Friday, April 27, 2018

Miscellany: 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe review - Taking the "sport" out of SUV

It took the body shop a solid five days to repair my BMW 328i's bumper, so I had quite a bit of time with my rental car, the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe.

This is the last model year of this generation of the Santa Fe; Hyundai is sending a redesigned model to the U.S. later this year. That might lead to some enticing dealer offers to get rid of the old inventory, so here's what I liked and didn't like about this common three-row SUV:


Interior Space: In the dollars-per-cubic feet metric, the Santa Fe does pretty well. I thought the driver, passenger, and second row seats all had plenty of leg and head room. The third row isn't terribly comfortable, but it's usable, and with the seats folded the cargo room balloons to 80 cubes.

Ride: In 2018, you don't have to spend Mercedes-level money to get a cushy ride. There's an expansion joint on my way home from work that I use to gauge how compliant a suspension is - the Santa Fe handled it like a champ.

Infotainment: My rental car annoyingly defaulted to its expired Sirius radio for some reason, but otherwise the car's Bluetooth streaming system and touch screen interface were quick and responsive. The physical controls for climate, volume, and tuning were simple and easy to use.


Performance: The good news is that every Santa Fe comes with a 3.3-liter V6 that makes nearly 300 horsepower.  The bad news is that the V6 is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission that shifts sluggishly and, like many Korean cars, provides lower-than-average fuel economy for the class.

Interior: The Santa Fe is a no-frills experience. Even thought I kinda liked the cobra-hood design of the central console, I'll admit to wishing for comfier chairs and nicer trim. While it was solid for what it was, I was happy to get back to my car when all was said and done.


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