2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Review

Santa Fe

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2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Overview

Crossovers have become the most hotly competitive segment of the new car market, with automakers from every corner of the industry rushing to produce models with even more power, efficiency, and versatility. Hyundai rises to the challenge with the 2018 Santa Fe, which features plenty of cargo solutions and the latest in-car and safety technology.

The 2018 Santa Fe features a tall, commanding hood that flows into a large grille. LED running lights at the lower corners round out the front, but the Santa Fe’s real strong suit is its cargo space and versatility.

With the third row down, the Santa Fe provides 40.9 cubic feet of cargo room, and folding both the second and third rows leaves a full 80 cubic feet of space. Accessing the trunk is made easier with Hyundai’s optional hands-free smart liftgate with an auto-open feature. Some smart tailgates require you to swing your leg underneath the rear bumper, but with the Santa Fe, simply standing by the rear liftgate with the key fob will trigger the liftgate to open.

The Santa Fe should continue to be available in four trims: SE, Limited, SE Ultimate, and Limited Ultimate. The SE and Limited trims come standard with a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a 6-speaker audio system, a USB port, HD Radio, and 3 months of complimentary SiriusXM satellite radio. The SE Ultimate and Limited Ultimate trims both feature a larger 8-inch touchscreen, navigation, and a premium Infinity audio system with Quantum Logic Surround Sound and Clari-Fi music-restoration technology. On all models, the infotainment screen menus are easy to read and have a logical layout.

For 2018, Santa Fe models equipped with Blue Link receive complimentary 3-year access to Connected Care, Remote, and Guidance packages, which include features such as a Google-powered destination search, navigation updates, and the ability to send destinations from your computer to the in-vehicle navigation system.

The Santa Fe comes with standard 8-passenger seating, featuring second- and third-row bench seats. If you want to really pamper your passengers, the Limited Ultimate trim features second-row captain’s chairs so the kids can stretch out on long road trips. The base SE trim also comes standard with YES Essentials stain-resistant cloth, ensuring that the Santa Fe can withstand anything the little ones throw at it.

No matter the trim, the Santa Fe is powered by a 3.3-liter V6 engine paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission for an output of 290 hp and 252 lb-ft. Available in either front-wheel-drive (FWD) or all-wheel-drive (AWD) configuration, the Santa Fe gets fuel-economy numbers of 18 mpg city, 25 highway, and 21 combined with FWD and 18, 24, and 20 with AWD.

The Santa Fe brings added handling and safety technology with the Active Cornering Control feature, which comes standard on AWD models. Active Cornering Control applies additional power and braking to individual wheels on hard corners for reduced wheel slip. The Santa Fe also features a Drive Mode Selector with Sport, Normal, and Eco modes.
The Santa Fe comes standard with a full array of front and side impact airbags, a reversing camera, electronic stability control, a vehicle stability management system, and downhill brake control. A standard spotter mirror adds a second wide-angle mirror on each the side and is a great low-tech solution for handling blind spots.

The Premium package, which is available on the Santa Fe SE trim, replaces the blind-spot mirrors with a blind-spot detection system, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-change assist. It also adds the hands-free smart liftgate, a proximity key, push-button start, leather seating, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a third-row USB outlet, and front LED fog lights. You can further enhance the SE Ultimate and Limited Ultimate trims with the optional Ultimate Tech package, which includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights, and more.

Adding any of these options packages will make the 2018 Santa Fe one of the smartest crossovers on the market, backed up by ample cargo space, a comfortable interior, and plenty of storage solutions.


From open-wheel racecars to specialty off-road vehicles, George Kennedy has driven it all. A career automotive journalist, George has been a contributor, editor, and/or producer at some of the most respected publications and outlets, including Consumer Reports, the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, Autoblog.com, Hemmings Classic Wheels, BoldRide.com, the Providence Journal, and WheelsTV.

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