2018 Hyundai Santa Fe

2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Review

Value pricing and an appealing mix of features make the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe worth your consideration.
by Carlos Lago
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

Ideally, a three-row crossover SUV should serve every member of the family well. The 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe largely succeeds. It offers an appealing mix of features for an affordable price and is comfortable and easy to drive.

Though it's a little thirsty, the Santa Fe's standard V6 supplies enough passing power. Higher trim levels provide lots of interior amenities, such as keyless ignition and entry, heated front and second-row seats, rear window sunshades and a six-passenger configuration with second-row captain's chairs. When it comes to hauling, the Santa Fe's cargo capacity falls a little short of competitors, though there's still 80 cubic feet available behind the front seats.

While we wouldn't put it at the front of the pack, the 2018 Santa Fe's mixture of capability and available features at an attractive price make it worthy of consideration for your next family hauler.

What's new for 2018

Aside from some option and trim changes, the Hyundai Santa Fe is unchanged for 2018.

We recommend

With only three trim levels and one option, picking the right Santa Fe isn't too difficult. We think the sweet spot is the SE Ultimate, which comes with the comfort and safety features you'll want along with a larger entertainment and navigation system and a surround-sound audio system. Unfortunately, advanced safety features, such as forward collision mitigation, are only available in the optional Tech package. You'll have to pay more to get them.

Trim levels & features

The Santa Fe is a six- or seven-passenger midsize SUV that's available in three trim levels and front- or all-wheel drive. No matter the trim, each Santa Fe comes with a 3.3-liter V6 (290 horsepower, 252 pound-feet of torque) and six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard on all trim levels, while all-wheel drive is optional and includes a windshield wiper de-icer.

The Santa Fe SE starts you off with LED running lights, heated side mirrors, 18-inch wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 40/20/40-split folding second-row bench seat and a power-adjustable driver seat. Electronic features include a 7-inch infotainment display, a rearview camera, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, Hyundai's Blue Link communications and a six-speaker sound system with satellite radio.

You can tell the SE Ultimate apart by its standard 19-inch wheels and LED fog lights. Additional standard features include a sunroof, leather seating, heated front and second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats and a power-adjustable front passenger seat. The 8-inch touchscreen has navigation and an upgraded 12-speaker audio system. Occupants in the third row gain access to a USB port, while a 115-volt outlet is added to the cargo area. Convenience amenities include a proximity key with push-button start, a hands-free liftgate and rear side window sunshades. Safety upgrades consist of blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, rear parking sensors and a multiview parking camera system.

Aside from some slight exterior differences, like LED taillights and silver painted accents, the Limited Ultimate is equipped the same as the SE Ultimate except for one key difference: The second row has captain's chairs instead of a bench. This seating arrangement reduces passenger capacity to six.

A Tech Package available for the SE Ultimate and Limited Ultimate adds a suite of advanced safety features that includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and mitigation, lane departure warning and xenon headlights with automatic high beams.


Solid, predictable handling and precise steering make for a competent commuter. The suspension also delivers the comfortable ride quality you'd expect from a car-based crossover. The standard 3.3-liter V6 provides good acceleration without fuss.


We like the front seats for their comfort and adjustability, and both front and second rows feel roomy. The third row is fine for kids, but don't expects adults to last long back there. The lack of intrusive wind and road noise adds to a relaxed driving demeanor.


The smart interior arrangement makes it easy to use. We like the simple physical controls and an attractive design. The reclining second-row seats also slide forward and back, giving them a fair amount of head- and legroom.


Stowing both rows of back seats reveals 80 cubic feet of cargo space, and there's 41 cubic feet with the second row upright. That's less than in some competitors, but still plenty of space. A hands-free liftgate is available.


Hyundai's infotainment system is easy to use and supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay on all Santa Fes, so pairing and using your phone aren't a hassle. The available 360-degree camera system makes parking easy and safe.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.