2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Review

Shopping for a new Hyundai Santa Fe?
See exclusive deals in your area

The Car Connection Expert Rating Breakdown?

7.5
on a scale of 1 to 10
Styling
7.0
Expert Rating
Performance
6.0
Expert Rating
Comfort & Quality
9.0
Expert Rating
Safety
9.0
Expert Rating
Features
8.0
Expert Rating
Fuel Economy
6.0
Expert Rating
2017
The Car Connection
2017
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Aaron Cole Aaron Cole Managing Editor

The sharper-looking 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe is still a good value for families looking for a three-row hauler—but its powertrain is starting to show its age.

For 2017, the Hyundai Santa Fe has received a significant overhaul. The Santa Fe is the larger, three-row crossover SUV that's related to the smaller two-row Santa Fe Sport.

Hyundai has split the trims for the Santa Fe based on seating configuration; the SE and SE Ultimate trims seat seven via a second-row bench, Limited and Limited Ultimate models seat six with second-row captains' chairs.

It earns a 7.5 out of 10 on our overall scale thanks to its comfort and versatility, and good feature set. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Styling and performance

The restyling marks a so-called "mid-cycle refresh" for the Santa Fe, and that's fairly accurate—the changes are only skin deep. A new front and rear bumper headline the refresh on the outside, and a slightly upgraded interior look rounds out the changes inside.

With the new bumpers, now there's a clear resemblance throughout the Hyundai SUV lineup and they're all the better for it. The Santa Fe Sport may hit the Goldilocks spot in the middle for us, but the Santa Fe's new front and rear bumpers smarten up the look. For the first time, the Santa Fe sports LED fog lights on Limited and higher trims that bookend a slim, wide lower opening.

Under the hood is the same 3.3-liter V-6 teamed with a 6-speed automatic that is competent and capable, albeit slightly aging compared to other 8- and 9-speed offerings from competitors such as the Honda Pilot and Dodge Durango. The engine is pulled from the Azera sedan, with 290 horsepower, with front- or all-wheel drive, and a base curb weight of about 4,000 pounds. Rolling on standard 18-inch wheels (19-inchers are on SE Ultimate and Limited Ultimate), the Santa Fe comes out of the box, ready to tow 5,000 pounds, its powertrain made more rugged and retuned for lower-powerband torque.

Comfort, quality, and safety

In front of the Santa Fe, the size advantage over the smaller crossovers is clear. There's ample knee room and leg room, though head room for tall passenger will be slim with the panoramic sunroof in SE Ultimate and Limited Ultimate models. The seats are more shapely and supportive than in the last Santa Fe, with very good bolstering on the bottom cushion that's not overly firm. Most versions have a power driver seat, and richly optioned models have a power passenger seat and heating for both. It's worth noting that Hyundai's headrests sit back at an ideal angle—they don't jut too far forward, as some active headrests do.

All Santa Fe models include a rearview camera, automatic headlights, keyless entry, cruise control, steering wheel-mounted controls, Bluetooth phone connectivity and audio streaming, cloth seating, dual climate control, eight-way power driver's seat, four 12-volt power outlets, AM/FM/XM/CD radio with six speakers and AUX input, and 7.0-inch display audio touchscreen. Limited and higher models can add leather seating, heated and ventilated seats, a power hands-free liftgate, upgraded 8.0-inch touchscreen and Infinity premium audio. All-wheel drive is available on all trims for $1,750 added to the final price.

The 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe received the IIHS' coveted Top Safety Pick+ award, and federal testers gave the crossover a near-perfect five-star overall score. (Only a four-star score on the rollover test spoiled a clean sweep.)

According to the EPA, the Santa Fe manages 18 mpg city, 25 highway, 21 combined in front-drive. That's with it's 3.3-liter V-6 and a 6-speed automatic. Add all-wheel drive, and that number dips to 18/24/20 mpg. We suspect the Santa Fe may do better on the EPA test with more forward cogs.

The Car Connection Consumer Review

1 Review
5 star
100%
4 star
0%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
Rate and Review your car for The Car Connection! Tell us your own ratings for a vehicle you own. Rate your car on Performance, Safety, Features and more.
Write a Review
June 12, 2016
2017 Hyundai Santa Fe SE 3.3L Automatic AWD

A great choice

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
Very nice drive, smooth. Kind of consumes a little bit on gas at driving in the city, but still has a powerfully engine. A good choice for a family suv at a great price.
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
April 21, 2016
2016 Hyundai Santa Fe AWD 4-Door Limited

AWESOME VEHICLE

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
Very satisfied with the vehicle. Small complaints on tiny things: fog lights are bad, and its switch is stupidly placed. Cruise Control buttons require restudy for its use. Fully loaded model in Chile, does... + More »
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
February 14, 2016
2016 Hyundai Santa Fe AWD 4-Door Limited

How do they do it? This is a greta car for the money

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
I tried the competitors ( Ford, Chev, Honda, Volkswagen, Toyota and Kia) The Volkswagen was terrible as well as the Kia. The Ford Explorer was nice but a bit pricey and the warranty didn't compare. The Honda... + More »
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
See all user reviews »
Compare the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe against the competition
Compare All Cars
Looking for a different year of the Hyundai Santa Fe?
Read reviews & get prices
Related Used Listings
Browse used listings in your area
See More Used

2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Pricing Insights

  • 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe deals are strong
  • Incentive: $1,500 retail bonus cash
  • Finance: From 0.0% for 36 months
  • Lease: From $289 for 36 months
See Your Price