2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Review
2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Strong V6 engine
- lengthy warranty
- generous standard features for the money
- classy interior design
- easy-to-use technology interface.
- Less cargo capacity than some competitors
- missing some key driver safety aids.
For 2016, the Hyundai Santa Fe is unchanged from the previous year. The base GLS trim level has been renamed the SE.
Although the 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe doesn't get as much attention as some other three-row crossover SUVs, it offers an appealing blend of power, comfort and style. The fact that it also tends to cost less than the big names might tip your decision in its favor.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe SE 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 6A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.23 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
Santa Fe SE
Avg. Midsize SUV
For consumers shopping for a crossover SUV with three rows of seating, the 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe isn't an obvious choice. It doesn't have the name recognition or history of other options in the crossover class, and it's neither the biggest nor the newest entry in its price range. Nevertheless, there are good reasons to consider the Santa Fe.
It might not be the biggest or newest three-row crossover, but the 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe is worth checking out.
As is usually the case with family crossovers, most of these reasons are apparent once you get inside the vehicle. Although Hyundai's crossover tops out at seven-passenger capacity (whereas some rivals seat eight), the first two rows offer generous headroom and legroom. The two-passenger third-row seat is best left to the elementary school crowd, but adults with a sense of humor will survive short drives to dinner. Apart from that, the Santa Fe's cabin has a pleasant ambience thanks to its clean, attractive design, impressively rich materials and simple controls. You'll be able to figure out the available touchscreen interface even if you're bewildered by the apps on your smartphone.
Another desirable aspect of the 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe is its standard V6 engine. This potent yet quiet engine provides above-average acceleration and towing capacity. If you test-drive everything in this class, you'll likely find that newer competitors steer with a touch more precision and ride with more composure and refinement than the 2016 Santa Fe. But if you're mainly looking for an easy-to-drive crossover that goes down the highway swiftly, this Hyundai will do right by you.
Of course, you'll want to explore your options before making a decision. The undeniable front-runners in the three-row crossover class are the redesigned 2016 Honda Pilot and the highly regarded (and Edmunds' "A"-rated) Toyota Highlander. Both are impressive eight-passenger vehicles that are likely to check every box on your list and then some, though larger families will prefer the roomier third row in the Pilot. Another worthy alternative is the Chevrolet Traverse, which has gargantuan cargo capacity. We're also fond of the wagonlike Ford Flex and the recently revised Kia Sorento. Even though the 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe doesn't have any significant advantages over these rivals, we still think it's a nicely executed crossover that offers strong value for families.
Performance & mpg
Powering the Santa Fe is a 3.3-liter V6 engine that produces 290 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard, and both trim levels give you a choice between front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive.
The EPA's 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-package models are rated 1-2 mpg lower than their respective base models.
In Edmunds testing, an AWD Santa Fe Limited with the Ultimate package went from zero to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds, a good number for this class. Properly equipped, the Santa Fe can tow up to 5,000 pounds.
Standard safety features for all 2016 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 and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alerts. Note that electronic safety aids like a lane departure warning system and a frontal collision mitigation system are not available on the Santa Fe.
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 and a second-lowest "Marginal" rating in the small-overlap frontal-offset test. Its seat/head restraint design was 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.
By far the most striking thing about driving the Hyundai Santa Fe is the brisk acceleration provided by the standard V6 and smooth-shifting automatic transmission. The refined and quiet engine makes for relaxed highway travel, as do low levels of wind and road noise.
The best thing about driving a Hyundai Santa Fe is the strong response from its V6 engine.
Around turns, the Santa Fe feels steady and predictable, and its steering is precise as family crossovers go. Hyundai gives you three effort settings for the steering: Comfort, Normal and Sport. The differences are small yet distinct, and the Santa Fe responds well and tracks true in all three.
Ride quality is a bit of a wild card for the Santa Fe. Past versions that we've tested have provided a smooth ride over well-groomed pavement, but when loaded up with passengers and luggage, they've lost their composure. Hyundai says it has made suspension changes to rectify this issue, and we'll update this review once we've driven a Santa Fe with the revised suspension.
Even though the current-generation Santa Fe has been on the market a few years, its cabin continues to stand out in the three-row crossover class. This is due in no small part to its high-quality materials, thoughtful placement of controls and impressive sense of spaciousness in the first two rows. Switchgear is well-organized and legible, while the available 8-inch touchscreen's menus and functions are about as intuitive as it gets.
The Ultimate package doesn't come cheap, but it's your ticket to this easy-to-use 8-inch touchscreen interface.
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 equipped. The third-row seat is easy to get to, and acceptably sized for kids and teens. Adults will be OK in a pinch as well, though some other three-row crossovers offer better comfort and third-row headroom.
In terms of cargo and luggage space, the 2016 Hyundai 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 Toyota Highlander offers, but bigger vehicles like the Pilot and Traverse give you more usable space behind the third-row seat.
2016 Hyundai Santa Fe models
A midsize crossover SUV, the 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe can seat either six or seven passengers depending on how it's equipped. It's available in SE and Limited trim levels. (The smaller Santa Fe Sport seats five and is reviewed separately.)
