The third generation Hyundai Santa Fe has been around for a few years now, with all-new vehicles like the Mazda CX-9 and Honda Pilot, Hyundai gave their popular SUV a mid-cycle refresh for the 2017 model year. You’d have to look closely to notice major difference between the 2016 and 2017 models, with the new Santa Fe benefiting from revised headlights, front bumper with vertical daytime LED lights that also house vents to help air flow through the front wheel wells. The rear bumper and taillights have also been reworked.
The Hyundai Santa Fe comes in two sizes, the Santa Fe Sport and the Santa Fe XL, the XL is the longer 6/7 passenger version, it’s 21.5 cm (about 8.5 inches) longer than the Sport. For our week-long review, we had the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe XL Luxury with AWD.
Since this review is of the Santa Fe XL, we’ll only list the prices for all available trims on the XL, below are prices for 2017 Santa Fe XL models:
|Luxury 7 Passengers||AWD||$42,199|
|Luxury 6 Passengers||AWD||$42,599|
|Limited 7 Passengers||AWD||$44,399|
|Limited 6 Passengers||AWD||$44,799|
|Ultimate 6 Passengers||AWD||$48,099|
|Ultimate 6 Passengers saddle leather||AWD||$48,299|
Our review 2017 Santa Fe XL Luxury had a price tag of $42,199.
The 2017 Santa Fe XL is only offered with a 3.3 liter V6 engine with direct injection, producing 290 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 252 pound-feet of torque at 5,200 rpm. The V6 is mated to a smooth shifting 6-speed automatic transmission. The smaller Santa Fe Sport is offered with a choice of a naturally aspirated 2.4 liter or a turbocharged 2.0 liter 4-cylinder engines.
I enjoyed driving the V6 engine equipped Santa Fe, as good as 4-cylinder engines are, the smoothness, power, and real world fuel efficiency of a V6 can’t be beat. The V6 on the Santa Fe is very smooth and quiet and has plenty of power for everyday driving, and it’s not too bad when it comes to towing, with a 5,000 pound towing capacity.
The 2017 Santa Fe now comes with a drive select mode, drivers can choose between “Eco”, “Normal”, and “Sport” modes. The three modes change the way the throttle responds to driver input. I personally had the Santa Fe in “Eco” or “Normal” mode for most of my driving. The Eco mode is a bit sluggish but is good for long highway drives. The Sport mode does make the vehicle feel “sporty”, not in terms of handling, just quicker accelerations.
As for driving dynamics, the Santa Fe is pretty average, it’s not sporty but it doesn’t feel like a boat either. The steering feel is pretty numb and the steering wheel feels very light, I only noticed the soft steering feel when I went to drive my wife’s old Civic after driving the Santa Fe for about a week, the Civic’s steering felt so heavy (which is a pretty light steering to begin with).
According to Natural Resources Canada, the 2017 Santa Fe XL Luxury trim should consume 13.0/9.7/11.5 L/100 km in city/highway/combined driving. After a week’s worth of driving, the on-board trip computer showed 12.2 L/100 km in 50/50 city/highway driving. I think that’s pretty close to the posted fuel consumption numbers, of course your mileage will vary on your driving style and whether you tow stuff.
The interior on the 2017 Santa Fe XL stays the same as the previous year’s model, the interior has a very clean and easy to understand layout. The interior is very roomy for the front passengers and is very quiet overall. The second-row passengers also have lots of leg and headroom, the second row seats can slide forward and backward, making it possible to give more leg room to the third-row passengers. Getting in and out of the third-row seats was a bit hard for me and can only be done from the passenger side, the third row seats had decent amount of room for my 5’8” frame especially with the 2nd row seats moved forward a bit, and I felt comfortable enough to sit there for a while, unlike some other third-row equipped SUVs, these seats are not just for children.
All 2017 Santa Fe models come standard with front heated seats, our Luxury trim also came with second-row heated seats (2 outer seats), the Luxury package also includes leather seats and a giant panoramic sun roof, which looks really cool.
Our review Santa Fe XL was the mid-model, so it wasn’t as loaded as the Santa Fe XL Ultimate, it did still have some of the tech features we’re used to getting in modern cars. Below is a list of tech and safety features on our Santa Fe XL Luxury trim:
- Vehicle Stability Management (VSM)
- Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
- Traction Control System (TCS)
- Downhill Brake Control (DBC) and Hill-start Assist Control (HAC)
- Windshield wiper deicer
- LED daytime running lights
- 18″ alloy wheels with P235/60R18 all-season tires
- Heated, power-operated outside mirrors
- Power windows with driver and passenger auto up/down
- Power door and tailgate locks
- Remote keyless entry with security alarm system
- iPod/USB/auxiliary connectivity (centre console)
- Bluetooth hands-free phone system
- Heated front seats
- Automatic headlights
- Rear-view camera
- 12-way power-adjustable driver’s seat
- Dual zone automatic climate control with CleanAir Ionizer
- Rear side window sun shades
- Heated rear seats
- Heated steering wheel
- Rear parking assistance sensors
- Proximity-activated power liftgate
- Proximity keyless entry with push-button ignition
- Third-row HVAC vents and controls
- 115-volt power outlet
- Blind Spot Detection (BSD) system
- Integrated side mirror LED turn signal repeaters
- LED fog lights
- Panoramic sunroof
- Leather seating surfaces
- Driver’s Integrated Memory System (IMS) for seat and mirror positions
- Power-adjustable passenger seat
- 8.0″ high resolution touch-screen with navigation system and Android Auto
- Infinity premium audio system with 12 speakers and external amplifier
- Auto-dimming rear-view mirror with HomeLink and integrated compass
Below is a list of additional features you can get on the Limited and Ultimate trims:
- LED taillights
- “Supervision” gauge cluster with 4.2″ TFT LCD display
- Ventilated front seats
- 19″ alloy wheels with P235/55R19 all-season tires
- Deluxe metal door scuff plates
- High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights
- High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights with Adaptive Cornering System (ACS)
- Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS)
- Multi-View Camera System
- Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) with Pedestrian Detection
- Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with stop-and-go capability
- Electronic Parking Brake with vehicle Auto Hold
The 2017 Santa Fe is a great vehicle, but there were a few things that bothered me. What I didn’t like was the placement for a few of the buttons on the dashboard to left of the steering wheel, especially the buttons for the drive mode and heated steering. I always had to take my eyes off the road and look down and around the steering wheel to turn on/off the heated steering wheel or to change the driving mode. Maybe if I owned the vehicle I’d get used to where the buttons are placed and not have to take my eyes off the road? I also had a hard time finding the release button for the fuel cap, which is placed on the driver’s door, obviously after finding it once, I remember it but the for the first time, I had to look it up on YouTube because I couldn’t find it.
Another pet-peeve I had was with the climate system, when the outside temperature was close to freezing, the climate system would automatically go to defrost mode, when I wanted to change the airflow, it wouldn’t let me. That really annoyed me.
Overall, I liked the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe XL, it’s very comfortable, quite, and there is a lot of space on the inside for passengers and/or lots of stuff. With all the seats folded, you can fit in a lot of cargo. The vehicle is pretty stylish and can be equipped with basic features for a pretty competitive starting price and can also be loaded up with all the bells and whistles that are currently available in most luxury vehicles.
For more information on the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe XL and other vehicles, check out hyundai.ca.