Vehicle Spotlight: 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe Receives Updates, But Still a “Predictable” Crossover

Just within the last year, Hyundai has shaken up the Santa Fe family tree. And we’re here to help you keep track of all the changes. The new 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe is a five passenger vehicle, which essentially makes it the newest version of the 2018 Santa Fe Sport (even though the Sport name has been discontinued). But those who will miss the standard seven passenger iteration of the Santa Fe, fear not! The 2019 version of this will be sold as the Santa Fe XL. To recap: the Sport is technically no longer, but the five-seater is now standard (with the same engine setup). And a seven seat option still exists in the XL. We good? Sweet!

What’s New?

Other than name changes, what else has the Santa Fe been up to? Well for starters, it remodeled the interior for a more comfortable design. The dashboard has been reconfigured into a sleeker, more tech-friendly layout, but it does not tread into decadence or complexity. Some extra USB ports and features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto keep it relevant but modest.

The seats changed some, too— reupholstered for a more comfortable ride in what is now a more spacious cabin, as the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe has increased in width. The wheelbase is 108.9 inches and it is 74.4 inches in total width, which are both slight improvements from the 2018 Sport.

The Good, The Bad, and The “So What?”

Piling on to the already overt accessibility of this vehicle are the safety features. The coolest of which is Hyundai’s Safe Exit Assist. This technology temporarily prevents the doors from opening when a vehicle or bicycle is passing from behind. (It’s good to have all four doors and all 206 bones in the correct place.) The Santa Fe also has a drowsy driving warning system, as well as blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. Hyundai has made a name for itself in safety and customer care. And it’s no different here, as these features all come standard.

The 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe has two engine options, both possessing an inline-four. There is the 185-hp 2.4 L and the turbocharged 235-hp 2.0 L that have both been mainstays of the diverse Hyundai catalog. Each engine generates 178 lb-ft and 260 lb-ft of torque respectively. The gas mileage is a touch underwhelming at 22 mpg combined, but that’s a lump we believe most buyers are willing to take.

There’s also not a whole lot of “get up and go” with the Santa Fe—but if that’s what you’re looking for in this vehicle, you’re not even in the same state as the proverbial ballpark. The Santa Fe goes 0 to 60 at a SCORCHING seven and a half seconds, but it can get up to 130 mph (when you figure that one out, let us know…) Unless you’re packing the kids in with the intent of outrunning a meteor or the cops, you’ll be just fine.

An Offer You Can’t Refuse

What the Santa Fe lacks in big personality, it makes up for in stability—a trait the vehicle seems to share with its predictable crossover buyer. The aforementioned safety features put it well within the family vehicle wheelhouse, but it also comes standard with all-wheel drive across the board. Lo and behold, there is 37 cubic feet of cargo space for the family sports, dance, and beach gear. And if drivers longing for the seven seats end up pulling the trigger on the XL, there is a motion-activated lift gate for stowing away whatever it is that you need.

When considering its base price of $26K and the versatile means of travel, the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe is still worth every penny. For many, particularly salespeople, this is what you call a great “beginner.” But given Hyundai’s transparency, the Santa Fe’s honest approach, and a robust aftermarket of Weather Tech floor mats…. (with good care) it can even become a “crossover lifer.”

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