2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Review
2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
Carlos Lago has worked in the automotive industry since 2008. Along with an extensive background in performance testing and evaluation, he has produced hundreds of car-related articles and videos.
- Plenty of standard features for the money
- Easy-to-use entertainment interface
- Generous warranty coverage
- Cargo capacity falls short of some competitors
- Limited availability of advanced driver safety aids
- Fuel economy is slightly below par
- Limited trim level discontinued
- Part of the third Santa Fe generation introduced for 2013
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.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2018 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 $3.11 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$184/mo for Santa Fe SE
Santa Fe SE
Avg. Midsize SUV
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.
Edmunds' Expert Rating
Ideally, a three-row crossover SUV should serve every member of the family well. The 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe largely succeeds. Though we wouldn't put it at the front of the pack, the Santa Fe's mixture of capability and value make it worthy of consideration.
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.
Which Santa Fe does Edmunds 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.
2018 Hyundai Santa Fe models
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.
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
After 3 months we really like it
2017 Hyundai Santa Fe SE 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl 6A)
We were looking for a mid-sized SUV to replace our 2004 Toyota Highlander which we loved. We test drove the new Highlander and thought that was hard to see over the dash and the engine lacked power. We investigated the Honda Pilot but it looked huge, was really expensive and the dealer wouldn't budge much from MSRP. The dealer actually bragged about the fact that they sell near MSRP. So … we decided to try the Hyundai Santa Fe even though we had never owned one before, based on internet and Consumer Reports reviews. I had previously driven an older Hyundai Santa Fe model as a rental and had liked it. So we picked out the Santa Fe SE with the Premium Package based on features/price and found a local dealer in Massachusetts. They gave us a great quote over the Internet, just a bit over invoice price. You can still figure out dealer invoice prices using a site like MSN Autos. Don't bother using sites like True Car, they basically give dealers a lead on your business and not the best price for you. We did much better looking directly at dealer sites. The Hyundai dealer was great, very helpful in all aspects of the purchase. All the features we got with the Santa Fe would have easily cost $10K more on the Honda Pilot. We've had the Santa Fe about 3 months now through the NE winter. The AWD is excellent in the snow and the V6 is really powerful on the highway. It cruises at 85 mph easily. We've driven to northern Vermont, and Maine. It has a very comfortable quiet ride. Not sure why other people were complaining about wind noise I haven't heard it. The rear and 3rd row seats split to allow you to put skis in, very useful as you can still get 5 people in the car with skis. Kids in the 3rd row only though. The ride is not super sporty but it has a good road feel. The safety features are excellent. Rear view camera and proximity warning systems on the side mirrors work great. My only minor complaints are that the electronic dash system is a bit complicated, the front seatbelt clips are a bit low and I don't like the feel of the leather steering wheel. Also, you can only listen to the radio about 10 minutes without the engine running, the it shuts off. I think I will get used to all these issues over time. Overall the Santa Fe is an excellent SUV choice, I definitely recommend test driving one.
5 out of 5 stars
Wasn't even on our radar at first
2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited Ultimate 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 6A)
Its been over two years, and my wife and I are still content with our purchase. 2 years ago, We started with a list of about 15 to look at, culled the list to 11 to drive. This was on the bottom, because we just didn't have any experience with Hyundai, now we are believers. Out of all the top rated SUVS on US News, Edmunds, and Consumer Reports, this came in a resounding first for us. … Reviews say that there isn't as much cargo space. We are band directors and professional musicians who play low brass instruments that take up a lot of room, this was a concern, until we loaded it with our instruments and still had plenty of room. Don't let that statement on the reviews keep you from giving this vehicle a good, hard look. There have been no issues, and the vehicle has been great!
5 out of 5 stars
Yep we still love this thing!
