Rugged crossovers is the new trend with automakers like Honda and Hyundai releasing slightly more rugged trim levels of its popular crossovers. Honda recently introduced the Passport TrailSport and Hyundai has launched a new XRT version of the Santa Fe. The Hyundai Santa Fe XRT looks a little more rugged than the other Santa Fe trim levels, but even with the upgrades, it’s not more capable off-road.
The Santa Fe XRT gets black 18-inch wheels, skid plates, side steps, black plastic body cladding and a revised front end with a new bumper and a black grille. The upgrades are topped off with black mirrors and a black roof rack. And that’s the end of the “rugged” upgrades, since the XRT doesn’t add more ground clearance or any other performance upgrades to make give it more off-road capability.
Under the hood the XRT is powered by a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 191 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. The four-cylinder is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive is optional. If you want the turbocharged 2.5-liter engine, you’ll have to select one of the higher trim levels and the hybrid powertrain is also not available with the XRT model.
With front-wheel drive, it’s rated at 25 mpg city, 28 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined. The all-wheel drive version is rated at 22/25/24 mpg.
On the road the naturally aspirated engine packs enough power to get the Santa Fe moving down the road, but it’s definitely not sporty. The XRT may be positioned as the more rugged Santa Fe, but its suspension is geared towards comfort. The ride is nice and controlled with minimal body roll, but if you want to push hard through a twisty canyon, the Santa Fe quickly lets you know that it is not a sporty crossover.
The XRT builds on the SEL trim level with the Convenience package. Inside it comes with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There are also heated front seats, a wireless charger and cloth seats. Unfortunately a sunroof is not available, but there are manual side window screens at the rear.
Just like the rest of the Santa Fe lineup, the interior is spacious and comfortable. It can easily fit five passengers and it has enough cargo space with underfloor storage for all your gear.
On the safety front, the Santa Fe XRT comes standard with adaptive cruise control, a blind-spot monitor, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, lane departure warning and a driver attention alert system.
The pricing for the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe XRT starts at $32,450, including destination. All-wheel drive adds $1,700.
If you are in the market for a crossover, but want it to look a bit more rugged, then the Santa Fe XRT is for you. It doesn’t offer any extra off-road capability, but its styling looks the part.
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