The all new 3rd generation Santa Fe has been totally redesigned in two forms to compete in the ultra competitive mid-size Compact Utility Vehicle segment. So will it succeed? Let’s find out!
The Santa Fe now comes in two different models that look pretty similar. The Santa Fe Sport model is smaller and seats up to 5 passengers while the Santa Fe seats 6 or 7, and is 8.5″ longer overall with a 3.9″ longer wheelbase. The Veracruz has been phased out. The Santa Fe Limited has two captain’s chairs in the 2nd row while the GLS has the normal 3 across seating pattern for the 2nd row. Altogether there are 24 build types for the Santa Fe.
If you choose a model with the Leather and Premium package, than the 2nd row seats will slide forward to help you keep closer to your kids should the need arise. This means it’ll be easier to tend to your infant, or maybe even a misbehaving teen!
There are three engine choices offered. The entry level powerplant is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. It produces 190 horsepower and 181 lb. ft. of torque which is good for a 0-60 time of 8.4 seconds. Fuel economy is rated at 21 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.
The more powerful 2 liter turbo produces 264 horsepower and reaches 60 mph in just 7.4 seconds. Fuel economy is rated at 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. There’s also a 3.3 liter V6 that makes 290 horsepower and 252 lb. ft. of torque. It will get to 60 mph in 7.6 seconds.
The competition includes SUV’s like Honda Pilot, Nissan Pathfinder, Toyota Highlander, and the Mazda CX-9. Pricing ranges from $24,700 to around $38,000. All wheel drive is a $1,750 option. The V6 starts out at $28,350.
Of course you know you get a great warranty with Hyundai. Hyundai Assurance is America’s best warranty which is good for 100,000 miles. You also get 3 years of emergency assistance and enhanced roadside assistance.
An interesting option is the Hyundai DSSM. Driver Selectable Steering Mode offers a selectable comfort, normal or sport mode for the steering wheel. You can feel a difference, with sport of course offering the tightest feel for maximum road feedback.
The Santa Fe has the best power to weight ratio is best in class. It also offers a 5,000 towing capacity standard in all Santa Fe models.
Hyundai really wanted to make it feel more car like. Judging from my time behind the wheel, they’ve done a good job with that apart from the fact that you do have a high and comanding view off the road, which of course makes it a bit different from a normal car.
Overall, Hyundai has created a very competitive CUV with the all new Santa Fe. For my complete video review of the Hyundai Sante Fe click here!