2018 Hyundai Santa Fe: Not Your Average Family Crossover

Published: Tuesday, February 27, 2018 | 11:12 PM

2018hyundaisantafe475Three-row crossovers are not exactly know for their driveability. Often they are slow and lumbersome. But because of its V6, the Hyundai Santa Fe is anything but. It dashes around slower cars while seating six comfortably.

2018 finds the Santa Fe unchanged from the 2017 model year save a few option and trim changes.

Seating six or seven, the Hyundai Santa Fe is a midsize SUV that comes in three trim levels: SE, SE Ultimate, and Limited Ultimate. It comes in front-wheel drive as standard and all-wheel drive as an option. This review will focus on the Limited Ultimate in the standard front-wheel drive.

The Limited Ultimate seats six due to its second row captain’s chairs. It also boasts 19-inch wheels and LED fog lights. Standard features include a sunroof, leather seating, heated front and second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats and a power-adjustable front passenger seat. The 8-inch touchscreen has navigation and an upgraded 12-speaker audio system. Occupants in the third row gain access to a USB port, while a 115-volt outlet is added to the cargo area. Convenience amenities include a proximity key with push-button start, a hands-free liftgate and rear side window sunshades. Safety upgrades consist of blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, rear parking sensors and a multiview parking camera system.

There’s an optional Tech Package available for the SE Ultimate that adds adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and mitigation, lane departure warning and xenon headlights with automatic high beams. This package was included on my test model.

2017 Santa FePowered by a 3.3-liter V6 that produces 290 horses and 252 pound-feet of torque, the Santa Fe is anything but slow. A 6-speed automatic transmission makes the whole thing hum, sifting gears effortlessly as the Santa Fe glides down the road. Expect to get 17/city, 23/highway, and 20/combined mpg.

Seating in the Santa Fe is comfortable with bolstered front and center seats and plenty of adjustability. The third-row seats are great for kids but adults will find them a bit claustrophobic. The interior is quiet and the ride is smooth.

Instrument placement is intuitive and the controls are easy to use. Storage space is good at 41 cubic feet with the third row stowed and 80 cubic feet with both rows of seats down.

Driving the Santa Fe is a pleasure with good acceleration and precise steering. The ride quality is comfortable and the interior quiet.

Need transportation with room and a good ride? Try the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited Ultimate on for size.