Consumer Reports New Cars – November 2019

(Kiana) #1


On the Road SUVs under $40,000

THE SANTA FE is a “tweener”
whose size and price have
it straddling the small SUV
and midsized two-row SUV
segments. Its fresh styling
and practical tech make it a
good choice for families.
Our Santa Fe Limited
came with the optional
turbocharged four-cylinder
engine. It has plenty of
power, but its delivery is
not always predictable
and the vehicle tends to
hesitate when accelerating
from a rolling start. This
effect is exaggerated by the
sometimes jerky shifts
from the eight-speed auto-
matic transmission and is
most common during drives
around town.
Handling is responsive,
and the Santa Fe feels taut
and agile—something we don’t
often say about SUVs. Its
body roll is limited when
the SUV is pushed through
turns, and the steering
response is quite prompt,
which should give drivers
confidence. The ride is firm,
particularly with the
optional low-profile tires.
Large doors and a hip-
height seat make getting in
and out easy. The interior
design is modern and clean,
and uniquely stylish materials
set the Santa Fe apart from
the dozens of other SUVs
on the market. The front seats
are wide and comfortable,
and the backseat provides
particularly generous space
for adults, although the
panoramic moonroof shaves
off some headroom.

The controls are super-
simple to interpret and use.
We like that the intuitive
infotainment system has
volume and tuning knobs,
and that the touch screen is
quick to respond.
All Santa Fes are equipped
with an impressive roster
of active safety features,
including FCW, AEB, BSW,
LKA, and rear cross traffic
warning. In addition, optional
safety systems can alert
drivers if a passenger or pet
has been left in the rear seat,
and warn of approaching
vehicles and bicycles when
a door is about to open.


Skip the turbo. We
have extensively
driven a 2.4-liter
non-turbo Santa
Fe rented from
Hyundai. It’s less
expensive and has
more refinement
than the turbo has,
and the 50-hp
difference is not
significant in the
real world. And at
23 mpg overall, its
EPA fuel economy
rating is 2 mpg



Price as tested
Trim line Limited
235-hp, 2.0-liter
4-cyl. turbo engine;
8-speed automatic
transmission; AWD
Overall fuel
economy 21 mpg

Reasons to Buy
Easy access and
roomy seats
Stylish and
practical interior
advanced safety
Simple controls

Reasons to Skip
Fuel economy
Optional turbo
engine has uneven
power delivery
Firm ride


Santa Fe

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