Hyundai’s three-row full-size CUV, the Santa Fe XL, gets a mild mid-life makeover for 2017 that adds a redesigned face with standard LED daytime running lights, new taillights and exhaust tips plus updated wheel designs. Inside there is a fresh centre stack (base models get a 5-inch colour touchscreen, upgradable to 8-inch) and all models have new Drive Mode Select which adjusts steering, throttle and transmission response for Sport, Eco, or Normal settings.
Power comes from a 290 hp 252 lb-ft direct-injection 3.3L Lambda II V6 mated to a smooth-shifting six-speed auto. This is a strong drivetrain that gives the XL a relaxed feel on the road. While the Santa Fe XL may not be the most athletic three-row CUV (look to the Honda Pilot) is benefits from a smooth and quiet ride.
As with all Hyundai’s interior quality is high and ergonomics good – there are plenty of finger-friendly buttons and knobs, and the gauge/display graphics are clear. Available as a six or seven-seater, the first two rows are roomy but the third row seat is best suited for kids. Legroom is decent but the seat cushions are thin, low, and access is difficult. The Honda Pilot, Nissan Pathfinder, Toyota Highlander and Kia Sorento are better in this regard.
All Santa Fe XLs come with a flush-mounted tow hitch and are rated to haul 2,268 kg (5,000 lb).
Pricing starts at $32,199 for the Santa Fe XL FWD that comes with 18-inch alloys, Bluetooth, USB, heated front seats, 5.0-inch LCD touchscreen, 40/20/40 split second-row bench, rear-view camera and driver’s seat lumbar.
Moving up to the $37,049 Premium AWD nets all-wheel-drive, power liftgate, heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, rear park assist, rear sun shades, automatic climate control and headlights, 115-volt outlet, third-row HVAC control, power driver’s seat, proximity key with push-button start, blind spot detection and third-row HVAC vents.
The $42,199 Luxury adds leather, sunroof, fog lights, 8-inch touchscreen with nav, Homelink and upgraded audio, while the $44,399 Limited layers on LED taillights, HID headlights, 19-inch alloys, 4.2-inch central TFT info screen and ventilated front seats.
All the tech toys show up in the $48,099 Ultimate – adaptive cruise with stop-and-go, cornering lights, multi-view camera, second-row captain’s chairs, lane departure warning and autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection.
The 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe XL is a solid choice in this segment, showing fine build quality, strong drivetrain, smooth moves and excellent value.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed