Hyundai Santa Fe

#6 in Midsize SUVs Overall Score: 8.5 / 10
2017 Hyundai Santa Fe View More Photos » Hyundai Motor America
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2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Overview

The 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe ranks 6 out of 18 Midsize SUVs.

The 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe 3-row crossover SUV and its sibling, the Santa Fe Sport 2-row crossover, are like the Rodney Dangerfields of the SUV world. They simply don’t get the respect they deserve ...

Read full review »

SEATING


5-7

MPG


17-21

  CITY


23-28

  HWY

DRIVETRAIN


AWD, FWD

HP


185-290
See full 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe specs ยป

Pros & Cons

  • 10-year powertrain warranty
  • Strong V6 engine in Santa Fe
  • 5,000-pound tow rating in properly equipped Santa Fe
  • Smaller cargo area than others in the class
  • Weak base engine in Santa Fe Sport

Notable for 2017

  • Refreshed for 2017
  • Android Auto compatibility
  • Available advanced electronic safety and driver assistance aids

Hyundai Santa Fe Rankings and Research

The 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe ranking is based on its score within the Midsize SUVs category. Currently the Hyundai Santa Fe has a score of 8.5 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 40 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

Scorecard

Overall: 8.5
Critics' Rating: 8.7
Performance: 8.1
Interior: 8.2
Safety: 10.0
Reliability: N/A

Rankings

2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Pictures

2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Review

By John Vincent September 23, 2016

The 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe 3-row crossover SUV and its sibling, the Santa Fe Sport 2-row crossover, are like the Rodney Dangerfields of the SUV world. They simply don’t get the respect they deserve because they’re overshadowed by well-known, highly ranked, and popular models like the Honda Pilot, Nissan Murano, and Toyota Highlander. However, based on the research and data that determines our rankings, the Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport deserve your attention – and your respect – when you’re shopping for a midsize SUV.

Both the Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport have been refreshed for 2017, gaining a freshened front end, a drive mode selection system that helps you change the Santa Fe’s settings for different driving conditions, new touch-screen infotainment displays, and an array of available advanced safety and driver assistance features. The siblings share exterior styling cues, but the 3-row Santa Fe is 8 inches longer than the Santa Fe Sport and carries a strong 3.3-liter V6 engine under the hood. The Santa Fe Sport comes standard with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder, or you can get the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that most testers prefer.

Pricing for the Santa Fe Sport starts at $25,350 for a front-wheel drive model, making it one of the lowest priced offerings in the midsize SUV segment. The Kia Sorento starts at around the same price, and the low-ranked Dodge Journey has a base price that’s about $4,300 less. The Santa Fe starts at $30,800. That’s slightly above the average base price of its major 3-row rivals, but the Santa Fe includes a higher level of standard equipment. 

Santa Fe Performance

Santa Fe Sport

The base Santa Fe Sport is equipped with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, which is OK around town, but load it up with people and their stuff or head to the mountains and you’ll find that the engine’s not terribly strong. Fortunately Hyundai offers a 2.0-liter turbo with only a roughly $1,300 price premium compared to a similarly equipped nonturbo model.

Santa Fe Sport models equipped with the turbo are noticeably more powerful, gaining 55 horsepower over the nonturbo model (240 horsepower vs. 185). Remarkably, the large power increase doesn’t cost you much in the way of EPA-estimated efficiency. The 2.4-liter earns EPA-estimated mileage of 21 mpg in the city and 27 on the highway. Opt for the turbo and you can earn 20 mpg in the city and 28 on the highway. All-wheel drive with either engine only reduces the mileage by a mile or 2 per gallon. The Santa Fe Sport’s mileage numbers are about average for the 2-row SUVs in the midsize class.

Real-world experience, however, shows that with small turbocharged engines you’ll have either efficiency or power. Use a heavy foot on the accelerator, and your mileage will tumble. All Santa Fe Sports are equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission; a manual transmission is not available. All trim levels are available with either front- or all-wheel drive.

Santa Fe

All Santa Fe 3-row models are equipped with a 3.3-liter V6 engine that cranks out 290-horsepower, which is plenty of power for a full load of people or cargo. Properly equipped Santa Fes can tow up to 5,000 pounds, which is average for a V6. If you need to tow more, you should consider the Dodge Durango, which can tow up to 6,200 pounds with V6 power or 7,400 with its available V8.

