2019 Hyundai Santa Fe Review
Pros & Cons
- Abundant standard features for the money
- High-quality interior materials
- Generous warranty coverage
- Several standard and optional active safety features
- Base 2.4-liter engine's power and mpg are subpar
- Rear side view is blocked by wide roof pillars
- Sharp bumps can transmit harshness and road noise into the cabin
List Price Range
$20,995 - $38,150
Used Santa Fe for SaleSee all for sale
Which Santa Fe does Edmunds recommend?
Most Santa Fe shoppers should be pleased with midlevel Santa Fe SEL Plus. Much like the base SE and the SEL, the SEL Plus comes with a nice set of convenience and safety features. Yet it also gets useful extras such as a hands-free liftgate, dual-zone climate control and an upgraded 12-speaker stereo system. We're not fond of the base 2.4-liter engine, but replacing it with the upgraded 2.0-liter turbocharged engine requires stepping up to the Limited or Ultimate trim level.
Edmunds' Expert Review
With the 185-hp engine, the Santa Fe's acceleration is slightly below average, and the transmission is slow to shift. However, its taut suspension and excellent brakes let it handle and stop more like a sedan than a crossover.
With comfortable cloth seats and an available sliding-and-reclining second row, the Santa Fe is a flexible platform for passengers or cargo. The ride is quiet and the engine note won't interrupt any conversations. The taut suspension is jarring on bumpy or broken surfaces.
The Santa Fe's strongest attribute is its interior. No matter what version you get, you'll find it comfortable, quiet and stylish. It's easy to get in and out of, and drivers and passengers alike will find it roomy.
Despite the Santa Fe's roomy and well-thought-out interior, cargo volume is solidly in the middle of the pack in this segment. The SEL Plus' sliding and reclining second row improves cargo and passenger flexibility and is a must-have for this crossover.
Hyundai's standard 7-inch infotainment system is easy to read and use. Key functions are readily accessible on the main page, and the icons are well-sized and -spaced to avoid a cluttered look. The menu structure is also intuitive and not very deep, making it easier when you have to hunt through it.
Jump to:Related 2019 Santa Fe articles
|Overall||7.8 / 10|
Most helpful consumer reviews
Limited 2.0T 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
I have been shopping and reading and watching the YouTube video demos on the Santa Fe and the Ford Edge for a couple of months now and deciding which was the best value for performance, cost, and value. Since the Santa Fe offered a few things that the Ford didn't (very few) and since the cost and warranty were so much better I decided to take the plunge with it. I have only owned this car for about a week now but we have a 15 year old Hyundai XG 350L and based on the comfort, quality, and performance of that car and considering all of the modern overall improvements in quality and technology, in my opinion it would be very difficult to beat the 2019 Santa Fe. I knew from the start that I wanted the Ultimate FWD package but wasn't sure of whether to go with the 2.4 or the 2.0T engine. I went to a dealership that had a great inventory of both engines so I could do a side-by-side driving comparison. The 2.4 was very good but the 2.0T was outstanding. I have been driving a 2009 Ford Escape Limited with the 2.5 FWD and either of these two Hyundai engines coupled with the 8 speed transmissions beats it hands down in performance and quiet operation. Driving the car is a truly awesome experience. I have stayed mostly in the Comfort drive mode and the power and nimble steering are both fantastic. I have selected the Sport mode a couple of times and there is a very noticeable improvement along with a slight decrease in fuel economy. It is still a lot of fun to hit a winding road with Sport selected. The body side roll and confident road handling rally gives you a great respect for what Hyundai has accomplished with a vehicle of this weight. Regardless of what driving mode you select and despite the road conditions or traffic you might experience you will appreciate the very quiet