Ever since arriving in 2001, the Santa Fe utility has been a hit for Hyundai, but now there’s more shuffling in the line-up.  What was the 5-passenger Santa Fe Sport… is now the 2019 Santa Fe. The carryover 7-seater becomes the Santa Fe XL, that is until a new and even larger 8-seat crossover arrives for 2020. 

The 4th gen Santa Fe also grows. More mid-size than compact, its longer and wider overall, with a longer wheelbase than the “Sport”. Low slung stacked LED headlights now bookend Hyundai’s bold new utility face. 

We headed to Park City, Utah… to drive both the 185-horsepower 2-point-4-liter I-4 and the 235-horsepower 2-liter turbo-4. Both are available in front and all-wheel drive. And all team up with a new 8-speed automatic. With two extra gears both up and down shifts were quicker and smoother.  

Steering has a nice heft as the MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear creates a comfortable ride. 

Suspension changes include positioning the rear shock absorbers more upright.

Engineers have made the Santa Fe more rigid by using more high-strength steel and more structural adhesives. The torsion bar stiffness also increases in the steering. The overall result is a more refined driving experience with better handling and a very solid feel.”

Inside they’ve gone further to reduce noise, add natural light, and make more room… especially for second row passengers. The list of standard safety features includes what they call Safe Exit Assist. It keeps an eye on what’s coming from behind when you get out.

The 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe is on sale now, starting at under $26,000. 


  • Engine: 2.4 liter / 2 liter
  • Horsepower: 185 / 235
  • Price: Starting under $26,000