For those of you paying attention in the past, Hyundai has had two different crossovers that wore the Santa Fe name.
They had a midsize two-row crossover called the Santa Fe Sport and then a midsize thee-row crossover called the Santa Fe without the sport for 2019 they’re clarifying things a little bit and we now have an all-new Santa Fe sans sport. That is now the two row. Midsize crossover and then later we’ll have a Hyundai palisade. That will be the 3-row crossover likely.
The first thing: you’ll notice about the new Santa Fe. Is this new Hyundai design language up front that we also see in the Kona to some extent, and we expect to see in other Hyundai crossovers going forward? We have the latest grill right here, which has some curved sections here, where they didn’t have them before, and then we have this unusual headlamp arrangement that we first saw in the Jeep Cherokee. But, interestingly enough, Jeep has actually run away from this design and given the new Cherokee bit more of a conventional layout up front, the big thing to know here is that the headlamp modules are down here, sort of mid-level in the front end and that’s high beams And low beams LEDs in this particular module and then the turn signal lamp is down there as well.
The element on top of the front end that looks more like a traditional headlamp element is actually just a daytime running lamps trip, with these distinctive little swoops inside. For 2019 Hyundai decided to toss their entire suite of active safety technologies into even the base models of the Santa Fe. That really helps improve its overall base model value and it helps to compete with some of the older entries in this segment that don’t have those same technologies standard on every trim, those include radar, adaptive cruise control, lane, keeping assistance, autonomous, braking with pedestrian detection etc. As I said in the beginning, the Santa Fe is sort of a tweener in this segment.
It is notably longer than the average compact crossover in America. This is one 187.8 inches long, that’s a little bit longer than the outgoing 2018 model and an important nearly 11 inches longer than the Hyundai Tucson, which is their compact crossover designed to do business with the rav4 and CRV. If you’re shopping for a compact crossover in America and you’d like a little bit more room on the inside or trappings, that are a little bit more premium, this is going to be what you want to go to. If don’t need that third row, if you do need the third row, then Hyundai is planning on bringing us a larger crossover that we will be seeing very shortly down in the Los Angeles.
Auto Show that will bring us a third row in the back and likely an extra 10 inches or so of overall length. At the moment there are few crossovers in this small sub segment. We have entries, like the Ford Edge, of course, the Nissan Murano, and I suppose you could put things like the Jeep Grand Cherokee in this particular segment, although, interestingly enough Hyundai actually sees the smaller Cherokee as a competitor to this, not the Grand Cherokee. I actually think it’s the other way around, because the Cherokee is firmly a compact crossover.
The Grand Cherokee is the model. That’s right about this size as with the front lap modules, Hyundai splits things out back as well, so you can see that we have these LED elements right up here and then we have turn signals lower on the bumper. These are incandescent bulbs. You’ll also find the backup lamps right next to them in that module.
We have a single integrated exhaust tip over there on that side and then back up parking sensors right here. Well we’re looking at the back end of the Santa Fe. I will mention that the rear, glass and overall rear hatch is fairly upright. This is actually a style that I prefer, because it improves cargo practicality in the back versus something like the Lexus RX, which is a very sloped rear-end and, as a result, a smaller cargo area.
Under the hood, we have an engine lineup, that’s a little bit more similar to the average compact crossover than the average 3-row crossover in America. Things start out with a 2.4 liter four-cylinder engine, it’s naturally aspirated and produces 185 horsepower. Then we have this optional engine right here. It’s a 2-liter turbo that produces 235 horsepower and 260 pound feet of torque power.
Figures are notably below the average 3-row crossover in America, which will generally have a v6 engine under the hood. Both engines are mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission and they will send power to either the front wheels or all four wheels, depending on the option that you select. Both engines are mated to a standard, 8-speed automatic transmission, and both engines can be had with an optional all-wheel drive system. Depending on whether or not you select the all-wheel-drive and which engine you get.
