LOS ANGELES, October 31, 2015 — The 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe definitely brings good looks and luxury to the mid-sized SUV market. On a metropolitan road trip to Wash. DC for a visit to the White House and then onto brunch at Kitchen Cray, we road tested this modestly-priced, yet fully-loaded SUV to determine its worth for the money in space, sportiness and comfort.
This sleek “mineral gray” beauty was stunning both inside and out as she handled perfectly through DC’s stressful streets. This SUV’s classic good looks are sophisticated and bold and can impress anywhere from DC’s political scene to the restaurant valet to your Mother-in-laws driveway during the holidays. In fact, this new Santa Fe’s exterior is very stylish and competes well with many of the more sleek SUV designs in the marketplace with it body-color rear spoiler and LED Center high mount stop light, which is especially for city driving where parking lots can be dark and dangerous.
We also thoroughly liked the chrome accent grille, door handles, front solar glass and rear privacy glass. Altogether, these visual appointments give this SUV a luxurious look while still maintaining a modern sporty edge. And if nighttime driving is the thing that makes or break your consideration of buying a SUV, the Santa Fe’s projector headlights with LED accents and automatic headlight control make taking the road by storm safe and clear.
Inside, its 4.3-inch multi-function touch screen boasts prompts to assist with multi-tasking, navigation, iPhone playlist and Bluetooth hands-free phone. These controls are also featured on the leather-wrapped steering wheel, which made it very easy to keep one’s eyes on the road and program trips according to comfort and needs.
The Santa Fe’s seven-passenger cabin was ridiculously roomy even for big folks and offers a tremendous amount of space for shopping bags from DC’s superb shopping scene. The vehicle’s second row features reclining 40/20/40 split-folding bench seats that slide and include cargo area releases. The third row — which unless it’s a full-sized SUV is known to be stuffy — is surprisingly spacious and even includes third-row climate control to keep all passengers comfortable. On the cozy ride back to the hotel, its all-cabin climate control kept the BEST mac n’ cheese (courtesy of Chef JR Robinson of course) nice and cool for some nibbling later that evening.
As for the interior specs, the stain-resistant upholstery and illuminated vanity mirrors (for those mid-traffic makeovers) in addition to the center armrest with storage compartment keep essentials super handy.
What about the sound system? Hit Alicia Keys “Girl on Fire” to test out the Santa Fe’s six-speaker sound system because that sound rippled thrillingly throughout the cabin and got the blood pumping fast.
On DC’s busy streets where meter-only parking and stop-and-go traffic are a test to anyone’s driving endurance, the 2016 Santa Fe handled well. Our 2016 Santa Fe was outfitted with a 2.4 liter engine (or a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine in the Sport model). This makes this more compact SUV blessed with quick acceleration, a super smooth ride and a lack of blind spots for making U-turns, quick stops and lane-changing almost effortless. Plus, the driver’s cockpit is equipped for an even better feeling ride with its tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, Driver Selectable Steering Mode (DSSM) and an eight-way power driver seat (with four-way power lumbar support).
Another great thing about the 2016 Santa Fe’s engine is fuel efficiency. This bad boy SUV somehow gets a EPA rating of 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway, which is a respectable rating considering the vehicle’s weight and size.
As for safety, the 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe comes with the latest advanced safety features including a five- star overall National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) rating.
Overall, this DC road trip was a breeze all thanks to the Hyundai Santa Fe. This mid-sized SUV’s quiet cabin, sharp maneuverability, robust engine and loads of standard luxury features made this capital trip fun and easy to get around the city’s transportation madness.