2019 Hyundai Santa Fe Ultimate Review By John Heilig
2019 Hyundai Santa Fe Ultimate Review
By John Heilig
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
The Auto Channel
REVIEWED MODEL: 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe Ultimate
ENGINE: 2.0-liter turbocharged 4
TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 235 hp @ 6,000 rpm/260 lb.-ft. @ 3,500 rpm
WHEELBASE: 110.2 in.
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 193.1 x 74.2 x 66.9 in.
CARGO CAPACITY: 40.9/80.0 cu. ft. (rear seats up/down)
ECONOMY: 19 mpg city/24 mpg highway/24.8 mpg test
FUEL TANK: 18.8 gal.
CURB WEIGHT: 4,017 lbs.
TOWING CAPACITY: 3,500 lbs.
COMPETITIVE CLASS: Chevrolet Blazer, Ford Explorer, Toyota Highlander
STICKER: $39,905 (includes $980 delivery, $125 options (carpeted floor mats))
BOTTOM LINE: The Hyundai Santa Fe is a quiet, good performing SUV.
This was one of those weekends when we traveled to our daughter’s cabin in the woods. Therefore, we drove the Hyundai Santa Fe over many miles, in dense traffic and, pleasantly, not traffic, on Interstates and on back roads, on pavement and on dirt. Every mile - except the dense traffic ones - was pleasant and enjoyable.
In general, the Santa Fe offered a quiet ride with almost no road or tire noise intruding into the cabin. This makes conversation practical and enjoying the entertainment well, enjoyable. Okay, let’s start there. The Santa Fe has a good audio system with a full menu of choices. Finding your preferred choices can be difficult at first, but once you figure it all out it seems logical.
Equally, the air conditioning was excellent - almost too excellent. With exterior temperatures in the high 90s, the AC cooled us quickly and had us going to higher temperatures and lower fan speeds in a short period of time.
Under the hood, the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4 has plenty of power and pickup. It’s rated at 235 horsepower, which is enough for the 4,017 pound curb weight Santa Fe. The engine was at its best once we cleared the traffic and could motor along peacefully. I’m a cruise control junky, but the switches didn’t always work the way I wanted, so we went many miles sans cruise with no issues.
The driver faces an interesting instrument panel with the tachometer on the left, water temperature and fuel level on the right and a central analog speedometer. Inside the speedometer is the information panel. There’s a heads up display, so reading the analog speedometer wasn’t a problem. The infotainment screen is clear with all the options. The default screen seems to be a map on the left and audio on the right. We had our phone hooked up to Bluetooth and it worked well.
Front seats are comfortable with some side support. They were power adjustable in our tester, plus heated and cooled. The rear seats offered plenty of leg- and headroom. In addition, they slide forward and backward for additional legroom. There’s a 110-volt plug at the rear of the center console. Interior storage consists of a large cubby at the base of the center stack with 12-volt, USB and AUX outlets, plus a charging USB. There’s room for water bottles in all the doors. In the middle is a nice functional console/arm rest. Above the glove box is a shelf that’s handy for phones, tablets or papers.
The cargo area is huge and easily holds four golf bags. Switches for power lowering of the rear seat backs are located in the cargo area. The Santa Fe is available with three-row seating, but our tester had just two rows, leading to the great storage. We folded the rear seat backs to transport a large screen television easily. In addition, there is hidden storage under the cargo floor.
Overall, the Hyundai Santa Fe has all the practicality and utility required of an SUV, coupled with very good fuel economy and a nearly silent ride.
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