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Video Review: 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe road tested

Written By | Jan 20, 2020

BUFFALO, NY — The Hyundai Santa Fe carries into the new model year with no significant changes. This latest-generation Santa Fe is more of an SUV feeling and less of a minivan feel. Hyundais is known for packaging top safety and is loaded with standard features, many of which come at an extra cost on its competitors.

On the downside, the torque steer under full acceleration can be frustrating. The quiet and roomy cabin offers easy to use technology and everything is easy to use and intuitive functions. On our week’s journey with the Santa Fe, we found the handling and power to be great for the everyday drivers and ride comfort in our loaded Limited FWD test car. The gas pedal offers a good response and it is easy to drive on a long road trip. We prefer the optional, more powerful turbo engine over the 2L engine which is acceptable but barely enough power. There are new trim levels for 2020, SE, SEL, Limited, SEL + Convenience + Premium, and Limited Turbo.

Features galore:

There are many great features but my favorite is the Blindspot cameras for the left and right sides. Some of the new features for 2020 include: Newly Available Rear Occupant Alert and Blind View Monitor Safety Features; Wireless device charging feature now standard; Blind Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA), Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA), and Safe Exit Assist (SEA) moved from standard equipment to SEL trim and above plus Heads-Up Display (HUD) projects an 8.5-inch virtual image onto the windshield, enabling the driver to keep his or her eyes on the road.

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The audio system is a 630-watt, 12-speaker Infinity branded stereo system with a multi-channel amplifier features Clari-Fi and QuantumLogic Surround Sound technology with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Sirius XM. The front seats are offered in heated and ventilated on the upper trim levels. if you live in colder climates the heated seats are a must. The leather seating surfaces are available in the three interior colors and come a power driver seat with lumbar and cushion extension.

There are some pros to the Santa Fe beyond the obvious; there is great value to the standard safety features; high-quality interior materials; 10-year 100,000 warranty and tons os standard and operational active safety features. On the negative side, the torque steer was subpar on the 2.4L engine, make sure you take it for a test drive and hit the gas hard to witness it for yourself.


Starting at $25,900, our test vehicle priced in at $28,730 and was pretty well loaded with options. The fuel economy in the city was 22 and the highway at 29 mpg. There are two motor choices: 2.0 L 4-cylinder with 185 bhp or the 2.4 L 4-cylinder with 235 bhp and available in FWD or AWD. With four trim levels and nine exterior colors, you will be able to create the right SUV for your needs.

Overall, the Santa Fe does an excellent job at balancing the priorities of most compact SUVs. The interior is roomy, the ride is comfortable, and there’s enough technology for everyone to stay connected. If you need something larger, consider a three-row SUV such as the Hyundai Palisade or the related Kia Telluride. But if you’re looking for good value among two-row SUVs, you’ll want the Santa Fe on your shortlist. Make sure to drive the competitors as well: Dodge Journey, Chevrolet Equinox, Jeep Cherokee, Ford Edge, and Nissan Murano to name a few.

Our Car Coach Reports Ratings will guide you in making the best decision for your budget. Check with your insurance agent before making a final decision on any new or used vehicle.

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Lauren Fix

Lauren Fix, The Car Coach®, is a nationally recognized automotive expert, analyst, author, and television host. A trusted car expert, Lauren provides an insider’s perspective on a wide range of automotive topics and aspects, energy, industry, consumer news and safety issues.