Hyundai’s crossover/SUVs have come on strong for several reasons. Prime example is their top selling Santa Fe that offers numerous safety and amenity features as standard, a spacious interior for a family of four, good resale value, is stylish, reasonably priced and it’s tough to beat their industry best warranties.
Santa Fe is offered in FWD and AWD and in SE, SEL and Limited trim models. We tested the Limited with FWD although here in the Snowbelt, AWD would be preferred.
As for safety features, the Limited model was loaded with a host of standard features and functions. Impressive was their Blind View Monitor that compliments their Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist system that displays on the instrument clusters’ Driver Information Display both right and left lane views when when the turn signal is activated. This helps avoid a collision with a vehicle or cyclist that’s hid in the Santa Fe’s blind spot. This should be standard on all vehicles and it’s a valuable aid in preventing accidents as is rear cross traffic alert that’s helpful when backing out of a shopping center parking spot, especially when there’s large vehicles on either side and blocking your view.
Santa Fe’s safety list includes Forward Collision Avoidance; Safe Exit Assist, Blind Spot Alert, High Beam Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Driver Attention Warning, Blind View Monitor, Smart Cruise Control w/Stop & Go, Surround View Monitor, Ultrasonic Rear Occupant Alert, Parking Distance Warning – Reverse. You must ask yourself, does the competition offer all these as standard?
Hyundai also provides three-years of free Blue Link Connect wherein you can get remote diagnostics, remote voice guidance, remote start w/climate control, door lock/unlock, car finder, roadside assistance, stolen vehicle recovery and with a smartphone app, some features can be controlled via Android Wear and Apple Watch apps. Included too are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
Aside from Santa Fe’s exterior sleek, bold design with its high-mounted LED running lights and goldish tint on door handles and trim, its interior is exceptionally classy and comfortable.
Within the cockpit you’re treated to perforated leather and heated/cooled front seats that offer extended under thigh support to ease long haul fatigue. An 8-inch touchscreen melds nicely into the dash and offers the gamut of audio, navigation, apps and rearview camera with four different views.
The gauge cluster has a large single digital speedometer with embedded driver information display to show functions, modes, alerts and the right/left turn signal views.
Santa Fe’s burly 8-speed automatic transmission shifter is surrounded by a wireless phone charger in front of it and drive mode switches to its rear. The latter offers Sport, Smart and Comfort driving modes with Sport enhancing performance when needed.
With wide opening rear doors and a low 18.5-inch step-in, the rear seats offer gobs of leg and head room for tall adults.
Wave your foot beneath the rear bumper and the hatch automatically opens and does so at a choice of two speeds (4.5 or 6.0 seconds).
With the rear 60/40 seatbacks upright, there’s 35.9 cubic feet of cargo space that measures 43 inches deep, 46 wide and 30 high. Flip the seatbacks and space expands to 71.3 cubic feet that increases cargo depth to 77 inches.
Beneath the cargo floor are two nifty hidden storage bins. Lift the rear cargo floor and there’s a full-length, 7.75-inch deep two partition bin. One is for small item storage while the other holds the jack and tools. Close that portion and open the rearmost portion of the floor and there’s a three partition foam bin for additional small item storage. Very innovative and good use of dead space.
Santa Fe is offered with two engine choices. The base engine is a 2.4-liter inline-4 that produces 185-hp and 178 lb/ft of torque for EPA mileage estimates of 22/29 mpg for FWD, and 21/27 for AWD.
The tested 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 produces 235-hp and 260 lb/ft of torque for EPA mileage estimates of 20 city, 27-highway mpg with start/stop engine technology. This powertrain has a tow rating of 3,500 pounds with trailer brakes and 1,650 without them.
Power wise, the 2.0L is quietly potent with good acceleration from a standing stop and when merging onto high speed highway lanes. The 2.0L turbo is preferred over the 2.4L, especially if any trailering is planned.
Equipped with electric power steering, Santa Fe exhibited good road feel with a relatively tight turning circle of 37.5 feet to make parking easier.
Shod with Hankook 19-inch tires, ride and handling were impressive. The 3,942-pound crossover handled sharp turns with nary any body lean and remained planted. Santa Fe is also a quiet, smooth rider.
Now here’s the surprising point. With an extremely long list of standard features, many of which previously listed plus a panoramic sunroof, the only extra cost option was $135 for carpeted floor mats. That took the base price of $37,500 to $38,730 with a delivery charge of $1,095. It’s difficult to find a crossover with all these safety and amenity features for less.
And here’s the bonus.
Santa Fe comes with Hyundai’s generous and unbeatable 5 year/60K new vehicle warranty; 10/100K powertrain; 7/Unlimited anti-perforation; 5/Unlimited roadside assistance warranties.
Considering all this, how can you not consider Hyundai’s Santa Fe, Tucson, Kona or three-row Palisade for your new crossover/SUV?