The Santa Fe is only available with a six-speed automatic transmission, and all trim levels are offered with either front- or all-wheel drive. Though the powertrain is largely a carryover from last year’s model, Hyundai has wrung a bit more efficiency out of it. It’s rated at 18 mpg in the city and 25 on the highway. Surprisingly, all-wheel drive models don’t take much of a fuel economy hit, with estimates of 18 mpg in the city and 24 on the highway. The Santa Fe’s mileage figures are about average for the class, but everybody trails the Toyota Highlander Hybrid and its 27 city/28 highway rating.

Ride and Handling

SUV buyers generally aren’t looking for sports-car-like handling, but the Santa Fe delivers sportier character than many in the class, especially in all-wheel drive models that feature active cornering control (where the powertrain can add more power to the wheels with the most grip, creating a more confident feeling on curves).

New this year is a drive mode select system that allows you to tune the Santa Fe’s responses for different driving conditions. Choose the sport mode, and the steering and throttle response changes to a more dynamic feel. Opt for the eco mode, and throttle responses are dampened to save fuel. If you’re looking for a 3-row SUV with sporty driving dynamics, the redesigned Mazda CX-9 should also be on your shopping list.

Read more about performance »

Santa Fe Interior

Intuitive Technology and Quality Material Choices

The refreshed versions of the Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport bring ease of use and the latest interior technology to the crossovers. Well, almost the latest. The Santa Fes will be equipped with only Android Auto to start but are expected to receive software updates later in the year to allow Apple CarPlay functionality.

Only in the most basic Santa Fe Sport will you find the small 5-inch infotainment screen. The rest of the lineup has 7- or 8-inch touch screens. The dash layout is more intuitive than some others in the class, with actual dials for audio volume and tuning and a large central dial to control the dual-zone automatic HVAC system. A color screen nestled between the large analog gauges can be customized with vehicle, navigation, or infotainment information.

The Santa Fe is one of the first 3-row models to have an available USB port in the third row. With everyone (except the driver, we hope) looking at their mobile devices, access to a USB port is becoming as important as a coveted window seat.

While a rearview camera is standard, the available 360-degree camera system makes maneuvering the crossovers in tight spaces a breeze. Even more than many midsize crossovers, the windows in the back of the Santa Fe are small, limiting visibility.

Comfortable Seating in 2 Rows, not 3

The Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport are praised for their supportive, spacious, and comfortable seating in the first two rows, but the third row in the Santa Fe is smaller than many in its class and is really only suitable for a couple of rugs rats. There are full sets of LATCH connectors to easily install child seats on the outboard second row seats, but Hyundai doesn’t offer any anchors for the third row.

Hyundai continues to step up its game with its interior materials and finishes in the Santa Fe models. The standard seats are covered with family friendly, stain resistant materials and leather is available. Many of the glossy plastic surfaces that look good when the car is new but don’t wear well in the long run, have been banished. They’ve been replaced with satin finished materials that hold their rich appearance longer.

Heated seats are standard in all but the base models, and both the Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport can be fitted with heated rear seats and not-yet-common-in-the-class ventilated front seats.

Cargo Space Can Be Beat

The Santa Fe Sport’s cargo room is about average for the class, with 71.5 cubic feet of storage with the 40/20/40 split rear bench seat folded down and 35.4 cubic feet with it up. It is substantially more than the Nissan Murano (67/31.1) but less than the Ford Edge, which has 73.4 cubic feet with the second row down and 39.2 with it up.

The 3-row Santa Fe, however, doesn’t offer the cargo space that’s common in the class. Behind the third row, there’s just 13.5 cubic feet to stuff luggage for up to seven passengers. Fold the third row down and you’ll have 40.9 cubic feet, but that’s also small for the class. With both the second and third rows down, you have 80 cubic feet of cargo space. The highly ranked Honda Pilot has 16.5 cubic feet behind the third row, 46.8 behind the second row, and as much as 83.9 when all of the seats are folded.

An automatic rear hatch that opens when you stand behind the vehicle for several seconds is available in both the Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport. There’s no need to perform any acrobatics, like waving your foot under the rear of the car, to make it open.

Read more about interior »

Santa Fe Pricing, Options, and Trims

Santa Fe Sport

The starting price for the 2017 Santa Fe Sport is $25,350 for front-wheel drive with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. Opt for all-wheel drive, and you’ll add $1,750 to the price tag on all models.