Fuel economy will range between 25 miles per gallon for the most efficient model and 21 miles per gallon for the least efficient, which would be the model that we’re driving right here. The turbo with all-wheel drive. Twenty-One miles per gallon is pretty much the same as the least efficient Ford Edge, although it is worth noting that the Ford Edge gets a 2.7 liter twin-turbo v6 front seat. Comfort is excellent.
In this generation of the Santa Fe, we are driving the top-end trim, which means we get a power extending thigh cushion four-way adjustable lumbar support, a multi-way power driver seat with two position: memory over there on the door and a tilt telescopic steering column. This is one of the manual variety, but does have a decent range of motion. This trim also has a powered passenger seat, but it’s worth noting that it does not have the same range of motion as the driver’s seat, and that is something that you will find on some of the competition. Now personally, I’m gon na give this seat 9.
Out of 10 points, because, even though the front seats in the Nissan Murano are not quite as adjustable, I did find them just a hair more comfortable. This is definitely more comfortable in my opinion than the driver seats that we find in the Jeep Grand Cherokee. However, I think that the front passenger seat in that Grand Cherokee is a bit more comfortable than what we find in this model because of that available adjustable lumbar support. One of the main reasons to upgrade to a Santa Fe over the average compact crossover in America is the overall interior room, you’ll notice, sitting right here behind myself very comfortably.
I have many inches of legroom left. We do get a little bit more legroom in this than the average compact crossover in America and notably more Headroom as well. If I move all the way over to the right side of the vehicle, I still have about an inch left sitting right here. Behind this front seat, that’s all the way back in its tracks.
At a six foot, five person sitting up there, he was very comfortable. Now it is worth noting that versus the average compact crossover in America, these front seat backs move a great deal further rearward. So if you’re, a taller person, then sitting up front is going to be more comfortable in this than something like the rav4 or CRV to help improve passenger comfort. The rear seats do recline, there’s a little lever right over there on the seat side.
They move from a very upright position right like that to actually a pretty decent recline that, I think, is only rivaled by the Grand Cherokee in this segment. Although still a little bit of a squeeze rear facing child seats would be one of the other reasons you might want to get a santa fe over something smaller, because we have more legroom in this vehicle. There’s more room to accommodate a rear-facing child seat properly installed. With an adult up front, and of course thanks to the added width of the Santa Fe versus the average compact crossover, you could more easily a child seat right over here to the middle and keep those front seats a little bit further.
Rearward in case you’re wondering this vehicle has two sets of land shakers for the outboard seat positions only but does have top tether anchors for all three. Some parents may be happy to know that these second row seats also slide a little bit further forward. So if you want a child, say in a booster seat right there in the middle position to be a little bit closer to the driver, then you can scoot those a little bit further forward. Moving those seats further forward also helps you maximize the cargo area out back.
We have just under 36 cubic feet of cargo space back here, which is a little bit behind some of the larger entries in the compact category, but still very healthy. Overall, it is worth noting that measurement is taken with these second row seats, all the way back and in a somewhat reclined position. So if you did move them into a more upright position and scooted them further forward to be a little bit less comfortable, that you’d actually have more room out back as you’d expect in a crossover. There are a number of handy cargo touches.
For instance, we have one storage compartment right here and we also find the jacket tire iron right. Next to it, there is enough room to store a roller cover. If you have that particular option behind door number two. We find an even deeper storage compartment with a three trade divider right.
There that’d be very handy to put larger items like groceries or that sort of thing. I can actually completely remove that cargo divider from the back of the Santa Fe, and then you can see how big this cargo compartment is, because I can actually put 22 inch roller bags right down there in that cargo. Well and the cargo area is actually flush to the floor with those seats back there if you’re thinking that all of this came at the expense of the spare tire, then fear not it’s actually tucked up underneath the vehicle right under this first cargo compartment. As we look around the interior, keep in mind that we are in essentially the top-end trim.
