There was a time when the reasons to pick a Hyundai Santa Fe as your crossover SUV were few. It had a low price and a lot of standard features, but that original first-generation model failed to perform to the level of its competition in most other areas.
Thankfully, the second-generation Hyundai Santa Fe presented a big step up in terms of styling and performance. Highlighted by its contemporary appearance and upscale and roomy interior design, this model made a respectable choice for a used midsize crossover.
Now the latest, third-generation Santa Fe raises the bar even further, with its truly impressive performance, attractive styling, high-quality cabin and generous standard features roster.
Current Hyundai Santa Fe
The midsize Santa Fe is a six- or seven-passenger midsize crossover SUV that is offered in GLS and Limited trim levels. The smaller Santa Fe Sport is covered in a separate review.
Even the base GLS comes standard with air-conditioning, a power driver seat, heated front seats, a 40/20/40-split sliding and reclining second-row seat, a 50/50-split-folding third-row seat, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, Hyundai's Blue Link telematics system, satellite radio and USB/iPod integration. Highlights of the plush Limited include a power liftgate, keyless ignition and entry, a blind-spot warning system, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, a power passenger seat and rear window shades. Option highlights include xenon headlights, a navigation system, rear parking sensors, a panoramic sunroof, ventilated front seats and heated second-row seats.
The Santa Fe packs a 3.3-liter V6 with 290 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard. All-wheel drive is optional.
In reviews, we've found the Santa Fe provides impressive handling, but the ride can be bumpy, wallowy and generally uncomfortable ? especially when loaded with people and cargo. Performance is commendable, as the V6 furnishes plenty of strong and smooth power. Although the transmission can sometimes be a bit slow to downshift, its smooth operation and the engine's broad spread of power essentially make this a minor gripe at best. Overall, anyone who chooses the Santa Fe will be rewarded with a crossover that provides a decent amount of luxury, solid build quality, tons of useful features, surprising performance and attractive pricing.
Read the most recent 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Hyundai Santa Fe page.