Going Hood-to-Hood with the Competition

In the battle of mid-size family SUVs, Hyundai and Jeep have battled for supremacy. With the new Hyundai Santa Fe XRT for 2022, the competition with the Cherokee just got even hotter.

A Winner with Value Luxury, Hyundai Takes on Off-Road SUVs

With the introduction of its Calligraphy trim last year, Hyundai took direct aim at the luxury SUV market. With more premium features for the money, more passenger and cargo room, and nimble handling, it proved to be an instant favorite among luxury SUV shoppers.

Hyundai is preparing to debut the Santa Fe XRT in 2022, taking on Jeep’s Cherokee and Grand Cherokee models. So, what sets the XRT apart? Let’s take a look.

Hyundai’s Go-Where-the-Adventure-Is SUV

The Santa Fe XRT is Hyundai’s off-road-oriented trim. When you see one in the showroom, you’ll immediately see the design changes to this SUV. It sports a more rugged appearance with black 18-inch wheels, added black body cladding, and side steps. Front and rear skid plates give the Santa Fe XRT added protection off-road, and roof rails add to the go-where-the-adventure-is aesthetic.

Mechanically, you won’t find many changes to the XRT, and that seems to hang up critics who want to liken this Santa Fe trim to a Jeep Wrangler. Unlike the Wrangler, the XRT isn’t purpose-built to crawl over rocks and ford creeks. It is plenty capable of whisking you and your friends and family off to your favorite off-the-beaten-path campsite.

So, How Does the Santa Fe XRT Stack Up?

As with every Santa Fe—and Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee—trim, front-wheel drive is standard. If you plan to spend a lot of time driving on gravel paths, muddy roads or want more confidence in the snow, you can upgrade to Hyundai’s HTRAC all-wheel drive.

Hyundai’s naturally aspirated 2.5L inline 4-cylinder engine is the standard powertrain available on the XRT. Coming in at 191 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque, it slots in between the Grand Cherokee and Cherokee.

The Grand Cherokee offers greater towing capability (3,500 pounds vs. 2,000), but the Santa Fe XRT’s larger cargo space and standard roof rails give you more storage capacity without having to hitch up.

A Rugged Upgrade

In terms of its features set, the Santa Fe XRT is expected to line up with the SEL trim. In addition to the rugged features, you’ll also get:

  • A comprehensive set of safety and driver assistance features including rear-cross traffic alert and a rear-passenger safe exit system that prevents a passenger from opening the rear door into traffic.
  • Heated front seats
  • Wireless smartphone charging
  • Available hands-free liftgate

Go from Pavement to Path in Comfort

In addition to providing more functional cabin space than the Cherokee models, the Santa Fe XRT offers a smoother, quieter ride and goes from daily commute to weekend adventure seamlessly. The Santa Fe achieves a combined 24 MPG, which is better than the Grand Cherokee and makes the time you spend in it even more enjoyable.

Ruggedly Refined and Available Near You

The Hyundai Santa Fe XRT for 2022 is available now. And you can expect to see the XRT trim on other Hyundai models, including the Tucson, coming soon to a showroom near you.