Our model has this very large, panoramic moonroof. That extends all the way back there to over the rear passengers heads. This is one of the largest moon roofs in this segment. It’s a little bit difficult to film the headliner in this particular model because of the color, but this interior is a brown on brown theme and this headliner has sort of a mottled texture to it.
To give it a little bit more visual interest than most headliners. We have two-way adjustable, headrests and height, adjustable, shoulder belts for the driver and the front passenger and the model that we’re in has leather upholstery. The seats in this model have perforations right there in the center, because these seats are both heated and ventilated, and the rear seats are also heated in this trim. Bearing in mind that the Santa Fe is a mainstream vehicle, not a luxury vehicle, we still find a combination of hard and soft touch.
Plastics on the front doors. You’ll find those harder plastics down there at the bottom around those bottle holders. Let me know what you think about this multi toned Brown interior color scheme. I have to say that I am really quite partial to it.
The doors and the dashboard features some imitation wood trim, but it is a little bit more believable than what we see in the Nissan Murano. Although it is worth noting that the Jeep Grand Cherokee does offer real wood trim in its top-end trims zooming. In a little bit closer on that trim, you can see that it’s attempting to imitate open poor, dark stained wood. The overall interior theme actually reminds me a little bit of certain modern butyl, so we have some nice touches.
We don’t normally find in mainstream vehicles like the texturing over there on that speaker panel on the door. You can see that the trim from the door panel swoops on over to the dashboard and arches around and then meets the infotainment Center right there in the middle. The infotainment system is perched on the dashboard sort of like a tablet computer, and this runs the same basic software that we find in other hyundai vehicles, apple, carplay and android. Auto are standard in all trims and the model that we’re driving has the optional factory navigation system.
I know that some of you out there really dislike screens in this position, but there is a logical reason to have them here. The first one is, it keeps the screen a little bit more in your eyeline, so if you’re driving down the road, this is an awful lot closer to glance at than glancing down there below the air vents, where a lot of older vehicles had their infotainment systems. The other reason is that having the screen this high but putting a pinnacle over, it would make the dashboard look a little bit bulkier. Think of those first generation, BMW idrive screens.
So this definitely makes the dashboard look a little bit less bulky and it brings that screen up into your eye line below the infotainment screen. We find two large air vents, the power button right there and dual zone climate control. Then we have the controls for the heated and ventilated seats and the heated steering wheel below the climate controls. We find a 12-volt power port USB input for the infotainment system, auxilary input a USB charge, only port and then a Qi.
Wireless charging mat right down there at the bottom. You can see my phone is actually charging with that as it is plugged into the USB and then there’s definitely enough room down there. For some of the larger smartphones between the front seats we have a pretty standard console shift or drive is all the way back. Manual mode is over to the left, and then behind that we have buttons for the drive mode.
This allows us to change between comfort, sport and smart, auto start-stop, enable/disable hill descent control, auto brake hold an electric parking brake, a button to turn on/off the parking sensors and a button to enable and disable the 360-degree camera. We then have two large cupholders to the right. Further back from there, we have a padded center armrest that opens to reveal a moderately sized storage cubby, there’s a little divider there. So you can remove things and then there is a small tray right in front of it.
That’s not quite covered by the lid. The instrument cluster also reminds me a little bit of modern Buick models, especially the shape of the tachometer, the fuel gauge and the engine temperature gauge over here on the right most of what you’re seeing, however, is being delivered by this large color multifunction LCD. The LCD changes colors as we change drive mode. So if I move over to the sport mode, for instance, it turns red right like that, but the basic functions are pretty similar to other Hyundai models.
We have a torque gage to show you where the power is going in that all-wheel drive system. We have our pretty typical trip computer information, the ability to change certain vehicle settings. Most vehicle settings are done in here, not in the infotainment system and then of course, we have turn-by-turn navigation directions in the middle, and then things like our range indication over here on the right large speedometer right there in the middle there’s, also a digital speedometer, and Then the position of our transmission indication over here on the left, the steering wheel, is a round design. We have a split bottom spoke and sport grips up top.
