Fresh from a redesign in last year’s model, the 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe carries into the new model year with no significant changes. But that’s just fine with me.
That’s because the Santa Fe does an excellent job at balancing the priorities of most compact SUVs. The cabin has an improved look and feel, the ride is comfortable, and there’s enough technology for everyone to stay connected. So, if you’re looking for good value among two-row SUVs, you’ll want the Santa Fe on your short list.
I tested the SEL. This trim keeps the price of entry reasonable, yet still offers surprising comfort and convenience features such as heated seats, upgraded touchscreen display, and driver aids like blind-spot monitoring and safe exit assist. Compared to the next-level-up Limited trim, the SEL isn’t missing much. That said, you can add two robust option packages to the SEL if so inclined.
My vehicle also featured Hyundai’s all-wheel drive system, which is called HTRAC and stands for “Hyundai TRACtion.” And much like many other all-wheel drive systems, it electronically divides torque delivery between the front and rear axles according to road and driving conditions. The system also is offered with several driving modes, allowing a range of versatility in handling and grip for a “tailored” driving experience.
So let’s take a ride through the trim levels. The 2020 Santa Fe is a five-passenger crossover available in three trim levels: SE, SEL, and Limited. The SE comes loaded with features ranging from essential to useful, including stain-resistant cloth upholstery, a noise-reducing windshield, reclining rear seats, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, and driver aids such as automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beams.
The SEL adds more driver safety aids with blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning and Safe Exit Assist (which prevents rear doors from opening into oncoming traffic). It also brings creature comforts such as push-button start, leather upholstery, heated front seats and side mirrors, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, and Hyundai’s Blue Link connectivity system.
The SEL also opens access to the Convenience and Premium Packages, which offer features such as a panoramic sunroof, roof rails, an upgraded sound system, and a really easy hands-free lift gate.
Moving up to the Limited puts all of the SE and SEL features, including options, on the table and adds ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, an upgraded 8-inch touchscreen display (with navigation), and an innovative Blind View Monitor that displays a real-time camera image of blind spots on both sides of the car.
All trims come standard with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine (185 horsepower, 178 pound-feet of torque), while the Limited is available with an optional turbocharged 2.0-liter engine (235 hp, 260 pound-feet). This engine also is optional for the SEL trim when equipped with both the Convenience and Premium packages. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard across the board, and any model can be ordered with front- or all-wheel drive.
The Santa Fe ranges in price from $25,900 to $39,200. The mileage estimate is 22 city and 29 highway.
For all that you get with this vehicle, it really os a hard vehicle to pass up. With all the features of the Santa Fe and the price, few other midsize SUVs stand a chance.
Grant Miller is the publisher of Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277 or via email at Grant@CommunityNewspapers.com.