2016 Santa Fe New Car Test Drive
The Hyundai Santa Fe seven-passenger crossover SUV features a strong V6 engine, a comfortable ride and an abundant list of available features. The handsomely styled Santa Fe aims toward large families who can use the additional seating capacity, though passenger space in that third row is skimpy and best left to the little ones.
All-wheel drive is available for wintry weather traction; front-wheel drive is standard. The Santa Fe gets better fuel economy than might be expected of a V6 engine.
This third-generation Santa Fe was introduced for the 2013 model year as a three-row crossover, sharing some of its body structure with the smaller, five-passenger Santa Fe Sport. Not much else is shared between the two, and the Santa Fe Sport is powered by four-cylinder engines rather than a V6.
Participating in the three-row SUV category, Santa Fe competes against Ford Explorer, Toyota Highlander, Nissan Pathfinder, Honda Pilot, and Kia Sorento, that last one a cousin to the Santa Fe. Minivans are competitors, also.
Little has changed for the 2016 model year, except that the 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe SE is now the base model, formerly called GLS. Hyundai's BlueLink telematics system remains standard. This OnStar-like system incorporates turn-by-turn navigation and Bluetooth streaming for apps such as Pandora, and works in conjunction with your smartphone.
The federal government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not yet given the Santa Fe a crash-test rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave Santa Fe a Marginal rating for small-overlap front-impact protection.
The 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe comes in two trim levels, each with a choice of front-drive or all-wheel drive, all with the 3.3-liter V6 engine.
Santa Fe SE ($30,400) comes with seven-passenger seating; air conditioning; tilt/telescoping steering column; phone controls and steering-wheel audio; CD player; USB and auxiliary ports; satellite radio; Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming; power driver's seat; and 17-inch wheels. Option packages add leather upholstery and other features.
Santa Fe Limited ($34,500) switches to a six-passenger configuration with captain's chairs in the second row. Standard equipment includes leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, a power front passenger seat, an electro-luminescent gauge cluster, hands-free power liftgate, proximity key, pushbutton start, driver-selectable steering mode, and 19-inch alloy wheels.
All-wheel drive ($1,750) is available for either trim level.
Safety features include a driver's knee airbag and a rearview camera. Blind-spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-change assist are standard on the Limited model, and offered in an option package for SE.