The last few years have seen big names like Honda, Chevrolet and Volkswagen roll out redesigned or all-new mid-size crossovers with three rows of seating, but Hyundai is staying the course by carrying over its Santa Fe XL model for 2018.
That doesn't mean this South Korean crossover is past its best-before date. Hyundai gave the XL a significant update in 2017 that included refreshed styling inside and out.
Where the smaller Santa Fe Sport comes with a choice of two four-cylinder engines, the XL uses a 3.3L V6 that makes 290 hp and 252 lb-ft of torque and a six-speed automatic transmission. All trims but the base model come standard with all-wheel drive.
Hyundai's V6 is a smooth performer, but in this big utility it would benefit from a transmission with a couple more ratios, a change that would bring it in line with what has become the industry standard.
This is no heavy-duty SUV, but Hyundai says the XL will tow 2,268 kg (5,000 lbs) -- as much as the Ford Explorer, a vehicle that defines this family-friendly segment.
In the Santa Fe XL, Hyundai has one of the more laid-back models in this segment, with a chassis biased towards comfort rather than driver engagement. Other models also offer more powertrain variety: the Explorer comes with a choice of three engines, and the Kia Sorento (based on the same platform as the XL) also offers a trio of motors.
Standard equipment in the base model includes 18-inch wheels, heated front seats, 5.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, backup camera and driver's seat lumbar.
It's a quick move up to the AWD Premium trim, which adds useful things like a power tailgate, heated steering wheel, rear park assist, automatic climate control, automatic headlights, 115-volt power outlet, passive keyless entry and blind spot detection.
If you want active safety, the top-end Ultimate trim is where you'll find it in automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise with stop-and-go, blind spot detection with lane-change assist and rear cross traffic alert and a multi-view camera system.
Fuel consumption estimates start at 12.9/9.4 L/100 km (city/highway) for the FWD model; most AWD trims are rated at 13.0/9.7, save for the Ultimate, whose estimates are 13.9/10.8.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed