Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A silver 2022 Chevy Blazer Premier is shown driving on a mountain highway during a 2022 Chevy Blazer vs 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe competition.

Attention Young Families: Don’t End Up in a Boring Crossover

You have a young, busy family that’s still in the car seat-traveling, Goldfish cracker-munching stage of life. You value simplicity and utility, but you’re unwilling to abandon style to get it. Does this sound like you? If you’re in the market for a new family vehicle that ticks all the boxes, you’ve probably considered the 2022 Chevy Blazer vs 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe.

Since you’re too cool for a minivan and your back can’t endure three years of sedan ownership, you’ve settled on a crossover. The problem is, with literally dozens of models to pick from, where do you even start? Whittling down your options is easier when you overlay a style requirement because, sadly, most family-friendly crossovers come with a ubiquitous and forgettable curb profile.

Enter SUVs like the Blazer and the Santa Fe. These two popular utes contain the sanity-saving goodies and safety technology young families demand, but combine them in a more dynamic and stylish package that will add some spice to your midnight diaper runs and have you and your partner arguing over who gets to pick up junior at daycare. Here are a few features you should look for to avoid ending up with a boring crossover.

Luxury Finishes Designed for Comfort

As parents, we spend inordinate amounts of time ensuring our offspring remain comfortable, even if it means sacrificing our own well-being. The thing is, once junior is loaded into his car seat and you hit the road, you’ve done all you can. How about focusing on your own comfort for a change? Your toddler will be fine (remember, his definition of luxury is a little baggie of Goldfish crackers).

A quick peek inside the top-of-the-line 2022 Chevy Blazer Premier reveals a few ahhhhhhh inducing features for weary parents. First, you’re greeted by ambient interior lighting and swanky jet black perforated leather seats that look a heck of a lot more comfortable and upscale than your toy-strewn living room sectional sofa.

You slide inside, your hand closes around the leather-wrapped steering wheel, and with the push of a button, you dial in a little seat heating to take the edge off a chilly fall day. Once you’ve settled in, it’s time to set your smartphone – which is, as usual, hovering at 3% battery – on the wireless phone charger. A quick check of the HD Surround Vision camera display reveals no potential hazards, so you prepare to head out for an afternoon of errands.

The 2022 Santa Fe’s upper-level trims offer some of the same features, including leather seating and heated/ventilated seats. However, the Santa Fe lacks the Blazer’s athletic exterior styling, thus relegating it more to the ubiquitous end of the appearance spectrum. Still, from the perspective of cabin appointments, it holds its own.

A white 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe is shown off-roading on a dusty trail.

Infotainment and Smartphone Connectivity

Once you achieve a baseline of physical comfort, the next step toward pure driving bliss is a sensory one. Whether you have time to compile the perfect Spotify playlist or your tastes lean more toward wellness podcasts (sleep hygiene tips, anyone?), today’s best crossovers contain infotainment and connectivity features that simplify streaming.

Every 2022 Blazer trim includes standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, which means pairing your smartphone won’t require a cord. This is good news for harried parents because, between the diaper bag and your wallet, the odds that you’ll remember your phone charger are about as good as the odds of your kid willingly getting in the bath later.

It gets better, though, thanks to two important words: connected services. The Chevy myLink app turns your smartphone into a virtual key fob. Subscribe to the connected services plan and you can remote start your Blazer, lock/unlock the doors, and even sound the horn. That means you won’t deal with frigid cars on cold mornings, locking your keys in the car is a relic of the past, and when you forget where you parked at the mall, you can sound the horn and easily find your SUV. Oh, happy day.

Hyundai’s Santa Fe crossover offers similar infotainment and connected features. Just remember, it sort of looks like every other small SUV in the Ikea parking lot, so finding it among dozens of imposters is slightly tougher, even after sounding the horn. It’s fine – just be prepared to use the horn feature more than once while you watch the family in the Blazer find, load, and go well before you.

Performance and Ride Handling Enhancements

Comfort and infotainment are two of the biggest must-haves, but let’s not forget driving enjoyment. Nothing deflates the thrill of driving faster than lethargic acceleration. Lucky for you, the 2022 Blazer comes with two available engines, both of which offer peppy acceleration and plenty of power for comfortable highway speed driving.

Depending on the trim, you’ll get either a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder or a more powerful 3.6-liter V6. Enthusiasts will appreciate these performance stats: the 4-cylinder delivers 228 horsepower, while the V6 gets you a much more powerful 308 horses. If your stress management involves blowing off steam with some aggressive acceleration, we recommend the V6.

Whatever engine you select, the Blazer’s Active Noise Cancellation acoustics mean your crumb cruncher won’t miss a second of Valerie Velociraptor’s chat with Mrs. Pteranodon, thus maintaining his Dinosaur Train coma and your driving bubble. Furthering the point, the Blazer’s tuned suspension system ensures no bump is mighty enough to dislodge your iPad from their cheese powder-stained clutches.

Meanwhile at Hyundai, the Santa Fe also features two available powertrains, neither of which are as powerful as those found on the Blazer. The first is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that makes 191 horsepower. The second, a turbocharged version of the same 2.5-liter that increases output to 281 horsepower. When it comes to performance, specs matter. If you want the most performance, pick the Blazer.

A red 2022 Chevy Blazer RS is shown speeding through a tunnel.

The 2022 Blazer: the Antidote to Parental Boredom

It’s Wednesday night, which means you’re peering in the pantry, trying to decide between Kraft Mac & Cheese in Original or White Cheddar. Who are we kidding? That’s what you’re doing for dinner most nights. Still, just as a defeated sigh forms in the back of your throat, your eye trains on a hint of cherry red. There it is – your 2022 Blazer.

Suddenly, you remember accelerating out of the preschool parking lot after drop-off earlier that day, turning the volume up on that kid-unfriendly true-crime podcast, and taking the long route back home. You realize that you chose a crossover that evokes fun and triggers your adventurous streak. It’s powerful, comfy, and it hits you: that little SUV is an oasis.

So much of parenting younger kiddos is mind-numbingly boring. And repetitive. But take solace because you can find a family-friendly crossover with unique features that will spare you from feeling a sense of drudgery every time you get behind the wheel. It’s as close as your Chevy dealer. Do yourself a favor and choose a 2022 Chevy Blazer. Jazz up the curb appeal with one of Chevy’s brighter exterior colors, like Cherry Red or Cayenne Orange, and you’ll get a much-needed dopamine hit every time you look at it.

You may never conquer the laundry pile, but when you slide behind the wheel of your Blazer, you just might tap into a little pre-kid wanderlust. Trust us; your weekly errands will look a lot different when you love what you drive. And with parent-friendly features like a foot-activated liftgate and 64.2 cubic feet of cargo space for stowing your little one’s giant stroller, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it.