new video loaded: Driven | 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe
Driven | 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe
There are a daunting number of choices when it comes to vehicles roomy enough to carry families. The Hyundai makes a good argument if you need three rows and decent value.
No need to comb through automotive business journals toknow that S.U.V.s and crossovers are the hot segment, just look out any window. This Hyundai Santa Fe might look a smidge different than the neighbor’s, 2017 models received a significant refresh. Some 25 percent of the parts are updated, the most visible being the wheels plus fascias front and rear. (ON CAMERA) There’s also the Santa Fe Sport, which is not a performance-tuned version of this. It has a completely different look, 2-rows, and is powered by four cylinder engines. The naming is a bit confusing. Could be worse, could be Albuquerque. I’m driving the top-shelf Limited Ultimate model. All Santa Fes- the 3-row version- get power from a 3.3-liter V6 that makes 290 horsepower (SOUND UP) and 252 pound feet of torque. Choose between front and automatic all-wheel drive with a lockable center differential. The 6-speed automatic has manual control here. Adjust steering weight plus throttle and transmission response. Santa Fe can tow 5,000 pounds. There’s pep off the line (SOUND UP)(ON CAMERA) Any more power and you might scare the kids, or annoy the neighbors.It’s not Buick quiet but road noise is relatively hushed. You’ll definitely hear when the kids start pushing each other’s buttons. (ON CAMERA) If you want a machine to slay corners, that wouldn’t be Santa Fe. It’s controlled enough but the suspension is set more for comfort. C’mon it’s a three-row crossover.This is a good compromise. Santa Fe is close in size to the Mazda CX-9, but the Hyundai isn’t as crisp in the corners.(ON CAMERA) The power steering is electric so not an awful lot of road feel. Packing all-wheel drive, this Limited Ultimate Santa Fe’s fuel economy is E.P.A. rated at 17 city, 22 highway which is pretty much what I saw. Lower trim levels and front-drive models are more efficient.With a name like Limited Ultimate I’d expect some stitching on the instrument panel. And a butler. There are some interesting textures. The matte finish simulated wood trim looks like the real stuff. A third splash here or on the redesigned center stack would be more ultimate-y. All Santa Fe’s, yes, Sport too, get a standard back up camera now, this model upgrades to surround view so I don’t back over my tripod. Of course the seats are leather, of course they are climate controlled. Winter’s coming, hands will be happy. There… is… storage… space… all over, the kid’s sport team will never be without snacks. Lane departure warning, intelligent cruise control and auto braking with pedestrian detection are available. Oh, and the user interface is easy to use. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is along for the ride. Base Santa Fe models seat seven, all others max out at 6. Those in row two should have no issues with space or comfort, there are accouterments that live up to the Limited Ultimate name. Getting to the way back (SOUND UP) will be tight for large adults… and they won’t want to spend much time here.(ON CAMERA) I am 5’9” with the mid-row set in about the middle of its travel. I have just enough room. The seats are very low so my knees are very high.I’m curious how often the climate zone and charge port will be actually be used.(ON CAMERA) If you’re like me and you’re always carrying bundles of this stuff around- and really, who doesn’t- simply standing near the tailgate with the proximity key in your pocket or purse opens it automatically. Brilliant. Hey look more TP.Vans hold more in this space, just saying. Hold a lot of tailgate parties? These help. As expected, folding row number three is a simple affair. Those who haul very large items on a regular basis will appreciate being able to drop row two from the back. The TP test is always done with the mid row usable though. That done the cargo hold swallows up 13 packs. That’s not bad.A base front-drive Santa Fe retails for $31,695, 41 grand buys this Limited Ultimate with all major options. So the value is good, a 10 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty is reassuring, and the styling should appeal to many. If you’re of the crowd drawn to crossovers, Santa Fe is very livable, no matter what city you’re in.
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