The growing South Korean manufacturer added two new safety (blind-spot detection and parking assist programs) and several premium features (HID headlights, LED taillights, ventilated front seats among them) to make this midsize crossover a solid choice for families looking for a touch of luxury without venturing into the MSRP stratosphere.
Especially growing ones.
The Santa Fe GLS seats seven passengers, the Santa Fe Limited with captain’s chairs in the second row six. The Santa Fe Sport (reviewed separately; see link below) seats the usual five.
The top-of-the-line Limited especially is worthy of a look from those shopping in the entry-level luxury class.
Hyundai hasn’t spared anything when it comes to creature comforts.
The cabin is very spacious with over 41 inches of legroom for second-row passengers and 31.5 for those in the third row. Headroom is over 39 inches in the first two rows and nearly 36 in the back, which should be plenty for the youngsters who are usually relegated to the far rear regions.
The Limited’s tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel is leather-wrapped, giving the driver a nice touch, and the Limited’s leather seats are power-adjustable eight ways for the driver (plus four-way lumbar support), and four-ways for the front passenger.
In addition to those standard features, the optional Technology Package (each package is tailored to the specific model) includes a panoramic sunroof to enhance the view pleasure of rear-seat passengers, a heated steering wheel, and a 12-speaker premium (Infinity Logic 7) audio system.
Hyundai seems to have a knack for adapting, and improving on, technology first introduced by its competitors, and the available navigation system (either as a stand-alone option or part of the Technology Package) is an example. It features an 8-inch touchscreen that also serves to operate several functions as well as give the driver a nice, clear view of the map at a glance.
In fact, all of the Sante Fe’s controls fall very neatly into the user-friendly category.
The Santa Fe also is pleasure to drive.
Both the Limited and GLS models feature a 3.3-liter V6 under the hood pumping out a solid 290-horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission with manual gear selection capability. (All-wheel drive is optional).
That combination delivers good throttle response and decent fuel economy of 18 miles-per-gallon city, 25 highway, using regular unleaded fuel.
The ride itself for both driver and passengers is quiet, smooth, and solid with very little road and/or wind noise.
Pricing for the Santa Fe V6 versions starts at $30,675 for the Santa Fe (FW) and goes up to $34,575 including destination and delivery but before an options are added on.
The model pictured in the accompany slide show is a Limited trim with the Technology Package and carpeted floor mats and tops out at $39,540.
Check out the slide show for more details.