cabin that is equipped with a ton of sound absorbing insulation, thick window glass all around, and active noise canceling. The seats have wonderful side bolstering so you stay firmly planted in the seat on the tight turns even when taken at fairly high speeds. I haven't ridden in the backseat myself but both my wife and brother were amazed at how roomy and comfortable it is in the back. My brother is 6 feet even and he said he had more than enough leg and head room. The rear seats slide forward and back and also recline. It is summer and he didn't need it but the back seat is also heated. The front seats are heated and ventilated. That is greatly appreciated here in the hot Georgia summer. There are more electronic safety and convenience features than you can count. I don't have children or pets but there are two critical safety features for living things in the back seat. First when you turn the engine off and open the driver's door the dash lights up with a reminder to check the rear seat for children. With the Hyundai Bluelink installed on your phone if the car sensors detect anything moving in the back seat after you exit it will send an alert to your mobile phone...but it will also start the horn blowing and that will continue for up to 8 hours. The other safety feature is a sensor that senses approaching traffic from the rear when the car is stopped and it will prevent the doors from opening to keep passengers from stepping out into traffic. I appreciate the lane departure warning system and the lane keep assist is also valuable but will take some getting used to. While driving on the interstate on the way home from the dealership I forgot that it was on and when approaching a curve in the road at 70 MPH the car began the turn on its own. I kept my hands on the wheel but the car steered itself accurately through the entire turn with no hunting or seeking to maintain the center of the lane. I also love the heads-up-display but a valuable piece of information...you can't see it very well with polarized sunglasses on (depending on the orientation of you lenses with respect to the projection). If I want to see it with enough brightness to be useful I have to twist my head slightly so I will be replacing my sunglasses. The fuel economy seems to be a bit better than what is advertised which is always good. Time will tell with more mileage. As with any vehicle built for the masses there is always something I might have added or done slightly different but this truly is a spectacular vehicle that should meet your every expectation of quiet, comfortable, driving. I certainly look forward to many more years of driving mine. I have probably rambled on way more than most people want to read so I'll just end it here but let you know that there are dozens of more features and comforts that I will leave to you to discover.
Ultimate 2.4 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 8A)
Check out the Ultimate's safety features, the heads up display is absolutely a BIG help, always know the speed limit and how fast you are going without taking your eyes off the road! The 8" navigation display is a plus also and a breeze to use with voice command . This car has so many helpful comfort & safety features, air cooled seats....too many to list. And for the PRICE, it's phenomenal to say the least! The one thing that takes some getting used to is when I have the Auto Stop engaged, that engine stopping was scary at first, but I've learned to appreciate it and when to disengage like in heavy city traffic. After nearly a month, I'm still learning about some of the features. The interior is very comfortable and I find the headrests to be more ergonomically supportive than my previous vehicle which was a Toyota Sienna. Downsizing, our choice was made easy by the Santa Fe in that it is larger than the compacts but not as large as some of the looming mid sized. We had owned a Santa Fe before with excellent no worry service for 5 years. Oh, and the factory warranty 5 years 60,000 miles BUMPER to BUMPER saves peace of mind and money not needing to get an extended warranty on those measly 3 year/36,000 typical offerings from most other manufacturers.
