2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Review

Written by Anqoinette Crosby

As I glided to a stop in front of the valet stand at DC’s swanky W hotel, the attendant’s bemused expression telegraphed his thoughts. Gracefully alighting from the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited Ultimate AWD, radiating an aura of carefree confidence, my fab five girlfriends were the center of attention as they sauntered to the front door—ankle-tied stilettos clicking on the pavement. Accepting the Hyundai’s key, the valet marveled at the sheer number of pretty passengers exiting the capacious crossover.


While you may have thought the Santa Fe best suited to ferrying families (which it does quite well BTW), the six-passenger, three-row crossover SUV proved brilliantly adept at getting us around town as we celebrated the 35th birthday of my tiara-adorned girlfriend. That night, the Santa Fe demonstrated itself more than capable of adapting to a wide range of situations with considerable aplomb.

“My” Santa Fe sported a five-bar grille and 19-inch wheels, while tinted rear windows added a flair of mystery. The panoramic sunroof was a big hit with my cadre of glamour girls who enjoyed the spring evening breezes flowing through their hair. The vast opening made the sky their ceiling, which was a poignant metaphor for the limitless fun at hand.


The designated driver, I delighted in the lively chatter wafting throughout the spacious cabin as the celebratory crew gushed over the elegance of the leather seats and second-row captain’s chairs. Meanwhile, the Santa Fe’s USB outlets kept their overworked smartphones charged as they flooded social media with evidence of our revelry.  

Oh-so-comfortable power adjustable front seats were outfitted with heat and ventilation. Meanwhile, my girls in the second row expressed sincere gratitude for their heated seats when the night air turned chilly. With good leg- and headroom room all around, I heard no complaints about comfort—even from the third row.

An eight-inch infotainment touchscreen hosted Quantum Logic’s surround audio system, which made even our car karaoke warbling sound like finalists on The Voice—well, it did to us anyway. The touchscreen also featured navigation and monitored the Santa Fe's external camera array. Remember when a single rear camera was an optional luxury? Today, the Hyundai's multi-camera surround view system comes standard.

As good as it proved itself to be that evening, when you’re engaged in more practical pursuits, the Santa Fe’s automatic tailgate is a handy feature. There’s also room to accommodate a full-blown shopping spree with a total of 80 cubic feet of cargo capacity. Plus, a secret storage area keeps valuables out of sight.

A full array of safety gear starts with the complete range of airbags—including one for the driver’s knees. Blind spot detection, ABS and traction control are standard too. Among the options are smart cruise control, lane departure warning and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection. 

Power comes from a 3.3-liter V6 engine producing 290 horsepower and 252 lb-ft of torque. The engine is complemented by a six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. Fuel economy is an estimated 17-mpg in the city, 22 on the highway and 19 overall. The fuel tank holds 18.8 gallons, which gives the Santa Fe approximately 360 miles of city/highway range.


For 2017, Hyundai Santa Fe pricing starts at $30,800, while Santa Fe Limited Ultimate AWD starts at $41,150.00.

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