The Hyundai Santa Fe is a midsize SUV that’s been offered since the 2001 model year. Now in its third generation, the current Santa Fe is a three-row crossover that provides room for six or seven passengers. The Santa Fe also distinguishes itself with a powerful V6 engine, impressive cargo capacity and a strong list of standard and available tech features.
2013 to Present: Hyundai Santa Fe
The third-generation Hyundai Santa Fe was introduced for the 2013 model year. Beginning with this series, Hyundai also introduced the related Santa Fe Sport, which is a slightly smaller model with two rows of seats and unique engine choices.
The three-row Hyundai Santa Fe is powered by a 3.3-liter V6 engine making 290 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard across the model line. All-wheel drive is optional.
There's room for six or seven in the Santa Fe's cabin, with bucket seats up front, a three-place bench seat in the second row and a two-place bench seat for the third row. Higher trims offer a pair of captain’s chairs for the second row.
The Santa Fe offers very good room for five, but tight room in the third row for two more. There’s 13.5 cubic feet of storage room behind the third-row seat, which expands to 80 cubic feet with the rear rows folded.
All Santa Fe models come with accessories, a tilt-and-telescopic steering column, Bluetooth, USB and auxiliary input jacks and 12-volt power outlets. Available upgrades bring in navigation, leather seats, a 115-volt outlet, a heated steering wheel and a panoramic sunroof.
The Hyundai Santa Fe can be cross-shopped with the Honda Pilot, Kia Sorento, Toyota Highlander, Mazda CX-9, Ford Explorer, Chevrolet Traverse, Dodge Durango and Nissan Pathfinder.
Earlier Hyundai Santa Fe Models
The first-generation Hyundai Santa Fe was produced from 2001 to 2006. That model is powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that’s paired with a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission. A 2.7-liter V6 engine was also available and paired exclusively with a four-speed automatic. Only the V6 models offered available all-wheel drive.
For 2003, Hyundai added a 3.5-liter V6 engine to the line and paired it with a five-speed automatic transmission. Two years later, Hyundai dropped the four-cylinder engine and maintained the two V6 engines for the remainder of the first generation.
The second-generation Hyundai Santa Fe was produced from 2007 to 2012. That model comes with a 2.7-liter V6 engine, which is mated to a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission. A 3.3-liter V6 engine is also available, and paired with a five-speed automatic transmission.
For 2010, Hyundai changed the engine lineup again, bringing back a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and pairing it with a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. A 3.5-liter V6 engine was also introduced and paired exclusively with the six-speed automatic.