There are three option packages available on the base Sport. The $1,500 Popular Equipment package includes 7-inch display audio with Android Auto capability, dual automatic temperature control, Hyundai Blue Link, a power driver’s seat, LED daytime running lights, fog lights, and roof side rails.

For $3,550 you can add the Premium package, which includes a substantial amount of content including blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert and lane change assist, turn signal indicators in the sideview mirrors, a hands-free liftgate that opens when you’re near it, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, a power height-adjustable front passenger seat, sliding second-row seats with cargo area releases, leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, an auto-dimming inside rearview mirror with HomeLink, an electroluminescent gauge cluster with a color LCD multi-info display, and manual rear side window sunshades.

Topping the option packages for the base Santa Fe Sport is the Tech Package that includes a Panoramic Sunroof, an 8-inch touch-screen navigation system with Android Auto capability, a multiview camera system, Infinity premium audio with digital music restoration technology, driver’s seat position memory, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, ventilated front seats, and rear parking sensors.

The Santa Fe Sport 2.0T front-wheel drive starts at $31,700 ($33,450 AWD) and includes most of the equipment in the base model’s Popular and Premium packages. That’s only $1,300 more than a similarly equipped base model, and you get the more powerful and refined 2.0-liter turbo engine, plus 18-inch alloy wheels in place of the base model’s 17-inch alloys.

The top-of-the-line Santa Fe Sport 2.0T Ultimate is priced at $36,500 ($38,250 AWD) and comes standard with most of the same equipment found in the base Santa Fe Sport and its three packages. You can add the Ultimate Tech Package to the Ultimate to gain adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, an electronic parking brake, and headlights that turn to illuminate your path around corners.

Santa Fe

There are four trim levels available for the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe, starting with the base SE model with front-wheel drive for $30,800. An SE with all-wheel drive is $1,750 more at $32,550.

You can add the SE Premium package to the base model for $3,650. It includes blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, lane change assist, turn signal indicators in the sideview mirror, a hands-free liftgate that opens when you stand near it, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, an auto-dimming inside rearview mirror with HomeLink, an electroluminescent gauge cluster with a color LCD multi-information display, rear side window sunshades, a USB outlet for third-row passengers, and LED fog lights.

The Santa Fe Limited starts at $34,950 with front-wheel drive or $36,700 with all-wheel drive. Added equipment includes turn signal indicators in the sideview mirrors, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, lane change assist, LED taillights, leather seats, a six-passenger seating configuration with captain’s chairs in the middle row, a power-adjustable front passenger seat, heated front seats, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink to operate your garage door or gate.

So the big question is, how many people do you need to seat? If the answer’s seven, you’ll want the SE, and you can equip it with the latest technology by getting the Ultimate trim. If you only need to seat six, you can opt for the Limited with its second-row captain’s chairs.

The Santa Fe SE Ultimate is priced at $38,700 with front-wheel drive or $40,450 with all-wheel drive. Santa Fe Limited Ultimate models go for $39,400 with front-wheel drive or $41,150 with all-wheel drive. They’re equipped like the SE or Limited models, respectively, with the addition of 19-inch wheels, rear parking sensors, a multiview camera system, a panoramic sunroof, memory settings for the driver’s seat and sideview mirrors, heated second-row seats, ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, an Infinity audio system with digital music restoration technology, and a navigation system with an 8-inch touch screen.

You can add one more package to either of the Ultimate models. The package is loaded with additional safety and driver assistance features including adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, HID headlights, and adaptive headlights that swivel to illuminate your path around corners.

See 2017 Santa Fe specs and trims »

Santa Fe Safety and Reliability

The 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe has not been fully tested by either the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. On the four tests that the SUV has completed for NHTSA, it received the top rating of Good. It has yet to complete the small front overlap test.

The 2017 Santa Fe Sport received a Top Safety Pick+ from the IIHS and a five-star overall safety rating from NHTSA – their top score. Those scores put the Santa Fe Sport in the top ranks of 2-row midsize SUVs, on par with vehicles like the Nissan Murano and Kia Sorento.

All Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport models come with seven airbags and a rearview camera. A multiview camera system is available on some trim levels. A lane change assist feature that watches for quickly approaching traffic from behind and warns you if it’s not safe to change lanes, blind spot warning, and rear cross traffic alert are available even on base models and standard on upper trims. 

