Saturday Road Test – Hyundai Santa Fe

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Hyundai Santa Fe

Go West

By Ron Amadon

DAMASCUS, MD – This is Hyundai’s three row midsize crossover with a contemporary exterior design while continuing the maker’s tradition of offering lots of content for the buck.

In case you were wondering, Hyundai makes the Santa Fe with three rows of seats that the maker says will set six or seven, and the smaller Santa Fe Sport that seats five and will reviewed here a bit later. That puts Hyundai one up on New Mexico where there is only one Santa Fe or the North Pole where Santa lives without Fe.

Since the test Santa was the Limited trim level, it had two Captain’s Seats in the second row so the max seating capacity came to six.

On the long list of standard equipment on the tested top of the line Limited model were fog lights, a power liftgate, leather seating surfaces with heat up front, dual zone climate control and a long list of other goodies.

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A $4,850 Technology Package brought 19” Alloy wheels, sunroof, parking assistance, heated steering wheel, and ventilated seats that were most welcome on an unseasonably hot and humid test week. An 8” touchscreen with navi and the not to be forgotten “Premium Door Sill Plates” were also some of the package ingredients.

Carpeted floor mats were another $135.

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The Sound of Music came from a very rich Infinity Logic7 Surround Sound System batting out 550 watts.

Up front on the front drive tester was a 3.3-liter V6 with 290 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 252 lb-ft or torque at 5,200 rpm. It was close friends with a six speed automatic.  All-wheel drive is available.

There was more than enough clout with a 0-60 run in a touch over seven seconds, and a max towing capacity of 5,000 with the proper boxes checked. EPA fuel economy is 21 mpg combined and I came out at 23 in suburban and country road driving.

Out on the interstate, the Santa Fe was a quiet partner with wind and road noise well under control. The power lift gate was a most welcome feature in the supermarket parking lot after the cupboard was discovered to be bare.

With the second and third row seats folded there was 80 cubic feet for stuff and 41 cubic feet available when the second row is carrying people. Remember when Bill Cosby, playing Noah, asked the Lord was a “cubit” was?

It was a bit of a pain for an adult to gain access to the third row and it is best reserved for children, as is the case in most three row crossovers.

The interior was well appointed and finished. The front seats were most comfy on an all-day drive, and two adults should be complaint free riding in the second road captain’s chairs, with little case for mutiny.

One can simply pop in and drive it from day one without consulting the rather large operator’s manual thanks to nicely located and marked controls and that’s good for five gold stars in my book.

The MSRP was $39,540 for a fashionable well-built crossover that was filled with baubles and carries a recommended rating from Consumer Reports. The Santa Fe should be high on your list if you are in the market for a midsize crossover.

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