The Hyundai Santa Fe is all new, coming into its fourth technology for the 2019 mannequin 12 months. But this midsize crossover SUV has a tricky act to observe. The third-generation Santa Fe (which is definitely nonetheless on sale because the three-row Santa Fe XL) stays an extremely compelling product. I spent per week with one again in February, and nonetheless discovered it to be massively aggressive. Is this brand-new Santa Fe compelling sufficient to essentially transfer the needle?
Spice up the carpool lane The Santa Fe’s exterior design does a terrific job of blending ruggedness and sleekness. The first components I discover when strolling as much as this SUV are the skinny working lights unified by a stunning chrome strip that varieties the radiator grille’s higher framing. Flanking all sides of the grille are giant, bold-looking headlamp clusters that distinction nicely with the skinny LED working lamps above them. Altogether, the entrance design lends to an unforgettable aesthetic.

Out again, the look would not seem as impressed or revolutionary, however stays good-looking, nonetheless. The cabin design can be comely. I particularly love the polygonal surfacing on the speaker grilles. Their suave nature goes far in making the remainder of the Santa Fe’s inside really feel extra upscale. That is till you look just a little nearer. The Santa Fe is reasonable, and that positively reveals in its hard-plastic cabin supplies.
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Spacious sufficient, however missing cabin high quality The plastics on the door panels reek of cost-cutting with their arduous, shiny look and scratchy really feel. Still, the Santa Fe’s inside is spacious, snug and quiet. It takes no time in any respect to seek out a great driving place, and as soon as you have discovered it, you possibly can devour lots of of road-trip miles whereas making your again really feel prefer it’s on trip.

If it’s worthwhile to pack up for the lengthy haul, the Santa Fe within reason spacious. Behind the rear seats, you may discover 35.9 cubic toes of house, which expands to 71.3 cubic toes with the second row folded. That’s extra space than the Chevy Blazer and Nissan Murano, however lower than the Honda Passport and Ford Edge. The Santa Fe’s 3,500-pound most towing capability additionally falls midpack, besting the Murano’s 1,500 kilos and matching the Edge, however falling wanting the Passport’s 5,000-pound max. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come normal on a 7-inch touchscreen, however my loaded instance makes use of an 8-inch show.
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Trusty tech The Santa Fe comes normal with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on a 7-inch touchscreen, however my loaded instance options an 8-inch display together with a 7-inch instrument cluster show. I’ve additionally obtained embedded navigation, a 12-speaker Infinity premium audio system, HD and satellite tv for pc radio, plus wi-fi telephone charging. Even on the bottom, $26,795 (together with $1,045 for vacation spot) Santa Fe SE, Hyundai consists of normal superior driver-assistance options like adaptive cruise management, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-keep help and automated high-beams. My loaded instance in Ultimate 2.0T trim (beginning at $38,145) includes a head-up show, 360-degree digicam and rear parking sensors, plus LED headlights, fog lights and taillights. The top-trim Santa Fe additionally consists of comfort options like heated and ventilated entrance seats, heated and sliding rear seats, a panoramic sunroof and a hands-free energy rear liftgate. The 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine is okay, but it surely makes me lengthy for the 3.3-liter, naturally aspirated V6.
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Plenitudinous energy The base Santa Fe is powered by a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine making 185 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque. My tester packs a 2.0-liter, turbocharged I4 with 235 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Regardless of engine, all Santa Fe fashions use an eight-speed automated transmission routing energy to the entrance wheels. All-wheel drive is a $1,700 possibility throughout all trim ranges, which means my Ultimate 2.0T tester prices $39,845.

The turbocharged engine presents loads of grunt, however would not have the identical off-the-line immediacy because the naturally aspirated, 3.3-liter V6 within the Santa Fe XL, which has 55 extra horsepower, however 8 fewer pound-feet of torque. The similar goes for the four-cylinder’s freeway passing energy: There’s sufficient kick to cross slower site visitors shortly, however the V6 feels snappier. That additional V6 snap does sap gas financial system by 2 miles per gallon on each metropolis and freeway cycles. The most effective Santa Fe with the two.4-liter and front-wheel drive is EPA-rated for 22/29 metropolis/freeway mpg. My 2.0-liter, turbocharged AWD tester is available in at 19/24 metropolis/freeway mpg. After 1,134 miles of largely freeway driving, I averaged 23.1 mpg. The Santa Fe performs properly off-road and in addition seems to be good towards a backdrop of seashore selfies.
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The eight-speed automated transmission makes the many of the four-cylinder’s horsepower deficit, nevertheless. Shifts are easy and fast, whereas good pedal modulation avoids any impression that the gearbox is lazy to downshift or overeager to upshift. Traveling alongside a dusty filth path right into a music competition, I obtained to take a look at the AWD Lock mode, which makes the Santa Fe really feel extra assured within the silty stuff by ensuring the AWD system is at all times energetic quite than simply being reactive when slip is detected. Even on paved roads with AWD Lock disengaged, the Santa Fe reactively apportions energy shortly and properly. Furthermore, I by no means needed to fear concerning the entrance wheels slipping throughout spirited launches at right- or left-hand turns into intersections. Paved roads or not, the Santa Fe presents a journey that is at all times snug, however get the crossover right into a set of turns, and physique roll is properly managed. While navigating the twisties, the steering presents applicable weight and accuracy, whereas presenting a pleasing trace of really feel by the wheel. A well-modulated brake pedal permits for constant stopping energy that at all times delivers a way of confidence. If you are buying within the two-row, midsize SUV phase, you have to take into account the 2019 Santa Fe.
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Keeping it strong The latest technology of the Hyundai Santa Fe would not really feel like a considerable enchancment over the third-generation mannequin, however that is not essentially a foul factor. The third-gen Santa Fe did not really want a lot enchancment anyway, so why mess with success? At the top of the day, the 2019 Santa Fe is a fetching crossover that gives affordable house, affordable towing functionality, terrific consolation, respectable tech, a number of normal options and loads of energy and it is not too unhealthy to drive, both. And this is the linchpin: No matter the way you spec it, the Santa Fe finally ends up costing round $5,000 lower than its comparably geared up competitors. Considering how properly sorted it’s in just about each regard, when you consider worth, the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe is a no brainer advice within the crowded midsize SUV phase.

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