2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Review and Comparison in Albuquerque, NM

Same Name, New Santa Fe

While many people associate vehicles and their capabilities to the name of a vehicle, Hyundai is taking a slightly different direction. The current Santa Fe is a three-row crossover, but the new Santa Fe resembles the current Santa Fe Sport, which is retiring its name. The larger version will now be called the Santa Fe XL, and the Santa Fe will be a smaller model.

Now that the naming fiasco is out of the way, we can take a closer look at the Santa Fe, helping you see everything that it offers. The new Santa Fe will be available in several trim levels - SE, SEL, SEL Plus, Limited, and Ultimate - allowing you to decide which has all of the features that help you get the most enjoyment while you are behind the wheel.


Subtle Changes

The new Santa Fe will be slightly larger than its predecessor, giving it greater distinction in the model lineup from the Tucson. This larger body is accompanied by a more intimidating and muscular presence. The thin LED daytime running lights are higher on the fascia, putting the high and low beams lower, and a reflector to help visibility a little more.

Further distinguishing itself from the Sant Fe Sport, the new Santa Fe has a honeycomb grille that does justice to the attitude that starts that the headlights. If you were to see all of the Santa Fe models lined up, it would be easy to pick out the new Santa Fe because it has the most aggressive look to it.


A Look Towards the Inside

The complaints of the previous Hyundai models were heard and fixed when it came to the design of the new Santa Fe. The old model was notorious for having bad visibility, which is why Hyundai included more windows - 41% more glass to be exact - and a better atmosphere through a panoramic sunroof that adds a level of luxury to the Santa Fe.

The new Santa Fe offers more cargo space behind the last row, bumping it up to 36.6 cubic feet of cargo space, but is rather comparable in overall interior storage space. When you really need the extra seats, the three-row Santa Fe offers 11.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row, 35.9 cubic feet behind the second row, and 70.7 cubic feet behind the first row.

New seating arrangements come with a variety of new features. The second row of seats reclines and slides to help your passengers be as comfortable as they can be. The Rear Occupant Alert System will alert you of movement in the back seat, helping you look after your children or pets while they are seated.


Technology and Features

The inside of the Santa Fe is meant to maximize comfort for all who are inside of it. This starts with acoustic-laminated front side glass to keep the outside world on the outside while you can appreciate the world inside. Premium features like heated and ventilated seats, a heated steering wheel, and a premium sound system with 12-speakers that allow you to tailor every minute to feel exactly how you want it to.

At the front, there is a seven-inch infotainment screen that is in a uniquely high position on the dash to help you keep your eyes on the road, not needing to look down to see the relevant information. If you are concerned about your information being out of the way, you can also include an 8.5-inch head-up display to show the rest of the information that you will need.

 The Hyundai infotainment system is easy to learn and easy to use, with smartphone integration through Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™. You can upgrade the standard screen to an eight-inch screen and an updated Navigation system. Upgrades also allow for you to charge your compatible devices with the Qi wireless system and USB charge points throughout the interior.


Powering Your Santa Fe

There are three engine options that you can choose from, the base-model standard being a 2.4-liter GDI that makes 185 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque. You can upgrade to the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine for more power and torque: 235 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. While these engines aren't anything new, they certainly perform how you need them to. There is a new engine option as well, one that is a first-ever for Hyundai in the United States. The 2.2-liter four-cylinder diesel makes 190 horsepower and 322 pound-feet of torque. The diesel engine will increase fuel efficiency, and, strangely enough, allows for a third row of seats in your Santa Fe. It isn't really big enough to cram your teenagers into it often, but can be there when you need it.

Sticking with a common theme for SUVs, you can equip it with an All-Wheel Drive system for better traction in harsh conditions. The Hyundai HTRAC All-Wheel Drive system has the ability to swap between Normal, Sport, and Smart modes to get you the capabilities that you will need. If you don't choose the AWD system, you will be getting the standard front-wheel drive system.


Santa Fe XL

The Santa Fe XL isn't very different than the model that it was based off of, allowing room and features as well as three-rows of seating. You are getting the dual-zone climate control, a rearview camera, a seven-inch display, and more as standard features.


A Worthy Update

The Santa Fe has always been an impressive Hyundai model, presenting only minor complaints from drivers. The redesigned Santa Fe options have fixed those complaints and added more features for drivers to enjoy, making it an update that you should lend more than a consideration to.