Friday, December 6, 2019


Shopping for a family SUV with champagne tastes but burdened by a beer budget?

You might want to start by checking out a Hyundai showroom for the Santa Fe. You also might finish there anyway.

Fully redesigned for 2019 with the tag “Sport” removed for five-passenger models (the former three-row Santa Fe now goes by Santa Fe XL), the 2020 Santa Fe comes with about all the amenities you might want in a luxury model except the name cachet of a traditional luxury import brand from Europe or Japan.

The South Korean manufacturer has had the knack of incorporating most-wanted features in a high-quality product for quite some time now, at least since the turn of the century when it apparently decided to get serious in the United States market instead of existing by putting out cheap knockoffs.

In addition to cutting out the third row, Hyundai made the Santa Fe roomier by making it a bit longer and wider than the outgoing two-row model the Santa Fe Sport as well as improving its ride.

For 2020 it added some safety features and packages like a new blind spot monitor on Limited models and making the rear-seat occupant alert standard on SE and SEL models as well. Wireless device charging also is standard on SEL w/Convenience package and Limited models.

A 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine is standard in all trims, and a 2.0-liter turbo 4-banger is available on SEL models with Convenience and Premium packages as well as the top-of-the-line Limited. All engines are mated with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Fuel mileage is an efficient 20 miles-per-gallon city, 26 highway, and 22 combined for the turbo.

This review is based on the 2020 Santa Fe Limited with the 2.0-turbo engine. That engine boosts  power to 235 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque from the 2.4-liter’s 185/178 numbers, respectively, and it is well-worth the extra cost.

The all-wheel-drive Limited with the 2.4-liter engine starts at $38,445 (including destination and delivery and going with the 2.0 turbo revs that up to $40,295. Front-wheel-drive Limited  models knock $1,700 off the MSRP for the AWD models.

Standard equipment on the Limited includes safety features like forward collision avoidance, blind-spot warning, high-beam assist, lane-keeping assist, rear cross-traffic alert, smart cruise control, reverse parking alert, and rear-seat occupant alert.

A panoramic sunroof, 19-inch wheels, a hands-free rear lift gate, and LED headlights, fog lights, and taillights also are standard.

Comfort and convenience features covered by the base MSRP include leather seats that are heated front and back and ventilated in the front, leather-wrapped steering wheel, 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support, dual automatic climate control, a proximity key with push-button start, navigation system with an 8-inch display screen, wireless device charging, Quantum surround sound audio, Bluetooth hands-free communications, and Hyundai’s Blue Link Connected Services.

In other words, all that you might want in an SUV that tops out in price where luxury SUVs begin.

The only extra to destination and delivery for my test vehicle was $135 for carpeted floor mats.

What I liked about the 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited: The short answer: a lot. It looks great inside and out, the interior is classy and roomy, and the driving experience is efficient and   up to standards for daily chores. Storage room behind the third row is listed at 35.9 cubic feet. Technology is plentiful and easy to operate. The enhanced blind spot warning system flashes an image of what is on your left or right when you activate the turn signal in the middle of the instrument panel, giving you a view of what may be coming up alongside you.

What I didn't like about the 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited: I would like to see the display monitor more incorporated into the flow of the dash and not sticking up in the middle at the top of the center stack.

Would I buy the 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited? Yes, most definitely. Fuel efficiency is among the best in its segment, and the interior has quality of a luxury SUV. The Santa Fe certainly has come a long way since the jaunty, smaller SUV it started out as.

1 comment:

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