel 440 miles. Only the Toyota RAV4 Prime is more powerful at 302 hp combined from a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, two electric drive motors, an 18-kWh battery, and a planetary gear set. The RAV4 Prime is also more efficient at 40/36/38 mpg in hybrid operation and can travel farther at 600 miles with a full tank and charge.
One advantage that the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV has over some hybrids is its mechanical AWD system. This gives the crossover more traction, allowing it to put the power down more effectively. I’m comparison, Toyota hybrids ditch that setup, adding a second electric drive motor in the rear axle instead. While that works fine for most driving conditions, the front wheels will always have more power than the rear. During acceleration, you can sometimes feel the front wheels fighting for traction just like you would in an FWD car, something you don’t experience in a mechanical AWD setup.
The 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV is expected to go on sale before the end of the year. Like the upcoming Tucson PHEV, the Santa Fe PHEV will likely be offered only in Blue and Limited grades, the former of which will be equipped similarly to a mid-grade model. Availability will be limited to California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont. In addition to state incentives, the Santa Fe PHEV is eligible for a $6,587 tax credit.