The Hyundai Santa Fe is all new, coming into its fourth era for the 2019 mannequin yr. However this midsize crossover SUV has a tricky act to comply with. The third-generation Santa Fe (which is definitely nonetheless on sale because the three-row Santa Fe XL) stays an extremely compelling product. I spent per week with one again in February, and nonetheless discovered it to be vastly aggressive. Is that this brand-new Santa Fe compelling sufficient to actually transfer the needle?

Boost the carpool lane

The Santa Fe’s exterior design does a terrific job of blending ruggedness and sleekness. The primary components I discover when strolling as much as this SUV are the skinny working lights unified by a beautiful chrome strip that kinds the radiator grille’s higher framing. Flanking either side of the grille are giant, bold-looking headlamp clusters that distinction effectively with the skinny LED working lamps above them. Altogether, the entrance design lends to an unforgettable aesthetic.

Out again, the look does not seem as impressed or revolutionary, however stays good-looking, nonetheless. The cabin design can be comely. I particularly love the polygonal surfacing on the speaker grilles. Their clever nature goes far in making the remainder of the Santa Fe’s inside really feel extra upscale. That’s till you look a bit nearer.

The Santa Fe is affordable, and that undoubtedly exhibits in its hard-plastic cabin supplies.

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Spacious sufficient, however missing cabin high quality

The plastics on the door panels reek of cost-cutting with their exhausting, shiny look and scratchy really feel. Nonetheless, the Santa Fe’s inside is spacious, comfy and quiet. It takes no time in any respect to search out a perfect driving place, and as soon as you have discovered it, you may devour lots of of road-trip miles whereas making your again really feel prefer it’s on trip.

If you’ll want to pack up for the lengthy haul, the Santa Fe within reason spacious. Behind the rear seats, you may discover 35.9 cubic toes of house, which expands to 71.Three cubic toes with the second row folded. That is extra space than the Chevy Blazer and Nissan Murano, however lower than the Honda Passport and Ford Edge. The Santa Fe’s Three,500-pound most towing capability additionally falls midpack, besting the Murano’s 1,500 kilos and matching the Edge, however falling wanting the Passport’s 5,000-pound max.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come customary on a 7-inch touchscreen, however my loaded instance makes use of an Eight-inch show.

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Trusty tech

The Santa Fe comes customary with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on a 7-inch touchscreen, however my loaded instance options an Eight-inch display screen together with a 7-inch instrument cluster show. I’ve additionally acquired embedded navigation, a 12-speaker Infinity premium audio system, HD and satellite tv for pc radio, plus wi-fi cellphone charging.

Even on the bottom, $26,795 (together with $1,045 for vacation spot) Santa Fe SE, Hyundai contains customary superior driver-assistance options like adaptive cruise management, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, computerized emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-keep help and computerized high-beams.

My loaded instance in Final 2.0T trim (beginning at $38,145) includes a head-up show, 360-degree digicam and rear parking sensors, plus LED headlights, fog lights and taillights. The highest-trim Santa Fe additionally contains comfort options like heated and ventilated entrance seats, heated and sliding rear seats, a panoramic sunroof and a hands-free energy rear liftgate.

The two.Zero-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine is ok, however it makes me lengthy for the three.Three-liter, naturally aspirated V6.

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Plenitudinous energy

The bottom Santa Fe is powered by a 2.Four-liter, four-cylinder engine making 185 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque. My tester packs a 2.Zero-liter, turbocharged I4 with 235 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. No matter engine, all Santa Fe fashions use an eight-speed computerized transmission routing energy to the entrance wheels. All-wheel drive is a $1,700 choice throughout all trim ranges, that means my Final 2.0T tester prices $39,845.

The turbocharged engine provides loads of grunt, however does not have the identical off-the-line immediacy because the naturally aspirated, Three.Three-liter V6 within the Santa Fe XL, which has 55 extra horsepower, however Eight fewer pound-feet of torque. The identical goes for the four-cylinder’s freeway passing energy: There’s sufficient kick to go slower site visitors rapidly, however the V6 feels snappier. That further V6 snap does sap gasoline financial system by 2 miles per gallon on each metropolis and freeway cycles.

Probably the most environment friendly Santa Fe with the two.Four-liter and front-wheel drive is EPA-rated for 22/29 metropolis/freeway mpg. My 2.Zero-liter, turbocharged AWD tester is available in at 19/24 metropolis/freeway mpg. After 1,134 miles of principally freeway driving, I averaged 23.1 mpg.

The Santa Fe performs properly off-road and likewise seems good in opposition to a backdrop of seaside selfies.

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The eight-speed computerized transmission makes the a lot of the four-cylinder’s horsepower deficit, nonetheless. Shifts are easy and fast, whereas good pedal modulation avoids any impression that the gearbox is lazy to downshift or overeager to upshift.

Touring alongside a dusty grime path right into a music pageant, I acquired to take a look at the AWD Lock mode, which makes the Santa Fe really feel extra assured within the silty stuff by ensuring the AWD system is at all times energetic fairly than simply being reactive when slip is detected. Even on paved roads with AWD Lock disengaged, the Santa Fe reactively apportions energy rapidly and properly. Moreover, I by no means needed to fear in regards to the entrance wheels slipping throughout spirited launches at right- or left-hand turns into intersections.

Paved roads or not, the Santa Fe provides a journey that is at all times comfy, however get the crossover right into a set of turns, and physique roll is properly managed. Whereas navigating the twisties, the steering provides acceptable weight and accuracy, whereas presenting a pleasing trace of really feel by the wheel. A well-modulated brake pedal permits for constant stopping energy that at all times delivers a way of confidence.

If you happen to’re procuring within the two-row, midsize SUV phase, you could think about the 2019 Santa Fe.

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Preserving it stable

The latest era of the Hyundai Santa Fe does not really feel like a considerable enchancment over the third-generation mannequin, however that is not essentially a foul factor. The third-gen Santa Fe did not really want a lot enchancment anyway, so why mess with success?

On the finish of the day, the 2019 Santa Fe is a fetching crossover that provides affordable house, affordable towing functionality, terrific consolation, respectable tech, a number of customary options and loads of energy and it isn’t too unhealthy to drive, both.

And here is the linchpin: Regardless of the way you spec it, the Santa Fe finally ends up costing round $5,000 lower than its comparably geared up competitors. Contemplating how properly sorted it’s in just about each regard, when you consider worth, the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe is a no brainer suggestion within the crowded midsize SUV phase.

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