There are no paddle shifters on the back of the wheel. On the left side, we have the buttons for the infotainment system, including mode voice command, submit ik, ated phone buttons right down there. Then, on the right side, we have the controls for the radar adaptive cruise control system. You set the distance with this button.
This button and then this toggle control that multifunction LCD right there in the instrument cluster in our zero to sixty test. This 2-liter turbo all-wheel drive model, which is the heaviest version, went from zero to 60 in seven and a half seconds. That’s a little bit better than I had expected, given the overall size of this and the fact that we have just under 240 horsepower, you will find definitely faster entries from Jeep and, of course, Ford. The Ford in its latest format does have a twin turbo v6 engine.
It will definitely go zero to 60 quickly, but not as fast as the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The G Grand Cherokee course has a variety of different v8 engines available, but this is actually quite comparable to the v6 based Grand Cherokee, which i think is a logical comparison to this overall, but the acceleration times this vehicle are actually right about the same as the V6 version of the Grand Cherokee, which i think is a very solid competitor to this overall in our braking test, we stopped from 60 miles now we’re back to zero and 120 feet. That’s a pretty respectable distance overall for this category, you will stop a little bit shorter in something smaller, something like a Tucson in the sporty-er versions or some of the other compact crossover is in America, but this is actually pretty good compared to those larger 3-row crossover’s. The overall braking score and the overall handling ability of the Santa Fe is helped out by the tire size.
These tires are definitely wider than you find in the average compact crossover. Curb weight was definitely kept in check in this modern design of the Santa Fe as well, and that helps things out, because when you look at the curb weight figures, there are actually some compact crossovers that are a little bit heavier than this. Coupled with an excellent suspension design, the Santa Fe handles very well out on the road, but it doesn’t have the rear. Wheel, drive dynamics that we find in the Grand Cherokee or the precision that we find in top-end trims of the Ford Edge.
As with the rest of the driving dynamics – and we get out on a rougher road, the Santa Fe handles this very much like a cross between a compact crossover and an average larger 3-row crossover. The ride is definitely more supple than some of those sporty-er entries like the Hyundai Tucson, especially in its firmest format, and a little bit less soft than something like a Nissan Pathfinder that is going to be more comfortable out on a longer highway journey. But the overall added size and added weight of this vehicle versus the Tucson or some of those other smaller crossovers, is definitely noticeable when you get out on a rougher road. This gravel road is a good place to talk about the all-wheel-drive system.
If I were to stop and engage the all-wheel drive lock, which is a button to my left of the steering wheel and then floor, the vehicle, we actually get a decent amount of grip, and it’s really obvious that the center coupling is fully locked. Now you shouldn’t engage that mode. If you’re out on regular pavement, you should only be using that in stickier situations, because it can actually cause a little bit of binding and reduced handling ability at those lower speeds. Because of that this vehicle will automatically connect.
The lock feature, as you go up over a certain speed. The Hyundai all-wheel drive system will send power front and rear whenever it’s needed to improve traction overall stability and, of course, improve launch speeds, but it doesn’t have a torque vectoring axle, either front or rear. So left-to-right power transitions. Those would just use the brake system.
It’s obvious that Hyundai really spent a lot of time working on the overall cabin quietness and overall refinement, although under acceleration we do get some definite four-cylinder engine noise into the cabin road noise and wind noise are very well controlled and in our cabin noise test, this Scored just under 70 decibels that definitely puts this ahead of the average compact crossover in America and actually relatively similar to many luxury crossovers that are about the same size as this. I have to say that, aside from the engine note, which is a little bit gruffer than I would like in a luxury crossover, the rest of the overall experience in the Santa Fe really punches above its weight. The overall feel of the Santa Fe out on the road very much like in the cabin feels more like a premium vehicle more like an acura or perhaps a Buick than something like a Kia or a Hyundai, or a forward or a Chevy. Unfortunately, the other area where the Santa Fe reminds me a little bit of a luxury or premium vehicle is the overall fuel economy.