Limited 2.4 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 8A)
After owning a 2003 Chevy Suburban, it was finally time to buy Dad a new vehicle. I was set on a luxury vehicle because I'm an empty nester and thought I deserved something nice. Test drove Acura RDX, BMW X3, Lexus NX and RX, Audi Q5 and others. However, then I test drove Honda, Nissan and other mid-price SUVs and being a pragmatic person, I decided not to spend the extra $15-20k just for the luxury badge. Came down to the Honda CR-V and Santa Fe. NOTE: 2019 Toyota RAV4 was not out yet, but it looks nice. I decided on the Santa Fe over Honda primarily because of the interior was nicer and seemed more upscale. I got the 2WD Limited with the smaller engine. I am averaging 30mpg in combined hwy/city driving. I do primarily drive in the Smart mode which I think helps a lot. Even with the great gas mileage, I might go with the stronger engine. This engine is fine for me most of the time, but I would like a little more power at times. The Sport driving mode does not seem very smooth to me, but not really a factor for me as comfort is more important to me. I think the larger engine would suit those looking for more power. I love the display screen and associated controls; especially with Apple Carplay. It's very easy to setup and use. Very important to me was a quiet vehicle. This is very quiet where I can take work calls and clearly be heard even in downtown Atlanta traffic. It's extremely comfortable; especially on highway trips using the adaptive cruise control (love it!). The car can almost drive itself with steering, but does warn you after a while to put your hands on the wheel. Also I live on a 2 lane winding rural road so the automatic high-beam headlights are awesome! The huge sunroof is a big plus too. Another small but great item is the auto-brake. That is, not having to keep your foot on the brake at red-lights or in traffic. I didn't think it was a big deal during the test drive, but I really love it now. My only compliant is that each time you start the vehicle, you have to turn it on. Hyundai should make this a constant switch. I did think about spending another $2K for the Ultimate, but the only two options I really wanted were the thigh extender on the driver's seat and the rain-sensing wipers. In summary, if you are a "value" shopper, definitely consider the Santa Fe.
Ultimate 2.4 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 8A)
The following are my first impressions after owning the 2019 Santa Fe Ultimate (2.4L) for about 2 weeks with 300 miles of suburban-type driving. For reference I have previously owned Mercedes, BMW, Hyundai Genesis, Acura RDX and Nissan Murano. All my previous cars have been V-6 powered. Pros: (1) Extremely smooth 8-speed transmission. You hardly notice shifts under most conditions. (2) Surprisingly, has a smoother ride than any other car I have owned. Road noise is very subdued. (3) Ergonomics are great-everything seems to be in the right place. All controls are easy to reach and seem intuitive. (4) Plenty of leg, knee and head room for my 6'3" frame. Entire interior feels spacious. (5) Location of GPS screen completely eliminates glare. Everything is easy to read. (6) Steering feels good and seems to be weighted just about right. (7) Loads of cargo space in the back with spacious under-floor storage compartments. (8) Front seats are very comfortable and supportive with both driver and passenger seats adjustable. We love the vented front seats. (9) Has an amazing suite of safety features, many of which are found only on much higher priced cars. (10) Interior feels luxurious with soft leather and nice fit and finish. (11) Cumulative MPG so far is 26+ (based on suburban driving only). Cons: The only negative so far, and it is a small one, is that the car seems slightly under powered. It understandably doesn't have the same response I am used to with V-6's. Engine noise becomes noticeable with any significant acceleration but quickly fades as speed is reached and is very quiet under all conditions other than acceleration. Before deciding on the 2019 Santa Fe, I researched and drove 6 other mid-sized suv's, and had decided on the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport. When I learned of the complete Santa Fe redesign for 2019, I decided to wait. I'm glad I did because Hyundai has done a superb job with the redesign and the 2019 model is a very significant improvement over the 2018 in all respects Followup Report: After 6 months and 2300 miles of mostly suburban driving, the overall fuel economy has been 25.4 mpg (the dashboard gauge reports 27.7). As I have become more used to the 2.4 liter, 4 cylinder engine, I realize it has plenty of power for everything I need to do. It is responsive and does not seem under powered. The 8-speed transmission is extremely smooth. We have found the interior to be very comfortable and roomy, and the controls for GPS, radio and climate well located, intuitive and easy to use. Love the safety features -- the Blind Spot and rear Cross Traffic alerts have already prevented potential accidents. The only negative is a slight dashboard-area rattle that I have not yet had diagnosed. Overall we are very happy that we chose the Santa Fe.
Features & Specs
Our experts like the Santa Fe models:
- Forward Collision Avoidance
- Alerts the driver about an imminent collision and can automatically apply the brakes if necessary.
- Safe Exit Assist
- Temporarily prevents you from opening your door if sensors detect a car approaching from the rear.
- Surround View Monitor
- Shows a top-down view of your SUV when you park, making it easier to avoid curbs and line up in the parking space.