2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Review

Pros & Cons

  • Strong V6 engine
  • lengthy warranty
  • generous standard features for the money
  • classy interior design
  • easy-to-use electronics interface.
  • Less cargo capacity than some competitors
  • no rear seat entertainment option.
List Price Range
$15,321 - $22,998

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe doesn't receive as much attention as some other three-row crossover SUVs, but its mix of power, comfort and style is ideal. It's a smart choice for savvy consumers.

Vehicle overview

Earning elbow room at the crowded three-row crossover SUV table isn't easy, but Hyundai has done just that with its handsome, thoughtfully designed and powerful 2015 Santa Fe. In all the areas that will be important to shoppers, the Santa Fe earns high marks.

It starts with the Santa Fe's seven-passenger interior. Head- and legroom in the first two rows is generous, and the third row is big enough for kids or teens. Besides being spacious, the cabin is also thoughtfully designed and attractive. We like the easy-to-use controls, and Hyundai offers the latest in optional entertainment and safety features, should you want them.

Under the hood, an eager but quiet V6 engine provides above-average acceleration and towing capacity. All-wheel drive is available for those who require more traction. Topping it all off is a graceful and attractive exterior design that makes this Hyundai one of the more eye-catching models in its class.

Of course, that class of three-row crossovers does have some pretty accomplished models. The larger 2015 Chevrolet Traverse is a popular choice, thanks to its massive cargo capacity and ability to seat up to eight passengers. Similar to the Santa Fe, the 2015 Dodge Durango boasts a sharp-looking and classy interior. We're also fond of the wagonlike 2015 Ford Flex and the revised-for-2016 Kia Sorento. But ultimately, it's easy for us to recommend the Santa Fe on the strength of its overall excellence and value.

2015 Hyundai Santa Fe models

The 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe is a six- or seven-passenger midsize crossover SUV that is available in GLS and Limited trim levels. (The smaller Santa Fe Sport seats five and is reviewed separately.)

Standard features on the GLS include 18-inch alloy wheels, foglights, a rear spoiler, roof rails, windshield wiper de-icers, cruise control, a trip computer, full power accessories, express down/up front windows, air-conditioning (with second- and third-row rear vents and controls), a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping multifunction steering wheel, cloth upholstery, an eight-way power driver seat (with four-way power lumbar), heated front seats, a 40/20/40-split sliding and reclining second-row seat and a 50/50-split flat-folding third-row seat. Also standard are a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, Hyundai's Blue Link telematics system and a six-speaker audio system with CD player, satellite radio (three months free), HD radio, USB/iPod integration and a 4.3-inch touchscreen display.

The optional Premium package for the GLS adds 19-inch wheels, keyless ignition and entry, a power liftgate (now with hands-free automatic open), a blind spot detection system with lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alert, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone automatic climate control, an upgraded gauge cluster, leather upholstery, a four-way power front passenger seat and manual rear window shades.

The Santa Fe Limited includes the contents of the Premium package and further adds second-row captain's chairs (reducing total seating to six).

Both trims can be optioned with the Ultimate package, which nets a panoramic sunroof, rear parking sensors, a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, driver memory settings, a navigation system, 8-inch touchscreen and a 115-volt outlet. Limited models with this package further add xenon headlights, LED taillights and a premium sound system (a 10-speaker Dimension system for the GLS or a 12-speaker Infinity surround-sound system for the Limited).

2015 Highlights

The 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe receives a new hands-free function for its power liftgate that automatically opens the liftgate after a few seconds if the user is nearby with the key fob. Hyundai says it has also retuned the Santa Fe's steering and suspension to provide a better steering feel and more precise handling.

Performance & mpg

Powering the Santa Fe is a 3.3-liter V6 engine that produces 290 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels via a standard six-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is optional.

EPA fuel economy estimates are 21 mpg combined (18 city/25 highway) on front-wheel-drive models and 20 mpg combined (18 city/24 highway) with AWD. The heavier Ultimate trim levels are rated 1-2 mpg lower than their respective base models.

In Edmunds testing, an AWD Santa Fe Limited went from zero to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds, which is quick compared with others in its class. Properly equipped, the Santa Fe can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

Safety

Standard safety features for all 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe models include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and front seat active head restraints. Also standard are a rearview camera and Blue Link, Hyundai's emergency telematics system, which provides services such as remote access, emergency assistance, theft recovery and geo-fencing.

Options include rear parking sensors, blind spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert and lane change assist.

In crash testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Santa Fe earned a top "Good" rating in moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests. Its seat/head restraint design was also rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.

In Edmunds brake testing, a Santa Fe Limited stopped in 125 feet, an average performance for this segment.

Driving

On either side of the driving spectrum, the Hyundai Santa Fe has the potential to impress. With nearly 300 hp on tap, the Santa Fe's V6 helps it to accelerate with authority. The smooth and quiet engine makes for relaxed highway travel, as do low levels of wind and road noise. On winding mountain passes, the Santa Fe feels fairly light and sporty as big three-row crossover SUVs go.

We're eager to take the 2015 Santa Fe out for a spin to evaluate the changes Hyundai has wrought to the suspension and steering systems. We hope the revised suspension has eliminated the somewhat bumpy and wallowy ride quality we experienced in the past, especially when the Santa Fe was weighed down with passengers. This was one of the very few demerits against the 2014 Santa Fe that contributed to an Edmunds.com "B" rating rather than an "A."

Interior

Among the numerous competing crossover SUVs in its class, the 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe has one of the nicer cabins of the bunch. This is due in no small part to its high-quality materials, thoughtful placement of controls and overall spaciousness. As we've come to expect from Hyundai, the Santa Fe's cockpit could serve as a benchmark for elegant simplicity in the segment. Switchgear is well-organized and legible, while the touchscreen menus and functions are as intuitive as it gets.