Now we have been beating the EPA average we’ve been getting about 20 2.2 miles per gallon over a week of mixed driving. In this model, and again this is the turbo with all-wheel drive. The EPA says this should be getting 21 miles per gallon combined, but whether you’re getting 21 or 22, you will find better fuel economy in a number of the competitors. This fuel economy overall is relatively similar to a v6 Grand Cherokee and that Grand Cherokee is an awful lot heavier than this.
It also is again relatively similar to the twin turbo v6 that we find in the Ford Edge, although that engine produces notably more power than this 2-liter turbo for 2019, the Santa Fe starts at twenty five thousand five hundred dollars. That makes it about three thousand dollars. More expensive than the Hyundai Tucson, but, oddly enough, even though the Santa Fe is sort of a half-step larger than the average compact crossover in America, it’s only about a thousand dollars more expensive than the new 2019 rav4, and only about eleven hundred dollars more than the Honda CRV that puts the stata face significantly less expensive than its more direct competition. The other sort of mid saw two row crossovers.
The Santa Fe is about $ 3,000, less than the Chevy Blazer about $ 4,000, less than the Ford Edge $ 5,000 less than the Nissan Murano and 6,000 dollars less than the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Of course, when you scratch the surface, a little bit you’ll realize the Santa Fe isn’t quite the same as the other crossovers. However, because we do get that base 2.4 liter engine instead of a base turbo engine like we find in the Ford Edge a base v6. Like we find in the Murano or Grand Cherokee, if you want the 2-liter turbo in the Murano, that will set you back at least thirty.
Two thousand seven hundred dollars, which is more like the Grand Cherokee or Murano in terms of overall pricing features, seem to cost a little bit more on the Santa Fe versus the average compact crossover. So, as you work your way on up from the base trim on up into a limited trim of the Santa Fe, for instance the Delta between it and a comparably equipped, Honda CRV grows a little bit. We added about 500 extra dollars between the two, with that out of the way, let’s move on to the most direct competitor, I think, which is the Ford Edge. Ford has revised the edge for 2019, but much of the vehicle remains the same.
Therefore, the edge doesn’t feel quite as fresh as the Santa Fe inside or outside, because a lot of what we remember about the previous revision of the edge stays the same for this model, but they have redone the engine lineup. So now we have a base. Two liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine, or we have an insane 2.7 liter twin turbo v6, which should be an awful lot of fun compared to the Santa Fe. But on the flipside you’re, going to paint off a lot more for the edge than the Santa Fe.
Because, again, that base model is thousands of dollars more expensive and even when you adjust for the standard feature, content differences between the two models and the extra performance, it’s still going to be a pretty big Delta. The big difference between the edge and the Santa Fe. Really is going to be in the engine lineup we get that standard, 2-liter turbo, we get the optional much more powerful, v6 turbo, and that puts the performance level of the top-end edge in really a different category. Comparable pricing is therefore a little bit tricky, because Hyundai is not going after that same sort of shopper here, instead they’re focusing on someone that’s after a little bit better fuel economy, all the size, but not necessarily the size, with the performance that we find in those Top-End trims overall, however, the Hyundai is definitely going to be less expensive, no matter how you slice it, then a comparably equipped forward edge and it’s going to have a much longer warranty, but you do have to give up just a little bit of cargo capacity.
The cargo area in the edge is absolutely massive, however, in exchange for that we get a much fresher feeling interior and I definitely like the interior in a Santa Fe more than the edge with that out of the way. Let’s talk about some sideways competitors here, because you could see the Santa Fe as a definite upgrade for something like a Tucson, a/c, RV or rav4 versus the Hyundai Tucson. The extra cash buys you more power and 8-speed automatic Hyundai’s latest active safety system standard. Those are not standard on the Tucson.
They are available, however, about three inches of additional rear, legroom, more Headroom and 14 % more cargo room. One of the big reasons you’d want to get the Santa Fe over the Tucson. Is that there’s more room in the back seat, especially if you’re someone that needs to put child seats back there? It’s gon na be a lot more accommodating a lot easier to put child seats in the back and an adult up front, especially with rear-facing child seats.