2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited Ultimate 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 6A)
My wife and I are well into our seventies and have reached a point were ease of entry and exit has become important when it comes to our main transportation. Many of our friends have had knees and hips replaced and are a "little on the heavy side" and they like wise have the same needs. With this as a back drop we realized we needed a SUV. Our last car was a 2013 Toyota Avalon a tuff act … to follow for the average SUV when it comes to driving dynamics,performance and efficiency. Spent more time researching,driving and comparing vehicles then we ever have in our lives. Looked at SUV's,when comparably equipped to this car cost upwards of $60,000 and kept coming back to the Santa Fe. Wife liked the size of the Lexus RX350 but we both thought the styling was hideous especially the front end and so it went as we one by one eliminated the completion for this vehicle. Yep in the end we just liked this thing the best The fact it was the best bang for the buck was just frosting on the cake. After following the manufactures break in recommendations to the letter made our first trip to see our grand kids. As you can imagine we have made this trip many times. Expected mileage would fall well short of our Avalon but was surprised to see a average of 27.3 MPG going down in windy conditions and 29.5 mpg coming back. Our Avalon averaged around 30-31mpgs. Amazing. Seat comfort was outstanding the seats fit us like a glove. Ride comfort was just the way I like it firm but not harsh and well controlled. Fair share of hills and turns on our route and the handling was very Avalon like once you started to trust it and drive it accordingly. Loading up the Grandkids and the their parents for a short trip got rave reviews and youngest who loved the climate controls in the third row and dug the simulated Surround Sound of the killer 12 speaker "sound system". Son in law was amazed how favorably the vehicle compared to their new Acura. Found every feature easy to use and love the old school buttons and knobs verses the latest touch screen menu drive stuff that is the current fad. GPS is a snap to program easier the the Avalon. Almost as good a my Garmin which is still my favorite over all. Hard to fault this car but here goes. The drivers seat has a noticeable ripple in one of the panels in the bottom edge of the seat. Might go away with a little use but if not I will talk to the service manager and Hyundai about it. That's about it for complaints. Up date 3/17/18: Had a long drawn out replacement of the glass roof required because of endless creaking noises. To be fair during most of this process which required a inspection by a Hyundai engineer we had a new base model Santa fe to drive which was deeply appreciated. Unfortunately many attempts to mask the problem with sound absorbing material had to be tried before the eventual roof replacement was authorized. Very frustrating. Actually was friends with the shop owner who eventually did the replacement and was advised it is a universal problem with these glasses roofs and there are couple of universal suppliers for all manufacturers. Mater of fact he had recently replaced the glass roof on a new Mercedes-Benz with the same problem. This was done about three months ago and not a sound can be heard from the roof so we are happy campers. Thinking about would we buy this car again if we were in the market? Yep because we just find this vehicle offers everything we want in the size package we need and we both just enjoy driving it and think it offers the best bang for the buck in its segment. Matter of fact it is the only vehicle in its class with a 6 way passengers power seat a big item of the wife's wish list. Best headlights I have ever had on a vehicle so far hands down great range and they turn in the direction you are turning. Yep we still love this thing. For the record fuel economy easily beats EPA ratings especially at highway speeds with very high 20's the norm. Love the adaptive cruise control.
5 out of 5 stars
Hyundai Santa Fe Limited Ultimate - Great Deal!
Darren G., 07/09/2016
2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited Ultimate 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl 6A)
This mid SUV has all the bells and whistles for a very good price. Go in and do a test drive. The second row captain seats make this vehicle super comfortable for 4 adult riders. Small adults and children can easily sit in the third row which has it's own A/C control and USB outlet. When you fold down the third row you have a great amount of space. If you want to flip down the second row … captain chairs (which you can do from the rear hatch) the space is massive. The controls are very understandable and with Infinity speakers this car has a very nice sound system. The Hyundai Bluelink for remote start, Google location search and monthly health reports make this vehicle easy to maintain and get to where you want to go. It even has Android Auto and Apple Car Play for the ultimate in getting text and replying to text messages using your voice. Bought it for my wife and she absolutely loves it.
We have a limited number of reviews for the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe, so we've included reviews for other years of the Santa Fe since its last redesign.
2018 Hyundai Santa Fe video
JOSH SADLIER: I'm Edmunds Editor Josh Sadlier. And this is a rundown of the features you'll find in the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe. The Santa Fe is a six or seven passenger midsize SUV that's available in three trim levels, SE, SE Ultimate, and Limited Ultimate. Each comes with a V-6 engine, while All Wheel Drive is a $1,750 option. You'll want the mid-level SE ultimate for its added creature comforts and expanded standard safety features, like blind spot detection and rear parking sensors. It's worth noting that you get a backup camera no matter which trim you choose. There's only one package available for each trim level. So you don't have to worry about the long options list inflating the price. With the third and second rows folded, you have access to 80 cubic feet of cargo space. With the second row upright, there's still 41 cubic feet. An available hands-free rear lift gate opens when you stand behind the car for a few seconds with the key fob in your pocket or purse. The reclining second row seats also slide forward and back, giving them a fair amount of head and leg room. They also come with heating in the ultimate trim levels. Hyundai's entertainment system is pretty easy to use and supports both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay on all models. The Santa Fe has advanced safety features, like adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and collision mitigation. But be prepared to spend above $40,000 if you want them. We like the front seats for their comfort and adjustability. You also get two 12-volt power outlets and two USB ports. So there's no problem keeping your stuff charged. The Santa Fe's top competitors include the Honda Pilot, the Toyota Highlander, and the Ford Flex. Bottom line, though it's third row and cargo space are a little tight, the attractive Santa Fe offers a great warranty and a comfy interior for a solid price, making it worth considering for your next car.
2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Features Rundown
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. In this video, we highlight the key features that matter… most. From mpg, interior space and technology to design and comfort - these pros and cons will help steer you toward a perfect car.
2018 Santa Fe Highlights
|Combined MPG||21 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$184/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||front wheel drive|
|Warranty||5 years / 60,000 miles|
Our experts like the Santa Fe models:
- Blind-Spot Detection
- Alerts you if it senses a vehicle in your blind spot while you're changing lanes.
- Multi-view Camera System
- Shows a top-down view of your SUV when you park, making it easier to avoid curbs and line up in the parking space.
- Lane Departure Warning
- Monitors road markings and warns you if it detects you're drifting out of your lane.
NHTSA Overall Rating5 out of 5 stars
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall4 / 5Driver4 / 5Passenger4 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover15%
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Small Overlap Front Driver-Side TestGood
- Small Overlap Front Passenger-Side TestAcceptable
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – OriginalGood
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – OriginalGood
- Side Impact Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Roof Strength TestNot Tested
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood