Feature-packed low-end trims. The 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe continues Hyundai’s trend of offering vehicles that represent excellent value. Even the base SE trim comes well equipped for its starting price. Moving up to higher trims brings near-luxury features and materials.
The SE trim starts at $26,995 including destination, which undercuts a lot of the competition. Despite the low starting price, the SE comes with automatic headlights, a 7-inch display, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, remote keyless entry, 17-inch wheels, as well as a tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel. You also get Hyundai’s five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, which is above average for the segment.
Hyundai has reworked the Santa Fe lineup to where the Limited 2.0T trim is now the range-topping model. That trim comes with heated and ventilated front seats, leather upholstery, an 8-inch touchscreen, heated exterior mirrors, a panoramic sunroof, wireless charging, and a 12-speaker audio system. These are features that were once only found on luxury vehicles.
Excellent safety scores. Hyundai has changed the Santa Fe’s list of standard safety features for the 2020 model year. It added some while removing others. The changes may seem confusing, but it still comes with a good amount of equipment.
Standard safety features include adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, and driver drowsiness monitoring. A lengthy list of available safety features are offered, which include Safe Exit Assist that monitors oncoming traffic behind the vehicle to ensure passengers can exit safety.
The IIHS named the Santa Fe a Top Safety Pick Plus, while the NHTSA gave the vehicle a five-star overall safety rating.
Spacious seating for up to five. With last year’s redesign and Hyundai deciding to spin the seven-passenger variant into its own lineup, the five-passenger Santa Fe has grown to be more accommodating.
The larger size means that passengers are treated to more interior space. In the back, rear passengers have over 40 inches of rear legroom, which is great for the segment.
The Santa Fe also has a good amount of cargo space for a two-row crossover. Behind the rear seats, there are 35.9 cubic feet. In total, it can hold up to 71.3 cubic feet of cargo space.
Average performance. Performance isn't one of Santa Fe’s strong suits. The base 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 185 horsepower is below average for the segment and struggles to impress. While it can get the crossover down the road, it doesn’t do its job well.
Instead, the available 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that’s rated at 235 hp is a much better option. While it’s still down on power compared to the competition, it brings some much-needed pep. It also doesn’t feel as underpowered in daily use as the base engine.
Final thoughts. For consumers looking for a midsize, five-passenger crossover, the 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe does a lot right. It's packed with standard features, has excellent crash test scores, a large cabin, and a decent amount of cargo space. It's also backed by one of the longest bumper-to-bumper warranties on the market.
The only area where the Santa Fe falls behind the competition is when it comes to performance. The base engine is especially underpowered compared to other options. While we like the Santa Fe's styling, it won't appeal to everyone.
The Honda Passport is a more rugged (at least rugged-looking) option than the Santa Fe. It comes with a 280-hp V6 and more comfortable seats. The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a more performance-oriented vehicle that can be had with 707 hp. Beyond the engine, the Grand Cherokee is better at off-roading and feels more luxurious at higher trim levels.
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