Saturday Road Test
Hyundai Santa Few LTD ULT AWD
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POINT OF ROCKS, MD. – Wow, that is quite a name for this crossover yet it is also an indication of the long list of equipment that comes with it. And that is, after all, what put Hyundai on the map.
LTD, of course, means Limited trim level and not a revival of the old Ford model line. ULT or Ultimate, is a level above the LTD that adds even more goodies such as a large sunroof, 19-inch wheels, heated and ventilated front seats, and heated second row seats among other gear.
Starting out on a bone chilling morning I can report to you that the heated driver’s seat was a most welcome addition. In just a short distance I lowered the heat level from three to one.
With 292 horsepower and 252 lb-ft of torque, the 3.3-liter V6 was more than up for cruising the interstates, as well as the steep hills and sharp curves on the back roads that surround this historic railroad town on the banks of the Potomac River. Of course, there was all-wheel drive along for the ride, but I really didn’t have much of an opportunity to try it out on what has been, thus far, a snowless winter in these parts.
A six speed automatic was quick to respond to requests for power. The Santa Fe’s handling was on par with the competition and hushed was a good way to describe the interior noise level.
Safety equipment abounded with the addition of a $2,100 “Ultimate Tech Package” that included Smart Cruise Control, Automatic Emergency Braking, Land Departure Warning, and Electronic Parking Brake with auto hold.
For 2017 Hyundai added an 8-inch touchscreen and a 360-degree camera – very handy when maneuvering in tight spots at night.
Kudos also for the hands free liftgate, which once went by the name tailgate. The upscale model had captain’s chairs in the second row, so there was seating for six, but a bench is also available. Those seats easily folded down when cargo was the main concern.
Total cargo hauling space works out to 80 cubic feet with all seats folded, but with all seats up there is only about 13.5 cubic feet. Total cargo space is a bit behind some competitors.
The standard Infinity premium audio system cranked out some great sounds. A public radio station offered the Boston Pops playing “Deep in the Heart of Texas” reminding me that the Santa Fe was named “Full Size CUV of Texas” by auto writers in the Lone Star State.
(Suddenly I was craving a bowl of chili.)
The interior was a delight with excellent fit, finish, and materials. All controls were a short reach away, and the total effect was that of driving a very upscale vehicle. There was a USB outlet back in the third row, a relatively rare addition among most competitors.
Add in Hyundai’s long warranty coverage, (10-year, 100,000 miles on the powertrain for instance), high level of standard equipment and refinement, and you have a very appealing CUV here. One that can more than hold its own in a highly competitive market.
With $895 in delivery charges, and the above mentioned option package, the bottom line came to $44,295 for a loaded vehicle. A base SE model with front wheel drive starts at $30,800. Add all-wheel drive and that increases to $32,550.
290hp @ 6,400 rpm
252 lb-ft of torque @ 5,200 rpm
Economy wise, look for an EPA of 17 mpg city, 22 highway for a combined 19 mpg.
Suspension – Front
MacPherson strut with twin-tube gas filled damper and 26-mm outside diameter, hollow-type stabilizer bar with 5mm wall thickness. There will be a test on this later.
Suspension – Rear
Multi-link with gas shock absorber and (FWD 21 mm / AWD 19 mm) stabilizer bar
Turning Circle – 36.9 ft.
Overall height (with roof rack)
66.5 in. (66.9 in.)
Curb Weight 4,149 lbs.
Towing Capacity 5,000 lbs.