2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Introduction

Restyled for 2017, Hyundai Santa Fe looks sharper than before. The three-row Santa Fe features three rows of seating and is longer than the Santa Fe Sport. As in the past, Hyundai delivers good value with the sizable Santa Fe.

The 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe gets new bumpers, and the cabin has been upgraded a bit. A rearview camera has been made standard on all 2017 Santa Fe models. Also new is the 2017 Santa Fe Limited Ultimate trim level.

Two seating configurations are offered, split by trim level. Lower-cost Santa Fe SE and Santa Fe SE Ultimate trim levels contain a second-row bench, for seven-passenger seating. Stepping up toward opulence, Santa Fe Limited and Limited Ultimate editions get a six-passenger layout, making use of captain’s chairs in the second row. Cargo space excels with either passenger configuration, though space in the third row is limited, compared to that of its competitors.

All Hyundai Santa Fe models come with the same 3.3-liter V6 engine and 6-speed automatic transmission. The Dodge Durango and Honda Pilot use 8- or 9-speed transmissions, but the Santa Fe’s automatic is competent and capable. Developing 290 horsepower, the engine is shared with Hyundai’s Azera sedan, but retuned here to produce low-end torque more suitable for a crossover SUV.

Front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive are available, and the latter exacts only a slight penalty in terms of fuel economy. A Santa Fe weighs around two tons and can tow 5,000 pounds. Standard wheels are 18-inch, but Ultimate versions get 19-inch tires.

Viewed from the driver’s seat, the dimensional advantage of the three-row Santa Fe over the smaller Santa Fe Sport crossover is clearly evident. Most Santa Fe versions have a power driver’s seat. Heated front seating and a power passenger seat can be added as options.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not crash-tested the Santa Fe, though Hyundai anticipates a five-star overall score. In crash-testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the 2017 Santa Fe earned mostly Good ratings, for both side-impact and moderate-overlap frontal collisions. The 2016 model suffered a troubling Marginal score on the small-overlap crash-test.

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