“When the doorbell rang and I was tossed the keys to this six seater SUV, my initial thought was, ‘Well, this will be a change.’ As you know, I drive a Scion FR-S, so I was a little overwhelmed by the thought of commuting for a week in a three-row SUV.”
2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited – One Size Fits All
The Hyundai Santa Fe Limited AWD may be a large family SUV, but lucky for me, once I turned the key, the feeling of being overwhelmed didn’t last long.
When I first approached the Hyundai Santa Fe, I was pleasantly surprised by its sleek and sporty looks, and alike the Hyundai Sonata we tested before, it featured a good dose of uniqueness in the midst of an over-crowded SUV segment.
The interior of the Santa Fe is a good place to be. The layout of the controls is clear, and everything was easy to find. The interior leather was supple and the seats were supportive. While the Santa Fe isn’t a luxury SUV, it certainly won’t disappoint you with its fit and finish. The dashboard design is laid out tastefully in typical Hyundai fashion, and it doesn’t appear busy or overdone.
The fun Stuff
The ‘Ultimate Package’ in our test vehicle was no joke. The impressive panoramic roof stretched from the front row all the way back to the third row, which meant sunny skies for all!
I truly enjoyed that the second row captain’s chairs were heated, which meant warm buns for front and second row passengers alike. Unfortunately, the third row gets left out, so make sure to seat whomever you like least back there. Just kidding, or am I?
The captain’s chairs are awesome, especially if you’re like me and love your personal space, and not share an armrest. The second and third rows also get their own power outlets and climate-zone controls. It’s the little things in life…
How Does it Drive?
While you won’t win any late night drag races, the Santa Fe’s 3.3 liter V6 which produces 290 horsepower, packs enough punch to get you from point A to point B without hesitation. This family SUV offers a smooth ride, and never felt top heavy or bulky when negotiating twisty or pothole-ridden Texas roads.
Putting the Utility in Sports Utility
Because my husband loves me so much, he climbed his 6’2 self into the third row; you know—for science!
He was very impressed at how easily the second row slid out of the way allowing him easy access the third row, in which he fit quite comfortably. Sure, he probably wouldn’t want to be there for hours, but an evening out with friends wouldn’t be a problem.
Speaking of going out with friends, the rear cargo area features a 110 volt household style power outlet , so you can tailgate like a Queen (or King), although my husband suggested plugging our Magic Bullet blender for a post-hike smoothie.
The Santa Fe comes equipped with front and second row head curtain airbags, and front seat-mounted torso airbags. Blind spot detection is standard to keep you safe on the road, and back-up sensors make backing up this three-row SUV easy peasy.
While this model Santa Fe has yet to be rated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, here’s the crash rating for the smaller Santa Fe Sport.
The Santa Fe took away my fear of driving a large vehicle, and impressed me with its many thoughtful features. It’s clear to me that Hyundai put a lot of thought when designing this, one-size-fits-all vehicle.
Anyone from a single person household, to families with kids would enjoy and benefit from driving this awesome SUV!
- Base Price: $30,800
- Price as Tested: $42,385.00
- Car-like feel
- Easy to use controls
- Not an uncomfortable seat in the house
- Lack of adaptive cruise, automatic high beam assist, or lane departure warning availability for 2016, although these features will be optional for the 2017 year model.
Kari. “When not tinkering on my car, I’m endlessly rambling about auto-news to my very patient husband who tolerates it for hours on end. I’ve owned everything from a Tacoma to a Benz, and I now have a 2014 Scion FR-S to play with, which you may spot at The Circuit of Americas parking lot while I’m yelling at the top of my lungs.”