There are a lot of new cars that grace my driveway and there’s a lot that goes into bringing a review to you. I like to capture the important interior and exterior features and do a video review so you get a real sense of the car.
But to get a real sense of the car, you have to use it just like you would if you owned it.
Let’s face it. The 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe is a fully capable SUV that’s probably most likely to be used the way I did for a week. Errands, grocery shopping, and lots of runs to Home Depot as I attempt to get the outside of my house ready for summer.
So I captured this vehicle in all its glory, and in the suburban wild.
Hyundai Sante Fe, Polished and Pretty
Believe it or not, the best pictures come at the end of the week. It’s when I realized that I’ve used the Hyundai Santa Fe a little too well and it needs a bit of a polish. So I head off to the car wash and make it look pretty. And it is pretty, isn’t it?
But admittedly, there isn’t anything terribly distinctive about the exterior. In fact, I saw several other SUVs on the road and thought, Oh, there’s another Hyundai! only to find out that it was another non-descript (in my opinion) design. But some people like to blend in. You’ll do that with this vehicle.
I promise you can make it your own, though. To customize the exterior of my Hyundai. I made sure dug out a flower bed right next to the car and then wet it down. See the mud splatter all over the Santa Fe? I did that!
Hyundai Santa Fe, Commanding Presence
While the side profile of the Santa Fe may not be as distinctive as I’d like, there are other things that give it a commanding presence.
Take the nose, for example. It’s strong and distinctive boasting LED headlights that give an impressively wide arc of light at night.
Also impressive are the 19″ five spoke alloy wheels. I prefer 20″ personally but the tires and rims were well-suited to the Santa Fe.
And speaking of commanding presence, it’s what I had once I got behind the wheel. With a 3.3L direct injection V6 engine and 290 horsepower, I was ready to take on the road. Or, more accurately, many bags of mulch. More on that below.
Hyundai Sante Fe, Interior Delight
Once behind the wheel, I had everything I could want including heated and cooled seats, memory seat adjustments, heated steering wheel, 8 inch touchscreen with navigation, multi-view camera system, and plenty of connections: 12V, auxiliary, and USB which allows you to use your phone for Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.
I was set and comfortable and ready to take on the roads. But what good is that in a large passenger vehicle if your passengers don’t feel the same?
So I went to the second row to check it out.
In the Santa Fe Limited, which is what I was driving, the second row comes standard with captain’s chairs along with rear side sunshades. In other trims, you can opt for bench seating to allow for 3 passengers in the second row but this configuration felt spacious and accessible – like a minivan without the minivan.
And the second row also had optional heated seats. An option my son was thrilled with.
Surely the fun has to stop there, right? There can’t be much thought put into the third row.
The third row is clearly meant for the passengers needing the least amount of legroom but they don’t have to feel like the third wheel in the third row.
Not only do they have cupholders but they also have their own climate control and optional USB ports. Now you can stick the moody teens all the way in the back!
And just behind the third row, you’ll find another 12V outlet as well as an AC outlet. Seriously. It’s like they thought of everything.
Hyundai Santa Fe, Going Where Every SUV Should Go
In case you’re skimming, let me catch you up. Exterior is nice. Interior is WOW. Now let’s talk about the functionality of this midsize SUV. Can it put the Utility in Sport Utilily Vehicle?
Let’s start with something easy, like grocery shopping.
Yep, that was pretty easy. But then again, I had the third row folded flat.
To be fair, I thought I’d show you what the smallest area of cargo space looks like. And it could have totally handled my groceries.
Where the suburban SUV really belongs, though, is at Home Depot hauling all my suburban landscaping needs. Let’s see how it fared.
That’s me putting the second and third row seats down wondering if I’ll have the energy and cargo space to complete the task at hand.
First load included 10 bags of mulch and 3 bags of organic potting soil. Thank God the smell dissipated when I unloaded it all.
And I used the space in the front passenger seat for flowers and a shrub.
I was so impressed with all the cargo space that I actually went back and got 20 bags of mulch. And yes, I hauled it all myself (my yard looks lovely now, by the way).
Now we’ve learned that the Hyundai Santa Fe is as capable a vehicle as it is a loaded one. So what’s left?
Hyundai Santa Fe, The Details
Overall, I thought the Hyundai Santa Fe was a super solid vehicle. There was nothing more I wanted on the interior but I’d still like to see a little innovation on the exterior. I will say that my favorite feature was actually the panoramic sunroof, which let in a gorgeous amount of light and air once it’s fully opened.
The MSRP for this vehicle was $44,295. Keep in mind that I was driving the 2017 Santa Fe Limited, which is top of the line, with the Ultimate Tech package. The base price of the Santa Fe starts at just over $30,000.
You should also be aware that the EPA fuel estimate is around 19 mpg, which is less than stellar. During the week I drove it, I averaged 19.1 mpg.
Any more questions? Need more details? Start with the video tour and let me know what else you want to know.