The Santa Fe is a compelling midsized SUV. It slots above Hyundai’s Tucson and competes with the likes of the Ford Edge and Nissan Murano, but it is priced close to some top-trim versions of compact SUVs such as the Honda CR-V, which can make it a bargain. We like its size, safety features, and handling, but buyers should skip the more expensive turbo engine because of its uneven acceleration.
It’s available with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine or an uplevel 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. The 2.4-liter is smooth and provides a predictable power delivery, while the optional turbo engine delivers plenty of power, but it comes in bursts, unexpectedly hesitating or launching the SUV forward. We measured 21 mpg overall with the turbo we tested, which doesn’t stand out in the class.
The Santa Fe’s composed, tied-down handling, with its responsive steering, gave our drivers confidence in rounding corners. The ride is overly firm, particularly with the 19-inch tires that come on turbo versions. The cabin is quiet, and only disturbed by some engine noise when revved.