In addition, we get that larger and square or cargo area versus the Tucson. That brings up the question. Is it worth the price increase well, once you’ve adjusted for the standard feature, content, the Delta between the two models shrinks considerably and the size, the extra power etc? Is really only going to cost you perhaps about two thousand dollars versus a Tucson attempting to comprable equip it to the Santa Fe?
Now it’s worth noting that it really is difficult to do that comparable comparison, because those active safety features are not available in the base model of the Tucson. Yet you’ll only find those in the very top and trims. Personally, if I were cross shopping, the Santa Fe and the Tucson, I would definitely pay the extra for the Santa Fe. It feels fresher more luxurious on the inside.
It’s definitely a little bit more comfortable and the only reason I could think of to buy the Tucson over the Santa Fe would be if you can’t fit it in your garage. That brings us along to the Honda CRV. Another compact crossover. I think this comparison is a little bit tougher, because the two vehicles are actually a little bit closer together versus the Tucson and the Santa Fe.
The CRV has a very nicely done interior and it’s also pretty roomy in its segment. So when you take a look at the legroom difference, combined front row plus second row, although the Santa Fe is a little bit bigger, it’s not that much bigger than the CRV. Now you still will get a little bit more room for child seats, especially if you’re really at the borderline for accommodating them in a CRV. But the cargo area actually shrinks a little bit when you move up into the Santa Fe, because the Santa Fe is prioritizing that rear passenger room a little bit more than cargo area in terms of overall interior quality.
I think the models are actually very comparable as well. The CRV has one of the nicest interiors in the compact crossover segment. I actually think it compares very well to the interior that we found in our Santa Fe this week more interestingly than that, the two vehicles are actually very comparable priced. Only about a thousand dollars separates the two models and you’re more likely to get a slightly higher discount at the Hyundai dealer than on the CRV at the Honda dealer, so likely they’re going to be right about the same, although it is worth noting that Hyundai gives You a longer standard warranty.
It’s also worth noting that if you dislike continuously variable transmissions, you won’t find them on the Santa Fe, but you will find them on all trims of the CRV. In terms of overall power, we actually get about the same kind of power out of the engines, oddly very very close. 185 horsepower in the base santa fe 184 horsepower in the base CRV. Now, if you work your way on up the CRV ladder, we do get Honda’s excellent, 1.5 liter turbo, and that is going to give you better performance than the base four-cylinder engine that we find in the Santa Fe and actually, even though the Santa Fe turbo delivers Us more power than the 1.5 in the CRV overall performance actually isn’t that far apart, because we have that continuously variable transmission in the Honda and that really does help improve both performance and fuel economy. My bottom line on the 2019 Santa Fe is that the vehicle definitely is sort of the odd man out when you’re looking at compact and midsize crossovers, because in some ways it kind of fits in the region between it’s priced.
A little bit more. Like a compact crossover, a little bit less like the edge Murano Grand Cherokee etcetera, but offers the extra room that you’d expect in that next semi step-up. As a result, this particular positioning of the Santa Fe really makes a really good sales proposition for the vehicle overall, because, if you’re, looking, especially at mid-level or upper level, trims of the average compact crossover in America – and you want a little bit of extra room. The Santa Fe really is one of the best options.
Upgrading from something like a CRV into a forward edge or a CRV into a Nissan Murano is going to cost. You a great deal more for that extra room than making the transition from something like that into the Santa Fe. Hyundai is sort of playing on this particular segment with two different models in a way because the Tucson is on the small end of the compact crossover segment and the Santa Fe. Is that half step larger, so they’re kind of covering both bases with the two vehicles?
So, if you’re looking for something that’s smaller easier to fit in your garage, that would be the Tucson. If you’re looking for something roomier, that’s a little bit more cargo and passenger friendly, especially child-friendly. Then that would be the Santa Fe.