Poor Santa Fe XL. Regardless of getting a brand new title for 2019, it is really the outdated model of Hyundai’s Santa Fe crossover. Its five-passenger counterpart received a whole redesign for this yr, and the XL will quickly get replaced by the brand-new 2020 Hyundai Palisade later this yr.

However regardless of current on borrowed time, and being reasonably lengthy within the tooth, there is a silver lining to this story. For people who want a well-rounded, three-row SUV, the Santa Fe XL remains to be remarkably compelling.

Sensitive first impression

The Santa Fe XL is powered by a Three.Three-liter V6 with 290 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque despatched by means of a six-speed computerized transmission. My top-trim Restricted Final tester sends energy to its entrance wheels, however all-wheel drive is obtainable.

In truth, all-wheel drive is the setup I might want. The V6 engine presents quite a lot of low-end torque, and mixed with a delicate throttle, means it is simple to chirp the tires pulling away from a stoplight. Having a greater distribution of energy may make for smoother off-the-line begins.

However with a cautious proper foot, the Santa Fe XL reveals itself to be a operator. The massive Santa Fe feels extra like an opulent luxurious sedan than a tall crossover, because of its well-sorted suspension. The Hyundai’s trip high quality comes near rivaling the Lexus ES 300h I examined lately.

Strong powertrain the Santa Fe XL’s received right here.

Manuel Carrillo III/Roadshow

However smooth-riding as it’s, the Santa Fe XL, feels out of types after I elevate the tempo. Physique roll is noticeable, a reminder of this factor’s sheer dimension. The Honda Pilot is extra composed when pushed in a rush, whereas nonetheless providing a compliant trip.

Every little thing else concerning the Santa Fe XL’s driving expertise is simply superb. The steering is properly weighted, whereas moderately direct and correct in its response. The brake pedal is well-modulated, too. Freeway passing energy is respectable. The six-speed computerized transmission shifts easily and feels wanting to drop down on the freeway, however fades into the background after I’m simply cruising alongside.

At 18 miles per gallon within the metropolis and 23 mpg freeway, the Santa Fe XL is without doubt one of the less-efficient three-row crossovers available on the market, in line with the EPA, however my mileage fared higher than the federal government’s estimates. After a tank of principally freeway miles, I noticed 26.6 mpg.

Whereas the outside nonetheless seems to be with the instances, the inside is ripe for a redesign.

Manuel Carrillo III/Roadshow

Recent outdoors, dated inside

Despite the fact that the Santa Fe XL is lengthy within the tooth, I nonetheless discover it reasonably engaging. Inside, it is a totally different story, although I am unable to say the cabin is poorly designed. The standard of supplies is suitable for a midsize SUV, and there is ample house within the first and second rows. That mentioned, the third row is cramped, and the story solely will get worse if you enterprise into the cargo maintain to search out simply 13.5 cubic toes of house with all of the seats raised.

So, sure, you may carry as much as seven occupants within the Santa Fe XL, however good luck discovering room for all their stuff. Opponents just like the Chevy Traverse, Ford Explorer and Volkswagen Atlas supply greater than 20 cubic toes behind their third rows, in addition to extra cargo room behind their first and second rows. At the very least the Santa Fe can tow as much as 5,000 kilos, identical to these different SUVs.

Getting the Hyundai’s again seats folded is a breeze. The third row disappears straight away after tugging at a few straps, and the center row is simply as simply leveled with the straightforward pull of a lever along side every captain’s chair. Energy-folding rear seats are good, however nothing beats the simplicity — and quickness — of typical folding.

My tester’s touchscreen is an inch bigger than the usual unit, and contains embedded navigation besides.

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Baked-in fashionable tech

The bottom Santa Fe XL SE comes normal with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on a 7-inch touchscreen. HD and satellite tv for pc radio additionally come normal with a six-speaker stereo. That is much more normal package than lots of the Santa Fe XL’s rivals.

Conversely, Hyundai is reasonably stingy with the driver-assistance tech. In order for you pedestrian-detecting collision-mitigation braking, adaptive cruise management, lane-departure warning and adaptive headlights with computerized high-beams, not solely do it’s good to step as much as the $39,550 Restricted Final trim, however then you must elect for the $2,100 Tech Bundle.

How I might spec it

The Santa Fe XL begins at $30,850, however even all decked out, the Santa Fe XL falls on the cheaper aspect of the three-row crossover section. That in thoughts, I might go all out, and begin with the highest Restricted Final trim, which comes with 19-inch wheels and keyless entry. Inside, there’s push-button begin, a panoramic sunroof, heated steering wheel, leather-based upholstery, reminiscence driver’s seat, heated and ventilated entrance seats, heated second-row captain’s chairs, an upgraded Eight-inch touchscreen with embedded navigation, Infinity premium audio system and a hands-free energy liftgate out again.

The Santa Fe’s Achilles’ heel lies in its cargo capability that may’t measure as much as others within the class.

Manuel Carrillo III/Roadshow

The highest trim additionally options normal blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, rear parking sensors and a 360-degree digicam. In fact, I might add the aforementioned Tech Bundle, and all-wheel drive for $1,750. With each field checked, we’re taking a look at $44,445 out the door.

To not be missed

The Hyundai Santa Fe XL is type of a lame duck crossover at this level. Quickly, we’ll have the all-new Palisade to woo American three-row crossover shoppers.

However regardless of this inherent obsolescence, the Santa Fe XL nonetheless holds up rather well. It is properly appointed and pleasurable to drive. And with a base worth that undercuts lots of its hardest rivals, it is nonetheless a superbly good option to get three-row utility in 2019.

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