The front seats are comfortable for longer drives, with enough adjustments to accommodate drivers of all sizes. Second-row passengers will also find the quarters to their liking, with a wide range of recline angle and plenty of head- and legroom, even with the optional panoramic sunroof. The third-row seat is easy to get to and acceptably sized for kids or teens. Adults will be OK in a pinch as well, though some other three-row crossovers offer better comfort and third-row headroom.

One item conspicuously absent from the options list is a rear seat entertainment system, a feature that seems to be prevalent elsewhere in this segment, as well as in minivans.

In terms of cargo and luggage space, the Santa Fe can hold up to 41 cubic feet of cargo behind the second row of seats. With the second row folded, that figure grows to 80 cubic feet, but if all the seats are in use, it shrinks to just 13.5 cubic feet behind the third row. This is similar to what the Dodge Durango offers, but bigger vehicles like the Chevrolet Traverse and Mazda CX-9 easily dwarf these figures.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

The Most Underrated Crossover in the Segment
AMS332,06/26/2016
Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl 6A)
I believe this car is the best value, most overlooked, and totally underrated in the three row segment. It is smooth, quiet, has a nice V6 engine, the interior ergonomics are well thought out, and it is pretty solid to drive. The cargo space is extremely usable. I have owned Honda's, Acura's, and Volvo's. This is by far my favorite car I have ever owned. There are really only a few things that I do not love about the car. The headlights are not very good, even with the HID's from the factory. I upgraded to a better bulb which helped but sideward visibility could be better. I think they may have fixed this for 2017. I wish the transmission shifted a little quicker and crisper. It's a little to laxed for my taste but it's not so frustrating that I hate the car. I wish the engine was tuned for a little more low end torque rather than high end horsepower. This would help with everyday fuel economy which is about average. Lastly I think visibility around the side mirrors and A pillars is sub par. Having driven Acura's and Honda's forever they really have that down. Otherwise the car is an exceptional value for the money and the recent 2017 refresh makes it even stronger. This car will be overlooked by many because it's a Hyundai. I took a lot of grief from people for going from an Acura to a Hyundai. Then they ride in it and are blown away. It is truly 95% of the car for about 75% of the cost if you shop around. It really has changed my whole impression of Hyundai.
Santa Fe awesome again
Jacob Chojnacki,02/25/2015
Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl 6A)
i owned a 2011 Santa Fe limited awd and traded for this same model 2015. It's incredible. Everything is laid out really well. I enjoyed the captains chairs for the second row and the third row. I really think the panoramic sunroof is a great feature. However, the most important aspect is the drivability. I would say that the ride is a little stiffer than the previous Santa Fe, but it is miles of an improvement in terms of overall ride quality and luxury feel of the vehicle. I would highly recommend the Santa Fe.
Terrific Vehicle, Lots of Standard Features
J. Aiello,12/21/2015
GLS 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 6A)
This is my 3rd Santa Fe, my last was a 2006 GLS. The exterior styling makes this SUV stand out in the segment. I was amazed at the high level of interior quality and the standard features in this model. My ONLY complaints are the small glove compartment and that the height of the front passenger seat is too low and not adjustable. I remedied this by installing a front seat cushion (made for automobiles) for my wife. There are plenty of interior storage places. I like the storage bin under the rear floor that also includes a roll up storage compartment cover. The ride is very comfortable. The engine is quiet, very powerful and works well with the transmission. The middle row and rear seats are easy to lower and the floor is virtually flat. It's a vast improvement over earlier models where I had to remove the 2nd row head rests to lower the seats. I make frequent trips to a home improvement store and it's hauled everything I load into it. I really like the A/C vents for the middle row seats and the heating and A/C controls for the rear. seats. The best car I ever owned. My 2015 Santa Fe was so good I leased a new 2018, my 5th.
Overall Great Car but....
Russ Chambers,12/10/2015
Limited 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 6A)
I went from a 2011 Buick Enclave to the Santa Fe. It's the perfect size for us. I like the looks, comfort, overall performance and economy. Road noise somewhat greater and road comfort not up to the Enclave. However the real annoyance is the front passenger seat is not height adjustable , this is a real problem for my wife. In fact had she ridden in the car before leasing it, we would not have leased it. I've ridden in the seat also and agree with her, it's annoying and neither of us are short people. She sits on a cushion when we travel....can't understand the design not including height adjustment. The other shortfall is the nav. system....we loved the OnStar system in the Buick. This one is OK, but not nearly as user friendly as the OnStar.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe features & specs

Safety

IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe

Used 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Overview

The Used 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe is offered in the following submodels: Santa Fe SUV. Available styles include GLS 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 6A), Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl 6A), GLS 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl 6A), Limited 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 6A), Limited w/Saddle Interior 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl 6A), and Limited w/Saddle Interior 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe?

Price comparisons for Used 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe trim styles:

  • The Used 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS is priced between $15,321 and$22,998 with odometer readings between 36893 and72481 miles.
  • The Used 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited is priced between $15,901 and$20,642 with odometer readings between 39025 and111128 miles.

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Which used 2015 Hyundai Santa Fes are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe for sale near. There are currently 8 used and CPO 2015 Santa Fes listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $15,321 and mileage as low as 36893 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe.

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Find a used Hyundai Santa Fe for sale - 5 great deals out of 6 listings starting at $21,504.

Find a used Hyundai for sale - 5 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $14,483.

Find a used certified pre-owned Hyundai Santa Fe for sale - 9 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $14,674.

Find a used certified pre-owned Hyundai for sale - 6 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $8,865.

Should I lease or buy a 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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