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The Hyundai Sante Fe makes a case for top in class: AutoFOCUS Test Drive

Why does Hyundai continue to impress? Over the years, with increasing strength, the automotive brand continues to push itself to be better through enhanced quality, elevated design elements, and competitive pricing. The same is true with the Sante Fe. We had a great time taking the 2020 Hyundai Sante Fe around town, on the beach, through Wynwood and the design district at night. It was a surprisingly enjoyable experience and now we understand why the Santa Fe is one of the best 2-Row SUVs on the market. The reason behind such a compliment in the crowded and competitive SUV space, is due to the combination of quality and value.

Starting at $27245, the Santa Fe is a solid value among mid-size crossovers, especially the more powerful turbocharged 2.0-liter engine because it's quicker, but of course it adds another $6850. The standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder and the SEL's standard features include blind-spot monitoring, heated front seats, passive entry, power-adjustable driver's seats, rear cross-traffic alert, and more.


The 2020 Santa Fe is a five-passenger crossover that comes in three trim levels: SE, SEL and Limited. Driver aids such as automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and automatic high beams, are among the standard features. The good news is that all trims come standard with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine (185 horsepower, 178 lb-ft of torque), while the Limited is available with an optional turbocharged 2.0-liter engine (235 hp, 260 lb-ft). This engine is also optional for the SEL trim when equipped with both the convenience and premium packages. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard across the board, and any model can be ordered with front- or all-wheel drive.


As always, this is the best part as far as I’m concerned. The 2020 Santa Fe is powered by a standard 185-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine or a more robust 235-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter. Both share an eight-speed automatic transmission and standard front- or optional all-wheel drive. In the city and on the highways, they were reliable and stable with agile handling and a rewarding drive experience that competes on all levels and earns a 20 and 22 mpg in the city and 26 and 29 mpg on the highway respectively.

I’m a tech lover especially when that tech improves the performance. For example, it has standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking for safety inside and outside the car. It also has a standard adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go technology, standard lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist.

The SEL adds more driver safety aids with blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning and Safe Exit Assist (which prevents rear doors from opening into oncoming traffic).


The SE is loaded with features that matter, including a noise-reducing windshield, reclining rear seats, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity. Hyundai interiors are better known for their solid build quality and worthwhile features rather than edgy designs and upscale materials. Still, the Santa Fe has an attractive cabin that offers a variety of contemporary options that include a digital gauge cluster, head-up display, heated rear seats, ventilated front seats, and more. Its most impressive attribute is generous passenger space in both rows that are a bonus on long road trips. There are creature comforts such as push-button start, leather upholstery, heated front seats and side mirrors, a power-adjustable driver's seat, and Hyundai's Blue Link connectivity system. The SEL has premium packages including a panoramic sunroof, roof rails, a hands-free lift gate and an upgraded sound system. The Limited adds the combined SE and SEL features like ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, an upgraded 8-inch touchscreen display (with navigation) and an innovative Blind View Monitor that displays a real-time camera image of blind spots on both sides of the car.

Final Thoughts

The price is as competitive as any in the market and the long list of standard features make it a great value that also has a sweet and attractive appearance. Be sure to send any questions you may have about the Sante Fe and we''ll be glad to do our part.

article by TC Lesesne

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