Standard features on the SE include 18-inch alloy wheels, foglights, a rear spoiler, roof rails, windshield wiper de-icers, cruise control, full power accessories, air-conditioning (with second- and third-row rear vents and controls), a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 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 a CD player, satellite radio (three months free), HD radio, USB/iPod integration, an auxiliary audio input and a 4.3-inch touchscreen display.
The Santa Fe's interior stands out for the simplicity of its design and high-quality materials.
The optional Premium package for the SE adds 19-inch wheels, keyless ignition and entry, a power liftgate (with hands-free automatic open), blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alerts, 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 swaps out the second-row bench seat for 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, an 8-inch touchscreen interface with a navigation system and a 115-volt power outlet. This package also includes an audio system upgrade: Santa Fe SE models gets a 10-speaker system, while the Limited gets a 12-speaker Infinity surround-sound system. Limited models with the Ultimate package also pick up xenon headlights and LED taillights.
Read what other owners think about the Used 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe.
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
My 2015 vs. My 2016 Limited Ultimate Santa Fe
R Bramel, 04/08/2016
2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl 6A)
My 2015 saved us during a massive accident. An 85 year old man had his second accident of the day by pulling across out multilane divided highway at just the wrong time. We hit him at something less than the 60 mph limit and both my wife and I walked away from out totaled Santa Fe. The airbags worked so well that I didn't even have bruise marks from my glasses. The only downside is that … Hyundai, and everybody else, I suppose, puts the horn button on top of the steering wheel airbag. I wonder how many other people suffer my injury: my hand-on-the-horn got blown back into my chest. It took almost two months for the pain to fully subside, and another month for my hand to regain most of its strength. Tow rating was important to me. If you buy the PIO (port installed option) trailer hitch package, the Santa Fe Limited (and SE) have a 5000 lb tow rating. According to the owner's manual, even with an aftermarket hitch it is only rated for 2000 lbs. After the accident, even though the force of our connected travel trailer impact bent the "stinger" 90 degrees into the bumper, but the Hyundai hitch structure seemed undamaged. The impact was so severe that even the trailer was totaled. After the accident we had time to reflect on a replacement car. We felt so well protected by the car and had enjoyed all the features of the Ultimate package that we got the identical car in the 2016. Right away, both of us independently thought the 2016 was substantially quieter; I think they've added insulation and maybe fine tuned the suspension. I've seen a lot of negative comment about the third row seating. With the SE bench seat it might be a problem, but with the Limited's captains chairs it isn't much of a deal to get into the third row. Just for grins, my wife and I let our daughter and her 6' 5" husband drive and we rode in the third row for a six hour day trip. Grandsons in the middle. We're both 70 y/o and it was perfectly comfortable. Having the panoramic sun roof almost reach the third row makes it much nicer. My biggest complaint is that Hyundai hasn't incorporated Apple's Carplay into the display system. The existing nav system is nice, but not as good as Google Maps or Apple Maps, plus I have to pay an annual $50 fee to Sirius just to get traffic information incorporated into the nav system. Carplay was supposed to begin showing up in another Hyundai model in 2015 so I figured the 2016 would definitely have it: Wrong! The BlueLink "turn by turn guidance", which is $100/ year is not compatible with the navigation system. Go figure.
5 out of 5 stars
Santa Fe awesome again
Jacob Chojnacki, 02/25/2015
2015 Hyundai Santa Fe 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.
5 out of 5 stars
The Most Underrated Crossover in the Segment
2015 Hyundai Santa Fe 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.
5 out of 5 stars
Terrific Vehicle, Lots of Standard Features
J. Aiello, 12/21/2015
2015 Hyundai Santa Fe 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.
We have a limited number of reviews for the 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe, so we've included reviews for other years of the Santa Fe since its last redesign.
Features & Specs
- Base MSRP
- MPG & Fuel
- 18 City / 25 Hwy / 21 Combined
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 18.8 gal. capacity
- 7 seats
- Type: front wheel drive
- Transmission: 6-speed shiftable automatic
- V6 cylinder
- Horsepower: 290 hp @ 6,400 rpm
- Torque: 252 lb-ft @ 5,200 rpm
- Basic Warranty
- 5 yr./ 60,000 mi.
- Length: 193.1 in. / Height: 66.9 in.
- Overall Width without Mirrors: 74.2 in.
- Curb Weight: 3,933 lbs.
- Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 13.5 cu.ft.
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Side Impact TestGood
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
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More about the 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe
Used 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Overview
The Used 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe is offered in the following submodels: Santa Fe SUV. Available styles include SE 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 6A), Limited 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 6A), Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl 6A), and SE 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl 6A). Pre-owned Hyundai Santa Fe models are available with a 3.3 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 290 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe comes with front wheel drive, and all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic.
What's a good price on a Used 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe?
Price comparisons for Used 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe trim styles:
- The Used 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited is priced between $17,998 and$22,900 with odometer readings between 60626 and122594 miles.
- The Used 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe SE is priced between $13,990 and$19,590 with odometer readings between 80664 and116000 miles.
Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.
Which used 2016 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) 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe for sale near. There are currently 10 used and CPO 2016 Santa Fes listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $13,990 and mileage as low as 60626 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 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe.
Can't find a used 2016 Hyundai Santa Fes you want in your area? Consider a broader search.
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Should I lease or buy a 2016 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.
Check out Hyundai lease specials
Check out Hyundai Santa Fe lease specials
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