Hyundai has upped their SUV and crossover game to say the least. They have two all-new vehicles in the smaller Venue and the larger, three-row Palisade. Now comes the Santa Fe, fresh off a fancy redesign just last year. After having occasion to drive all three, the Santa Fe is the one we would pick. It's the perfect middle ground in Hyundai's SUV lineup.
Safety & Tech Features
Some Road Noise
The 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe is fresh off a complete redesign last year and is one of the better SUVs on the market if you get the upgraded turbocharged powerplant. The 2.4-liter naturally-aspirated engine for the 2020 Santa Fe is subpar in power. Although we recently drove this version and liked it overall, we were thankful to get the 2.0-liter turbo engine for our testing this week.
When we drove our 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 2.0T press vehicle, we wanted to see how it would handle the rarified air outside of Denver, Colorado.
The Santa Fe receives only minor upgrades for 2020, given the complete redesign last year. Premium door sill plates, dark chrome exterior trim, and a Blind-View Monitor are now standard on the Limited. Rear Occupant Alert is standard on SE and SEL, and wireless charging is now standard on the SEL w/Convenience and above.
Trim levels for the 2020 Santa Fe include SE, SEL, SEL 2.0T, Limited, and Limited 2.0T.
Is The 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe All-Wheel Drive?
All-wheel drive is available for the 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe, and our tester was equipped with it. The system, known as “HTRAC,” actively balances torque between the front and rear axles depending on the driving conditions at hand. There are three different drive modes for HTRAC: Normal, Sport, and Smart (which is like an Eco mode).
All-wheel drive is a must for those who live in colder climates.
Features & Options: A Healthy Mix
The 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 2.0T offers an abundant array of standard features; the kind SUV shoppers are looking for. It has a noise-reducing windshield, reclining rear (and heated) seats, heated and ventilated front seats, and a heated steering wheel. It offers other convenient features like a push-button start, heated side mirrors, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and Blue Link services complimentary.
You don’t have to pay extra for safety. The Limited trim comes with automatic emergency braking, automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning, and Safe Exit Assist (which prevents rear doors from opening into oncoming traffic).
This Limited tester also came with upgrades over the standard trim like navigation, a premium sound system, rain-sensing wipers, 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, taillights and foglights, and a panoramic sunroof.
What Does The 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Cost?
Total MSRP, including destination, for our Santa Fe Limited 2.0T: $40,430. By comparison, the 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe starts at $26,125 for the SE trim.
The new Santa Fe is an affordable vehicle overall. However, depending on local incentives, you might be able to save a little more. This free and easy search tool* will show you which dealers near you are offering the best price.
Interior Highlights: Initial Impressions
The Santa Fe Limited has an appealing interior and all the vehicle’s controls are within easy reach. They aren’t hard to figure out as the most often-used controls (like the climate settings) are physical buttons and knobs. The Limited has plenty of comfort features to match the climate controls, like heated and cooled leather seats and a heated steering wheel.
The eight-way power-adjustable front seats have excellent range, but taller drivers will want one or two inches more extension from the steering wheel. And shorter drivers could use one or two more inches in seat height.
In general, there is plenty of space and legroom, but taller passengers may want more headroom when they sit in the back. One nice feature, however, is the rear sunshades. Our passengers used them to keep out the bright June sun.
Interior Highlights: Cargo & Storage Space
The cargo area behind the rear seat offers room for carrying three large suitcases or two sets of golf clubs. The rear seats are a 40/20/40 split combination and fold down for additional cargo space. Total cargo volume is 71.3 cubic feet and 35.9 cubes with the seats up.
There’s a handy, out-of-sight storage area underneath the cargo deck for stowing valuables you want to keep out of sight. The hands-free tailgate makes it easy to load packages when your hands are full.
2020 Hyundai Santa Fe: Engine & Powertrain
Our Santa Fe Limited tester came with a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine producing 235 horsepower and 260 lb-ft. of torque. As we mentioned above, a naturally-aspirated 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder is available (185 horsepower and 178 lb-ft. of torque). Both engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic.
Gas Mileage of The 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe
2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Fuel Economy
Driving Dynamics: Go With The Turbo Engine
The Santa Fe’s 2.0-liter turbo packs enough horsepower to rival the sportier crossovers on the market. With the turbo engine, the Santa Fe ramps up the fun-to-drive meter over the standard, naturally-aspirated 2.4-liter powerplant.
When we drove the 2.4-liter Santa Fe, we noticed a fair amount of engine noise, especially when accelerating. That’s not the case with the 2.0-liter turbo. However, with the upgraded 19-inch wheels, there is some cabin noise at higher speeds.
During normal driving in the city, the 2.0-liter turbo has more than enough power for any situation. Once out of town, we drove our Santa Fe tester at altitude in the mountains west of Denver and gave it a good test. The turbo engine spools up quickly and delivers enough power. We pushed the Santa Fe hard to pass slower traffic up a steep part of I-70, and it was responsive enough.
Helpful Tools On The Road
Visibility is good from the front window and we especially liked the color heads-up display so we could keep our eyes on the road. It’s a must for someone who is a daily commuter on heavily congested streets.
The 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe comes standard with a forward collision avoidance system. This will help keep you out of trouble if you are inadvertently distracted or tired after a long day at the office. The top-down parking camera and rear parking sensors were also helpful on our drive this week.
The 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe will fit most families looking for an SUV with a little extra luxury. The interior is roomy, the ride is comfortable, and there’s enough technology for everyone to stay connected. With an available turbo engine and all-wheel drive, it’s a vehicle you’ll want on your shortlist.
Denis Flierl has invested over 25 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. All of his firsthand reviews are archived on our test drives page. Follow Denis on Twitter: @CarReviewGuy
2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Gallery
Photos: Hyundai Motor America.
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