Advanced safety systems including adaptive cruise control that works even in stop-and-go traffic, lane departure warning to keep you from straying out of your lane, and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection are available in the Ultimate trim levels of both SUVs. While the automatic emergency braking won’t prevent all accidents, it can reduce the force of impact on pedestrians or other vehicles by sensing an impending collision and then applying maximum braking.

The 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe is covered by a five-year/60,000-mile warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about safety »

Read more about reliability »

Other SUVs to Consider

In terms of value for dollar, the Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport are hard to beat, with an excellent warranty, capable powertrains, ample standard equipment, and more dynamic handling than many in the class.

But if you’re looking for a 3-row crossover that you can push a little harder into those turns, and you can give up a bit of cargo room, you should look at the redesigned Mazda CX-9. Mazda has a reputation for building sports-car DNA into every car it makes, and the CX-9 is no exception. The CX-9 has a starting price of $31,520. Though the Santa Fe has one of the smaller cargo areas in the class, the CX-9’s is even a couple cubic feet smaller. So unless you can keep the third row folded, it’s not a good choice for airport runs or supporting a soccer team.

For buyers looking for the pinnacle of safety, without breaking the bank, the Honda Pilot should be on your list. Unlike others in the class, the Pilot is available with a full array of safety equipment in nearly every trim level. Although the Honda’s base price ($30,145) is similar to the Santa Fe’s, a Pilot with the safety tech is thousands less than a similarly equipped Santa Fe. The Pilot also has a higher ranking and substantially more cargo room than the Santa Fe.

Compare the Santa Fe, Mazda CX-9, and Honda Pilot in more detail »

Details: 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe

The 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe lineup includes two basic models, the 2-row Santa Fe Sport and the longer wheelbase Santa Fe. Much of the standard and available equipment is the same in each model, but the trim levels have different names and configurations. There are two engines available on the five-passenger Santa Fe Sport: Base models feature a 2.4-liter four cylinder, while the two upper trims include a 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder. The longer Santa Fe can be configured to seat either six or seven and has a 3.3-liter V6 engine.

Front-wheel drive is standard, but all trim levels of both models can be equipped with all-wheel drive for an additional $1,750. For 2017, the SUVs receive a minor refresh, and the last full redesign occurred in the 2013 model year. As a result, this review uses applicable research and reviews from the 2013 through 2017 model years.

Standard features for both models include a rearview camera, automatic on/off headlights, remote keyless entry with alarm, heated outside mirrors with a driver’s side blind-spot mirror, controls for the standard cruise control and audio system on the steering wheel, a 40/20/40 split rear seat, and Bluetooth telephone connectivity. Power windows, power door locks, stain-resistant cloth seating, and a six-speaker audio system with satellite radio capability and a 5-inch display screen are also standard.

Automatic dual-zone climate control and daytime running lights are standard on the 3-row Santa Fe and optional on the Santa Fe Sport.

Available features include heated and leather seating surfaces for both the first and second rows, a hands-free rear liftgate, an Infinity premium audio system with digital music restoration technology, 7-inch touch-screen, an 8-inch touch screen navigation display, Android Auto capability, HID headlights, a panoramic sunroof, and a hands-free liftgate that opens when you’re near it.   

There’s an array of advanced driver assistance and advanced safety systems, including adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, parking sensors, blind spot detection, adaptive headlights that swing to illuminate your path around corners, and autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian protection to prevent or mitigate injuries and damage from collisions.

See 2017 Santa Fe specs and trims »

  • "There are certain models in the seven-passenger crossover segment that are acknowledged category leaders. Then there's the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe. But just because this six- or seven-seat car-based SUV doesn't have the name recognition of some of its higher-profile competitors is no reason for you to to (sic) dismiss it.” -- Edmunds
  • "There are many feelings owners associate with the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV, but buyer's remorse is not one of them. A freshened exterior and more standard features make Hyundai's 2017 Santa Fe even more appealing this year, helping it keep pace with newer competitors like the Honda Pilot, Nissan Pathfinder and Mazda CX-9.” -- Kelley Blue Book
  • “If you’re looking for a compact SUV with more style and features than a Honda CR-V or Nissan Rogue, the 2017 Santa Fe Sport SUV from Hyundai delivers an impressive combination of comfort, safety features and performance.” (Santa Fe Sport) -- Kelley Blue Book
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$25,350 - $41,150
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