2019 Hyundai Santa Fe Review

2019 Hyundai Santa Fe - Santa Fe will survive name revision well


Santa Fe will survive name revision well


In 2018, there was a three-row Hyundai Santa Fe and a two-row Santa Fe Sport. They are history.

For 2019 there is a two-row Santa Fe and, also, a three-row Santa Fe XL. Both are classified as midsize SUVs. The Santa Fe Sport, which has been dropped, was a compact SUV with, obviously, smaller dimensions than the  midsize product. Vehicle classifications, such as subcompact, compact, midsize and full-size, are based on interior cubic feet provided for occupants and cargo.

The question arises. Is the 2019 Santa Fe attractive as a two-row, midsize, five-passenger, four-door SUV? Yes, and no.  The 2019 Santa Fe compares well with the midsize competition in terms of comforts and amenities provided for the price. This vehicle is well-equipped and even includes a head-up display (legal speed limit and actual speed reflected onto windshield) and power to lower the split rear seats. When powered flat, a cargo area expands from 35.9 cubic feet to 71.3 cubic feet. The lowered seats have to be manually raised back into an upright position.

The new Santa Fe might suffer in terms of engine power. Except for the two 2-liter, 235-horsepower,four-cylinder, turbocharged models ($34,200 Limited 2.0T and $35,600 Ultimate 2.0T), the other five models have a 2.4-liter, 185-horsepower inline four-cylinder engine. Without the turbo, the relatively noisy 2.4-liter engine underperforms. The five models (SE, SEL, , SEL Plus, Limited Plus, Ultimate) with the 2.4-liter engine range in price from $24,750 to $33,950. In all cases, add $1,700 to the prices if upgrading from front-wheel to all-wheel-drive.

The 2019 Santa Fe is wider and longer than the model it replaces. Standard this year are smartphone integration with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. An eight-inch color touchscreen is centered high on the dashboard. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay means a consumer can have all the information on his or her smartphone transferred to the Santa Fe and reflected onto the eight-inch color screen. A USB port is near the screen. Several auxiliary ports are nearby.

Cupholders serve the two rows. In front there are two center console cupholders as well as two more molded into the front doors. There are several cubbies for storage of, say, small notebooks, coins, address books, even a hamburger lunch from a fast food drive-through.

Little things make an impression and three of them on a recently tested AWD $35,450 Ultimate model were manual rear window sunshades, visors with lighted vanity mirrors as well as extenders to block out a strong sun coming into the driver's window, and a lighted ignition. At night, it is nice to see where the ignition button is to either push for starting or stopping. Leather is the major trim element. Wood adds to the leather trim. Four windows operate by power and the front two are express up and down. Power also operates exterior mirrors, door locks and a panoramic sunroof.

Via a surround camera system, the Ultimate model gives a view of surroundings, front, behind and on the sides.

The various models share a roof rack, heated side mirrors, rear window wiper and washer, chrome tip dual exhaust, front solar glass and rear privacy glass, LED headlights, daytime running lamps, fog lights and taillights plus proximity key entry with pushbutton start.

The Infinity sound system has high definition AM, FM and satellite radio.

Second row split seats move forward or backward for more or less leg room. Besides power, front seats in a recently tested $35,450 Ultimate model were heated and perforated for air conditioning purposes. Memory settings are for front driver's seat and exterior heated mirrors. The steering  wheel is heated.

Consumers will decide if the 2019 Santa Fe fits their needs.


Vehicle:  Ultimate model of 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe

Type: all-wheel-drive, four-door, five-passenger midsize sport utility vehicle

Price: $35,450

Delivery: $980

Engine: 2.4-liter, 185-horsepower, inline four-cylinder

Transmission: eight-speed shiftable automatic

Towing: 2,000 pounds

Suspension: struts with gas-filled damper and stabilizer in front, multi-link with gas shock absorber and stabilizer rear

Tires (P235), alloy wheels: 18-inch

Fuel tank: 18.8 gallons

Fuel: unleaded regular

Wheelbase, length width, height in inches: 108.9, 187.8, 74.4, 66.1

Weight: 3,591 pounds

Leg room: 44.1 inches front, 40.9 inches rear

Cargo: 71.3 cubic feet behind front seat with rear seat flat, 35.9 cubic feet behind upright rear seat

antilock brakes, traction and stability control, airbags, headrests and
lap and shoulder straps, rear cross traffic alert and avoidance, blind
spot monitoring, lane keeping assist, smart cruise control, parking
distance warning, forward collision mitigation warning, warning system
to alert drowsy drivers (sensors detect when driver is getting drowsy)

Warranty: five years or 60,000 miles including five-year, unlimited miles road assistance, 10 years or 100,000 miles powertrain

Assembly: Montgomery, ALA

Information: www.hyundaiusa.com

Jerry Kuyper

Born on a southwestern Minnesota farm, Jerrold E. Kuyper quickly became familiar with tractors, pickup trucks and related agricultural equipment. He left that behind to graduate from Augsburg College in Minneapolis and attend graduate schools in Evanston and Chicago. He was hired as a reporter for the Kenosha News, a daily newspaper in Kenosha, WI. After a stint of a dozen years at the Kenosha News, he became a columnist, layout, page and sections editor at the Northwest Herald, a daily newspaper based in Crystal Lake, IL serving northwest Chicago suburban communities.

While with the Northwest Herald he helped create, write reviews and opinion columns as well as edit the newspaper's Wheels section, a 16- to 40-page broadsheet that appeared weekly in the newspaper's Friday edition. Wheels was devoted to reviews of new vehicles, looks at automotive history, current trends in the automobile world and columns by automotive enthusiasts. Midwest Automotive Media Association members who contributed to reviews and columns included Mitch Frumkin, Phil Arendt, Matt Joseph and James Flammang as well as photo journalist Doug Begley and dragster specialist Fred Blumenthal.

Kuyper, who lives in Salem Lakes, WI, is a founding member of MAMA, is married, has three children and six grandchildren.