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Comparison: 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV vs 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime

Which of these compact plug-in electric hybrid SUVs is the better overall choice?

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2022 Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV 

Starting Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $44,999 CAD

Pros

  • Front passengers enjoy plenty of room
  • Conventional 6-speed automatic transmission
  • Great warranty

Cons

  • Average power, towing, and fuel economy
  • Limited electric driving range

Highlights

The Santa Fe is slightly larger than a typical 5-passenger compact SUV (like the Toyota RAV4), yet not quite as big as, say, the mid-size Hyundai Palisade that comes with three rows of seating. The new-for-2022 Hyundai Santa Fe plug-in gas-electric hybrid is the most fuel-efficient version of the automaker's popular SUV, also available with traditional gas-only and gas-electric mild-hybrid powertrains.

To qualify for Canadian federal and provincial government electric vehicle purchase incentives, both the Hyundai and Toyota plug-in electric hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) come with starting Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Pricing just under $45,000 in Canadian dollars. 

The $44,999 Santa Fe Preferred PHEV base trim comes standard with all-wheel-drive (AWD), automatic transmission, and features such as dual-zone climate control, Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist with Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist and Safe Exit Assist, and a proximity key entry with push-button start.

If you want to add features, the Hyundai becomes the better value. 

The topline $51,590 RAV4 Prime XSE adds niceties like a power moonroof, power rear hatch, unique black roof, LED driving lights, and black interior with red stitching. However, you'll need to add the RAV4's $5,400 Technology Package to get some of the features standard on the topline $48,499 Santa Fe PHEV Luxury trim.

And, like all new Hyundais in Canada, the Santa Fe PHEV comes with a 5-year/100,000-kilometre comprehensive warranty, two years and 40,000-km longer than what Toyota Canada offers.

Hyundai vehicles are becoming more upscale. Not so long ago, if we had seen an interior with a 12.3-inch digital driver information display, 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen, heated rear seats, and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, we would have assumed it was something like a BMW. Now, these features are in the Santa Fe.

Clever packaging has ensured that passenger and cargo space doesn’t suffer from the addition of the Hyundai’s plug-in hybrid hardware. Santa Fe front occupants enjoy more room over the RAV4, and there are 1,030 litres of cargo room behind the Hyundai’s rear seats compared to only 949 in the Toyota.

There’s 250 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque available from the Santa Fe PHEV’s turbocharged 1.6-litre 4-cylinder gasoline engine and electric motor combo. A 6-speed transmission is employed, not a continuously variable transmission (CVT) found in the Toyota.

 

2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime

Starting Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $44,990 CAD

Pros

  • Excellent fuel economy
  • Entertaining power
  • Impressive EV-only range

Cons

  • Top trims get pricey
  • Cabin can be noisy at speed
  • Annoying CVT whine

Highlights

As one of Canada's most popular new vehicles, the Toyota RAV4 needs little introduction. Like the Santa Fe, the 5-passenger 2022 Toyota compact SUV is powered by regular gas-only and mild-hybrid powerplants. But the RAV4 Prime PHEV takes fuel efficiency—and power—to the highest level.

Starting with the base 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime SE trim at $44,990, AWD and a CVT are standard, along with an 8-way power driver seat, heated front seats and steering wheel, Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, and Smart Key System with push-button start.

Every 2022 RAV4, regardless of drivetrain, has a cabin with durable materials and is assembled to a decent quality. The infotainment system is easy to use for anyone who can negotiate a smartphone.

The highlight of the RAV4 Prime is its electrifying powerplant. A 2.5-litre 4-cylinder gas engine is mated to a pair of electric motors, generating 302 horsepower to all four wheels. Not only is acceleration swift, but the more powerful Toyota offers up to 68 kilometres of electric-only driving over the Hyundai's 50-km estimate. 

Overall, the RAV4 Prime's gas-only 6.0 litres per 100 kilometres combined city and highway estimate and 2.5 Le/100 km energy consumption ratings better the Santa Fe PHEV's respective 7.2 and 3.1 numbers. Plus, the Toyota can tow up to 2,500 pounds/1,134 kilograms, versus the Hyundai's 2,000-lb/907-kg rating.

Plenty of power and a sporty suspension (firmer than a basic RAV4) might give the impression that the RAV4 Prime is a bit of a driver’s machine. That’s not really the case. Overall, the RAV4 Prime is easy to drive. Compared to the Hyundai, the Toyota’s CVT can be noisy when using a generous amount of power, and road noise is more prevalent at highway speeds.

 

Final Recommendation

If you are shopping for a compact SUV that sips as little fuel as possible, and maybe none at all depending on your driving distances, both the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV and 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime offer plenty to consider.

If front passenger comfort, a quiet highway ride, and the peace of mind of an extended factory warranty are at the top of your wish list, we think the Hyundai is worthy of consideration.

However, if you stay away from the higher-priced trims, with its additional power, better fuel economy, and generous electric-only driving range, we feel the Toyota is the better overall choice.

 

Specs

2022 Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime

Powerplant

1.6-litre Turbocharged I4 gas engine + electric motor

2.5-litre I4 gas engine +electric motors

Net Horsepower

250

302

Net Pound-feet of Torque

260

Not available

Transmission

6-speed automatic

Continuously variable automatic

Drivetrain

All-wheel-drive

All-wheel-drive

City/Highway Combined Fuel Economy

Gas: 7.2 L/100 km

Electric + Gas: 3.1 Le/100 km

Gas: 6.0 L/100 km

Electric + Gas: 2.5 Le/100 km

Electric Driving Range

50 kilometres

68 kilometres

Warranty

5 years/100,000 kilometres

3 years/80,000 kilometres

Max Seating Capacity

5

5

Base Curb Weight

2,037 kg

1,920-1,950 kg

Wheelbase

2,765mm

2,690 mm

Overall Length

4,785 mm

4,596 mm

Width

1,900 mm

1,854 mm

Height

1,730 mm

1,702 mm

Headroom, Front

1,003 mm

991 mm

Headroom, Rear

958 mm

1,016 mm

Legroom, Front

1,120 mm

1,039 mm

Legroom, Rear

958 mm

960 mm

Shoulder Room, Front

1,500 mm

1,468 mm

Shoulder Room, Rear

1,480 mm

1,433 mm

Cargo Volume, Behind Rear Seats

1,030 L

949 L

Max. Towing Capacity

2,000 lbs/907 kgs

2,500 lbs/1,134 kgs

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